Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Media Blitz

It is going to be a busy season for my google reader, as the reviews of John Brown: His Fight for Freedom are starting to come in. The book is officially released today (though if you bought it through amazon you won't see it till october 1st) and I wanted to share a few links to some good reviews.

The Journal-World, of Lawrence, Kansas has a nice commentary and review of the book here. A highlight:

The facts pass the test, as far as Jonathan Earle is concerned.Earle is an associate professor of history at KU who studied the Civil War and who himself has authored a book on Brown. He admits he was skeptical when he first heard of Hendrix’s book. But after reading it, he says it works ... And he was surprised at how directly the book dealt with the controversial periods of Brown’s life. "There’s difficult stuff,” Earle says. “He doesn’t avoid the difficult parts of the biography, such as John Brown and his sons murdering the settlers in Pottawatomie. He doesn’t airbrush him.”

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a look at the book as well. From the review:

I love that spread. On many levels. (And not just ’cause I think John Brown here weirdly resembles Bruce Campbell just a wee little bit, which is neither here nor there, so let’s move on.) I don’t think we’re ever going to see John Hendrix do dainty, and that’s a-okay with me.

100 Scope Notes has a small blurb about the book in their Fall Preview:

Cover look a bit familiar? John Hendrix illustrated last year’s outstanding Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek (100 Scope Notes review) and the man’s style has a way of jumping out at you. Looking forward to him taking on another historical figure. You can see the evolution of this cover at designer Chad W. Beckerman’s blog Mishaps and Adventures – interesting stuff.

Plus, in a perfect storm of media strategy, Communication Arts has a profile on my work and the book that just came out today as well. I've heard from a few people that it is out there though I haven't seen it yet. No link to that on the website- you've got to see it in print.

Hopefully more to come...


Logan said...

Congrats on all of the nice praise John. Glad to hear the John Brown book is out now - I'm very excited to see it in the flesh!

josh said...

congrats man! I'm equally in awe of the art and the fact that you authored this

John Hendrix said...

Thanks guys! Josh, I told yuko that writing a book as an illustrator is easy if you keep it simple, write the stuff you'd love to draw!

I guess I should say "easy"

mrolandgordon said...

"Hendrix bears a pleasing resemblance to John Krasinski of “The Office.” That cute, lopsided smile..

Okay, that's a shallow, sexist observation. But it's true!"

My favorite comment following the first review!

CW said...

JOHN BROWN gets a wonderful starred review in KIRKUS!!!

“Hendrix makes Brown loom larger than life.”

(STARRED) Hendrix, John
JOHN BROWN: His Fight for Freedom
Illus. by the author

John Brown, with a makeshift flag in one hand and a tiny African-American tot cradled in the other, stands heroically on the jacket of this handsome picture-book biography. His face may be wizened and worn, but his eyes are fixed solely on the future, where he believed one day blacks would become not only free but equal. Often considered a madman or, at best, a tyrannical abolitionist, Brown had another side—one that was so overwhelmed by injustice that he simply had to act. Blood was shed as a result, especially in his attack on pro-slavery settlers in Kansas and the failed raid on Harper’s Ferry, but compassion fueled his fight. In sweeping acrylic washes and with speech bubbles that unfurl across entire spreads, Hendrix makes Brown loom larger than life, and rightly so. His magazine-illustration background is evident in spreads that combine the iconic and the realistic to compress the visual storytelling into one heightened image. Not a story for the younger set, but an important view of one of the most controversial men in American history. (author’s note, sources, index) (Informational picture book. 8-12)

John Hendrix said...

Chad, that is AWESOME. My first starred review as author AND illustrator! I should really put that on the front page.

blueblood said...

Congrats on all the accolades, John! They are well-deserved. I just read the nice feature about you in Communication Arts, however I've been a fan since your Paste cover. You are an inspiration to all of us Missourian/Christian/artist-types. Keep up the good work!

meredith said...

"the facts pass the test." good thing you had such an excellent fact-checker. Congratulations John!

Sam said...

Can't wait to grab my copy! awesome stuff John

John Hendrix said...

Thanks everyone, wow, a starred review in Kirkus!

Kevin G. Summers said...

This was by far the best historical children's book that I've read. The illustrations are wonderful and you covered all the key points. Nice work.

CW said...

Booklist gives JOHN BROWN: His Fight for Freedom by John Hendrix
a fantastic starred review in the October 15th issue!
(Kirkus also gave the book a starred review)

“While the intense and complicated subject matter reserves this picture book for older readers, the attention-commanding artwork (and indeed, the entire book design) is so magnificently rendered that students who might be resistant to reading about historical figures, especially in a picture–book format, will be drawn in.