Archive for March, 2008

Mar 27 2008


Published by under Uncategorized

Alison’s former housemates host an Easter egg dyeing get-together every year. We usually go, and I have a lot of fun with it. I sometimes feel like I should bow out of making art socially because I make some people insecure. Usually there are more voices on the side of “don’t worry, join the fun” than “you make me feel like crap, I give up”, but I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about making art.

Ok, wait, this was just supposed to be show and tell, not a guilt-trip. Here are some shots of my cool eggs!

fiery egg

knight egg

textured egg

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Mar 26 2008


Published by under odyssey,sketchbook,tools & tech

With every book I do, I feel compelled to tinker with the style and materials. This is just my own eclectic taste asserting itself. However, a more deliberate and practical form of tinkering I do with each book has to do with the process or workflow involved in going from a rough idea or text to a finished page. A good or bad process can have a huge impact on the speed and efficiency of doing the book, and moreover it can color the whole experience for better or worse, and can affect the creative process in subtle but profound ways.

For example, I did King Lear in a very unstructured way. The positive result was a very creative, non-rigid structure to the page layouts, and some surprising creative solutions to problems. The negative result was that I never really knew where I was in a scheduling sense, and ultimately the book took an incredibly long time and involved a lot of waste (redrawing pages that had major problems, redoing the lettering, that sort of thing).

One challenge I’ve always found a bit difficult is (consistently) leaving the correct amount of space for the text in each panel. So I’m trying a new, all-digital workflow (using my new tablet pc), where I draw my rough layouts directly in the layout program (in this case, InDesign) around the actual text. This lets me quickly scale and reshape things, eliminates the scanning step, and hopefully makes things faster and easier all around. We’ll see how it works out — so far, so good.

Here’s an example.

Odyssey layout sample

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Mar 23 2008

The Tempest

Published by under reviews,shakespeare,sketchbook

I saw ASP’s performance of The Tempest on Friday night, and it was awesome. I highly, highly recommend it. The entire cast was great. Alvin Epstein’s Prospero wasn’t quite as compelling as his Lear, but he delivered the “our revels now are ended” speech with more weight than I’ve ever seen. Marianna Bassham was a sexy and funny Ariel, And Robert Walsh as Stephano did probably the best drunk act I’ve seen on stage. I don’t want to spoil any surprises of the art direction, but it was a brilliant treatment. If you don’t mind possible spoilers and want to see my sketches of the performance, read on.

Continue Reading »

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Mar 15 2008

King Lear in Booklist’s top 10!

Published by under press

You may remember that Booklist gave me a starred review recently. Well, they just released their special graphic novel supplement, and in it is their “Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth: 2008”, and King Lear is one of their picks!

This link will probably stop working at some point, but for now…

2 responses so far

Mar 13 2008

Fan Mail

Published by under sketchbook,Uncategorized

I don’t get a lot of fan mail. Back in 1998 when I did Bearskin, people were more into that whole “writing on paper” thing, and I got some mail then, but I was pretty bad about answering it. Most of my Beowulf fan mail comes in electronically, and I usually respond, albeit briefly. The other day, though, Candlewick forwarded me a great letter from a young fan, and I decided to answer it properly. Here, with his permission, are his letter (edited for privacy) and my response.

No, I won’t always answer my mail this way. And no, I don’t know how to pronounce ‘Sjon.’ 😉

Sjon’s letter, page 1

Sjon’s letter, page 2

My “letter” back to Sjon

thumbnail of my letter to Sjon

2 responses so far

Mar 10 2008

New England Flower Show

Published by under sketchbook

I went to the Flower Show yesterday. I’ve missed the last few years, which is a shame, because I find it an awesome place to draw. Got there pretty late, which limited my time, but meant that the crowds were not bad at all. I recommend it, if you’ve never seen it or if you like plants. It’s up until the 16th.

Here are some of my sketches:


Flowershow – more displays

Flowershow – more plant sketches

Flowershow – carnivorous plant, and table arrangement

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Mar 06 2008


Published by under sketchbook

Well, this was intended to be a sketch blog, but most of what I’ve been putting up are really materials experiments, which is not quite the same thing. Clearly I need to establish better sketching and scanning habits, and that starts now.

Fur seals and a penguin

Alison and I went to the aquarium the other day. I hadn’t been in years (though everything I drew this time was still very familiar from previous drawings). Here are some selections…

Seals at Liesure
Feeding time in the giant sea tank
More giant sea tank
Turtles, rays, and octopi

One response so far

Mar 06 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

Published by under Uncategorized

The inventor of Dungeons & Dragons, and hero to nerds everywhere, has passed on to the ethereal planes.

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