Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Katman flagged for TMGNRL

The Texas Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List (TMGNRL) is a recommended reading list developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table (YART). The purpose of the list is to encourage students in grades 6-12 to explore a variety of current books. To see the whole list click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Digital Empire of Russell Christian

Artist and friend Russell Christian has been fervently wrestling with the economic crisis from all angles and mediums on a series of nested blogs that sprout new tangents daily. For that and so much more start at his Bruxist Manifesto, then follow the Bouncy Banker and end in The World of Disarray.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

School Library Journal Review

Here some highlights:

"Pyle's Katman succeeds because of its honesty. He doesn't try to make it an afterschool special kind of story, where the choices are easy and right and wrong are clear."


"Katman is a strong story, but a hard read. It's not for readers unfamiliar with the comic medium, but it is also not for readers looking for something quick and easy to breeze through. Pyle requires his readers to think and to do that, they have to pay attention to details in the text and panels. But for readers wanting a realistic story where a teen himself is the superhero simply by doing what he is able to do, they will find in Katman a character to admire."


Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm honored to join the long list of nominees for two YA lists:

The Cybils (Children and Young Adult Blogger's Literacy Awards): (LINK)

AND the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Great Graphic Novels for Teens (LINK)

A great side effect of this honor is that librarians all over the country are reading it and starting to post reviews:

Here's one from Canada: This was a great story. I don't usually go in for teen reality fiction but this story grabbed me right away. Kit is a character that one feels for right away and teens will identify with. The book has a great plot (which I won't give away) that makes the book hard to put down until you've finished. The book is peopled with eccentric characters such as Vinod who belongs to the religion of Jainism, an autistic teen nicknamed Bleep, and the local crazy cat lady. Ultimately, the underlying theme of the book is caring. It sounds kind of corny written down like that but trust me, it's not. The book asks how many people really care these days? Care about something, about someone, about doing something or believing in something? A very powerful story.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Upcoming Katman Events

Oct. 22nd, 4:00 pm
New York Public Library
Countee Cullen Branch
104 West 136th Street [near Lenox Ave.], New York, NY 10030-2695.
Call us at (212) 491-2070

Oct. 27th, 7:00 pm
Watchung Booksellers
54 Fairfield St
Montclair, NJ 07042
973 744-7177

Nov. 3rd, 4:00 pm
Queens Library
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 990-0700

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Opener sketch

I'm starting to draw the next book (still untitled) for Henry Holt for Young Readers. Here's an almost final sketch of the opening page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Creator "Subverts Young Adult Cliches" in New Indy OGN (Newsarama interview)

By Michael Lorah

Cartoonist Kevin Pyle’s latest graphic novel, Katman, is the story of Kit, a teenage boy with a complicated family situation and an antagonistic social life. In search of a place to belong, Kit winds up caretaker of the neighborhood’s other disenfranchised population – the growing population of stray cats.

“Katman is about a teen, Kit, in an economically-depressed town who finds himself at loose ends when his scholarly older brother pushes him out of the house in order to study for his college exams. Out of boredom and reasons he doesn’t entirely understand, Kit falls into feeding stray cats,” Pyle explained. “This action attracts the derision of a group of metal kids who hang out behind the kwickie mart. Among them is a more punk girl, Jess, who is intrigued by what he’s doing and a tentative friendship forms. Jess is into drawing manga and she ends up creating a character, Katman, inspired by Kit. Her friendship with Kit strains her relationship with the group and as events unfold she’s forced to make a choice. Meanwhile Kit has to work out how far he’s willing to go in ensuring the well-being of these abandoned creatures. Even though it’s called Katman, the story really follows two people’s struggles with the consequences of committing to something or someone outside themselves.” (READ MORE)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Comic Book Resources Interview

I love that the interviewer, Alex Dueben, asked about Jainism and The Planet of the Apes!


by Alex Dueben, Guest Contributor

Kevin C. Pyle probably isn’t a name most comics fans are familiar with, but he’s been working in comics and illustration for many years. Pyle’s received the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators and has contributed to the long-running anthology “World War 3 Illustrated,” and co-edited the most recent volume, issue #39, which was released earlier this year.

