Monday, October 25, 2010

Suggestion for New Halloween Party Game

Two or more partygoers visit Google Image search and enter "sexy ________ halloween costume." If the world justifies your worst fears and the costume already exists, do a shot. If you're trying to get drunk you can just keep saying "nurse."

Here, I'll get us started. "sexy willy wonka halloween costume." Oops, my bad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Event and other Stuff

I'm going to be appearing at the Barnes & Noble at 5130 E Broadway in Tucson on October 23rd at 2pm. I will sign books (preferably mine), possibly do a reading, and accurately guess people's weights to within three pounds. Hope to see you there. Hope to see anyone there, really.

I thought I'd also share another cover illustration I don't think I posted before, since I've been talking about the Brixton Brothers books a bit lately. Previously I posted this, the cover of the first BB book. Steve is about to be apprehended by a cadre of mysterious and commando-like librarians.

When the time came for the paperback edition a new cover was requested, so I devised something a lot simpler and I think a little less stiff than the original:

You'll have to read the book if you want to understand why Steve is dressed like a sailor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brixton Brothers #2!

Just ocurred to me that Brixton Brothers #2: The Ghostwriter Secret is out in stores! It's written by Mac Barnett (what isn't?) and illustrated by me, just like the first book was. So today I thought I'd share the cover.

Here's the tight sketch, with digital color.

Man, look at that! Those are bullets streaming through the water! From a gun! Originally I thought it would be funny to show the gun as though the bad guy was crouching on the pool deck with his hand in the water, shooting at Steve and Dana. But you can't show a gun on the cover of a kids' book. So hence just the bullets.
Of course we considered the idea that the bullets were too intense, and might inspire kids to get shot at whilst tied up in a pool, so we tried another version where the bad guy is down in the pool, just screaming at Steve and Dana. Really going off on them. But then we ran it by the national buyer from B. Dalton and he was like, "Wow, that guy's really angry," so I painted a new cover where he isn't so much screaming at the kids as giving them sort of a stern talking-to, and afterward we tried one where he's just taking them for hot wings, but then we were all like, "Whoah! What happened to the conflict?" So we went back to the bullets, and I think we made the right choice.

Here's the final, painted cover, with type. Photoshop and Wacom.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ironically, an Airline Called Delta Can't Seem to Get Me to Greece.

I fly a lot, but this was new to me: after sitting out on the Tucson runway for about twenty minutes the pilot informed us that we were too heavy. I will admit to looking askance at the passenger next to me at this point. Given our weight, we could not legally take off in the current winds. Almost immediately I thought to myself, "Well. We'll probably have to return to the gate to dump excess fuel." But I know nothing about the actual mechanics of air travel, so even I didn't assume I had the answer.

Twenty minutes later, we returned to the gate to dump excess fuel. Apparently the Tucson airport only has one fuel truck or something (keep shootin' for the stars, Tucson!), because we then waited a half hour just for the crew to arrive.

Long story short, I'm supposed to be checking into my hotel in Athens right now, and meeting my wife. Instead I am enjoying lunch at an Atlanta airport-area mexican restaurant, which is every bit as good as it sounds.

Could be worse. I was originally rebooked on a flight that would've required I stay in Atlanta for TWO DAYS. Not that I don't like Atlanta. But, Zeus willing, I will be taking a circuitous Athens-by-way-of-Amsterdam-by-way-of-Minneapolis trip later this afternoon.

But enough of my whining, right? I'm still going to Greece, and you're probably not, currently. So here's a page from my sketchbook featuring a woodcutter and some patrons of the Surly Wench pub.