Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thank you for another wonderful year!

42. Age is a gift and a privilege. ‬
Thank you for all of the support over this last trip around the sun!!! I’m very ready for the year ahead.

Christmas Memories

Christmas 1984. Photo by Shirley‬
May you enjoy these days ahead! 

Next Big Hit

Our Snow Village has the Downton Abbey / Batman crossover the world has been waiting for. ‬

Santa's Conductor

Another year in the books as Santa’s guest conductor at Look Memorial Park. Hopefully this lands me on the Nice List. At least the Okay List!

Thank you, Lee Mendelson

Rest in Peace, Lee Mendelson. Mr. Mendelson brought Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang from the funny pages to the screen. Along with Charles Schulz, he went on to make 50 Snoopy cartoons. ‬
Forever inspiring millions, including me. ‬

The Nutcracker

You don’t think I wake up looking this good do you? It takes an entire team to prep Mother Ginger! An honor, as always, to fool around on stage at Pioneer Valley Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker!

Waltz of the Snowflakes.
Backstage and during dress rehearsal, I sketched to capture the energy of all that is Pioneer Valley Ballet's staging of The Nutcracker

More backstage sketches from Pioneer Valley Ballet's 2019 staging of The Nutcracker. Everything is moving so quickly, and I am just trying to get my ink marks to capture the energy and the movement of the dancers.

Hey, Kiddo Press Roundup pt. 6

This beautiful medal arrived in the mail. Thank you to the entire team that makes the Excellence in Graphic Literature program happen! 

The audiobook of Hey, Kiddo is a Booklist Editor's Choice! Read their full starred review here.

Seen in the New York Times! ‬

More kind words for the audiobook!

Thanks, Caroll Spinney

Like millions and millions of others, I grew up on the artistry of Caroll Spinney. Well after first watching Sesame Street, I would learn that Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird were brought to life by the same muppeteer.
About five or so years ago, I had the opportunity to see Caroll Spinney speak at a local event on his theater tour. With his wife by his side, he recounted behind-the-scenes stories. Then, he picked up a bag that sat on the floor beside him, pulled out an all-too-familiar swamp green ball of fur, and brought Oscar the Grouch to life before our eyes. It was pure magic.
A few years back, I was invited to a charity event at Henson Studios that would laud Mr. Spinney with a parade of muppeteers. I had to be there, but my schedule was tight. I flew to LA and back in the same day. Landed shortly before the event started, took off shortly after it ended. As you can imagine, it was so worth it. Two of the most striking moments from that night: Mr. Spinney, wheelchair-bound and looking frail, spoke of Jim Henson and his death. The pain in his voice was as if Jim Henson had died recently—a testament to the love between the artists. Then, Big Bird himself took the stage. Matt Vogel, who inherited the role, brought the entire room to tears as Big Bird addressed his friend Caroll. Big Bird professed his love for Mr. Spinney and assured him that he would always live in his heart. Big Bird was essentially saying goodbye. My heart goes out to the entire Spinney family and all that loved him—thank you for sharing him with the world.

Bad Luck

When you've spent your day tending to Baby Yoda AND fixing a ship without the help of your droids...

Wednesday, December 04, 2019


Writing (and illustrating) can be an isolating business. I am so very thankful for this group of fellow writer friends and thankful that our calendars finally aligned to find us all around and not totally feeling the pressure of deadlines! 

Nobody is happier that my latest book deadline is finished than this little guy.

High School Time Warp!

I was asked to sign this young artist’s welcome sign but I thought it would make more sense if I drew Teen Jarrett hanging in the back with him and his crew because clearly we would all have been friends if a time warp brought us all in high school at the same time. 

A Ghastly Scene

Leave your pumpkins out long enough, they will continue to tell a story...

Favorite PBS Show

Super Grover - always and forever. What was your favorite PBS KIDS show and character?

2009 v 2019

2009 v 2019. It doesn’t feel like a decade is ending, but everyone is waxing nostalgic and posting photos. Here I am launching Lunch Lady at San Diego ComicCon and then taking home Book of the Year for Hey, Kiddo at New York ComicCon. Not pictured: the 1,000 or so venues I hit along the way to get my work out there. This decade brought me many highs and many lows, and I am thankful for all of the life experiences.

AudioFile Earphones Award (and More!)

With music, sound effects, and affecting performances, listeners feel like they are at the dinner table with him and his hard-drinking, foul-mouthed grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts.”  AudioFile Magazine

I brought cast members from the Hey, Kiddo audiobook on to the radio to offer insight on how we adapted my graphic memoir for audio.

Sharing some behind-the-scenes stories of the Hey, Kiddo audiobook at Scholastic Studios.

The Origin Project

A few weeks back, I had the honor of presenting to theaters packed with students in the Appalachian region of Virginia. I was there with author Adriana Trigiani, whose The Origin Project brings authors in to her home region to inspire creative writing. Adriana is Gina’s MOST favorite author. I mean, Adri’s books have been in Gina’s hands as much as Dav Pilkey’s books have been in our kids’ hands. So not only a thrill to have Gina with us, but G and I were left so inspired by the community, the students, and everything The Origin Project does. Aside from the annual events, each student in the program received an empty journal to write in and their collective writings will later be published in a book.