In 2007, Pyle released “Blindspot,” a graphic novel that he dedicated to “Mom, Dad and Sgt. Rock,” about a young boy and the war games he plays with his friends. It showed Pyle as an artist interested in the relationship between fantasy and reality and how they reflect and influence each other, in drawing realistic teenage characters who are trying to make sense of themselves and their lives and as an artist, and also demonstrated Pyle’s considerable skill at establishing a sense of place. An excerpt of “Blindspot” was included in 2008’s “The Best American Comics” edited by Lynda Barry.

Pyle’s new graphic novel “Katman” is one a tightly plotted story that balances multiple story and thematic elements. It’s the story of a teenage boy who starts feeding stray cats in his neighborhood, and what starts out very simply becomes a very powerful story about fighting for something that matters and the refusal to remain cynical and detached from the world.

CBR News spoke with Kevin C. Pyle about “Katman” and his body of work. (READ MORE)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Local Press

Baristanet, THEE Montclair/Bloomfield/Glen Ridge blog, has a nice piece on the local landscape and imbedded in Katman.

"There's a new graphic novel out by Bloomfield artist Kevin Pyle, about a boy who feeds stray cats, and it's full of places Bloomfielders will recognize, from the Bloomfield train station to the inside of the Bukowski Animal Shelter. "Katman," released Sept. 1, was inspired partly by a "little cat village" where someone leaves food for stray cats, which Pyle discovered near the Bloomfield train station.

But it's also inspired by all the boarded-up storefronts that resulted from Bloomfield's..." (READ MORE)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Publisher's Weekly Review

Katman Kevin C. Pyle. Henry Holt, $12.99 paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8285-2

This great coming-of-age tale promotes nonconformity as well as responsibility (and young love, too, but to a lesser extent). It's the summer break, and lacking friends or funds, teenager Kit is hanging around the house too much. Wandering aimlessly through his low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn, Kit takes pity on the stray cats he sees. He feels as abandoned as they are, and is soon feeding them, first from his mother's pantry and then by stealing. But by caring for the kitties, the boy begins a journey of growth and maturity, meeting people like the “crazy” cat lady (who was once involved in radical politics); the shopkeeper who catches Kit stealing and teaches him about Jainism; and most importantly, Jess, a cute punk rock girl with artistic ambitions. She's impressed that even though Kit is not sure why he's doing it, unlike her so-called friends he's doing something selfless and refuses to waver from his beliefs under peer pressure. Jess further encourages Kit by creating Katman, a manga-like superhero alter ego. Pyle's loose, vibrant art brings an immediacy to this story that often reads as if we're peeking into Jess's notebooks. (Sept.)(LINK)

Monday, September 14, 2009

High-Low review

The always insightful Rob Clough posted a review of "Katman." Of course my favorite line is: "...the character of Kit wound up being enormously compelling, precisely because he was so difficult to pigeonhole." since I was trying to explore but also subvert what one might see as stock "YA" characters. Also, I'm glad he got the "existentialist's dilemma" and how the story is another angle on the relationship between fantasy life and reality explored in "Blindspot." (READ MORE)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Brooklyn Bookfest Panel

I'm going to be on a panel this upcoming Sunday the 13th. It's at the NY Comic Con Pavilion at Brooklyn Bookfest.
More info:

Fact vs. Fiction in Action-Adventure Comics
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Comics artists and writers Matt Loux, Fred van Lente, Chris Giarruso and Kevin Pyle discuss how they are inspired by real events, scientific research, and even math and physics to come up with action-packed adventure stories. They'll answer Q&A from the audience and give a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating comics. For kids of all ages. Moderated by Alex Simmons.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Autographing Table 3

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Katman released today!

And it feels odd to be on vacation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

KATMAN releases September 1st

From Henry Holt for Young Readers

Here's the back text:

Expelled into the hot, empty streets, fifteen-year-old Kit takes to feeding the stray cats that haunt the forgotten and unseen spaces of his town. There he also meets Jess, a manga-loving punk stuck with heavy-metal headbangers. But the pack can only hold for so long once she creates Katman, a ferocious shape-shifting stand-in for Kit’s quiet version of heroism. Not that he thinks of himself as a hero. After all, heroes don’t typically lie, steal, and hang out with crazy people.

