Sunday, September 26, 2010

But wait, there's more

The Astroblast saga is continuing. Coming soon...


Astroblast as been selected to be part of the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators. It's a very cool honor and I'll get to go to New York for a couple days of fun in October.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Here are a couple of other sample images. These were done as part of the pre-work for this series, part of romancing the idea to Scholastic. Having pictures to go along with a story idea seems to work best for me.

Astroblast Sketches

Here are some examples of sketch and finish. It seems that lately I do most all of my work directly on the computer. I think in shape and color and the computer lets me go there directly. I’ll sketch a lot before I start a book, to find the characters, their shapes and sizes. Once I start a book, though, the computer lets me quickly layout the whole story and see how the action progresses from scene to scene.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here's the Astroblast crew

Radar - the communications officer

Apollo - the scientist

Jet - the geologist

Halley - the explorer

Sputnik - fix-it girl and junk specialist

At first there were a couple of extra crew members, but the power of editing and the confines of and early reader plot line.

Astroblast activity fun

The Astroblast series has extra fun built into the spreads. Things like mazes, find the mistakes and a lot of hidden picture stuff.

Everyone wants a logo

I've done a lot of freebies for friends and church. I really don't mind it when I have the time. Clients are usually very easy to work with when they aren't paying you.

This one got me a couple of free haircuts.

A high school project

My daughter Olivia wrote a short story for a FACS project. She asked me to illustrate it for her. When you create children's books, your work is very heroic in the eyes of young kids, as they grow up the novelty kind of wears off. I was happy still to be useful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alpha-Oops! H is for Halloween

There is something really emotional about getting that first copy of a new book. I find myself both excited and nervous. The last month or so of working on a book seems to get very intense. A lot of time and thought. Then it just goes away for about six months. When finally, and often unannounced, it shows up on your doorstep in the form of an advance copy. It's one of the lucky ones that got to fly back while most of the books are still on a cargo boat somewhere. I will examine the cover, sniff the fresh ink and then set it aside. I need to get up the courage to open it up. I know that it's done. I can't change it anymore, this is it, this is what the kids will get. I need time to take off the creator hat. I try to forget all the struggles, the alternate versions, the second guessing and try to look at it new, like someone pulling it off a library shelf.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Biggie in paperback

Just in time for the Wold Cup. Big Kicks is coming out in paperback.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The pitch

To kickoff the work on the Astroblast series I met with my Scholastic editors and art director at the planetarium in the Natural History Museum in New York. After a lot of cosmic dreaming and an evening of good food I created the pitch for the series. These were images I created to countdown the idea.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Astroblast Snack Shack

The Astroblast books take place in and around the Astroblast Snack Shack, a fast food space station. The stories are the adventures of the Snack Shack crew; Radar, Apollo, Halley, Jet and Sputnik.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Astroblast is here

I can finally talk about Astroblast. It is a new series of early readers I'm creating with Scholastic. It is about the crew of the Astroblast Snack Shack, and intergalactic fast food station. The first book, "Code Blue", will be coming out this spring. One of the fun things we are doing with the series is adding activities to each spread. They are hidden pictures, mazes, find the mistakes type of things. At the end of the book there is a list of additional "extra missions" of more things to find in the book. I got an advanced copy this week. The editorial and design teams at Scholastic did a great job helping me pull it together.

New Floor Puzzle

Mudpuppy has just released a floor puzzle I designed for them. It's really well made. The pieces are big and chunky and the box is very cool. It's kind of a wacky history of cars.