What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: John Manders' Blog, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 208
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Saving Western Civ through kids' book illustration
Statistics for John Manders' Blog

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 1
1. Edward Teach

As a follow-up to my last post about Queen Anne’s Revenge, here is the man himself—the terrible Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach. I show him in close-up so you can see the slow-match fuses he used to weave into his whiskers and set alight before attacking a ship. You can find him in P is for Pirate, now available in bookstores—or drop me a line in the comments for an autographed copy.

Pirate captains were elected by their crews and could be voted out. To keep his crew in line, Blackbeard constantly showed himself to be more fierce, more outrageous than anyone else on board. Seated with his rogues during dinner, Blackbeard fired a pistol underneath the table and wounded one of the crew, just to remind them who he was.

Blackbeard had to be mindful of his crew’s appetite for liquor—for rum, an ardent spirit distilled from molasses. Without rum, a crew would mutiny, as this excerpt from Blackbeard’s log attests:

‘Such a Day, Rum all out: – Our Company somewhat sober: – A Damned Confusion amongst us! – Rogues a plotting; – great Talk of Separation. – So I looked sharp for a Prize; – such a Day took one, with a great deal of Liquor on Board, so kept the Company hot, damned hot, then all Things went well again.’

thumbnail sketch tight sketch color sketch IMGP1670 IMGP1671 IMGP1672 IMGP1673 IMGP1676 IMGP1676 IMGP1677 Teach

0 Comments on Edward Teach as of 8/20/2014 6:21:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. R is for Revenge

Queen Anne’s Revenge, that is. Queen Anne’s Revenge is the name of Blackbeard Teach’s flagship—though I have to admit I don’t know why he chose that name. Queen Anne ruled Great Britain & Ireland while Blackbeard was alive, so maybe he considered himself to be a privateer on behalf of the Crown? Was he not happy with the War of the Spanish Succession? I’d like it if, in the comments, someone could offer a better reason behind Teach’s name for his ship. Writers Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift & pirate aficionado Daniel Defoe flourished under Queen Anne, so maybe her reign really was culture’s balmiest day—but why did she need to be avenged?

Anyway, he only captained Queen Anne’s Revenge for 3 years before she sunk off North Carolina. And so I had the wonderful opportunity to paint a sunken pirate ship for Eve Bunting’s new book, P is for Pirate. It was also a chance to pay tribute to fantastic illustrator Lloyd K. Townsend. When I say ‘pay tribute to’, of course I mean ‘steal shamelessly from’. I’ve admired Townsend since I was a wee lad, seeing his paintings in National Geographic. One in particular, from 1979, shows the sunken Spanish treasure ship Tolosa. This was my—cough—inspiration for R is for Revenge. Hey, at least I turned the ship around to face the other way!

Herewith, work in progress:

Townsend's painting from National Geographic December 1979 thumbnail sketch rough tight sketch color sketch painting in progress… IMGP1693 IMGP1694 IMGP1695 IMGP1696 IMGP1697 IMGP1698 IMGP1699 IMGP1700 IMGP1701 IMGP1702 IMGP1703 IMGP1704 IMGP1705 IMGP1706 finished painting

4 Comments on R is for Revenge, last added: 8/18/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. Q is for Queen

Here is one of my favorites from P is for Pirate, the notorious Grace O’Malley—Irish queen & pirate captain. She was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and reportedly had an interview with Gloriana (who, after all, had a soft spot for buccaneers).

Queen Grace has been the subject of songs, at least one play and even a musical. So far as I know the swashbuckling Maureen O’Hara never played her in a movie, but what perfect casting that would have been!

I show Queen Grace in an Errol Flynn pose with her ruffians behind her. In the sketch I thoughtlessly drew a baroque-looking ship like we’re used to seeing from piracy’s golden age. In the final painting I used the Mayflower—much closer in style to a ship from Queen Grace’s time—as reference. Same deal with the costumes: they’re Elizabethan. I first drew her in men’s clothes but thought she looks much cuter in a dress.

