Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob is going to be available in print on November 1st, just a few days away. The digital version is going to take a few more days, but is scheduled to be available on COMIXOLOGY.com on November 5 by noon (for $9.99).
In a graphic novel originally self-published by the author in 2011, Jaeckel recalls her participation in a remarkable cultural exchange at the height of U.S.-Soviet tensions in the 1980s. Along with 24 other American high-school students, Jaeckel joined a group of Soviet teenagers to cycle, row, and raft down Siberia’s river Ob in a trip meant to further peace. In simple, pared-down b&w cartoons, Jaeckel creates a cast of human-animal hybrids, giving the Americans long, floppy ears and the Russians neat, cropped ears and sharper snouts; throughout, she records discoveries about the ways her Russian counterparts are either unexpectedly similar to Americans (they love the Beatles) or unlike them (boys and girls display easy, unself-conscious physical affection toward members of their own sexes). Jaeckel documents a kaleidoscope of impressions and perceptions, including her own small contributions toward international relations, as when she’s confronted by four grim-faced grandmothers, greets them in tentative Russian, and is rewarded with broad grins. With an emphasis on dialogue and interior reflection, it’s an honest, closely observed account that readers–especially those with an interest in Russia–will find facinating. Ages 18-up.
For those of you who saw a different cover for this same book, haha! We weren't finished considering all our options! This is the cover that the designer, Josue Menjivar (fresh brewed illustration), and author, Jenny Jaeckel and I, finally came up with.
Jenny Jaeckel is the author/illustrator of this collection of short stories for adults. Why can't adults enjoy illustrations with their stories? Well they can now! We are very excited to be in production with this book, to be released in Hardcover April 2016.
I’m reading Enchantress by Maggie Anton and I’m loving it. It’s such an unusual book for me to read, with its combination of other-worldly happenings and a practical, down-to-earth voice. I really appreciate that something like this can be offered in mainstream fiction.
Maggie Anton also has an interesting story in that she first self-published her book Rashi’s Daughters and then signed up with a large publishing house for her subsequent books. I love stories like these because I grew up the daughter of a writer to whom self-publishing was vanity, or worse, the end of a legitimate pursuit of recognition. I’m glad it’s not so rigid anymore.
Some people like self-publishing and have those skills, some people don’t. I work with authors who don’t have the energy to self-publish. They don’t understand how I can orchestrate the editors, designers, printer, distributors, marketing and sales, and I don’t understand how they can produce the magical, liquid flow of words (and illustrations) on to paper. It’s a perfect match.
Speaking of which, we’ve got some room for 2015: For a collection of poetry (please see our interests) and possibly a memoir or work of fiction.
ps. I just got word that Siberiak, our next book to be released (Nov. 1) has been selected for review by Publishers Weekly. It’s very exciting, and when I have the review I will post it.