Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

I would love to collaborate with Neil Gaiman: Gavin Aung Than

Gavin Aung Than

Kitaab’s Interviews Editor Felicia Low-Jimenez in conversation with Gavin Aung Than, the creator of Zen Pencils

Australian cartoonist Gavin Aung Than was in Singapore in February 2014, where hundreds of his loyal fans attended an event held at Books Kinokuniya. It was a spectacular turnout for the creator of Zen Pencils, an online comic that has been featured in The Washington Post, Slate, Buzzfeed, and The A.V. Club. A freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia, Gavin has an “aw, shucks” demeanour that belies a determined, risk-taking nature that compelled him to give up his day job, sell his house, and embark on a career as a full-time creator of comics and cartoons. Zen Pencils is an interesting take on how a single idea can manifest itself in many different forms. However, on occasion, Gavin has run into copyright issues while using quotations or content that were attributed to other people. For example, he was asked by Charles Bukowski’s publisher, HarperCollins, to remove a cartoon he did based on Bukowski’s famous poem, Air and light and time and space.

Tell us how Zen Pencils came about.

I had finished working on two long-running comic strips without much success and was eager to think of an idea for a new webcomic. I wanted to do something quite different from what I had previously done, which were more traditional humour strips. At the time, I was reading a lot of biographies and saving some of my favourite inspirational quotes from historical figures. I had also noticed that a lot of people were sharing their favourite quotes on social media. That’s when I got the idea to base an entire website around these quotes and combine them with my cartooning to produce something new.  Read more

London Book Fair 2014: At Digital Minds, publishers urged to look beyond the book

Anthony-HorowitzAt last year’s Digital Minds conference, author Neil Gaiman encouraged publishers to “try everything,” advice that was echoed at this year’s event, as a morning of keynote speakers kicked off the London Book Fair by urging publishers to look beyond the book.

“I do not believe that books will ever die,” said Anthony Horowitz, author of the bestselling Alex Rider books, in his opening talk. “At the same time, we cannot deny we are in an extraordinary transition, and it does seem to me sometimes that publishers are not grabbing the nettle because they are too afraid of getting stung.” Read more