Thumbnail sketch Errol Flynn in Captain Blood Tight sketch—in a man's costume In a dress with skirts hiked up for ease of movement Color sketch IMGP1534 IMGP1535 IMGP1622 IMGP1623 IMGP1624 IMGP1625 IMGP1626 IMGP1627 IMGP1628 IMGP1629 IMGP1630 IMGP1632 IMGP1633 IMGP1634 IMGP1635 IMGP1636 Queen

0 Comments on Q is for Queen as of 8/13/2014 3:02:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. A is for Articles

Here is your Monday dose of P is for Pirate—available in bookstores everywhere by Eve Bunting from Sleeping Bear Press.

The Articles were the pirates’ ethical guidelines which set out rules for behavior & working conditions aboard ship. New crew members signed them before becoming part of the ship’s company. Did you know that the pirate captain was elected—and could be voted out if he didn’t meet the crew’s expectations?

Pirates who couldn’t read or write made an X at the bottom of the contract and a clerk would write next to it, “John Manders (or whatever the sailor’s name was), his mark.”

sketch color sketch Painting in progress… IMGP1532 IMGP1533 IMGP1610 IMGP1611 IMGP1612 IMGP1613 IMGP1614 IMGP1615 IMGP1616 IMGP1617 IMGP1618

0 Comments on A is for Articles as of 8/11/2014 9:35:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Ahoy, ye sea dogs!

l_9781585368150_fcP is for Pirate is here!

As long-time readers know, the subject of pirates is a favorite of mine. You can imagine how happy I was when Sleeping Bear Press asked me to illustrate Eve Bunting’s latest, P is for Pirate. 

Here’s how the jacket art came together. Some rough sketches, a tight sketch based on the approved rough, the painting in progress. I lost something in the tight sketch—the pirate doesn’t have the same aggressiveness & oomph—so I went back to the rough sketch to paint from. That’s my dear old African Grey, Sherman, sitting on his shoulder. How I miss him! I like this low-key palette, mostly blacks, greys and red. The talented Felicia Macheske was my art director on this project. I will show more images throughout the month.

piratecover.tn.A179 piratecover.tn.B181 piratecover.tn.C180 piratecover.sk IMGP1753 IMGP1754 IMGP1755 IMGP1756 IMGP1757 I'm using a palette knife to scrape red paint over the black background. IMGP1759 IMGP1760 IMGP1761 IMGP1762 IMGP1763 IMGP1764 IMGP1765 IMGP1766 IMGP1767

3 Comments on Ahoy, ye sea dogs!, last added: 8/8/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Wild Things

Wild Things! is a new book coming out about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories of writing and illustrating picture books.

I contributed a story about Prancing, Dancing Lily—the cow who loved to dance—that didn’t make the cut for the book. However, you can read it on the book’s website here.

 


0 Comments on Wild Things as of 7/18/2014 12:55:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival this weekend

I’ll be here drawing caricatures Thursday, Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday.


0 Comments on Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival this weekend as of 7/2/2014 2:19:00 PM
Add a Comment
8. Princess India

IMAG0535

I lost India, my beloved studio-mate Saturday, June 7th. I’m only now able to write about her.  She was loved and maybe even a little spoiled. India was her mama’s baby but she spent the workday with me. Not only was she my work companion—as well as the official Studio 27B greeter—India made many cameo appearances in my books. I’ve compiled them here. There are probably more and I’ll add them as I find them.

Sleep well, my princess.

india.hike India's first cameo in Broccoli Dog by Lynne Berry (Ladybug Magazine September 2003). From Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller (Viking 2008). From Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller (Viking 2008). From Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller (Viking 2008). In the boat with her pal, Brandon. Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky (Viking 2009) Color by Vince Dorse. Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky (Viking 2009) Color by Vince Dorse. India in her winter jacket, helping to deliver presents. From The Year Without a Santa Claus by Phyllis McGinley (Marshall Cavendish 2010). From The Really Awful Musicians (Clarion 2011) Snoozing in Studio 27B.

