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4 San Diego Uptown News | July 22–August 4, 2011 Apology

In our July 8 issue, we forgot to credit the photographer for our cover story about the fire in a Hillcrest apartment building. The credit should have read: Courtesy Jim Winsor / SDPIX. We apologize for the omission.u


sion shows and just about every other form of visual media you can imagine. This will be the con- vention’s 41st year since the first three-day festival held in 1970, and it allows for up-close-and- personal interaction with a bevy of talented writers and artists.

Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett A phenomenal husband and wife duo, Guinan and Bennett pro- duce the Eisner-nominated graph- ic novel series, “Heartbreakers,” the more recent “Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel,”— which Bennett describes as “a gateway drug for steampunk”— and the upcoming “Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of In- vention.” They’ll be previewing “Frank Reade” at their table in Artists’ Alley along with “Boiler- plate,” as well as participating in a spotlight panel on Sat. July 23 at 3:30 p.m. Guinan and Bennett will also be presenting at the conven- tion’s Eisner Awards. For more information, visit

San Diego Uptown News: Are you working on or promoting any specific work at the moment?

Paul Guinan: We had a book come out recently called, “Boiler- plate,”… . It’s the story, or visual biography of a robot from about 100 years ago, and its recent claim to fame is that it was op- tioned by Paramount Pictures to be made into a movie produced by J.J. Abrams. And then we are just finishing up the follow-up to

that book. That book was rather successful; it’s in its second print- ing, and so the publisher wanted a kind of sequel, but the story of “Boilerplate” is

finite. We have

his whole arc from beginning to end, so we couldn’t really do a se- quel…; instead we did a spin-off. We took a minor character from the “Boilerplate” book and are giv- ing him his own treatment. The new book, which will come out at the very beginning of next year, is called “Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention.”

SDUN: In general, which aspects of your work are most meaningful to you?

P: One of the things that’s most exciting for us about “Boilerplate” and our upcoming book “Frank Reade” is that it incorporates real history into the storyline. Even though the robot is fiction, his, I guess you would call it, “lifespan” covers a 25-year period at the turn of the last century, which I think is one of the most important periods in American… history, and not a lot of people really are aware of the significance of it and how it eventually is the origin of our modern society—not just the invention of airplanes and tele- phones, but also things that we may take for granted today, like women getting the right to vote and child labor laws being passed so kids don’t have to work in hor- rific mines and factories. Just little day-to-day things, like the idea of an eight-hour day where we’re not required to work for 12 hours; those kinds of things all began in this one 20- year period. The book kind of reveals that kind of stuff in a way that’s very

entertaining for people, so [for] most people who might think of history as a dry or boring sub- ject, or had some kind of trauma with their history teacher, this is the ideal way to get them excited about history. So we’re particular- ly proud of that and we get a won- derful reaction from a variety of people, from 8-year-old boys into robots to 8-year-old men who are into history.

A: And ladies too.

P: And ladies too [laughs]. We have the robot; his inventor has a sister, and so we’re able to talk about women’s issues from that period as well, like the suffrage movement. So that’s something we’re most proud of, is bringing all that material to light in a very entertaining way.

SDUN: What types of fan feed- back do you find most rewarding?

P: When we have, say for instance at our last show there was this wonderful story of this fellow who uses the book to do homeschool- ing for his kids and to get them excited about historical stories…. Actually one of my favorite stories is this father bought the “Boiler- plate” book for his eight-year-old boy, who got so engrossed in it that one evening when he was supposed to come downstairs to watch his favorite television show “Spongebob Squarepants,” he was nowhere to be found, and the dad went looking for him and found him in his bedroom totally absorbed by this book, which is written actually for a junior high,

see Comic, page 23

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