Monday, April 30, 2007


MOTHER GOOSE: Okay, right off the bat we can see that…uh…well you know and I think everyone knows by now that I had a very different vision for this. Especially this first rhyme, which was supposed to be more of a light, Nora Ephron-style romantic comedy, in the vein of "Shop Around the Corner" or "You've Got Mail".

LEONARD MALTIN: Both of them classics.

MG: Right. And ours was meant to be a real "opposites attract" kind of funny kind of sweet sort of story. So I knew I wanted Tom Hanks in the title role, because, um, I think we can all agree…

LM: He is the Jimmy Stewart of his generation.

MG: And any other. And in fact I'd never considered anyone else for the role, which had essentially been written with Tom in mind. If you look back at early production notes you'll see the rhyme as originally written went

Tom Hanks could eat no franks

His wife could eat no beans.

And so betwixt the two of them and so forth,

but we were having scheduling problems with Hanks, and when he finally had some free time he was already obligated to do "Tom, Tom the Piper's Son," so…

LM: So you found another leading man, a relative unknown.

MG: Jack Sprat. So immediately the rhyme is shot, and we ended up compromising with the "no fat, no lean" solution, which I don't think really resonates with kids these days.

LM: Opposite Jack Sprat was Joan Lunden in an uncredited role.

MG: Yeah, working with Joan was great. She's a treasure. Oh--funny story--about halfway through production Jack comes to my trailer and says "You know, it's pronounced 'sprah'."

LM: …What is?

MG: His last name. It's not "Sprat", it's "Sprah!" (Laughter) Well, I wasn't about to change anything at that point.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

...and a sketch.

Here is, by the way, my sketch for the previous post, for people who are interested in that stuff.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SPECTRUM Preview 3

Here's the third of my illustrations that were accepted into this year's Spectrum annual, to be published this fall. Actually, I suppose it's not technically an illustration at all, as it was created to be auctioned off to benefit the Society of Illustrators' student scholarship fund. But I think we can all agree that it IS a big robot with a lady inside it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Saga of SuperLincoln

Are you familiar with 826? It's an orginization that runs kids' writing workshops and tutoring centers. There's one near you, if you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Ann Arbor.
My friend Mac Barnett runs the one in Los Angeles, and recently one of his students named Tucker wrote and drew a great short-short about our very own Abraham SuperLincoln:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

SPECTRUM Preview 2

Some of you might recognize this next guy.

The second piece of mine that will be appearing in the Spectrum 14 annual is this depiction of my version of Frankenstein from Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. This image never appeared in the book, however. I painted it to be a tabletop standee that Harcourt distributed to booksellers as an in-store advertisement. The blank menu board was printed with selected titles of poems from the book.
Here's a bit of the painting in progress, shot by a spectator at the second Art Out Loud event at the Society of illustrators.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I found out recently that four illustrations of mine will be featured in Spectrum 14–the 14th annual of "the best in contemporary fantastic art." I hear you saying, (again, please don't look for the secret microphone. It embarrasses us both.) "Well, of course you got work in. You were one of the judges this year." I did indeed have that honor, and it may alarm you to know that judges even have their entry fees waived. But judges are also forbidden to vote on their own work, so all judges' work starts with a slight disadvantage. I had to depend on the other five judges to vote for me, and three of them were unfamiliar with my work going in. I think it's a good system, but if you disagree you are naturally invited to comment below.
I thought I'd show the pieces that got in, none of which can be found yet on my portfolio site. The first was created for a Magic: The Gathering promo card called Eternal Dragon:

The poor fellow is guilt-stricken over some past wrong, and bites his own tale in a symbol both of penance and eternity. The makers of Magic chose a version without the decorative border for their card, but I put it back in when submitting to Spectrum, 'cause that's how I roll.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Interviews With ME, If You're Into That Sort Of Thing.

Kelly Phillips Erb at Tiny Treasury just posted a very nice interview we did recently. You can read it here.

At this point I can hear you (No, don't try to look for the secret hidden microphone. It's a secret. That's the point.) asking, "Yes, but what if, after reading that interview, I want to read an only slightly older interview, preferably one conducted by an entirely different person named Kelly?" And if that is the case then I suggest you direct your browser here. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Dancin' Pogo

Some time ago I animated my clown Pogo from TREE RING CIRCUS with the easy and fun online animation studio Pictaps. For some reason, in this small version his face doesn't look right. See the full-size version here.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Ask Your Parents For Permission, Kids

I was recently honored by legal adult Roxy Riot, who had Frankenjunior from my poem "The Dentist" permanently rendered on her arm.
Roxy has hinted that her other arm might be similarly defaced (dearmed? disarmed?) in the future, so more news on that if it comes. Thanks, Roxy!