“Book Expo America… a semi illustrated account”

It was an honor to entertain book buyers who came from as far away as California to visit our studios in sunny Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn and see where the magic is made. First they visited the studio where Greek expert George O’Connor takes naps and draws the “Olympians.” He also showed off his upcoming Children’s book “If I Had a Raptor,” The book buyers thought his studio was TOO small.

We then visited the studio where I work and drink many cups of coffee. I showed them my next Children’s book “But!” and wowed the buyers with stories of how much rejection I’ve endured in order to make it as an author-illustrator. By wowed I mean they did the best they could to hold back tears. The book buyers thought my studio was TOO big.

Then we visited the studio of Andres Vera Martinez. In the past he’s illustrated a wonderful comic about Babe Ruth among other projects but this day showed off his latest children’s book, “Little White Duck.” The book buyers thought that Andres’ Studio was JUST rig…wait, plot twist, they thought Andres’ studio was TOO small also.

The next day I visited BEA central at The Javits Center in Manhattan which involved a pleasant visit with Holiday House, the publisher of my book, “But!” Mr. Magic School Bus himself, Bruce Degen stopped by to politely look at my book and proclaiming it a “sure fire hit,” before being dragged off to sign books elsewhere.

After wandering the Expo with no direction, I visited Tucker Stone at the Nobrow booth, and unexpectedly ran into Farel Dalrymple who showed me his great looking First Second book, The Wrenchies. Obviously it was all down hill from there but I did avoid buying a 15 dollar hot dog inside the Convention Center. Thus, happily ever after and The End!

Note: Below WAS to be a photo essay on the above events but my camera ran out of film Half way through all the BEA events, thus these are what few pictures I took, and then a few drawings which serve to accurately illustrate events I didn’t get photos of. Enjoy!

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Ink lines and the elephant in the children’s book.

We took a quick trip out of town for Easter/Spring Break/ Passover/Fertility festivals or whatever one celebrates at this time of the year. Although I did relax, I spent most of the time thinking about what kind of ink line I wanted to use on the children’s book I’m working on. Unfortunately, these are the kinds of demons that haunt my days off. It’s always in the back of my mind. I look at the last book I did and wonder how I drew such boring lines. Will the publisher notice and pulp them all? Lately I’m testing out ink brushes using a Cintiq, which is always a battle against the perfect. In my experience, I can tell you that the best line I ever created was by breaking a chop stick in half and inking with that splintered piece of imperfect wood. In the process you inevitably stab yourself and inflict inky splinters. This small amount of pain and suffering is what I think actually convinces me that the drawing is perfect and worthy of not going into the trashcan. The positive effects of self-inflicted pain could, and have, made up entire blog posts (and books, and movies, and songs) so I won’t go into that here in my brief paragraph. Rather, I’ve posted a sketch here from my next book. After drawing the book three times or so, I finally like the line work I did on this elephant. And I didn’t even hurt myself. elephant 1

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