Tuesday, January 29, 2008

puppy class

Ralph had his 2nd night of puppy class last night. Surprisingly enough, he's really good at being a puppy, but education is important, so we go. They love him there. He's a pretty smart dog. He now knows how to sit, how to retrieve things, when to go outside, and when we tell him to "go to his room", he runs to his crate. (We're still working on 'paint the fence' and 'sweep the leg'.) And he's getting big! Of course, he's still tiny compared to most your standard dog, but he's about twice the size of when we first brought him home.

And now that we have found rawhide, he doesn't terrorize me in the studio during the day.

Here's a picture of Ralph napping. I thought it would help bring things into perspective from the picture from when he first came home.

Thank you, Akron, OH!

Looking to beat the winter doldrums? The Akron Beacon Journal suggests Punk Farm and Punk Farm on Tour. Thank you to the librarians who recommended the books! You can see the article here.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Remember when MySpace was the new Friendster? Some people say MySpace is becoming the new Friendster all over again, because everyone is jumping over to Facebook. Well, regardless of your social networking preferences, my studio is now on both. You can access my studio's MySpace page here or the brand new Facebook page here. Either way, Internet friends make me feel cool, so please friend me up.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

holy moly!

I just received a poster that Random House produced. This is definitely a Wayne's World - 'We're not worthy' moment...

Pictured counterclockwise, starting at the left: Punk Farm, The Pokey Puppy, Cat in the Hat, Babar, Duck & Goose, Frederick the mouse, Veronica and Princess Baby.

Excuse me while I go pick my jaw up off the floor...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eye on Books Bookcast

Last fall I sat down with Bill Thompson for his Bookcast "Eye on Books". We talked about writing for children and dissected the psychology of Punk Farm. Take a listen here. And then peruse the vast archives, specifically the children's books archives and find interviews with Jan and Stan Berenstein, Rob Scotton, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg, among many others.

Foundation for Children's Literatute

This March, I'll be stopping by the Foundation for Children's Literature at Boston College to speak at their "Conversation with...Author/Illustrator Series". Tonight, Walden Media will be presenting scenes from the upcoming film "Prince Caspian". And the whole series of programs was given some nice attention in the Boston Sunday Globe. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ralph Macchio Photo of the Day

It certainly is winter here in Massachusetts. This makes for a pretty crazy time to house break a puppy. Every few weeks the backyard looks completely different to Ralph. The snow drifts are taller than him!

When the snow melts away from the sidewalks, Ralph enjoys a nice walk. He's even becoming quite the runner. Here he is in his fashionable winter jacket.

Enjoy the snow everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sketchbook Saturday

Here's a sampling of the sketches made for the deer characters in Punk Farm on Tour. I imagined the deer would be into emo culture and listen to bands like Dashboard Confessional...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Attack pug!

We were cleaning up after Christmas and set up this mirror. At least we know Ralph will protect us from himself...maybe. This is just phase 1 of his (karate) training.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2 degrees of Idol

Friends of mine down in Houston have just had a great spell of good fortune! The Robbie Seay Band has been putting out great music independently for years and have been signed since 2005. Their song "Rise", off their 2007 album "Give Yourself Away", is being used by American Idol! You can hear it in the background of all of the promos for the new season. What a great way for them to kick off 2008. Congratulations, guys! Check out the commercial.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The "Get This Book" Series

Timothy Basil Ering has a new book out today! It's called Necks Out for Adventure: The True Story of Edwin Wiggleskin and Tim's not only illustrated this one, but wrote it as well. Tim is the illustrator of many fine books, most notably The Tale of Despereaux and Frog Belly Rat Bone (which he is also the author of). Necks Out is so much fun and the illustrations are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The paintings in the book are to behold! I would say they rival J.M.W. Turner in terms of skill in depicting light and water. This is a story about clams... I mean wigleskins... and a brave young hero called Edwin who shucks his shell to save his family. This book will be a must have and should be on the top of all the award savvy list keepers' lists. I had the pleasure of seeing the galleys for Necks Out months ago in Mr. Ering's studio and I can't wait to add this fine book to my library. Stop what you're doing, order the book now and marvel at it once it arrives.

Monday, January 07, 2008

flip books

Colle+ McVoy is an advertising agency that makes incredible nontraditional advertisements. Take for instance these animations - one made with 220 pieces of burnt toast and one made with 150 T-shirts.

(videos found via draw.ca)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sketchbook Saturday

I've been meaning to post pages from my sketchbooks since I started this blog. Every time I would go to post something, I would stop myself because I didn't want to publish pictures of characters from new projects that weren't ready to be shown. So as one of my New Year's resolutions, I'll intermittently post pages from my sketchbook on a new feature I'm calling "Sketchbook Saturday". I'm hoping to post every Saturday, but we'll see how good I am about that.

For the first few Saturdays, I'll be posting some of the preparatory sketches I created for the background characters in Punk Farm on Tour. I visited nature labs and poured over dozens of photos and drew the animals initially as they actually existed. Then, I allowed the characters to develop on their own and Punk farm-ized versions of those animals manifested.

Today, I bring you - Punk Farm's moose fans. I imagined the moose would be a rough and tough hippy type. Take note of the tribal tattoos, I imagine these guys listen to a lot of Rusted Root.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ralph Macchio outfit of the day

The other day, G and I went to Petco to buy Ralph some food. She walked out with a handful of outfits for the dog. This is on top of the outfits we were gifted over Christmas. And while I always said I wouldn't be that kind of dog owner, I can't resist. Behold: Santa Ralph.

(Now, I'm calling this segment 'outfit of the day', but it really won't be a daily thing.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008


The good people at the Star-Telegram are spreading the word on Punk Farm to their Fort Worth and North Texas readers. Check it out here.