Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scieszka's and Barnetts and Rexes and Shannons, Oh My!

There was no way I was gonna miss this one!

Four funny guys...

Two books...

One awesome time!

Yup... Sooper pal and National Ambassador of Children's Literature Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Time Warp Trio) rolled into town along with David Shannon (No David, Too Many Toys), Adam Rex (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, True Meaning of Smek Day) and Mac Barnett (Guess Again, Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem... both illustrated by Adam Rex).

That's right...It's the Four Funny Guys, Two Books Tour and they came to the Northridge Borders Book Store on Tuesday, September 29th to promote ROBOT ZOT, by Mr. Scieszka and illustrated by Mr. Shannon as well as GUESS AGAIN, written by Mr. Barnett and illustrated by Mr. Rex.

-- and I was there to see it all!


First David Shannon got up to read NO, DAVID... which proved that these four funny guys weren't just there to talk about only TWO books! Of course, the kids cracked up at David's hyjinx.

Then Mr. Barnett got up to read the shoot-milk-out-your-nose funny GUESS AGAIN with Mr. Rex providing an assist for us kids in the back!

Then came the artsy fartsy part of the show, where Mr. Rex got up and asked the kids to name not one, but TWO animals. He then proceeded to take those two animals, a panda and a tiger, and draw a tanda... or perhaps it was a piger. A tiganda?

Whatever it was... it was REALLY COOL!

You'd think that'd be enough, right?

Not for these guys. They just KEPT GOING!

Mr. Scieszka jumped up to read from ROBOT ZOT, which rocked everyone's world as well.

Then it was off to sign books for the kids... including me, who brought along my copies of BILLY TWITTERS, SMEK DAY, and FERGUS to get signed.

But wait... you didn't think I'd let these guys get away without drawing me something in the 'ol sketchbook didja?

Actually... Jon DID get away without drawing me something.

But I know where he lives...

PS Did I mention I finally got to meet Dan Santat, too?

PSS Check out the Four Guys blog to see where they'll be next. It's right over HERE.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Okay, so your brand new show is about to hit the airwaves...
but how is the network gonna get people to actually WATCH it?
You wanna get some good press going, right?

That's where the press kit comes in.

And it's funny that press kits should come up since I just found a couple whilst sifting through the countless boxes of stuff that followed me here to LA.

First up is this fine specimen from the long lost Cartoon Network show called Time Squad (created by the sooper talented Mr. Dave Wasson).

Check out the fancy box:

And what's inside? A nice, sooper informative packet jam packed with information about the show:

There's also a VHS tape with an episode or two (snicker... VHS!), and in the case of this kit, a Time Squad themed disposable camera for you to take with you on your time traveling adventures!

Here's the kit from sooper pal Mr. Willem's show Sheep in the Big City:

It also came with a couple episodes on tape and a Sheep notepad:

See, newspapers, magazines and such get literally HUNDREDS of press kits about all sorts of stuff every day. So networks have to think of clever new ways to grab their attention. With Sheep, they offered a free trip to Ireland (a sheep paradise) as incentive for watching the video:

Not sure who got the trip, but it certainly wasn't me.

By the time Codename: Kids Next Door came out, VHS was going the way of THIS so they started sending episodes on disk. This saved on space and shipping and allowed for networks to do even more fun stuff.

KND was the first CN show to send out vinyl action figures:

I LOVED these and gave them to whoever crossed my path for years to come! And here's the actual kit:

They wanted it to look like a kid's pencil case. It came with a secret note pad, a decoder ring and an inviso writing pen thing. Pretty fun. I know I've got about 10,000 of the actual press folder... but couldn't find one to take a picture of so you'll have to use your imaginations on that.

Not sure what CN's press kits look like nowadays but I'm sure they're thinking of even crazier ways to promote their wares. At least I hope so.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Since we've been talkin' about sketchbooks... I thought I'd show something from an older book:

This here was one of the early versions of 1000 Times No as beat out in a sketchbook from days long gone. You can see some notes to myself on the left side, along with what I happened to be listening to on the rock system and other assorted minutia. The beginning and end of the book are kind of the same, but it was too darn long and there was a bunch of stuff in the middle that had to go. Which brings up a great piece of advice that a lot of picture book folks like Jon Scieszka and Mo Willems often scream at the top of their lungs:


Your book is too darn long. Simplify it! One of the things these guys are SOOOOOoooooo good at is taking an idea and distilling it down to its purest awesomeness. Can you do that? I'm not even sure I can, but I'm trying.

How about you?

Monday, September 21, 2009


Yup... another month, another rockin' issue of 'The Pack'!

And someone's got a secret...

Yes, he DID just say that out loud...

And I'M sayin' that you gotta hit your local comic store, order online or borrow this issue from your best friend...

Because Pummeling Penciller Maurice Fontenot and Indelible Inker The Iguana have drawn up an awesome story for you once AGAIN!

Don't miss it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


A sooper brand new, unblemished, white-as-vanilla-ice-creamy sketchbook is both exciting and scary. Soooooo much empty space...

Will it be filled with pretty pictures?

Or lame scrawlings that should be sunk to the bottom of the ocean?

Let's see where we are so far:

One way to ensure that maximum awesomeness goes into my sketchbooks is to have maximumly awesome artists draw in it whenever possible. Example: Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway, who I had the giant pleasure of having dinner with a week or two ago. I met him briefly at the San Diego Comicon a bunch of years back, and then ran into him at The House of Secrets here in LA... so we made plans to get together and eat. And of course, no one gets away without drawing me something:


Awesome artist. Sooper nice guy. And sooper sweet fiance, who came along for the meal!

Make sure you check out this guys BLOG
and get his BOOKS!

Another artist who didn't escape the new book was Chris P! I finally got to visit his studio, Titmouse, Inc and man, it ROCKS! They're always doing REALLY cool stuff over there, like Adult Swim's Metalocalypse, G.I. Joe: Resolute and tons of other stuff I'm not allowed to tell you!

Check out his drawing on the right side...

Were you expecting something normal?


As this book's been going on, the squid's tentacles have been turning into plants, pipes and other assorted stuff that travels from page to page.

Who knows what it'll be by the end...

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Remember when I said you could ship me your copies of 1000 TIMES NO and I'd sign 'em?


Aw, c'mon... It was over HERE.

Oh... NOW you remember.

Well, that's what I'm doin' a lot of lately and I love ya'll for it. Here's a batch I did this morning:

And now that the school year is starting, it'll be back to doing lots of readings and signings--- LA STYLE!

(No, that doesn't mean I wear sunglasses whilst reading the book)

Oh, and here's a sweet lil review from Jenny the Librarian in Syracuse:

"The illustrations are bold and colorful and depict Noah with blond hair, curls poking out of the top if his head, and a large diaper that looks like it's about to fall off at any moment. He dons the appropriate outfit for his voyage through different cultures and children will enjoy seeing the many ways you can say "no." This book is absolutely delightful!"

The rest is hiding behind HERE.