Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 4: final cover illustration

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I illustrated the front cover.

Step 1: cover design

Here’s my final rough:

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 4: final cover illustration”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 3: cover design

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I designed the robots and vehicles in the story.

Quick recap: Sally Tinker is the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve. In Gastronauts, Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows her latest invention. So Sally and her friend Charli shrink themselves down in a tiny submarine and journey into Joe’s body.

Here’s how I designed the cover.

Step 1: really bad first sketches

Sometimes you get the cover idea pretty quickly and clearly from the start.

This was not one of those times.

I struggled with this a lot at first; I couldn’t figure out how to show the reader that Sally and Charli were inside a sub, inside Joe, and make Sally and Charli big enough so that they were recognisable, without being too big that the scale stopped being anatomically correct.

None of these ideas really work, but I’ve included them here to show you how a cover design process can go. There are usually lots of rejected, fairly ordinary ideas.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 3: cover design”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 1: illustration process

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I made the illustrations.

Here’s one of my favourite spreads from the book. It’s where Sally leads her friend Charli into the SUB (Sally’s Underwater Boat) for the first time.

I thought it would be easiest to show the insides of the SUB by just drawing a massive cut-away diagram. Here’s how I drew it.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 1: illustration process”

The Gastronauts book tour was a gas

I’ve just been on a book tour, celebrating the release of my new junior graphic novel called Gastronauts. From Sept 26 to Oct 14, I had 23 events across three states.

I started in my hometown of Perth, then visited Sydney and Melbourne. We had four book launches, heaps of cartooning and comics workshops, and I got to deface decorate the windows at a few bookstores too. It was a brilliant trip, but I’m very happy to be back home with my family, and gearing up to work on some new projects.

Fun fact: Gastronauts is probably the first book in the world to be launched via a giant nappy. It will probably also be the last, as I don’t recommend it. Too messy. Watch what happens in the video below.

Here’s my favourite photos from the trip.

Thanks to everyone – bookstore owners, librarians, teachers, kids and parents – who came to events. And big thanks to my publishers Fremantle Press who helped organise the tour.


Gastronauts

Buy local – find your closest bookshop

Or order online:
– Booktopia (Australia and NZ only)
Angus and Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Boffins
Dymocks
Book Depository

Teacher resources for Gastronauts

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

I’ve pulled together a bunch of free resources for teachers (and interested kids). You can find the full set on my website, but here’s some of my highlights:

Teaching Notes

Heaps of ideas for discussion and links to curriculum.
Download the teaching notes (pdf).

Read a free sample

Read the first 16 pages before you buy the book.
Also great for using to read the start of the book to a class.
Download the free sample (pdf).

‘Make Your Own see-through body’ activity

This is a super fun activity. You need scissors, glue, string and a piece of A3 coloured card – and a print out of the worksheet for each student. (And don’t forget to print the teacher cheat-sheet for you.)
You’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Continue reading “Teacher resources for Gastronauts”

Gastronauts is officially released today (and a Dead Bunny is back)

My new book Gastronauts is officially released today!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out … though I do wonder if I crossed the grossness threshold with this one.

Here’s the synopsis:

Sally Tinker – the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve – has developed her greatest invention yet. But when Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows it with disastrous (and gaseous) consequences, Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves, venture into the very bowels of Joe, and shut down the invention before it’s too late. What could possibly go wrong?

Magpies magazine calls it ‘hilariously funny … it will  be devoured by emerging readers. Perfect for school and public libraries.’ Cheers, Magpies!

You can read a free sample here, and check out some of my favourite images below.

Continue reading “Gastronauts is officially released today (and a Dead Bunny is back)”

Here comes the Gastronauts book tour

My new book Gastronauts is out in bookstores!

Even though the official release date is Oct 1st, there was a sneaky early release, so you can find it across the country and online. If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy, you can always ask them to order it in.

To celebrate, I’m traveling around WA, NSW and VIC from Sep 26-Oct 14 to do four book launches, a bunch of comic-drawing workshops and a couple of festivals too.

Scroll down for the list of events and dates. For full details, please visit my events page.

See you on the road 🙂

– James


Gastronauts

Buy local – find your closest bookshop

Or order online:
– Booktopia (Australia and NZ only)
Angus and Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Boffins
Dymocks
Book Depository

 

Gastronauts book launches (WA)

Hi everyone,

it’s almost time to officially launch the latest book in my ‘S.Tinker Inc.’ graphic novel series – it’s called ‘Gastronauts‘!

