Well with all of the Halloween posting going on, I'll post what we did yesterday.
A field trip for the kids, in Petaluma, California, to Copperfield's book store. A field trip for the illustrator and designer, in Petaluma, California, to read their newest book "Oh No Not Ghosts" by Richard Michelson.
the restless natives
This bookstore Copperfield's is really great. They have a fabulous program with the local schools, and the kids were out and ready to be spooked. They also have the best selection of children's books I've seen anywhere in quite some time.
The youngsters were primed and ready for some spookiness, and we gave them our best. Aided by my "assistant" (better half) Wig on musical saw and percussion - and a black top-hat, I did my best to read Richard Michelson's poem in a spooktacular way. It worked for the most part, barring the occasional smart-aleck. Most of the time the kids were looking at Wig with bulging eyes, but occasionally they'd look my way, likely thinking "who is this odd man, and when will he give us the candy?".
Later I drew random stuff, based on what they requested. I've found this works well in front of kids. For some reason, drawing a horse on the spot seemed to impress the young'uns the most. That, and Wig's musical saw. They thought my chicken looked like a duck however - it being a chicken farming town with many a chicken farmer's kid in attendance.
I recently finished the final Time Warp Trio book, "Marco? Polo!", by Jon Scieszka, which is just now out. This one was one of my favorite of these books to draw; some of you guys may remember an earlier post of some of the interior sketches while I was working on them. All I have left to do is the paperback cover, and then that will be it for Time Warp Trio!
After eight hard back covers, 16 paperback covers, some 250 interiors, all over the course of seven years, it's all enough to get a tear in the ol' eye. I still will never feel like I deserved the gig, and stepping into Lane Smith's shoes was about as intimidated as I've ever felt professionally. I learned so much working with Jon and the amazing team at Viking, and talking with Lane and learning his wisdom.
I knew I'd like this CD even before I listened to it.
A) It's JD King.
B) The first song is named after one my own heros, Arshile Gorky.
C) The liner notes consist of one of the band member's letter to the editors of a music magazine - from when she was a little kid.
D) JD's website has this photo of him playing a guitar amongst the plants.
The limp mail that day - no checks (:<), a bunch of political adverts, random junkmail - was made happy by a cd from the King himself. The routine day had gone well enough- no revised sketches, major dramas, etc.- and it was time to cook dinner. Don't know about others here, but I always appreciate a day of low drama capped by some solid relax time to get to cooking dinner.
J.D.King & Coachmen were that evening's soundtrack. My wife came up from her studio below, smiling and asking "who is this?". Our cat stretched out on the carpet in front of the speakers, always a sign of good music. The house was filled with the joyous skrank and cronk and thwittle of the Coachmen's aural artwork.
As I cooked, I decided to experiment - not always a good idea, but sometimes I enjoy the challenge of avoiding recipes. The Coachmen were inspiring me to abandon my cookbooks, to embrace my instincts, to seek invention even while embracing the traditions of history. Such texture! Such melody! So juicy!
Epiphany: Braised polenta with wild mushroom sauce. It sucked.
But the soundtrack was really, really, really great.
If anyone here wants a fantastic -and inspiring - cd, I'd recommend sending a check/illustration/cd/other valuable item to Mr. J.D. King immediately. He and his Coachmen have some very nice tunes indeed.
If anyone here has any interest still in seeing excerpts from my sketchbook kept during my recent trip in Greece, it's now up on my site. Thanks again for checking it out and I sincerely hope you folks can go there and enjoy it as much as we did.
Well J.D. got this Bid Daddy Roth thing going, so I had to put this up!
The most generous man on Earth, also known as Tim Carroll, gave me this a few years back when he moved out of SF. Unbuilt, still in box on the sprues. I couldn't believe it!! It sits on a shelf overlooking my drawing table, and brings me much joy. I believe I built this when I was a wee lil'un, but chances are good I glued it onto other similar models - like many kids, I enjoyed making my own monster mobiles out of the Roth line.
This is a detail from a comic I did for Joe Kimberling about Real Estate. Busted!!!
Hippies, communists and high-school drop-outs gathered in the pouring rain today in front of San Francisco's Ferry Building to show their disagreement with our President's fight against Terrorism. Gathering around a large paper mache idol of the Commander in Chief, the drug-addled mobs bound and shackled him, then quickly covered him in plastic sheeting so he wouldn't fall apart. Shockingly, San Francisco's limp-wristed police force sat idly by, staying dry under the nearby concrete eaves of Happy Donut.
Following this, hours of hare-brained ranting and babbling lefty gobbledygook commenced, blasting out of a cheap PA. The preaching to the choir was all for naught however, as the crowds were too busy hocking cheap stickers, tie-dye t-shirts, conspiracy books and liberal propaganda. If it weren't for the rain, the sweet stench of marijuana, pachouli cologne, unwashed dreadlocks and body odor would've surely driven this reporter away.
Fortunately, although there were but hardly a few hundred people there in protest, the press had shown up in full force. TV Cameras whirred everywhere, incessantly capturing the paltry turn out, ready to bring the pathetic, disarrayed Left out into tomorrow's headlines in their true colors. While many in San Francisco remember three years ago, when over ten thousand people of all ilks clogged the streets of downtown in protest, the press was wise to not cover it then at all, as our troops needed to see the nation was behind the President's decision.
In tandem with today's protest, San Francisco kicked off it's popular "Fleet Week", showcasing the mighty flying skills of our Air Force. Thankfully, the shouting rabble of the lefties was steadily drowned out by the ear-shattering roar of low-flying F-16s. The only shame was that the wet cloud cover prevented the mobs from seeing the mighty freedom protectors overhead, close enough to see the pilot's flashing the hippies a "Peace Sign".
I just dug this out of the files, a piece I drew when I was fourteen and in my first punk rock band, Painful Rectal Itch (PRI).
It's going to be shown in a group show at MOCHA in Oakland (Museum of Children's Art) along with a piece from my most recent book. I think the show will be pretty cool, illustrators from the Bay Area showing a pice they did as kids as well as their more recent stuff.
Opening is on Saturday Oct. 21 if anyone out there is interested, from 2-4. MOCHA is a really cool organization.