IMAG0353


3 Comments on Princess India, last added: 6/20/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. A Funny Thing Happened on the Road to Damascus

Once again I had the honor of being substitute preacher at Second Presbyterian Church in Oil City. While we’ve been without a pastor we elders have stepped up and taken turns at the pulpit. Our new pastor, Rev. Greg Gillispie, will take over in July.

This time around my subject was the stoning of Saint Stephen and the introduction of that one-man paramilitary wing of the Sanhedrin, Saul—found in Acts 7:55-60.

afunnything.title stephen saul characterarc dorothy mcqueen heisenberg unhorsed paul

My talk centered around storytelling—particularly visual storytelling. Here you can see character designs for Stephen and Saul; an explanation of character arc used Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Lightning McQueen from Cars, and Walter White from Breaking Bad; Saul’s Road to Damascus moment; and Saint Paul who shaped the young Christian Church through his writings.

This was some of the best fun I’ve had speaking in front of a group. I am grateful for a supportive and forgiving congregation! Best wishes & welcome to Rev. Gillispie.


0 Comments on A Funny Thing Happened on the Road to Damascus as of 5/21/2014 2:02:00 PM
Add a Comment
10. A fun week at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School

Thank you for inviting me!

IMAG0592 IMAG0594 IMAG0593-1


0 Comments on A fun week at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School as of 5/17/2014 2:36:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. The Picture of Oscar Wilde

Here is the third in a series of three images for the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure—specifically for the world premiere of L’Hôtel, a new comedy by Ed Dixon. The cast is stars from the recent and distant past. I showed you Sarah Bernhardt. and Jim Morrison. Here now is Oscar Wilde.

By the way, this painting and the two others will be on display at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show which opens this evening and continues through July 20th.

wilde.gesture.1 wilde.sk IMGP1995 IMGP1996 IMGP1997 IMGP1998 IMGP1999 IMGP2000 Oscar 400

0 Comments on The Picture of Oscar Wilde as of 5/9/2014 3:22:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. Jim Morrison

Here is the second in a series of three images for the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure—specifically for the world premiere of L’Hôtel, a new comedy by Ed Dixon. The cast is stars from the recent and distant past. Yesterday I showed you Sarah Bernhardt. Here is Jim Morrison—sketches and final painting. I can’t seem to find work-in-progress photos for this one. I must have forgotten to take them. You’ll notice that instead of thumbnail sketches I’ve done gesture sketches of these characters. I was trying to capture their attitude as well as likeness.

By the way, this painting and the two others will be on display at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show which opens this Friday evening.

morrison.gesture.1 morrison.gesture.2 morrison.gesture.3 morrison.sk Jim 400

1 Comments on Jim Morrison, last added: 5/9/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. The Divine Sarah

This past January I had the pleasure of creating images for the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure—this time for the world premiere of L’Hôtel, a new comedy by Ed Dixon. The cast of characters is 6 stars from the recent and distant past. Art Director Paul Schifino asked me to create stand-alone caricatures of 3 of them: Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt. Here are sketches, painting-in-progress and the finished art of the Divine Sarah.

By the way, this painting and two others will be on display at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show which opens this Friday evening.

bernhardt.gesture.1 bernhardt.gesture.3 bernhardt.gesture.2 bernhardt.sk IMGP1980 IMGP1981 IMGP1982 IMGP1983 IMGP1984 IMGP1985 IMGP1986 IMGP1987 IMGP1988 IMGP1989 IMGP1990 IMGP1991 IMGP1992 IMGP1993 IMGP1994 Sarah 400

2 Comments on The Divine Sarah, last added: 5/9/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. Some great ink!

Thank you, Claire Kirsch, for your fine reportage on my recent visit to Penns Manor Elementary and my collaboration with the students to create the horrible & dreadful Baby Pandasaurus Rex! Read all about it here.


