Dang, it's been two months since my last "monthly" Top Ten posting. Just met a big picture book deadline, you see. I don't reckon it was missed, but here I am to update you on my ten things of choice from the last month. Heck, let's make it the last two months.
As always, no particular order:
1. THE FIGHTER. Julie and I did a sweep of all the Oscar noms, and we seemed to really enjoy this one. Don't get confused... I don't like boxing. Not even a bit. But I liked the brothers. And Christian Bale was mind-blowing. And my heart was actually pounding at one point.
2. BLOOD ORANGES. Recently, some of the best oranges came into season. Julie's and my publisher, Feiwel and Friends, sent us a nice case of crazy-juicy-sweet Honeybells, and then my personal fave, the Blood showed up again in the produce section.
3. ELLA JENKINS. This living legend folk singer/child tamer, played for a small crowd of kids and parents recently in Oak Park, IL. Julie, Romy, and I were part of that lucky audience. Just perfect. Romy and self-concious ol' me actually went up and sang with a few other parents and kids. This is how amazing Ella Jenkins is.
4. LUNCH WITH TRAVIS. Sharp, friendly, fun kidlit blogger, Travis Jonker (of the great 100 Scope Notes) was in town for a book event and he had the excellent idea that we should meet up for lunch that weekend. How cool is that? We had an awesome time talking books, work, blogs and livin'. Thanks, Trav, it was great!
5. THIS COOL PW PIECE. Those in this biz probably saw this online Publisher's Weekly article buzzed about already on Facebook or otherwise (me included). It just hit the right spot for me. A handful of heavy-hitters (agents, editors, art directors, etc) offer up nuggets of wisdom and advice regarding the world of making books for kids.
6. BEST SPRINGSTEEN? For many years, I thought Springsteen was sorta corny. Maybe it's all that saxophone. I don't know. In recent years, I've grown to appreciate. The best, to me, was what he did in the 70's. He really nails nostalgia and youth. This song, and this vid, is perhaps his finest moment. Boss.
7. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT/30 ROCK. Julie and I had, sort of, surfed around the perimeter of these two shows. We followed 30 Rock for 1-3 seasons. Then Romy came along and we quit it. Now my two latest Netflix Instant obsessions have been these two pitch-perfect comedies. I lean a bit more toward the AD, maybe because of the family dynamic (and I'm a sucker for underdogs). But both shows are quite bulletproof.
8. GHOST ADVENTURES. Julie and I stumbled upon this gem of a show on the Travel Channel. Another thing I'm a sucker for is the paranormal. I'm not crazy into it, but things that may/may not exist fascinate me. Anyhow, this is three funny dudes (and I do mean dudes) going from one haunted place to the next, locking themselves indoors, searching for undisputable proof. I'm a skeptic, so some findings are pretty iffy, but just enough will leave you scratching your head and watching for more.
9. J.J. SEMPE COVERS the NEW YORKER. How is anyone supposed to measure up when Sempé continues to bang out a flawless NY'er cover?
10. MY INCREDIBLE PRINTER. After meeting up with my illustrator crew, and talking to Eric Rohmann about this a few times, and an old college pal Ben Howson (who does a lot with digital printing), I took the plunge and bought this printer. It's a large format waterproof Epson inkjet printer. The important thing here is that it prints big and it prints waterproof. It has revolutionized my process. And it warrants a fully-explained and illustrated blog post of it's own. Coming soon...