It might be a reasonable time where you are when you read this, but I was up at 5:30am today because it’s hard to be stay asleep when the tooth fairy comes. Sophie lost her first tooth last night and I knew she’d be up early but after the busy day she had yesterday I was hoping she would at least sleep past sunrise. Nope. Anyway, it’s not that bad, I am used to being up early and once I’ve had my first cup of coffee, it doesn’t really matter anymore. Being up so early gives me a chance to spend time with Sophie, to scan artwork, do some laundry and other household stuff.
I thought I’d update the three people who read this blog on some various projects. Nothing too major this week, but I can bring you all up to speed on the three things I am working on.
First up, “This Little Piggy”.
I’m having a lot of fun drawing this and I need to work on this more often. Have you ever done something all your life and then one day you just get smarter about it and suddenly it feels like you are finally doing it right? That’s what this book feels like to me. The first children’s book I worked on was a collaboration with a writer I knew through someone I worked with. It was about a cat. In hindsight, it was a terrible book, but the visual gimmick behind it was pretty clever. We received one rejection letter and that was the end of it. The letter didn’t kill the book, but neither one of us had the commitment to stick with it. Years later, when I had actually bothered researching the world of children’s book publishing, I read that the first rule is to avoid writing about cats. Whoops. Years later, I thought I knew what I was doing and wrote and illustrated a new book called ‘Daisy’s Couch’. I still like the idea and I put together a “dummy” copy which is a rough, unfinished version of the book. Out it went to publishers and agents and after a few rejection letters I was able to get a literary agent. After a year or so, I realized the artwork was terrible and no publisher on the planet should take it. At this point in my life I thought I’d be a children’s book artist and not a cartoonist. While I waited for the rejection letters to pour in (and boy, did they ever), I started to work on Uptown Girl to pass the time. Soon Uptown Girl took over my life. I stopped working on books for a couple years while I devoted all my creative energy to comics. I took another stab at ‘Daisy’s Couch’ after a couple years of Uptown Girl, though. It was redone in a graphic novel format and it was pretty fun to work on. I had painted the whole thing and got about halfway done with it until I took a break from it to work on the Uptown Girl movie. By the time I was ready to resume work on it, my art style had changed and the second half of the book looked way different and better than the first half, so that was the end of that. Going forward a few more years, Sophie inspired a new book called ‘This Little Piggy’. I had printed a few copies and again, more rejection letters. But work has started on a new version of it and I’m really excited about it. The plan is to finish five pages (and these pages are huge), color them and submit these to publishers and agents. Sometimes I think I am stupid for not giving up, sometimes I admire myself for the same reason.
Next up is the still secret project I am working on with Brian Bastian. Still not ready to announce it, but I’m still loving this. Here are some random panels:
And of course, Uptown Girl. I am about halfway through the next book, currently titled ‘Imitation of Life’. Here is a panel from the big story in the book, and this might be considered a tiny spoiler, but here it is:
It’s a small picture, so it’s a tiny spoiler.
Sorry, I’ve been up since 5:30am.