Monday, December 17, 2012

Hazardous Tales Book #3 is in the Can!

Earlier today I turned in the final artwork for Hazardous Tales #3! The final 72 hours were pretty spectacular and will certainly go down in my personal record book. I had an honest-to-goodness 8 page day yesterday. EIGHT PAGES! I had enough caffeine in my system to power a small aircraft.

Last summer, during the London Olympics, Amazon put the Chariots of Fire soundtrack up as a 99 cent download. I bought it for a laugh--you know, you put it on then run through the room in slow-motion--it's a classic joke. Anyway, I ended up listening to it a bunch. It was playing when I finished the bible project this fall. It was great! Today, as I was wrapping the final page of Hazardous Tales #3, I played it again. I know, it sounds pretty goofy, but that music really locks in on the feeling of finishing a monumental task. It has been moved from my "Novelty" playlist to my "Special Occasions" playlist. Fantastic stuff.

I've heard rumors that it is now Christmas time. I'm going upstairs--possibly even outdoors to investigate. I hope there's cookies and egg nog up there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Hey everyone,

Whoo. Sorry for the disappearing act. As you probably guessed, I'm deep, deep, DEEP into a nonsensical deadline. Hazardous Tales #3. It became decidedly knotty in the final stretch. I've had to work all hours to get the final artwork in. The final book is due Dec 17th.

It's 128 pages, the same length as the first two. And it's really good. I'm absolutely delighted with how it is going (I just wish I had finished it a month ago.)

In order to finish the pages (around twenty + the backmatter/Correction Baby/fun stuff) I've dropped basically ALL internet posting.

After the 17th, I'm going to be as lazy as possible through the holidays. I'm going to see some movies, organize some LEGO bins, and maybe take a whack at some of the neglected video games I've purchased over the last two years and never played--seriously, I see a good deal on a game (curse you Gamefly used sales!) buy it, then put it in my cupboard with the others. I have a backlog of at least nine games I've never even played.

I'm also going to clean out my studio, which, as you may imagine is FILTHY. It's like a monkey cage in here (with a cupboard of unplayed console games!)

I'll see you in 2013. I won't promise any holiday posting between now and then (because, as you know, when I promise things on the blog, it is a guaranteed kiss of death for said promised thing.)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Blue Streaks of November

I like to keep careful charts and graphs of big projects I work on. Here's my November wall calendar for Hazardous Tales #3:

Each line represents a finished page. When a line touches the top of a day, that means a page is done. So on the 1st, those are three pages I started and finished in one day. Most other pages get spread out. There's a page on the 21st that doesn't get finished until the 26th. The key is to have some pages finishing each day.

I'm also showing this because it is an UNREAL number of pages for me. This is my all time personal record for completed pages in a month. I want to try and hit 60 before December. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Deadline Time, Expect Delays...

Hey everybody,

I had a pretty good streak there for the last few months. Wrecked it this week by missing Monday, Tuesday, and, phew, Wednesday. Yeesh.

There was a big Hazardous Tales book three deadline on Monday. I had a real crunch. That deadline has now been extended for a few more weeks, meaning posting may be sporadic.

I'll try to stay out in front of it. And I need to finish this Sales Meeting story. Just bear with me, we'll right this runaway deadline train.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm ridiculously pleased with this one. There was some back and forth about "I'm gonna TAX it!" or "I'm gonna COLONIZE it!" I think tax is punchier.

Any favorites so far?

Back Monday for more!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mystery Cover

Hey, I ran out of time to do today's silly cover mashup! Why? Because I was doing the final cover artwork for the next Hazardous Tales book (the REAL cover!) The subject matter is still secret, but here's a puzzled up version, can you make anything out?

Any guesses? It helps if you stand back. I think there are some actual recognizable shapes in there. Back tomorrow with the next mashup cover at the Hazardous Sales meeting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm not a fan-art guy, it's just not something I do. I did it when I was a kid, but it's been a LONG time since I've drawn anything resembling fan-art. But after this week, I can see the draw (no pun intended.)

I was nervous that if I didn't draw Finn's iconic white hat-thing on Hale it wouldn't look right. But I think it turned out okay. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The sales meeting continues.

Here's a fun piece of trivia, the guy who designed the Wimpy Kid covers is the very same guy who designed the Hazardous Tales covers (the real ones, not this joke one.) So, my apologies, Chad, (and Jeff Kinney) but I couldn't resist.

