Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Horn Book Review of Cold Cereal

Another nice review of my forthcoming novel Cold Cereal came to my inbox today. From the Horn Book:
 "Rex takes his time mounting his preposterous edifice of a plot, but reader interest and suspension of disbelief never flag in this humorous, consistently entertaining, well-spun yarn." 
 Preposterous edifice of a plot. That sounds about right.

 Here's another illustration from CC. Regular visitors to my blog will be able to discern all the important plot points from these images, and will have no need to read the book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Star for Cold Cereal

I craved little gold stars when I was a kid, and apparently not much has changed. Kirkus reviews recently gave a starred review to my next novel, Cold Cereal (coming Feb. 7th), and if they saw fit to send me an actual star in the mail I'd stick it right on my Trapper Keeper.
Kirkus said that
The author tucks in portrait illustrations and hilariously odd TV-commercial storyboards, along with a hooded Secret Society, figures from Arthurian legend, magical spells and potions, a certain amount of violence, many wonderful throwaway lines (“Yeh may have a tarnished glamour about yeh, sure. Like a celebrity’s daughter.”) and tests of character with often surprising outcomes.
I think their classification of the pictures in Cold Cereal as "portrait illustrations" may have something to do with the character of those few images that were actually on display in the Advance Reader Edition. I'm afraid most of the illustrations were missing then. But I got the picture above done in time to include it. From the book:
He steered toward the local park, down the storm drain shortcut he’d discovered yesterday, dodging broken glass and a man with a rabbit head, up the embankment, toward the gap in the fence and was that a man with a rabbit head? Scott braked hard, grinding a black snaking skid behind him. The rabbit-man stopped, too, and looked back. Its tweed pants and white dress shirt were creased and dirty. Its necktie was askew. Its rabbit head was a rabbit head.
And, by way of signing off, here's a picture of two men dressed as a unicorn.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last weekend I started on a mural overlooking our pool, based on an illustration from BILLY TWITTERS AND HIS BLUE WHALE PROBLEM. An illustration that is available as a t-shirt design in the Zazzle sidebar on this blog. (cough)
Here's the wall "before." The pool didn't actually have to be green to get this process started, but I found the brackish smell and the heady vapors of a hundred dollars worth of algaecide put me in the seafaring mood.
My wife, seen here, had an idea that may seem like old hat to regular mural-painters, but which I found ingenious: tape the design up in sixty or so pieces, then take one piece down at a time and reproduce it in paint underneath. That way I can look at the enlarged design on paper in my hand, and the surrounding paper pieces will guide my lines and ensure everything connects. Like those grid-drawings everyone did when they were younger.
This is as far as I got in one afternoon. Should take another to finish up–I'll post the whole wall when it's done.