Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Comic Conin'

San Diego was great. met lots of cool artist types. made some good connections.

i always leave there charged up, and this year was no different. one of the biggest things i walked away with was, "dang, i gotsa to draw more." i do plenty of drawing on deadline, but not so much drawing for myself. going to do more of that.

here's some stuff i drew at the con while watching my buddy's table.

the traveler

based on "Mr. Bones Plays the Blues," here he is on a walk about. || marker on paper.

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two Dr. Who's

many people come in costume to the con. there were two Dr. Who guys. they greeted one another, "hello doctor." "why, hello doctor." they had very long scarves. || graphite on paper.

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the little girl has on the clothes of three different people who walked by and the hair of one. the cat did not go by. if one did, he would be happy. he has a fish. || red pencil on paper.

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randomage, two

playing with forms and themes. a dude walked by and said, "pretty cool man." that's why i wrote that. || red pencil on paper.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

you say tomato, i say automobile

one of my clients is a card game designer. he is based in Tel Aviv. (that's Israel, kids.)

he does what he does because he loves it. that's the best kind of client to work with.

he emailed me this week to see if i could do some drawing for a new game he's working on.

among a list of animals and their normal favorite foods was this,

"Donkey – Banana"

i paused, for... quite a while actually.

because of the eight hour time delay i couldn't call him.

"well. i don't know. maybe donkeys eat bananas in Israel."

so i drew this rough.

mine banana! nom. nom. nom.

"Hi C.S., they look cool
Did I write Donkey? I meant Monkey… ha ha"

turns out. in Israel MONKEYS eat bananas.

i still don't know what the donkeys eat.

DFW Reading, 07-12-08

B&N, Southlake Town Center

sorry it's taken me so long to post this. i got back to Austin and there's been a flurry of stuff to do. a FLURRY!

in short, the reading went off pretty well.

you never really get used to this.

104 folks showed up. admittedly, a lot of these people were my friends--it turned into a giant reunion--but 30-40% were people i didn't know. (it's a tough scenario to see people who you haven't in ages. like a wedding, you shake their hand and the line moves on. note to self: need to have a reception next time.)

we sold a bunch of books. Barnes and Noble was pleased. (the manager even came up to meet and thank me. the MANAGER!) props to Angie, the Community Relations Manager. she did a brilliant job of setting the reading up.

C. Wahl of the Fort Worth Star Telegram was kind enough to post an announcement of the event on the front page of their Saturday "Your Life" section.

i love me some Fort Worth Star Telegram

Russ was superb on the percussion. Melissa J. came to my rescue once again--she's my own personal Supergirl--and shot the pictures. (which was a challenge because we weren't in the children's section of the store. we were in front of Giant Bright Blinding Windows.)

we are only shadows in this world... NOT Mel J. photo

here's a shout-out to Bridget, who i met. a reader of this blog, she says.

to say i was honored that everyone came out to see me and support me is an immense understatement.

with those crazy Canfields

this was a larger venue than i've been in so far. i read on a microphone, also something new. each reading is different. each audience is different. i try to learn something from each one.

not being in the intimate setting of the Barnes and Noble children's stage made it tougher to connect with the kids. they participated in the animal noises and the "air" instrument playing, but not as much as other readings. i pulled back a little because one of the little boys on the front row--he looked like he was six, he is so tall, but is really FOUR--got scared and climbed into the second row and into his mother's arms. (he was okay by the time we got to the signing. he even answered questions during Q&A.)

small groups are easy. you pull your performance down to their level. theaters and stages are easy. you go big. it's the in-between venues that take some negotiating. (playing small enough for the kids on the front row, and big enough for the people in the back of the room is an interesting balance.)

question and answer time got off to a slow start. more like a no-start.

"does anyone have any questions?"

the proverbial cricket chirping.

"well then, let me tell you a little bit of what Animal Band is about..."

(it's about music. "duh," you say. kid instruments--maracas, tambourines, xylophones, drums--play front and center. i hope for it to be an introduction of these things to children. sort of like when we went to the symphony i was in grade school. when a kid picks up an instrument, he puts down something else. it's good for their mental development and is an early encouragement for the arts, which are a vital part of our culture.)

this loosened things up. a little girl raised her hand. she asked an excellent question. (which i don't remember.) then other hands went up. more questions were asked.

"dogs jump up and touch their hands," said a three year-old, ("yes, yes they do.")

"how long is the car [that leaves in the beginning] gone?" (which is a long and involved answer. the short version is look at the clock. three hours.)

Walter and his clock. Walter is the bar-none favorite of the kids who read the book.

to be honest, some of these questions are the first time i've thought about those things. (i spent lots of time thinking about the book, just not THOSE specific questions.)

a little girl raised her hand. with her eyebrow cocked she said, "do you really think animals do this when we're not around?"

(how to answer this one without making her feel silly? ...or making me feel silly?)

"i don't know that they DON'T do this when we're not around," i said, "do you know that they don't?"

she shook her head.

"i mean, they don't have thumbs, so they couldn't play the guitar like we can," i continued, "but with their paws they could definitely play the drums."

i thought it was a compelling argument. in the end she didn't buy it. she continued to shake her head disapprovingly. (she's got bright future as a White House correspondent if she wants it.)

the truth is, i love question and answer time for this very reason. you've got to be on your toes. (it also adds some entertainment value for the parents--i hope.) i'd do the readings for no other reason than to answer questions. (meeting the readers is also the best part. can there be two best parts? most best and best best. fo shizz.)

i don't have the photos from this reading yet. when i get them, i will post them and the highlights from the last reading. (that Brandy so generously shot.)

also, video footage was shot, so there should be a posting on Youtube in the near future. (this is not a joke.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

i dreamt alligators

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the theme of the group show is "in dreams."

alligators are a persistent symbol in my dreams. some dreamologists say they represent strong, yet often, subdued emotions.

you can see the show through July at the Flightpath Coffee Shop. (5011 Duval St, 78751)

there is an opening Saturday night, July 12, 7-9. i will not be in attendance because of a previous engagement, but lots of super talented and pretty cool to hang out with people will be there. you should be too.

fizzle no bang

not real sure who this guy is. he showed up on my drawing pad while i was warming up tonight.

he's Victorian, i guess. i like the idea of doing science in vests and ties.

ride, sadie, ride

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the dog and cat of a friend.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Animal Band review

...Want to nurture your kid's enthusiasm for reading? These books are the sort in which you want to bury a nose, not surfacing for air until the satisfying last page.... Here's a batch of the latest great summer escapes:

"Animal Band" is a raucous celebration of music by Christopher S. Jennings, who brings his cartoonist background to this frolic. His characters might look at home on the Cartoon Network, but they work here. Rock the cat and his pals bounce off each page, as they assemble a swinging band. There's a big blue fish wearing shades and blowing on a saxophone, an elephant wielding a clarinet and a hip-cat lion jamming on a red electric guitar. It's great fun - and not for nap-time reading!

I heart the The Mercury News.

for those in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I will be reading 'Animal Band' at the Southlake Barnes and Noble this Saturday at 2PM.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

'bout time

click pic to visit

well, the author site is up... or kinda, anyway.

it's designed to be added onto easily, like Lego*, but still look complete while i work on the other parts of it.

* Lego Brand Building Blocks