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.