Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anatomy of a Nose

I've been tooling around with this graphic novel idea of mine for a while now. Several months or so. I've shopped it around to a few of my pubs, but haven't had much luck. I think it's good (I'm biased), so I think it'll find a home someday. In the meantime, I've decided to soldier on with it. Drawing it still, and just begin publishing it to my website somewhere (more on this later). Right now, I've got a click-thru of some finished pages here, in the "WORK" section of my website. And character sketches here, also in "WORK".

As I'm digging back in, I found this sketch I did for the main character's nose. It took a while to get the formula just right.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Loosey Goosey

Here's another one of my scratch pieces of paper I scanned. Sort of, doodles in the margin. But I love the way this looks. Someday I want to be able to make a whole book that embodies the looseness and spontaneity of this here drawing. Somehow, it's hard to get to that point, for me.

(click and zoom)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pigs in Dogtown

Here's a few new drawings that combine two of my favorite things--pigs and old skateboarding. Always wanted to skate an abandoned pool in southern California. {sigh}

(click and view bigger.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Trying to stay in shape with the pen while in between final art. Also, occasionally, trying to draw without sketching in pencil first. Mixed results.

In 1980, I was in the first grade.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Simon James makes good books.

In a recent visit to the local library, combing through the picture books section, I plucked a handful of books by UK-based author/illustrator Simon James. Julie and I already own a copy of his wildly popular BABY BRAINS, but it's some of his older stuff that I really respond to. Not that the BABY BRAINS books ain't great, they're just a little wackier than a few of the cooler, quieter titles from several years back.

I really dig these two: LEON AND BOB and THE BIRDWATCHERS. In general, though, SJ's got a real, real sweet style. Loose pen and ink lines accompanied by very painterly and classically loose watercolors. He's got a great sense of color and his design and composition skills are top notch too.

I found this UK gallery website that, looks like, represents his original art sales. At first glance I thought the prices were extremely reasonable. Then, I remembered how the dollar's in the toilet and it'd take almost two bucks to make a Brit's pound. Still, tho, some good prices. Someday, maybe.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Jack and Back

We just got back from the quickest plane trip I've ever taken. Julie and I went to New York, care of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-NYC Metro), so Julie and her book, GET WELL SOON, could be awarded this year's Ken Book Award (with four other authors and their books at this year's celebration). For anyone who hasn't read my previous bloggings about this award, it's given annually to books that have something unique to say or offer on topics of mental illness. Previous winners include memoirs by Jane Pauley and Rick Moody on their battles with Bipolar disorder and depression, respectively. Many winners are more on the scientific side of things. Julie's win was the first given to a young adult book, so it's extra special.

Got in Wednesday afternoon. Took a nap. Hit a Spanish restaurant, for dinner, to rub elbows with this year's winners and an assortment of NAMI officials. Patricia Cliff was there. She established the Ken Book Award and set up the Kenneth Johnson Memorial Research Library at NAMI-NYC on behalf of her late son who suffered from Bipolar disorder. And Jay Neugeboren was also there--who, on behalf of NAMI, called and told Julie she was one of this year's winners. Liz Noland, Julie's publicist at Feiwel and Friends also came out for good moral support.

Woke up early Thursday morning for the awards breakfast that started at 8am. Julie's top editor (and mine!), Liz Szabla, came as well as Liz Noland again. The two Lizzes (F+F is known for it's many Lizzes). A Nobel Prize winner, Eric Kandel, gave the key note speech and then the authors came up one by one to receive her/his award. Each award was introduced first by a previous winner. Julie's was presented by Elizabeth Swados who won one year previously for a picture book. Ms. Swados gave a very sweet, moving intro to Julie and GET WELL SOON. I then got misty-eyed. And Julie gave a cute and humble acceptance to that room full of big brains. It was really great. So proud.

After the ceremony wrapped, we packed our stuff, boarded a plane, and jetted back home. Exhausted. I feel for people who have to fly constantly for business. It tears you down, man.

A few pics to document the trip:

Patricia Cliff, first thing in the morning.

Elizabeth Swados saying great things about my wifey! Swados has great hair, man!

Julie in mid-speech. Rocked it.

Left to right: The lovely Liz Szabla, the lovely Julie Halpern, the lovely Liz Noland.