My children were absolutely TRANSFIXED by this spoof cover while I was drawing it. They just couldn't believe I could draw the Wimpy gang.

Be honest, you know you'd buy it.

By happy coincidence, Wimpy Kid #7 launches TODAY! Grab a copy--and while you're at it, throw some Hazardous Tales in your cart!

Monday, November 12, 2012


This week we're going ALL Hazardous Tales, hold on to your hat!

That's right, sales of Hazardous Tales are like a tank doing a bellyflop--okay they aren't THAT bad, but they are for the sake of this story. I'm new to this non-fiction comics game. It's a slower game than I am used to.

Tune in tomorrow to see what Ms. Fox has planned to boost sales!

I know a good plan--it involves you, the blog reader, buying some copies of the Hazardous Tales. That's an awesome plan.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Maze Face

Here's something fun. My inner 14-year-old is wildly proud of this. I'm enjoying this light grey.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Sneak Peek at Hazardous Tales #3

Believe it or not, this is a full page from the Next Hazardous Tales book. Page 35, to be exact. What on earth could have upset our Hangman so much? What stretch of American History will be covered in this one? All will be time.

You can see, however, the color for the next book: green.

A note for the Taco demanders from Friday's post:

I know you all want to see the rest of the Taco Hell story. Don't worry, I will finish that story, but not now. This month's blog posts have to be on the simple side. I get to do the big, paneled, complex stories when my work load is smaller. The longer you wait, the more spectacular and well-drawn the Taco finale will be. Hang in there!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rutherford Bat

Many years ago I wrote a picture book manuscript about a little character named Rutherford Bat. It wasn't very good. It was something about him getting into a flying race with some pterosaurs. Actually, that sounds pretty awesome now that I think about it. I don't know where that story is--it was long ago enough that it might be handwritten in a notebook.

Anyway, while I forgot the story, I never forgot the name of the cute little guy. Here's a sketch of him.

Aww. Isn't he adorable? Look at that little face! Look at it! I've got to dig up that story...

So, it's November. We are finished with the Horrorscopes and Frankenstein material. And, to tell you the truth, I have NO IDEA what to post this month. It has to be EASY. Hazardous Tales #3 final art is due at the end of the month, and I am so behind. I'm doing the "Reverse Circadian" sleep cycle to get it done.

I do have some Hazardous Tales stuff I want to talk about soon. But other than that, it's really going to be a grab bag this month.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And the final Horrorscope is....

...up to you!

Here's a blank Horrorscope template just for you! Go and create your own spooky destiny!

And here's a Frankenstein pumpkin, created by master pumpkin artist Laura Middleton!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The second to last Horrorscope...

Only a day or two of October left! Enjoy your last few Horrorscopes!

The LEGO Castle of Frankenstein is now complete! Here is the whole thing as it is displayed at the Provo Library. And speaking of the library, tonight, Tuesday night, is our official Frankenstein party!
Both Rick Walton and I will be there, signing books and talking Frankenstein.

Come out and see us! Visit the LEGO castle! Buy a Frankenstein and get it signed! All tonight, at the Provo Library, 7 pm! Be there!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Andrew Jackson and the Bell Witch part 2

Hmmmmmm. You know, I still have more Bell Witch material we didn't get to. I think we may need to do a THIRD page for this story.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Horrorscope curse alert!

Friends and family in SLC, I'll be signing Frankensteins and Hazardous Tales at the King's English tomorrow at 11 am through the afternoon!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Horrorscope Tunnels!

Phew. That's one spooky Horrorscope! Where does Rick come up with these?

On another Frankenstein-related note, here is level three of Frankenstein's Lego castle: The Lab! Look closely in the center to see Frank himself. You can also see the Bride of Frank, Pumpkinhead, Zombie Girl and a dragon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Bell Witch part 1 of 2

Oh dear! I was away from my computer last week and thought I had pre-scheduled posts for each day. But I missed Thursday and Friday! Woops! We'll catch up.

Here's a little Halloween material from Hazardous Tales. Enjoy!

And if you just can't live without a Frankenstein post, check this out from the Washington Post. It's a wonderful review and interview with Rick Walton and I, aka Ludworst Bemonster.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Frankensteins LEGO Castle part 2 "The Gate"

Here's the second level of Frankenstein's LEGO castle, now on display at the Provo Library. The Mummy, the lil' Devil, Dracula and Mrs. Devel are walking in a crooked line out of the door.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Horrorscope.

