Sunday, January 25, 2009

Matthew Cordell a la Facebook

In lieu of cross-platform internet self-promo, my lovely wifey Julie Halpern, has established my professional presence on Facebook. I have not (will not?) actually made (make?) my personal presence be known on the 'book. Is it right for me? I can't decide. But please, join the Matthew Cordell Group at the following link to get more info on me and my books--past and upcoming releases--as well as a quickie click-through of images (that are also found on my website--with lots more at the site!). So, to help out with this group membership drive, join here:

And as usual, all the stuff that falls in between will be kept on this here blog--anecdotes, musings, head-scratches. And there's also my website which is least regularly updated. But it's totally worth your while, I promise!

And, maybe, someday, I'll actually pony up and create a personal Facebook account. But by then, Facebook will be the new myspace, which is now the new email, which is like the new snail mail, which is, sort of like sending a telegraph at this point.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Broked Ice

I just sent off some character sketches for the second mid-grade novel I'm working on. So the ice has been broken and that's good feeling. Now, just waiting for notes and what not from my good peeps at the pub and from Ms. Vail, the book's superfine scribe. Then I'm up and running. Will be a good bit of drawing, this one.

I would throw some of these up here, but I never know what's safe to do or not do. Things change. People like or don't like. They just ain't ready. So, instead, I shall throw up (but not throw-up! har-har.) some other sketches that have recently been filling the ol' sketchbook. This could be fun...


And while I'm at it, I would love to also share this amazing snapshot Julie took of our sweet lass, Romy Halpern-Cordell. Lookit her all basky in the sun, crashed out after a feeding under her frog/snail/turtle bouncer. Light o' my life, this one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not That You Asked...

I'd have to say it's been a good day. I mean, what with the inauguration and all. I don't like to get all political on this blog. Not really the forum for such. But I think it's ok to say that it's a good day. I mean, it's high time a minority has been put in this place of leadership. It couldn't hurt us masses for someone who's personally experienced the sting of prejudice and the hardships of immigration and middle-class living to be in this position. I feel proud to have lived during this moment.

Now. We gotta pray or hope or whatever each of us do, that either/or power and money don't corrupt. And Mr. Obama puts money where mouth is. But today, I like the odds.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Into the Great White Open

What am I working on right now? I'm illustrating two different middle-grade novels for two different authors at two different publishers. I just handed in round-one sketches for Julie Sternberg's lovely book at Abrams. Now, I'm gearing up to illustrate an awesome new book by one of my previous great collaborators, Rachel Vail, with Feiwel and Friends. Just finished reading the manuscript (you're gonna like it) and am now peeling open the sketchbook.

I love my "job." Cause it ain't a workin-for-the-man/workin-for-the-weekend "job" job. It's me doing my thing and getting paid so I can pay bills, etc. and keep on doing. It's been years and years to get here, so don't think I ain't grateful. But... the love don't take away the terror of the start of the start of my every new book. Something about the anticipation to anxiety of looking at the white, blank sketchbook page and not knowing what's gonna take shape. I don't think that fear will ever subside. It just is. Getting started. Well... I'm being a little dramatic. "Terror" is probably a little severe. And it doesn't typically last too long. Just long enough to round out that first solid character sketch. Since that's where I always start--the main character sketch.

And it goes down, more or less, like this (illustrated from a previous study):

White sketchbook page--sort of a falling-down-a-hole feeling, only this hole is white. Waiting to hit bottom. Some place to stand on. Get the legs straight. Til I get here (don't judge):

Still falling. Pages and pages of bad sketches. Still trying to get foot. Flailing and flopping all over the place, but getting better. Almost there. And finally:

Good, solid ground. Something I can work with. Feeling much better, thank you. Start of the start finished. Now to actually start...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Today I had lunch with an old, old friend from the college years. The thing is... I don't look back too much cause I never know what I'm gonna get. Good times? Bad times? It was really great seeing Greg again. Made me remember though, some of the old me. People change, you know. I mean, I have. I did. Man, it's weird, dragging up old memories.

Then, I was thumbing through the latest ish of the New Yorker (I don't like starting sentences like that--cause I'm not the guy who starts sentences like that). I came upon an article about one of my old favorite musicians. Will Oldham, aka Palace, aka, Palace Brothers, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Around '99-'01, I was heavily into this music. The art I was making at the time--it was just like a great coincidence of a soundtrack to what I was doing. What I was living. It was seriously moving to me. The music just feels like it's all been conceived on the rickety old porch of some shotgun shack of some deep, deep sleepy southern town, 95 degree heat. Melted ice teas, melted mint julips. So rich. Then, I changed. The music depressed me. Now I think I've changed again and I'm willing to revisit Bonnie "Prince" Billy. I missed a couple of albums in the interim.

What now? Oh, man, we're so entrenched in Romy. So in love. She eats, she poops, she wails and we love. Never knew how much til we got here.