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Viewing Blog: John Manders' Blog, Most Recent at Top
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Saving Western Civ through kids' book illustration
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1. 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

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2. 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

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3. 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!


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4. 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.


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5. 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
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6. 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.

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7. 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
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8. 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


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9. 2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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10. Another shot at the pulpit

Last Sunday I had the honor of giving another sermon at Second Presbyterian Church in Oil City, Pa, while we’re between pastors. Like last time, I drew a bunch of cartoons to illustrate what I had to say. The scripture that week was Matthew 3:1-12, where John the Baptist shows up and tells the Pharisees that they’re a ‘brood of vipers’.

My sermon was titled ‘Paths & Gatekeepers’. I had a blast—many thanks to the congregation for putting up with my silliness!

title.proclam349 John the Baptist locust johnthebaptist348 locustsnhoney345 straightpath353 crookedpath354 Brood of vipers sects Pharisees: rigorous adherence to written Law of Moses Saducees: strict observance of Temple ritual bouncer metaphor362 rootandbranch361 flail356 winnowingfork357 babyjesus364

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11. 3D Henry

Look what I got in my inbox!

Mohamed from Egypt is learning 3d programs. He used my model sheet of Henry  (from Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies) to create this beautiful digital image. I love the textures of the different articles of clothing—the leather vest, the woolen shirt.

mohamed.henry

digital art created by Mohamed Eldemerdash

Thanks, Mohamed!


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12. Bigfoot

Hey, Gang—if you are among those unhappy people who haven’t read Vince Dorse’ Untold Tales of Bigfoot, you can change that right away! Vince is up to page 66 already, but you can find the entire story in the archives.

Happy reading!


2 Comments on Bigfoot, last added: 11/25/2013
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13. Stupid riddle…

giraffe.1This is one of those silly FaceBook fads at the moment. One of my friends had this message posted:

I lost the great giraffe challenge. I dare you to try it. The deal is I give you a riddle; you get it right, you keep your profile pic. You get it wrong, you change your profile pic to a giraffe for the next three days! Message me only the answers! Don’t give out the answer! Here is the riddle: 3am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. It’s your parents and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open? Remember …MESSAGE ME only. If you get it right, I will post your name here, otherwise you change your picture. GIRAFFE IT UP!!!

So I answered, but incorrectly.  Here is the answer. Now my FaceBook profile is adorned for the next 3 days with this adorable little giraffe.

By the way, he could be yours—


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14. Happy St Crispin’s Day!

But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Spoken by Henry; from William Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act IV Scene 3

Gang, this beautiful language is our inheritance—a gift to us from people long gone. Here is the entire scene. More info here. If you saw the Queen Elizabeth movie that came out a few years ago, you’ll remember Cate Blanchett in armor giving a speech to her troops just before they battle the Spanish. I assumed the screenwriters had been inspired by the King Henry speech above. Silly me, I got it backwards—in fact it was Queen Bess’ speech that had inspired Shakespeare.


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15. An award for Finnegan!

m_9781585367849Finnegan and Fox: The Ten Foot Cop has been selected by the Creative Child Awards committee (consisting of moms and educators) for a 2013 SEAL OF EXCELLENCE AWARD in the Kids Storybooks category!


5 Comments on An award for Finnegan!, last added: 10/9/2013
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16. Get ‘em while they’re hot

Amazon is running a special on kids’ book throughout September—all under ten bucks. Among them is Jack and the Giant Barbecue. What a sweet deal!

jack.1415


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17. A nice review of Finnegan & Fox

In an article about introducing kids to careers. Click here and scroll down a little.


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18. Substitute preacher

I had the honor of preaching at my church this morning—Second Presbyterian Church of Oil City. Our beloved pastor left to explore his new path in ministry, so now we’re looking for a new one. In the meantime, we elders are taking turns at the pulpit.

My sermon was about Luke 8:26 – 39—Jesus healing the Gerasene demoniac. As you might have guessed, there were lots of visuals.

title bigfatgreek zorba yogurt demoniac demon pig swineherd funmath piggybank townspeople of Gerasa alexander EPA jesus emptyvessel

 


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19. What an honor!

Jack and the Giant Barbecue has been nominated for a Reuben award!


1 Comments on What an honor!, last added: 3/26/2013
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20. The Reuben Award

From the press release my lovely wife wrote:

“The National Cartoonists Society 67th Annual Reuben Awards were held in Pittsburgh this past weekend. Manders, a first time attendee and nominee, won a Reuben Award in the Book Illustration division. The award was presented to him by Sandra Boynton. John is a local children’s book illustrator who resides in Franklin and has a studio at the National Transit Building in Oil City. Fellow nominees in his division were John Martz and Dave Whammond. John was honored to have been nominated with such talented cartoonists. Seven cartoonists/artists were nominated from Pittsburgh including George Schill, Pat Lewis, Vince Dorse, Mark Brewer, Michael McParlane and Wayno.”

What an honor! What a fun weekend! Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported me over the years.


3 Comments on The Reuben Award, last added: 5/31/2013
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21. The Reuben Award

From the press release my lovely wife wrote:

“The National Cartoonists Society 67th Annual Reuben Awards were held in Pittsburgh this past weekend. Manders, a first time attendee and nominee, won a Reuben Award in the Book Illustration division. The award was presented to him by Sandra Boynton. John is a local children’s book illustrator who resides in Franklin and has a studio at the National Transit Building in Oil City. Fellow nominees in his division were John Martz and Dave Whammond. John was honored to have been nominated with such talented cartoonists. Seven cartoonists/artists were nominated from Pittsburgh including George Schill, Pat Lewis, Vince Dorse, Mark Brewer, Michael McParlane and Wayno.”

What an honor! What a fun weekend! Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported me over the years.


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22. What an honor!

Jack and the Giant Barbecue has been nominated for a Reuben award!


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23. A fun interview

Click over to Kathy Temean’s blog—she interviewed me and posted a bunch of images.


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24. A fun interview

Click over to Kathy Temean’s blog—she interviewed me and posted a bunch of images.


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25. Douglas Fairbanks

I see Hesperus Project is doing another one of their wonderful musical accompaniments to a silent film—this time around, it’s The Mark of Zorro, with the mighty Douglas Fairbanks.

I love these concerts. If you like ancient music or silent movies—or both—you’ll want to see and listen. A while back these guys were in Pittsburgh courtesy of the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh. They put together a concert of mediæval music for another Fairbanks flick, Robin Hood. Here is the art I created for the promotional poster.

By the way, if you’ve seen the 2011 movie The Artist, you’ve already seen one of Douglas Fairbanks’ daring stunts from Zorro painstakingly recreated for a new audience.


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