Tag Archives: adewani

Dschibonka live und ohne Krümel

3 Nov

In rund einem Monat ist es soweit: Jörg und ich werden in Neustadtan der Weinstraße aus Dschibonka vorlesen und dazu zeichnen. Da zumindest die Zeichentalente bei Adewani klar verteilt sind – in der hinteren Einbandseite von Dschibonka gibt es eine kleine Demonstration meiner mageren Fähigkeiten – werde ich mich dabei aufs Lesen beschränken.

Nun sind wir nicht der Welt größten Rampensäue und der Gedanke an die Lesung erinnert mich daran, dass so ein Magen auch Synapsen hat. Ich unterbreche diesen Blogbeitrag für eine kurze Durchsage an dem Hirn nachgelagerte Organe: “Magen, Darm, es ist jetzt noch viel zu früh für lampenfiebrige Symptome. Kümmert euch ums Frühstück!”

Grundsätzlich ist die Idee, dass ich lese und Jörg während dessen eine Figur aus dem Buch in den Veranstaltungsraum hereinzeichnet. Bevor ich lese, werden wir die drei Hauptmonster vorstellen, und natürlich Dschibonka, ihr Lieblingsspiel erklären. Von Demonstrationen dieses Brett- und Bewegungsspiels mit Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte sehen wir im Interesse der Veranstalter ab.

Kinderkompatible Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte als Snack für alle wäre natürlich großartig. Und als Lizenzspieler der Dschibonka All Stars werden wir wohl im Teamtrikot auflaufen…wenn die Füße dann im entscheidenden Moment mitspielen.

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Adewa auf der Buchmesse/Adewa at the bookfair

14 Oct

Seit Mittwoch steht Dschibonka auf der Buchmesse. Genauer in Halle 3.1 and Stand G 131. Und morgen fahre ich auch hin. Bin sehr gespannt, wie und ob auf das Buch reagiert wird. Jörg erholt sich derweil in finnischen Wäldern, wo, wie er schreibt, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte sündhaft teuer ist. So wird also leider nicht Adewani, aber immerhin Adewa nach Frankfurt fahren. Sollten wir demnächst mal irgendwo lesen, werden aber Adeni und Adewa in Aktion treten – ich lese, Jörg zeichnet.

Finally Jibonka is on the bookfair (I hope). To be precise in hall 3.1, at booth G 131. And tomorrow I will be there, too. It will be interesting if and how people will react to the book. Jörg is currently recharging in Finnlands woods, where Black Forest Cake is a luxurious pleasure. So, it won’t be Adewani at the bookfair, but only Adewa. But, in case we should have to read somewhere at some time, both Adeni and Adewa will perform – I will read and Jörg will draw or sketch or whatever the correct term for his art is.

Endlich werde ich auch Hellen, unsere Ansprechpartnerin bei Bestywell mal persönlich treffen. Nach inzwischen rund 500 emails und zwei Telefonaten wird das sicher überraschend. Außerdem treffe ich auch die Leiterin eines kleinen, aber feinen Verlags aus Hongkong. Sie scheint sehr interessiert an der nächsten Adewani-Geschichte zu sein. Es geht um eine Ameise und die Geschichte richtet sich diesmal an etwas jüngere Kinder, vielleicht ab vier. Mehr kann ich jetzt noch nicht verraten.

Finally I will meet Hellen, our contact person at Bestywell. After around 500 emails and two phone calls this will be a surprise. And I will meet a Hong Kong publisher of very nice books. She seems to be interested in Adewani’s next story. This one will be about an ant. And it will be for younger readers, maybe starting from four years.

Die Vorabexemplare sind da! The Advance Copies have arrived!

26 Sep

Als am vergangenen Freitag der DHL-Bote auf unsere Haustür zusteuerte, fragte ich ihn leicht ungläubig: “Das ist jetzt aber nicht schon das Paket aus Hongkong, oder?” Worauf er nur lakonisch meinte: “Wonn Sie de Herr Wagner sinn, donn is des e Paked aus Hongkong fer Sie.” Woher sollte er wissen, dass ich am Abend zuvor auf der Web-Seite von DHL eben jenes Paket erst nach neun Uhr unserer Zeit vom Zoll in Hongkong freigegeben wurde. Noch erstaunlicher – jedenfalls für mich – als die Tatsache, dass das Paket knapp 15 Stunden nach der Zollfreigabe in Hongkong an meiner Tür gelandet war, ist der Inhalt der Express-Fracht: acht druckfrische Exemplare von Dschibonka.