Have a great weekend! Back Monday with more Horrorscopes!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Horrorscope--double post day!

It's a rare, bonus double-post today! Scroll down past the Horrorscope to get the final part of the Jackson/Adams Throwdown Showdown! A little educational fun to go with your monsters.

The 1828 Election Throwdown Showdown 4/4

Here is the conclusion of the 1828 Election Throwdown Showdown.

The answer to the Endpaper mystery mistake: Kansas! Kansas was a UNION state, not a CONFEDERATE state. More to come on this soon. A trip to Kansas to apologize in person is in the works.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Your Saturday Horrorscope


These HORRORSCOPES are being written by Frankenstein author, Rick Walton. Turns out, he's pretty weird.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baltimore Book Festival

This past weekend I was at the Baltimore Book Festival talking about Hazardous Tales and drawing portraits. Here's the one picture I shot:

Pretty sweet hat, huh?

The festival was a lot of fun. Around 20-25 kids sat for portraits. I got to see authors Jessica Day George, Michael Buckley, Jonathan Auxier and, for about 30 seconds, Shannon Hale! I did a 30 minute presentation on One Dead Spy and Big Bad Ironclad then we sold out of all of my books (all but two Ironclads!) That's a good day!

I hope to go back again, it was a terrific festival--and I barely go to see Baltimore. They have the tall ship U.S.S. Constellation docked there and I really want to tour that baby. I only had a chance to sprint past. Some day...

Tomorrow starts the Halloween material. I hope you like Frankenstein. Rick Walton will be providing daily HORRORSCOPES.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Frankenstein LEGO Display Stage 1

Holy smokes, it's October! This month marks the one year anniversary of the Taco Hell Drive Thru story. Criminy, where did the year go? And, you may ask, where did the end of that story go? Don't worry, I will wrap it up--and maybe even some time this month.

On another Halloween note: it's FRANKENSTEIN time! I'm building a LEGO FRANKENSTEIN castle for a display case at the nearby Provo Library. It's going up in four stages. A new level goes up each week in October. Today I placed The Moat. The other stages will be The Gate, The Lab and The Tower.

Take a look--and pardon my horrible phone-photography skills.

Here's a close-up. Can you spot the four FRANKENSTEIN characters?

I'm proud of that waterfall.

Hazardous Error!

This is not a drill, people. There is a mistake in the Big Bad Ironclad endpaper!

Can you spot it?

We're going to have to remedy this ASAP. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Elephant in Ninja wear

I'm headed out to the Baltimore Books Festival today! Come and say hi, it's a free festival--I'll be drawing and signing books all day Saturday and speaking at 3:30 on the kid's main stage. I didn't have time for fresh content, I had to dig something out of my work file.

Here it is: an elephant all kitted out like a ninja, sneaking through what must be a massive house.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hazrdous Tales Interview

I was interviewed by School Library Journal's Good Comics for Kids blog this week. My answers were so long they had to make it a two-parter.

Here is part 1 and here is part 2.

There's some top secret Hazardous Tales behind-the-scenes info in there. Check it out. Drop some comments on those interviews. And don't forget to post your reviews of ONE DEAD SPY and BIG BAD IRONCLAD to your favorite online review locations!

Thank you to the folks at GCFK for the fantastic Hazardous Tales coverage.

This Post is an Advertisement!

So this is exciting; these are banner ads for Frankenstein! I've never had a book with advertising before! You may see these pop up during your perusal of various children's book-centrique sites. Here's the big one:

Pretty cool, huh? I like how they fit the branches of the trees on the cover to the illustration in the background.

Frankenstein is prepped and ready for world domination in October!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

The 1828 Election Throwdown Showdown part 3

Next Monday, winners and losers, the final episode of the Throwdown Showdown.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In Store Signing Event! Finally!

I'm prying myself out of the studio at last! I've got a few in-store author signings appearing in the near future.

At the Orem, Utah Barnes and Noble this Saturday (the 22nd) from 4-8, I'll be signing at the AUTHORPALOOZA!

And the week after that, on the 29th, I'll be at the Baltimore Book Festival! I'm giving a presentation at 3:30 on the kid's main stage. Otherwise, I'll be out drawing free drawings--just look for the guy with the giant General Washington hat with a Hazardous Tales pin in it.

More dates coming!

Four Hoses

Hey look guys, it's the four hoses of the apocalypse.

It's okay to have these pretentious titles as long as you make a bad pun about them every once in a while.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012