Monthly Archives: February 2012

Let’s eat!

Grandpa Crow serves up some pizza in Let’s Have A Tree Party!

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The Examiner interview, Part 3

Right over here!

Feb/2012 PSInside

Get your copy here!

Part 2 of the Examiner interview

Here. interview

Part One of a 3-parter.

My Etsy shop

With the help of Hannah the intern, I’ve got a shop up and open for business on Etsy. I’m selling original paintings and drawings from books and projects you’ve read about here on the ol’ blog. Swing on over and fill up your shopping cart!

Grandpa Crow’s tree

Here’s the establishing shot for Let’s Have A Tree Party! Just like in a movie, the establishing shot at the beginning lets the reader know where the story takes place. In this case we’re in the woods at the base of Grandpa Crow’s tree. Let’s look at the thumbnail sketch, tight sketch, painting in progress and the finished painting.

Mini Ninja

Soon after the Mini Mashers project I was given the Mini Ninja project. Same idea: teensy weensy plastic dolls sold in sets of 4, 8 and 12. I guess Remco liked the Mini Masher origin story; at any rate I was asked to write one for the Mini Ninja. This time around I thought it would be funny to describe smallness as an Asian martial arts philosophy—shojutsu. I had a buddy who studied karate and all things Japanese. He told me sho means small and shojutsu would mean smallness study.

Mini Mashers

Oh dear, time does fly.

Back in my feckless youth I had a design studio in the happening SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. I took on any project that came my way, both design and illustration. An advertising agency I’d been working with got a packaging design job from Remco, the toymaker. Professional wrestling had become popular—celebrities like Cyndi Lauper went to matches—so Remco thought little plastic models of popular wrestlers would sell.

Originally named Mini Maulers, later Mashers, they came in blister-packs of 4 and 8 or boxes of 12. I got to create all the artwork on the packages, including caricatures of the featured wrestlers. Here’s the best part: they asked me to dream up an origin story and tell it in a comic strip. So I came up with a lab-experiment-gone-wrong story and supplied the tagline: “Whatever you do, don’t let them out!”

Apparently I had no idea you could blend gouache back then.


Here’s another title I have coming out in March—Jack and the Giant Barbecue. It’s Eric Kimmel‘s update of the Jack and the Beanstalk story set in west Texas. West Texas, you said? Cue the Elmer Bernstein music! Here we go: thumbnail sketch, tight sketch (originally a single page, art director Anahid Hamparian saw the epic possibilities of a two-page spread as Jack and his pony canter through the sagebrush) and painting.