Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Norton Award

So my novel, The True Meaning of Smekday (not pictured), was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. That award was presented last night, and it was presented to J.K.Rowling. And I knew it would be, what with the final book of the Harry Potter series in contention. Now Ms. Rowling can squeeze the Norton into the vast undermountain storage facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania where she keeps all her awards and money.
Anyway, I just thought I'd share the statement that would have been read at the awards banquet if I had won. But I didn't.


Wow. Really? Gosh, I should have come. As it happens, I’m currently at home in Philadelphia, feverishly working on the illustrations for a picture book that’s six months past due. And I really didn’t think I was going to win.

But now I wish I’d attended, of course. I don’t even know who’s reading this. Does he read well? Maybe it’s a she. And I don’t know what the venue in which you’re all crowded looks like. If nobody minds, I’m going to go ahead and imagine that it looks like that scene at the Galactic Senate in Star Wars Episode 1 where everybody’s riding those hockey pucks.

Thank you to everyone who has read The True Meaning of Smekday, particularly the members of the nominating and selection committees. And thank you to my fellow nominees, and to all kids’ authors who strive to keep the bar high.

And…if we could all imagine now that that “get-off-the-stage” music is starting to play…I make my exit, waving graciously, seated in the plush throne of a tricked-out hockey puck pulled by tiny unicorns or whatever.

Thank You.

Monday, April 21, 2008

So There's a Primary Here Tomorrow...

...but otherwise I'm currently working late into the night in my wife's office, here at the University of Pennsylvania. And one of Marie's colleagues tries to head home via the rear doors of the Physics building, only to be escorted back inside by the Secret Service. Seems he has to exit another way. So this is when Marie and I stick our heads outside for the first time in four hours, and learn that Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton are all not more than 200 feet away from us, speaking to a large crowd in the basketball arena.

Four Cats

From left to right: Jarrett Krosoczka, Baker, Me, and Taylor at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Dallas.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Big Blue Marble

Come join me at Big Blue Marble Books in Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania on Saturday, the 12th. I'll be there at 2 PM as part of the Mt. Airy Kid's Literature Festival, reading and guessing people's weight.

Preliminary Magic

Thought I'd show a little process from one of the Magic card images below: Oona, Queen of the Fae.
I stared with a couple rough poses, but decided to send Wizards of the Coast something like the basically symmetrical, frontal view at the bottom. She's something of a goddess, so I thought the image should have sort of a religious icon look to it.

Anyway, Wizards didn't like it, so I started playing around with different poses...

...and we eventually settled on the image below.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Oh, What A Magic Week It's Been...

...but all things must come to an end, and so Skeleton whispers a cold, inky goodbye.

Skeleton is a highly altered excerpt from a Magic card I painted called "Terror." Ironically, he is perhaps the least terrifying thing about it, so I chose not to publish the image here in its original form. I expect this blog gets a fair number of visits from people who like the way I draw funny animals, and they don't deserve it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

So Magic, This Week

This one's being used on packaging for the upcoming set, Shadowmoor. These Bug-eyed Hobbity things are about to have their Bag Ends handed to them by a couple of Ents. Of course the upper right is my favorite part.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Magic Week Rolls On

A Faerie Queen. This wasn't my character design. I should probably be clear that none of these I've posted this week were entirely my character designs–I got to spin some more than others.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Magic Week Continued

Here's one of my favorites. It's not a Magic card, but rather the cover of a Magic novel that ties in to the newest set. A couple of the fishmen are a little wonky, but I love the old school horror movie dynamic between the main fishman and the seriously unlucky elf. And the bio-luminescent nouveau vines.