Tuesday, June 26, 2007

boo--i said--YAH!!

stick a fork in me, boys and girls, it's done.

the first version of the color book is completed and off to the publisher.

there will be further dinking with it, i am sure, after their notes, but for now, it is finished.

yes, virginia, it feels awesome.

the final crush was three solid days (and most of the nights) in my studio, at the drawing table and computer, in solitary confinement. (i haven't done the math yet, i logged somewhere around 50-60 hours in those three days.)

for those of you keeping track:
deadline: 0
cs jennings: 1

bring it.

coming summer 2009

i posted the new beethoven bust on another blog. one of the comments was:

"I can't help it. Hard as I try not to, I think "Night of the Living Dead," of course the original one, when I look at ole Ludwig. Just needs context; I'm sure that's it..."

it's the natural evolution of the story, a ready made sequel to AB.

AB II: Dead Composer Bust Zombie Rampage

who will rise to the challenge to vanquish the dead composer bust zombies?

who will save us from this terrible peril?!

Rock, Dead Composer Bust Zombie Hunter

roll over*

if you were drinking some coffee the other day, your morning cup, and reading the paper, or the back of the cereal box--in short, if you were having breakfast. or lunch. it could have been lunch or maybe even supper... if you were leaning against the vending machine at work, thinking about getting some dunkin' sticks, but lamenting your not having a steaming beverage into which to dunk... there's no reason, really, food need be involved, is there? you might have been driving your car. or perched atop a the local water tower with a telescope in hand keeping dibs on the town mayor... or, mayhaps, listening to music. listening to music makes more sense, actually. if you were watching television and the commercial came on where elvis costello is sitting in the car talking about beethoven, or you were looking at a CD or perusing i-tunes, or had picked up your cello and run the bow across the strings, or watching a saint bernard run across your front yard, and this nudged your mind, this question muscled itself in, "say, i wonder how the janx is getting along with his whole beethoven conundrum?"

i present this:

the thought being.

1) need column in book

2) yes. plants (which i had done a sketch of) go on columns also.

3) but really beethoven is the best.

4) "what if, and stay with me, the beethoven bust was ANIMATED and like, reacting to the situation?!"

so i drew that one.

and there's also a jazz trumpet player too in a frame who is all, "what are those crazy animals up to now?!"

but you have to wait for the book to see him.

'course, the editor may veto them both.

so it goes.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

beethoven scares kids

there's this column in the book.

it comes from nowhere.

one moment. no column.

the next minute,


here's a column! (it's important to the story.)

i was thinking maybe this column should show up at least time before it's needed.

"what's on a column?" i thought to meself.


his bust lives on columns. my book is, afterall, about music. so ludwig showing up makes sense and scores me smarty points with music teacher types.

here's the thing, though...

beethoven, the beethoven we know and love, he doesn't smile. in fact, he not only NOT smiles, he scowls. it's his thing. the scowling.

scowlers don't belong in kids books.

especially scowling heads with no body.

that sort of thing will mess you up if you is four.

so i toned down the scowling.

(this was just a prelim sketch to test the effect. he looks more like thomas jefferson than beethoven.)

...i better put something else on that column.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


here's a lil drawing from my sketchbook, based on an old Fats Domino tune i loved as a kid. (we had a greatest hits record. at one time i could sing the entire thing in order, side-to-side.)

A sampling of the lyrics:

I'm gonna be a wheel someday
I'm gonna be somebody
I'm gonna be a real gone cat
Then I won't want you
Everything's gonna go my way
I won't need nobody
I'm gonna be a real gone cat
Then I won't want you

You're gonna cry, cry, cry
You're gonna cry, cry, cry
You'll be wonderin why I don't look at you
When I go strollin by.

(he's got him a suit on. that's how you know he's the big cheese.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

for your view pleasure (as i work on the book)

Salvador Dali on "What's My Line?"

thanks 9 for the head's up on this one.

Friday, June 1, 2007


as a kid one of my favorite books was Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever! i broke down last week and ordered it from amazon. i'm glad i did. it's better than i remember. Scarry is a true master.

however, and this from a friend mine, it's different than i remember.

she pointed me to this site. (it's the Best Word Book Ever! but it shares several pages with mine.)

even children's books are not safe from the tendrils of political correctness.