0 Comments on Some great ink! as of 5/3/2014 5:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. Bilingual Ukrainian-English Picturebooks

I received a note from a former student this morning, and thought I’d pass it along. Oksana and here friends want to publish picture books with both Ukrainian & English texts. The link explains the project.

Dear John, This is Oksana Lushchevska writing to you. I want to share some information and ask you to share it, if it is possible. This is a project, which I and my friends organized as a result of my taking International children’s literature course and all the issues and events that might be observed in minor literatures. I think this can be a good way of fostering awareness about Ukrainian children’s literature. Here is a link to “Becoming Global: Bilingual Ukrainian-English Picturebooks.” Please consider supporting and sharing it, again, if you can. Thank you!

Sincerely, Oksana


0 Comments on Bilingual Ukrainian-English Picturebooks as of 5/2/2014 5:51:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. Irish Jack the Cat

What a wonderful little video clip! If you’ve read Catherine Friend’s The Perfect Nest, you’ll enjoy watching this Perfect Nest in Ireland

babies.model jack.model


0 Comments on Irish Jack the Cat as of 4/25/2014 1:07:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Thanks, Penns Manor Elementary!

IMAG0579


0 Comments on Thanks, Penns Manor Elementary! as of 4/24/2014 5:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. New item at Etsy

For all you fans of antique medical curiosities here’s Doctor Lackzoom’s Patented Head Transplant Procedure, a little portrait I did based on an old photo. You can purchase it at my Etsy shop.

IMGP2028 IMGP2029 IMGP2030 IMGP2069 IMGP2070 IMGP2071

0 Comments on New item at Etsy as of 4/5/2014 6:59:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Here’s Charlie

Twenty-fourteen is a big year here in Oil City, Pennsylvania. It was 100 years ago, just a couple of doors up from my studio address, that Charlie Chaplin signed his first movie deal with Mack Sennett. Charlie was performing at the Lyric Theater with Fred Karno’s comedy troupe and met Sennett in between acts to sign the contract. Here’s a detailed account of Charlie’s early career.

I was approached by the Friends of the Library to create a stand-alone cut-out of Charlie. They wanted him big—8 feet tall. I went over to the library to see where Charlie would be installed and discovered that there is not very much floor space but there is ample height—the main floor’s ceiling is about 16 feet high. I scrapped the drawing I’d done of Charlie standing and drew Charlie suspended, using his cane as a hook. I think this pose fits his acrobatic style.

I enlarged my drawing onto pieces of foam board. The project is 3 ply, so that I could paint front & back without it warping. His arm has a center of plywood and his cane itself is 3 pieces of plywood laminated together, since it supports the whole piece.

He is painted with acrylic in black & white, of course!

hangingcharlie.front charliechaplin.sk hangingcharlie.front hangingcharlie.back IMGP1914 IMGP1915 IMGP1916 IMGP1917 IMGP1918 IMGP1919 IMGP1920 IMGP1921 IMGP1922 IMGP1923 IMGP1924 IMGP1925 IMGP1940 IMGP1941 IMGP1942 IMGP1943 IMGP1944 IMGP1945 IMGP1946 IMGP1947 IMGP1948 IMGP1949 IMGP1951 IMGP1952 IMGP1953 IMGP1954 IMGP1955 IMGP1956 IMGP1957 IMGP1958 IMGP1959 IMGP1960 IMGP1961 IMGP1964 IMGP1965 IMGP1966 IMGP1967 IMGP1968 IMGP1969 IMGP1970 IMGP1971 IMGP1972 IMGP1973 IMGP1974 IMGP1975 IMGP1976 IMGP1977 IMGP1978 IMGP1979 IMGP2001 IMGP2002 IMGP2003 IMGP2004 IMGP2005


0 Comments on Here’s Charlie as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
20. Lagoon in the Afternoon on ebay

I’m auctioning my thrift-store-painting-with-a-monster, Lagoon in the Afternoon, over at ebay. . Happy bidding!