Exploring themes of abandonment, reluctant responsibility, and the transformative power of art, KATMAN tells the story of two people forced to make a choice: Is it cooler to care about something, someone, or nothing at all?



Comix Journalism
Built on an investigative project-based education model, this workshop teaches basic journalism techniques of research, interviews and reportorial narrative and applies them to producing non-fiction comics on a specific subject of academic interest. Students learn basics of sequential story-telling and comic construction. Examples of successful non-fiction comics are presented and analyzed for visual strategies.
(see Prison City Comix)

Visual Storytelling
Basic tools of comics such as word balloons, panel composition, sequential transitions are presented. Examples from published works are presented and followed by exercises. Subject matter of exercises can be curriculum specific or purely fictional.

Production basics for creating stapled, self-published mini-comic including layout, pagination and assemblage. Photoshop and InDesign can be employed if available.

Place as Character
Using examples from author’s work as well as other established artists, this workshop illuminates the unique storytelling possibilities of landscape in graphic novels and how to achieve them.

Past Workshops

Feb 09
Truth and Fiction, Center for Cartoon Studies, White River Junction, VT
Participants: College age students enrolled in 2 year program.
Consisted of power point presentation of career survey of illustration, "docu-comic" and graphic novel work followed by illumination of visual story-telling tools employed in sequential art. Discussed role of research in non-fiction work and issues unique to that genre. Provided editorial input on current class project and conducted portfolio reviews.

Dec 08
Art Talks to Power, Puffin Cultural Forum, Teaneck, NJ
Participants: Students from Teaneck Middle School
Conducted three hour workshop focused on creating "opinion editorial" illustration on the subject of global warming. Consisted of power point presentation illuminating the use of visual tools like symbols, transformation and scale followed by discussion of specific issue and strategies for representation. Students then each produced an illustration and discussed each other's work in terms of clarity, effectiveness, artistic value and emotional impact.

March 07-May 07
Prison City Comix, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Heritage High School, NY, NY
Participants: Senior English class.
Conducted a six-week investigative workshop focused on creating a 32 page non-fiction comic about the impact of the criminal justice system on the local community. Presented tools for non-fiction investigation including research, first person interviews and surveys that students then employed to gather content. Presented strategies for visual representation of complex issues and basics of sequential story telling. Arranged for guest speaker and class trip to Harlem Justice Center. Provided drawing instruction, editorial input and digital expertise for production of comic. Facilitated editorial session
for creation of comic cover.

May 05
Interrupted Life, Capacity Youth Art, Columbus, OH
Participants: High school students in community art program.
Conducted all day workshop designed to facilitate production of art installation addressing the incarceration of mothers. Presented working process for researching and creating non-fiction work engaged with social issues. Introduced visual strategies for presenting complex information and discussed the role of materials in installation art. Facilitated discussion of final concept for eventual installation included in traveling art show.


Included in “Best American Comics 2008,” edited by Lynda Barry
starred review from “Publisher’s Weekly, "A very smart and humane graphic novel."

Dean and his friends enjoy a paradise of freedom in the woods behind their suburban housing development. But the fantasy can’t last. Their paradise is not entirely their own, and soon, through a series of surprising discoveries and dangerous encounters, the adult world intrudes. As the boys adapt to this new more perilous version of the world, fractures widen and alliances shift until Dean is left to struggle with the dark reality of his army fantasy alone.

Set in the childhood worlds of nature and fantasy Blindspot explores the role of forbidden knowledge and imagery during the transition to adulthood.


Paying the Price

Published in 2006
by The Real Cost of
Prisons Project

This comic book tells the story of the ways in which the financing and siting of prisons and jails affects the people of rural communities in which prisons are built. It also tells the story of how mass incarceration affects members of the urban communities that the majority of people who are incarcerated come from. Included in the comic book are alternatives to the current system. Intended as an activist tool, over eighty-five thousand copies have been distributed across the country.

illuminated documents

Published in 2001 by Autonomedia
Winner of the Silver Medal for Sequential Art from the Society of Illustrators
A docucomic that reveals bad svcience in the language of great art," - Sue Coe
This heavily researched, thoroughly footnoted docu-comic chronicles the history of clandestine racist and ideologically- inspired science and research in America.