Sunday, July 31, 2011

End Pages

End pages are one of my favorite parts of creating a book. I think of them as a punctuation mark. They bracket a story, much like the frame of a painting. They aren't exactly part of the story, but can help you read it. I have often designed an image that shows the cast of the book. Sometimes it's just motif, but I always look forward to creating them. I create them last and it becomes a visual farewell.

Nothing Like A Puffin.
The Little Dump Truck
Astroblast, Moonstone Mystery
Astroblast, Code Blue


Every life's got a little.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I'm starting to learn how to use 3D software. It's hard, but cool.

Does anyone remember "My Three Sons"?

Ideas come from all over. I don't know why but when I was making this book I had the animated intro to an old TV show called "My Three Sons" running through my head. (sorry, most of you have never seen it I'm sure) It showed the legs and feet of three men tapping their wingtip shoes to the music. The sketchy memory I have of it inspired this part of Puffin.


Here are some images from Nothing Like a Puffin. I have been really inspired by some of the mid-century kid book artists like Abner Graboff. I wanted that kind of simplicity and boldness in this book. I even gave a little off-register look to mimic some of the hand separated quality of books from that time period.

New this fall

Nothing Like a Puffin will be coming out this fall. It's written by Sue Soltis. It's kind of an existential little story about how there is nothing exactly like a puffin however almost anything can be in some way, be like a puffin. I loved it the first time I read the manuscript, but it I really had to live with it a while before I knew how I was going to illustrate it.

New Block Puzzle

I've done some things with Mudpuppy recently, mostly puzzles. They are nice to work with and I like the quality of the product.

This is one of those block puzzles with six different images to make.

Big Kicks Kosher

Big Kicks has been published in Israel. The book was printed to read from right to left or backwards, well backwards to me. Made perfect sense to kids in Israel, I guess. I always love seeing my work in other languages.

My favorite pages

Every book has a few spreads that become personal favorites. It's usually based on some personal creative conquest that only you really understand.

In this spread, I had to include every letter, all their props and supporting cast, put them in the right left to right order so the text works and try to extend a dozen sub-plots.

Some stuff I like from H is for Halloween

H is for Halloween was a lot of fun to do. It was as if I had a big head start in working on the book. I think I spent most of my childhood watching monster movies and drawing the early versions of all the beasts and beings that appear in the book.I wasn't sure what an "IMP" was exactly, but everyone seemed to like this guy.

Alpha-Oops fun size

Alpha-Oops, H is for Halloween is coming out again this year in a new mini version. I think I like it better in the fun size, cheaper too.

Square Stories

Every once in a while something comes by that is really odd. I mean that in a good way. There are these series of simple stories from Danish author Louis Jensen. Maybe it something to do with translation but they are really quirky and sometimes odd, but I really love them. I've done these samples in hopes of getting a publisher to bite.

The Boot

I recently had the honor of helping out with the Young Author Contest sponsored by the uber-cool kid's book store The Reading Reptile. The contest is judged by a group of local kid's book creators who pick a winning story and do an illustration to go along with it. My winner was an epic viking saga about a very tough dude who wrecks havoc with with a big metal boot.