Here’s the synopsis:

Sally Tinker – the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve – has developed her greatest invention yet. But when Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows it with disastrous (and gaseous) consequences, Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves, venture into the very bowels of Joe, and shut down the invention before it’s too late. What could possibly go wrong?

If you’re in my hometown of Perth, there are two book launches: one north of the river and one south. Please come along and spread the word!

Sept 26:  Gastronauts book launch, Fremantle

gastronauts launch bannerCome help me celebrate the release of Gastronauts. The Paper Bird book club kids will preside over proceedings and officially launch the book!

WHEN: Wednesday Sept 26
TIME: 3pm-5pm
WHERE: Paper Bird Children’s Books and Art, 42 Henry St, Fremantle WA
AGES: the book is aimed at 7-10yo (but the whole family is welcome)
COST: FREE
BOOKINGS: essential; click here.

 

Oct 3:  Gastronauts book launch, Perth

This is in fact a group book launch called the ‘Great Big Dark and Spooky Book Read’!

It’s presented by my publisher Fremantle Press, the State Library of Western Australia and AWESOME Arts.

Follow the torchlight to your seat around the ‘campfire’ for a thrilling story time experience with amazing local writers. The Great Big Dark and Spooky Book Read features Gastronauts author and illustrator James Foley (that’s me!), Bush and Beyond  author Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, Off the Track author Cristy Burne, The Hole Story author Kelly Canby, In the Lamplight author Dianne Wolfer, and Ian Mutch, author of More and More and More. From the shadows cast by war to the inside of the human body, from cozy boltholes to the vastness of space, don’t let your fear of the dark discourage you. These fun and exciting stories will light up imaginations of children aged 5 and up!

Each ticket includes your choice of one of the books being launched on the day.

(I don’t mind which book you pick, they’re all good books! But if poo and fart jokes and comics are your thing, then *cough cough* I’d suggest Gastronauts, not biased or anything, of course, ahem).

WHEN: Wednesday Oct 3rd
TIME: 11:15am-12:30pm
WHERE: State Library Theatre, State Library of WA
AGES: 5yo+
COST: $25.20 (includes entry for a family of four, and one copy of a book of your choice); $5.20 for additional tickets
BOOKINGS: essential, click here.


If you can’t make it to a launch, don’t worry: you can already find Gastronauts in lots of bookshops around Australia and online (see links below).

GASTRONAUTS BOOK TOUR – WA, NSW, VIC

Check out my events page for details of my BOOK TOUR!
I’m doing over a dozen events in WA, NSW and VIC between Sep 26-Oct 14.


Buy ‘Gastronauts’

Buy local – find your closest bookshop

Or order online:
– Booktopia (Australia and NZ only)
Angus and Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Boffins
Dymocks
Book Depository

Give your kids Gastro this October!

Hello! I haven’t posted in a while, as things have been very busy at home – my wife and I now have a beautiful 5-month old baby. AND I’ve been working on a new book, which just went off to print today!

GASTRONAUTS is the third graphic novel in the S.Tinker Inc. series, featuring the irrepressible Sally Tinker. She’s the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and there’s no problem she can’t solve. Unfortunately there’s no problem her inventions can’t cause, either; she’s already built a robot that went completely out of control, and created a giant dung beetle that terrorised her town. In this new story the problem is a lot smaller, in that her baby brother Joe has swallowed a teeny-tiny invention.  Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves and venture into the very bowels of Joe to shut down the swallowed invention before it causes some unintended (and very gaseous) consequences.

Gastronauts will be out in bookshops and online on October 1st, 2018. Your kids have probably given you gastro a few times, so now you can return the favour 😉

And here’s the cover! I’m so happy with how it turned out. Big thanks to the awesome team at Fremantle Press for being wonderful, as always.

If you’re super keen to grab a copy and don’t want to forget or miss out, you can pre-order now at Booktopia.

I’ll do some more posts the closer we get to the book birthday.

And FYI, there will be launches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, so stay tuned for details!

Thanks for reading,

James

 

Brobot: from roughs to final artwork

Hello! I’ve pulled together some gifs to show you how I made some of the illustrations in Brobot. You can see how I got from the first rough drawing to the final artwork for each illustration. Check them out below.

(NB: if you’re receiving this post by email and the gifs don’t appear, just click on the post title above to view the original post on my website).


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brobot-final-pg-44-45-timelapse


brobot-final-pg-52-53-timelapse


brobot-final-pg-56-57-timelapse

 


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Brobot-3d-final-400pxBuy ‘Brobot’ now