Crane, Jordan 1973-
CRANE, Jordan 1973-
Born September 8, 1973, in Los Angeles, CA.
Home—Somerville, MA. E-mail—[email protected]
Graphic artist, publisher, and writer. Publisher and editor of NON anthologies; designer of MOME quarterly anthologies for Fantagraphics, Seattle, WA.
Eisner and Ignatz award nominations, both for The Last Lonely Saturday.
GRAPHIC NOVELS; SELF-ILLUSTRATED
The Last Lonely Saturday: A Quiet Love Story, Red Ink (Somerville, MA), 2000.
Col-dee, Red Ink (Los Angeles, CA), 2001.
The Clouds Above, Fantagraphics (Seattle, WA), 2005.
Uptight: Number 1, Red Ink (Los Angeles, CA), 2006.
Also author of The Life Unlucky, The Hand of Gold, Keeping Two Part 1, Keeping Two Part 2, Only a Movie, The Shortcut, and the e-book Reproguide.
Jordan Crane is a publisher and artist, as well as the creator of graphic novels for both adults and children. His stories of grade-schooler Simon and Simon's cat, Jack—both introduced in The Shortcut—appeal to a wide audience. The Clouds Above, Crane's first book-length work geared specifically for a younger audience, follows Simon and Jack as they try to sneak into class but end up traveling on a stairway that leads up into the heavens. The small-format book features one full-color panel per page, and utilizes a minimal text in favor of detailed illustrations. While Crane did not originally intend The Clouds Above for children, he identifies with the young readers who have discovered the book. "As a child I read a lot of fantasy books," he told Patrick Giles in Interview. "I loved those weird worlds where people would go and have adventures."
Simon and Jack have their share of adventures in The Clouds Above, from battling bad weather and outsmarting violent geese to befriending a lonely cloud named Perch. Their goal is to get back to school before they are missed, but as the pair travels through the heavens, they end up asking big questions about how the world works. According to a New Yorker critic, Crane's "writing is playful and sharp. The artistry is in the detail." As Booklist contributor Stephanie Zvirin noted, Crane's book is "an enjoyable all-ages fantasy adventure, whimsical without being saccharine." Tina Coleman, also writing in Booklist, called The Clouds Above "great for any comics fan, with the added bonus of being very accessible to kids."
As a self-publisher for years and the founder of Red Ink Publishing, Crane has produced several of his own titles, and has also contributed to anthologies and provided graphic-design services to publishers such as Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books. Crane's other projects include graphic novels, anthologies, and a nonfiction guide to silk-screening and offset printing. He first gained critical attention with the publication of his NON anthologies, and he has also designed the MOME literary comics anthologies published by Fantagraphics. His The Last Lonely Saturday: A Quiet Love Story, which was republished in 2006 after going out of print, is a tale of loss and grief that was nominated for both the Eisner and the Ignatz awards. An e-book titled Reproguide, which Crane wrote with three other silk-screen artists, is available for free download at the Red Ink Web site. Though Red Ink Publishing is based out of Los Angeles, where Crane grew up, he lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2005, Tina Coleman, review of The Clouds Above, p. 61; March 15, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Clouds Above, p. 60.
Interview, August, 2005, Patrick Giles, "Jordan Crane: The New Poet of the Grit 'n' Graphic Genre," p. 62
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of The Clouds Above, p. 13.
Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Steve Raiteri, "Graphic Novels," p. 86.
New Yorker, December 12, 2005, review of The Clouds Above, p. 109.
Comics Interpreter Online,http://tci.homestead.com/ (October 20, 2006), interview with Crane.
Lambiek,http://www.lambiek.net/ (November 6, 2006), profile of Crane.
Red Ink Press Web site,http://www.reddingk.com/ (November 6, 2006).*