Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New stuff on matthewcordell.com

It's been a long time coming, but I just finished a much needed update to the old website. Seeing as I'll be gearing up soon to promo TROUBLE GUM, I put a drawing from TG on the home page. Also, in the "work" section, I've added work from TROUBLE GUM, TOOT TOOT ZOOM!, and MIGHTY CASEY. For each of these books there are sample spreads to view as well as details of artwork from each book to click through.

Whenever possible, I like to ask my publisher to supply me with the top-notch scans that are done when the book is in production. The publisher pays to have the original art scanned and color-balanced and contrast-adjusted so that, when in print, it looks as close to the originals as possible. I got the good scans for MIGHTY CASEY and TROUBLE GUM. It never quite came together though, for TOOT. Please don't judge my sub-par scannings in that click through! D.I.Y., baby.

Anyhow, please do go for a look, starting here:


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

These Old Things

Now that I've joined Facebook, I have a lot of people, in the list of friends, from the college years. Which, for me, closed up in spring 1997. I kicked around in that college town for an additional two years after, finally leaving Rock Hill, SC (and the Winthrop University community) in the spring of 1999. Anyhow, now that I've put this into some context, I've gotten a little nostalgic (Facebook) about some of those days. Not just for the people memories, but also for some of the art I was making at the time. Back then, I was shooting exclusively for the world of "fine art"--with mixed-media drawing/painting. Last week I sucked it up and opened some of the old slide files. Thumbed through some old work. I tend to not like doing this.

But, interestingly enough, I do think this stuff, in parts, holds relatively strong (which is saying a lot, cause typically I cringe up tight when I look at anything I've done in past times). So, why not share some here? Definitely a shift from these to where I'm at now, illustration-wise, but my emphasis was on drawing then, and my emphasis is on drawing now. So it makes sense. There was another transitional work period, for me, in between these drawings and today. Maybe I'll show that work at another time. To connect the dots.

These are/were mostly medium-to-large in size. In the 20" x 30" range. And mostly on paper. If interested, click on the image to get a closer look.

From the group, I like this one best. The bat up top--I like it. The two down low kinda throw the composition though...

This is a collaborative painting I did with painting and printmaking Prof., Paul Martyka. Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, gesso, on board (wood panel).

This is the smallest piece of the bunch. About 8" x 8". On paper. Collaborative with pal, Paul Matheny. He's a museum curator down in Columbia, SC now. And still painting. Nice guy.

Large mixed-media drawing/painting on a found piece of drywall. Left this behind in my move from SC to Chicago. Sits above friends' fireplace mantle today. Still in the south.

The bird is cool. The rest is rubbish.

Thanks for allowing my indulgence down memory lane. I also got to use my scanner, for the first time, to scan 35mm slides in doing this. All in all, a decent exercise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


There is nothing quite like seeing a bound, finished book for the first time. It is not always good, but more often than not, it is good. Yesterday, I got an advance copy of TROUBLE GUM. And it was quite a rush. Thanks to my team of Rich Deas, Rebecca Davis, and Liz Szabla, I'm very, very happy with it.

Something new from the sketchbook...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


In September, my first author/illo picture book comes out, TROUBLE GUM. This is the first kids book I both illustrated and wrote. So it holds a dear place in my heart. I was really glad to hear it was getting a good reception over at the publisher, Feiwel and Friends. Then, I was really glad again to hear that they were going to be making giveaways to promote the book--TROUBLE GUM gum. Nice.

Then, I got an envelope full of these babies and I was totally psyched. Little boxes of colorful Chiclet-style gum--decorated in art from the book. Too nice.

Go Feiwel and Friends! Go TROUBLE GUM! September '09!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Get yer contest on (again!)

Dear readers,

My lovely wife, Julie Halpern, talented scribe of YA lit (and picture books alike) is holding a contest on her blog. It's much like the one I just held for TOOT TOOT ZOOM! in that, if you place your name in a comment on her latest blog post, you are entered into a raffle to win a free copy of her upcoming novel, INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER. This book is not yet released--drops in September this year. So the winner will receive an Advance Reader Copy (or "ARC" or "galley") of the book. She's also just posted a hot-off-the-Adobe-InDesign pic of the tres COOL cover design. Done up by our friend and bad boy designer, Rich Deas, at Feiwel and Friends. Take a look!

Check this out, and get yourself entered here!

The name will be pulled and announced on Friday, June 12th, so act now!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

And the TOOT goes to...

Thanks very much to all who participated in the TOOT TOOT ZOOM! giveaway contest. I wish I had enough to go all around, but like the Highlander, there can be only one.

The winner is...

Liz Briesemeister!

Please email me, Liz, with your address, and I will get your signed copy of TOOT TOOT ZOOM! in the mail right away.


Thank you, again, to all who played. Keep checking in often for more games, more prizes, and more fun.