When the DHL-Guy knocked on my door last Friday, I asked him slightly incredulous:” This can’t already be the parcel from Hong Kong?” Which he answered quite dryly:”If you are Mr Wagner, then this is your parcel from Hong Kong.” How was he supposed to know I only learned the night ago from DHL’s website that the parcel in question was cleared be Hong Kong customs past 9 p.m. our time. But even more astonishing – at least to me –  than the fact that barely 15 hours later the parcel was delivered to my door, was its contents: eight freshly printed advance copies of Jibonka.

Freshly pressed

Hellen, unsere extrem geduldige Ansprechpartnerin bei Bestywell, unserer Druckerei, hatte uns freundlicherweise schon ein paar Fotos der fertigen Bücher geschickt. Und so sahen die guten Stücke also auf ihrem Schreibtisch aus.

Hellen, our patient contact person at Bestywell, out printer, was kind enough to send us a couple of pictures of the printed books. So that is what they look like on her desk.

Heute morgen habe ich den Restbetrag der Rechnung an die Druckerei überwiesen. Hoffentlich ist das Geld bis Freitag auf Bestywells Konto, damit sie die restlichen 1992 Bücher unserer Spedition übergeben können. Der 1. Oktober ist nämlich der chinesische Nationalfeiertag – mit sieben freien Tagen für die Druckerei. Sollte es aber vorher klappen, dann schätzte unsere Ansprechpartner bei der Spedition, dass der Transport von Shenzhen bis Kruft (wo wir die Bücher zwischenlagern) sechs Wochen in Anspruch nehmen wird.

This morning I went to the bank to settle the balance with Bestywell. I hope the money is transferred to their account by friday, so the remaining 1992 copies can be taken over by our forwarder. 1st October marks China’s national holiday  – a week-long holiday for Bestywell. But if everythings works as designed, our forwarder’s contact person estimated it will take around six weeks to get the crates of books from Shenzhen to Kruft, Germany, from where we will start distribution.

Dschibonka wird gedruckt – Jibonka is being printed

15 Aug

Mal ganz schnell: Nach der Druckfreigabe ist Dschibonka jetzt tatsächlich im Druck. Die Produktion wird etwa 30 Tage in Anspruch nehmen. Und dann kriegen wir fix je drei Vorabexemplare pro Sprache. Zwei deutsche Ausgaben gehen dann unverzüglich nach Frankfurt, wo sie irgendwie auf die Buchmesse gelangen – dazu dann mehr.

Just a very quick update: Jibonka is being printed while I type this. In about 30 days all books will be done and we get three advance copies of each language. two of the German copies then make a trip to Frankfurt, where they eventually will end up on the bookfair – details to come.

A message to the taxman

20 Jan

This morning I read an article on Albert Uderzo’s fiscal problems in the paper. It’s not so much that he evades taxes (at least it was not mentioned), but that some official all of a sudden is no longer willing to accept Uderzo’s authorship of “Asterix and Obelix“, a hugely popular series of comic books in Europe sind 1959. The official now says, Uderzo was merely René Goscinny’s illustrating employee, and has therefore to pay 203.000 € tax for author’s royalties Uderzo had claimed illegally. While this seems ridiculous – after all, after Goscinny died in 1977 – Uderzo also wrote the texts starting in 1979 and both men have made it clear several times that they had developed “Asterix and Obelix” together, sitting on a balcony, drinking Pastis and smoking cigarettes – it makes me want to state the following:

Adewani is a team of a writer (Achim Wagner) and an artist (Jörg Nittenwilm).
We don’t smoke.
We never had a Pastis together, we prefer coffee while working.
We work as a team.
Should we ever sell a copy, we share 50-50.
Development of text and illustrations are inseparable. Hence the joint name Adewani.