Lagoon in the Afternoon


1 Comments on Lagoon in the Afternoon on ebay, last added: 2/10/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
21. A martini for Harriet

johnmanders:

3/3/14: I wrote this a few years ago. My clunky writing style back then concealed rather than expressed my feelings. I’m not changing it, though. And no adult beverages today! I’m abstaining from absolutely everything til Easter.

Originally posted on John Manders' Blog:

I’m going to deviate from my standard practice of avoiding adult topics in this blog—usually I keep it kid-friendly.  Today, however, I mention the name of an adult beverage.

That’s because today is different.  The proprieties must be observed.  Today seven years ago my beautiful, clever, witty, passionate, fun, inspiring agent—Harriet Kasak—lost her battle with cancer.

She was the iconic urbane sophisticate, living and working in Manhattan, the capital of Western Civilization.  It was our practice whenever we met, once the business aspect of the meeting was finished, to have a martini.  I like mine with gin, extremely dry (only enough vermouth to coat the glass) and 3 olives–served cold enough to freeze your lips.  And so I’m enjoying one now as I write this post.

In the mid 1990’s, early in my illustration career, Harriet took my edgy, trying-too-hard-to-be-post-modern style and showed me how to make it accessible.  She taught me how to draw little girls, which was/is difficult for me (yes, she showed me by drawing them herself).  For one of my early titles—a history of eating utensils—she accompanied me to the Metropolitan Museum where I drew sketches of various species of forks, knives and spoons from ancient cultures.  She found joy in the business of promoting her artists.

View original


0 Comments on A martini for Harriet as of 3/3/2014 2:24:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Make your reservations now!

I am booking school visits in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for Read Across America Week, March 2 – 6, 2015. Friday the 6th just got reserved this morning. If I can book the whole week, everybody gets me for 25% off the regular rate.

Contact Lisa— bookings@johnmanders.com


2 Comments on Make your reservations now!, last added: 3/13/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. Target offers grants for reading programs!

If you’re a school librarian looking to hire an author or illustrator to present to your students (hint, hint) Target is accepting applications for Early Childhood Reading Grants.

I’m busily putting together a world tour. I’ll be barnstorming across New York State and Pennsylvania—maybe winding up in Connecticut—September/October 2014.

I’ll be in the Pittsburgh area for Read Across America Week, March 2 – 6, 2015.

If I’m booked for 2 or more consecutive days in the same area, I’ll give those schools a discount on my speaking fee. If you’re interested e-mail Lisa at Bookings@johnmanders.com.


0 Comments on Target offers grants for reading programs! as of 3/20/2014 12:19:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. More grants for early reading programs

As I mentioned yesterday, Target offers grant money to schools and organizations who need help with an early reading program. An early reading program might entail hiring a children’s book author/illustrator to present to students (he said rather shamelessly).

Dollar General also has a grant program for early literacy/youth development—as does Barbara Bush, Verizon, Scripps-Howard, and Clorox.

Here is a round-up of foundations who offer grant money for summer reading programs. Here are awards & grants available from the International Reading Association.

If you would like a detailed description of my presentations to help you apply for these grants, be sure to give me a yell!


0 Comments on More grants for early reading programs as of 3/21/2014 2:53:00 PM
Add a Comment
25. Loud art poster

I don’t think I ever posted this—it’s a poster I designed for an exhibit of music-related art at the Graffiti Gallery here in the National Transit Building in early 2013. I was without a camera at the time and took these in-progress photos with my cell phone. I finally uploaded them to my computer. Enjoy!

IMAG0471 IMAG0472 IMAG0473 IMAG0474 paletteguitar Layout 1

0 Comments on Loud art poster as of 4/2/2014 9:37:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts