Saturday, July 12, 2008


Finally after 6 years of work I can proudly announce the arrival of my first graphic novel: "Seaweed and the Cure for Mildew"!!!!! This is a no-holds-barred printing. 12 by 15 inches (30.5 x 38.1 cm), Hardcover, Full Color, 64 page, Cloth Spine, Extravaganza. The paper is of such weight and quality that each book weighs 3 pounds (1.4 kgs).

I've included 24 pages of rough drawings, deleted pages, character designs and development, as well as notes on the creation of the story, the characters, how I ink, and how I laid out the pages. The "Making of" section is printed on a rougher style paper than the actual graphic novel giving the feel of an entirely separate book.

All this for only $29.95 - and on top of that, each book ordered through my website will also include a quick sketch and a signature. All orders from outside the U.S.A. are accepted as well.


  • The story revolves around Seaweed, a pelican pirate who gets caught up helping a mysterious old bat named Mildew find a legendary book known as "The Devil's Cookbook". This book reputedly holds the cure for all illness and the secret to eternal life.

    For those interested in obtaining a "first printing", I strongly suggest you don't wait too long to get your order in. The past few weeks have been crazy with requests to hold books and pre-order copies, in the event of a sell-out. For those going to the San Diego Comic Con, although I won't have my own booth, I will be at Stuart NG's, (Booth # 5012) on Sunday the 27th from 2 to 4pm to sign copies. Stuart will have a limited supply on hand during the Con as well.

    To all of you who have been SO supportive of this book and the lengthy process it took to create it I thank you for your patience and hope it will be rewarded when you receive your copy!

    Buy it now at:


    At 8:50 PM, Blogger Amy said...

    Just ordered my copy :)

    I love your work Ben, I can't wait to see it!

    At 9:02 PM, Blogger Ben Balistreri said...

    Thanks Amy! You Rock!!

    At 9:57 PM, Blogger Shane Duarte said...

    YES! I can't wait until I can get one, better milk the folks!

    Looks good Ben!

    At 10:31 PM, Blogger Tatevik Avakyan said...

    Wow! It looks great...I'm really exited to get my copy!

    At 4:10 PM, Blogger Teddy said...

    Ordering mine now! Make sure you sign it!

    At 11:27 PM, Blogger Matt Schuler said...


    Ordered and excited about it!
    Hope you are getting Charlatan's Ball. The second issue comes out on Wednesday.

    I only wish that I could've gotten it from you at SDCC. But hopefully next year I'll be there (or if not then, maybe I'll bump into you when I move to California in October of 2009)

    Looking very much forward to the book Ben!!! I hope you have more planned as I will buy them all.


    At 12:40 AM, Blogger SteveLambe said...

    Just ordered mine. Silver gave me a sneak peek the other day, and it was amazing. Fantastic work, Ben.

    At 1:31 AM, Blogger chia said...

    looking forward to picking one up at the SD comic con!!!

    At 2:10 PM, Blogger Tony DiStefano said...

    Ben you are an incredible artist!!!
    Just beautiful work.I can not wait to get this book.

    At 2:17 PM, Blogger Elaine R said...

    Ben, the book is AMAZING!!!! All your "making of" stuff at the end is soooo cool to see!

    At 2:54 PM, Blogger Stacey said...

    Hey, Ben...

    I hate to say it but I actually hadn't heard of your work before reading this blog, but after seeing the 'Foster's Imaginary Friends' work I knew who you were then! ^.^

    I'm actually a practising illustrator in my spare time, but find character design incredibly hard when designing for myself. Do you have recommendations for those who are designing characters for themselves?

    At 6:52 PM, Blogger Checkmark said...

    Awesome man! I've been keeping up with how this has been going, and I', glad to see it's out now! I'll hafta grab a copy as soon as I can!

    At 1:51 PM, Blogger Will Finn said...

    I ordered me mine! this looks like a blast. congratulations!

    At 4:54 PM, Blogger mondoe said...

    Great job!!! The images look great!!! I'm really proud of you bro! I went to CalArts with you back in the day.... It's really insprirational to see how far you have come....once again..GOOD JOB!!! Take care Armond

    At 6:33 PM, Blogger Ben Reynolds said...

    My order is IN!! Can't wait till I get it!!!

    At 5:48 AM, Blogger GeeBee said...

    Some time since my last visit...
    This is GREAT news, Ben !
    I will order my copy, too !
    Will you try to find a publisher in France for a frech version ?

    At 9:59 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Awesome work!! Cannot wait to get a copy!

    At 11:08 AM, Blogger Edward Juan said...

    holy shit you finished it! Congratulations! Are you going to be at APE CON? or only comic con?

    At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Ben :D
    LOVE your site. Especially your birds. I'm gunna come by n' check out yer have no choice in the matter.

    At 1:46 PM, Blogger abhishek singh said...

    just luv ur work ...
    big fan!!!
    n congrats on this proud moment ...
    and 24 pages of raw sketches n stuff ..
    u got me there ..
    will soon get mine

    At 8:39 PM, Blogger ted said...

    YES!! I've been waiting for this book since I first found your blog, and now its winging its way to my house! Wheeeeeeeeeeee! Thank you Mr.B!

    At 11:58 PM, Blogger Marmax said...

    Awwww, for some reason your website isn't working for me. The links on the front page work but not the links on the ordering page or the preview page. :( Maybe I need a software update???

    At 7:43 AM, Blogger Ben Balistreri said...

    Thanks Shane. Milk away!

    Tatevik - Thanks, your copy should be in your hands shortly.

    Teddy Beeeeee! Dude you saw it back when it was just a wee baby and a couple pages old. Now it's all grown up and comin' your way!

    cosmic pencil - I've got both issues of "Charlatan's Ball!" Great art by Andy Suriano. Thanks for the order and good luck with the move!

    Thanks Steve, much appreciated!

    Chia - Hope to see you there!

    Tony - thanks, I love your "Sonny" the cuckoobird designs.

    Thanks for all your help Elaine!

    Stacey - What!?! You hadn't heard of MEEEEE!? :) Ha! Just kidding. I think the best practical advice is to learn how to draw the real item/animal/person first. That way when you do your designed version it will come more from your observations and less from other already known designs. Thanks for coming by!

    checkmark - thanks!

    Will - That's so rad! What an honor!

    Armond! Wow, it's great to hear from you! We'll have to get together at some point and catch up!

    Ben - It's flying out to Florida as I type! Thanks buddy!

    Jean - Thanks so much. It's an amazing feeling to have one of my favorite artists order the book. I am definately going to try and find a French publisher. I'm also taking French lessons so hopefully I can come visit Angouleme at some point.

    Octavio - Thanks, I hope you like it as much as those noodles.

    Ed - Good to hear from you. I'm not sure yet about APE but I'm looking into Wondercon.

    Hey Elaine B. - Your probably somewhere in the sky right now but I hope your still alive to come by my office! You've got bigger nads than me my friend!

    Abhishek - Thanks! The development section seems to be a big hit with everyone.

    Ted - Awesome! I can't wait to hear what you think!

    Marmax - Sorry about that. I hope others aren't having the same problem. I don't know much about website stuff but it's using a version of flash if that's a problem for you. If you still want a copy send me an email at seaweedthe pelican(at)charter(dot)net and we can try and work out something.

    At 7:15 PM, Blogger angie said...

    Hey Ben, that's great, except I don't live in Florida anymore!! I'm back in Canada I hope the book is coming here!! haha..thanks!! cant wait to get it!!

    At 7:16 PM, Blogger Ben Reynolds said...

    sorry I was using my girlfriend, angies account by accident..that was me!

    At 7:40 PM, Blogger Ben Balistreri said...

    ben - Florida/Canada? What's the difference? Ha! Just kidding. No worries, we double checked and it's going to the correct address to you in Canada! My bad.

    At 8:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Sooo COOL!

    At 9:41 PM, Blogger J.H. Jordan said...

    Great work, Ben! I'll be first in line at the Con. And congrats on the job at Dreamworks. If they're clever folk, they'll hit you up for designs as well.


    PS: I found in my pile of CalArts stuff some of yer old "Cyclops and Medussa" designs. Love it!

    At 11:21 AM, Blogger roque said...

    Just got mine. Speechless. Thanks for pouring so much of yourself into a great book so that we all can marvel at it...

    At 3:49 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

    Congrats on your book! It must feel amazing to see it published, after all your hard work. I've heard nothing but the best praise for it. I can't wait to check it out. See you at the Con. :)

    At 9:49 AM, Blogger Teddy said...

    I was at the Nerd Fiesta (Comic Con) Friday and saw a stack of "Seaweed" at Stuart NG's booth. I asked how they were selling and the rep said, "really really well."

    That is so awesome Benny! Super stoked for you!

    At 6:23 PM, Blogger J.H. Jordan said...

    Congrats on the books' success, Ben. The book's great. I'm putting this bad boy next to my Pixar books.

    At 9:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Hey Ben,
    I just got my Seaweed in the mail. Thanks for the original drawing on the title page. I have no idea how you achieve such a clean line. I love the art-of stuff interwoven with the stories, inspirational man!

    At 12:36 AM, Blogger David Colman said...

    boy oh boy.....amazing book my friend...amazing!! Not only are the designs great but you capture so much energy in a well designed character....not an easy feat. So good to finally meet you...after having same attorney, knowing same people in the industry,etc, we finally meet;even if only for a split second..... great to exchange a few words. I hope to run into you again soon. Keep on inspiring!!

    At 8:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Hey Ben! The book looks great - unfortunately Mozilla and Firefox will not let me click on the paypal buy it now option ---- is there a way you can send the paypal info to my e-mail so i can buy the book?


    At 2:16 PM, Blogger Katy Hargrove said...

    ^_^ I love eeet!

    At 2:40 PM, Blogger Tapan Gandhi said...

    thanks so much ben for signing my copy and taking the time to take a picture

    the book is everything i imagined and more, can't wait for the next installment, no matter how long the wait is :)


    At 9:43 AM, Blogger Gareth said...

    Hey Ben, I found you from the Character Design blog and ordered Seaweed pretty much on the spot.

    I got the book in the post the other day, and I just wanted to say awesome stuff! I'm blown away by the quality of it. The print, art and entertainment values are all great. From now on every comic/graphic novel should have a making of at the end!


    At 4:57 PM, Blogger Mukpuddy said...

    Just ordered my copy dude! Can't wait to get it... woop woop!!

    At 1:25 PM, Blogger Gilberto Valadares said...

    Great comic book, Ben. Great blog, great work... won a constant visitor... :)

    At 1:40 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Hey Ben!

    Cool stuffs my friend! and by the way, congrats on your "seaweeds". See you around bro.


    At 4:21 PM, Blogger Dan said...

    Got my copy, and I love it. I can't wait for book 2! When? When? When?

    Your work is really inspiring!

    At 2:34 PM, Blogger ted said...

    Just got my Seaweed in the mail, Ben. Amazing! Great sketcbook section as well. I love to see how you put together your ideas. The inking tips were great as well. And I knew it was gonna be an oversize book, but it still blew me away with its monstrous size! Pure awesome!

    At 5:55 PM, Blogger Dean Arscott said...

    Awesome book Ben. Good story, great art. All I gotta say is, when can I order "The Devil's Cookbook"?

    At 10:10 PM, Blogger Liron Topaz said...

    Awesome book Ben!! I really enjoy it. I especially like the sketches at the second half of the book, Really inspiring. It was really nice to meet you at the Comic Con. Looking forward for your next book :) Cheers Mon Ami!

    At 7:56 AM, Blogger Sergio Melero said...

    Lovely and impressive work men.

    Just incredible!

    At 12:03 AM, Blogger David Wolter said...

    Congrats and can't wait to read it!

    At 10:42 PM, Blogger warren said...

    I'Ve been waiting for this for about 2 years! FINALLY! Thanks for finishing it! I know it couldn't have been easy, but man, it looks spectacular. Just ordered one (if you have any left, that is...)

    Congrats on your new 'baby'! :P

    At 4:19 AM, Blogger Ink Sessions Tattoo Voted Best Piercing and Tattoo Studio In Los Angeles 2013 said...

    Picked up a copy at Comic-con.Great work!

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