Who knows, maybe one day some fiscal officer gone wild might accuse one of us to be a fraud. In this case this post should set him right: The idea came up in a Café (Winzig) in Andernach, Germany in 2006.
We sat at a table too small for all the children’s picture books (for reference on what has been done by others). I had three stories to choose from, but soon after our third coffee I came up with an idea for another, which of course we jumped upon – together. Jörg did a few sketches of office appliances gone wild (they were soon replaced by “monsters”), we spun the story a little further and had some more coffee. Needless to say that the story changed a lot over the following weeks, but so did the sketches. As soon as the characters had their faces their character became ore clear and so illustration and text influenced each other along the way. So, Mr. Taxman of the future – it was all done by Adewani. Together.

 

 

 

Total Control

14 Dec

To have control over what you’re doing sounds nice. As a team consisting of a draughtsman and a writer, we have complete control over “Jibonka”: we did the text, we did the artwork, we chose the type font (we even discussed to create our own for a while) we designed the look of every single page.

This, as I understand goes far beyond the degree of control one usually has when writing a children’s picture book and getting it published. Usually a writer submits a text, the publisher sends it to an illustrator, a designer does the look and so on.

Well, we finally have the opportunity to go through the process on our own. Not that we would have declined offers,but… Anyway, as I wrote earlier, we’ve now got the budget to go through with it – having a lot of control along the way. Alas, control does not mean you control little helpers who “do” all those things that need to be done.

We wanted to have an audio book version of “Jibonka”, so we got ourselves a decent microphone, a digital audio interface, a recording softwareand monitors, met for a week and recorded the German and English versions. We did all sorts of funny voices for our cast of cake loving monsters and once we left the well behaved, inhibited selves next to the coffee maker, it was great fun.

For the last 10 days I have been doing the job of a sound engineer, not that I am really qualified to do this. But cleaning the recordings up, cutting away everything that is just sonic junk, then mixing it in a way that makes sense, adding sounds, burning a CD to then notice all the mistakes and doing it all over again – a lot of control.

Meanwhile Jörg is blowing the pages up – well, enlarging them. This proved to be more complcated than expected, because he could not just scale them up. The final format will be 38 cm in height and 30,1 cm in width. This does not entirely correspond with A4, so there is some extra control in it.

Today, Jörg ordered the ISBN numbers, which made a few inter Adewani telephone conferences necessary. The business of comparing printer’s quotes and organizing transportation of the books from China to Germany – all a lot of control.

I guess it will feel quite nice to transfer the printing data to our printer and send the CD for replication. Because when this will be done, it will be out of our hands for a while. Unless somebody pays for a ticket to Hong Kong (I would then pay the train ride to Shenzhen myself) and we transform into printers – I would not rule it out.

 

Why Adewani?

26 Nov

Already in the early days of Jibonka, we realized that the way we approached the “creation” of a children’s picture book was completely different from the well trodden path of the trade. There usually is a story which gets ilustrated.

With Jibonka this is different. Jörg and I discussed the story, the look of its charakters, which font to use, which colours…in fact we discussed and developed every little detail of this work in progress. While this shows that a couple of years ago we had no idea about the way of the industry, it also gives you an idea of the adewani dao, the way we work – together.

Thus, one relatively early morning, sitting in the Italian sun in front of Jörg’s place on top of a Tuscan hill, sipping a potentially lethal coffee, we decided to give us ONE name. Just one name, simply to reflect that Jibonka was not written by someone on his own and later on illustrated by another, but developed bit by bit by a team, well us.

And then there was also the fact that Nittenwilm and Wagner have quite some teutonic flavour to them. While one of them on the cover of a book might make one think about a proper haircut, the two of them could very well give people the urge to invade other countries. And who would want this?

So, one name and with a little less Radetzky march in the background, please. And it took only another coffee in a bar later that day that we found it: Adewani.
The wa and ni are easily explained as they are just abbreviations for Wagner and Nittenwilm. We tried Adewani and Adeniwa, pronouncing it to a mildy headshaking Tuscan barista and settled for Adewani. Now the Ade part, I think I will have to check with Jörg whether we disclose its origins. It’s also a short form of words –  that much I can say. Adewani. It sounded nice and had a 1001 nights-oriental narrator ring to it.

Imagine our suprise when we tried to open a twitter account and adewani was already taken! It seems to be a regular Persian name. So we weren’t far off with the oriental narrator flavour.
Anyway, in true Adewani style we now recorded the audio version of Jibonka. One hitting the buttons, the other doing voices. But that is worth a post of its own.