Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ghost Mysteries

A few months ago I did a bunch of spooky illustrations for a book called Ghost Mysteries: Unraveling the World's Most Mysterious Hauntings. To my surprise, it's now listed on Amazon, although it doesn't come out until August. It usually takes a lot longer for a book to appear--Jack probably won't pop up for months and months.

When I do illustrations for non-fiction books, I get really caught up in the research. This book had so many interesting stories, I may have spent as much time reading articles online as I did drawing the pictures. 

Here's a sample.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Gift of Slime

Soon after I finished Rapunzel's Revenge, I got a package in the mail. It was from the Rapunzel authors, Shannon and Dean Hale. They sent me a nice big Amazon box full of graphic novels. They sent RUNAWAYS, Joss Whedon's X-men, and Volume 1 of INVINCIBLE (geez I wish I could draw action as clean and sharp as Cory Walker on INVINCIBLE--wow!) I looked at those drawings a lot while I worked on book 2.

So I finished Calamity Jack this week, and yesterday I got another Amazon box. No comics this time. This time, I got a slime gun.

Modeled here by my son Ulysses.

...and my daughter Lucy.

Here's me looking amused. "This will be delightful."

"It shoots WHAT?"

"Kids, don't point that at me. Hey, I mean it---splaaat!" 

Fire one Uly!

Drip. Fire two Lucy. Drip.

Dean, Shannon, I don't know how to thank you (as Kermit the Frog would say, "I don't know why to thank you.") But I'm bringing the slime gun to our next meeting. I won't point it at you, I'll let your son Max do that. Bring goggles.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CALAMITY JACK--Sneak Preview of the ENTIRE book!!

Would you like to see the ENTIRE manuscript of CALAMITY JACK? Right now? The drawings, the full color files--the WHOLE thing, months and months before it even comes out? Well, here's your chance! Get ready to see THE ENTIRE BOOK!

This is the most exciting internet leak since the Stephanie Meyer scandal, or the photos of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom LEGO set (Coming next Fall!) 

You have to see this before the police or the publishers make me take it down! I mean, it's the COMPLETE book!

Get ready...

Here it is....

The whole book! 

Taa-daa! All 144 drawn pages, and the hard drive with the complete color files!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CALAMITY JACK is finished!

CALAMITY JACK, the sequel to RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE, is now finished! (Well, except for the cover.) The entire book is now in the publisher's hands. I can't wait to see some printed pages. Let the wait for printing begin.

I'd like to thank Mindy for being a great letterer and color mapper--she worked very hard, right up to the end on this book, while juggling the house, the kids, the huge dog, and the cranky illustrator in the basement (me.) She deserves a vacation/prize package/giant novelty check for $700,000.00 . Love ya Min!

Special thanks to the other 'mappers, Lindsay, Layna, Lauren and Yodit--they did months of labor intensive work--and did a fantastic job. Patrick, a freelance designer in New York, who Bloomsbury has working hard on the design aspects of the book, as well as the "BOOM!, WHAAM!, CRUNCH!" sound effects. The hardworking folks at Bloomsbury. And, of course, Shannon and Dean for writing a great story.

It's in the can! Wahoooooooo!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Calamity Jack: Week Zero (plus five days)

Before I started Rapunzel's Revenge, I had a perfect record for meeting deadlines. I never missed one. I always got the job done in time. I have a real thing about meeting deadlines, it probably comes from working so much in theater set design. The set has to be ready for opening night, you cannot extend the deadline for opening night--the show must go on.

Anyway, when Rapunzel's Revenge came along, I figured I could finish it in about four months. I ended up taking over a year. I missed that deadline, I also had to shift deadlines on several other projects that got bumped by Rapunzel. 

Three years later, and I'm bumping deadlines for Calamity Jack. As you know, last week was WEEK ZERO, and I had a big bag of candy to help me finish by the deadline (today. ) Well, the candy's gone, the deadlines here, and I'm not finished. I still have 14 pages left to finalize. I now have until this Friday to finish Calamity Jack. Phew. I'm going to need more candy.

Enjoy the sneak preview panels! (If many of these panels seem a little boring, it's because I don't want to leak any spoilers--I have to single out panels that don't give away too many plot points.) Here's the Provo Library panel in color:

One commenter mentioned that this building was the old Brigham Young Academy building, it was, they did major renovations and turned it into a library. The building was built in 1896 as a boy's school. It was derelict for decades and had a high barbed wire fence around it. This building was THE haunted building of my childhood. It was very scary and had "Devil Worshipper" graffiti all over it.  What the heck, now I need to find an image to post (I don't have time for this, but now I want to see if there's an old image of it online...)

Here's a really old picture of the building in the 1800s. 

But I couldn't find an image of the derelict boarded up building from my childhood. Anyone have one? Google Image Search couldn't find me one. Anyway, here's what it felt like:

Only imagine it with barbed wire and smashed windows. Spoooooooky.

I don't have time for this. Talk about being easily distracted.