Monday, October 19, 2009

TROUBLE GUM inaugurates

On Saturday, last, I had my first solo author event ever (Julie and I have done a team show in years past, but I've never held the spotlight alone). And this was the first TROUBLE GUM event so far--complete with a reading, some awkward banter, a little drawing. It was a great success! Thanks to Robert McDonald and everyone at The Book Stall in Winnetka! Thanks to everyone who showed up, smiled, supported, bought books! And special thanks to Julie, Romy, and Grandma Janice for moral support and advice. Looking forward to doing this again--polishing, revising, getting better, and crushing this fear of public speaking once and for all. Now here's some pics. Thanks to my lovely wife and assistant for making with the digital camera.

Check our man out. Pretending to be all cool just before the start.

My first ever read-aloud to an audience. Complete with "voices".

Getting my draw on.

I did a bit of show-and-tell with drawings from the Cordell archives. Here I am telling my infamous "cabbit" story. Mental note: tighten up the "cabbit" story.

Giving a step-by-step drawing lesson of TROUBLE GUM's star pig, Ruben.

From the front.

The kiddos and adults did a bang-up job in the drawing lesson.

Signed some books and cooled down afterward. Here I am signing a big sketch of Lord Vader for a fellow fan.

Thanks again, everybody! I had a blast. More to come.

Stepping on my soapbox a sec here: Support your local independent bookstore, people! Even if you're maybe paying a tad bit more (I certainly know it's hard times) than the big corps and chains, you walk out with a squeaky clean conscience! And you can't put a price on that.


James Preller said...

Looks great, Matthew. I'm glad you are getting out there. It's good for kids to see a guy like you, doing what you do. Just remember that you don't have to try to be a "star" or something you are not. Just be yourself. You're no better than a doctor or an architect or a teacher, but you might be a little more fun.

The troubling thing is what happens to us as we grow up. As children, we are almost universally soothed by coloring, we draw pictures in solitude and happy concentration and peacefulness. Yet somewhere along the line we learn that, alas, we are "not good" at it -- better to stop, right away. And amazingly, we do. We stop drawing and leave it to "the artists." We surrender the process to the product, and lose something really valuable.

Maybe you can connect with one kid somewhere. You have something valuable to give -- and as a parent, I'd love for my kids to meet you. Keep getting out there. You are so freaking great, and it all comes from such a good place, you've got to share it (and, okay, make some money and, yes, get your books out into the world).

Sorry for the preachy tone. But I believe in you completely, totally -- do it, do it, do it. Don't doubt yourself for a minute.


Matthew Cordell said...

Thanks, man. I really appreciate the insight. It was a great time. I hope to keep the ball rolling with it, to keep the wheels greased and what not.