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Results 9,076 - 9,100 of 155,400
9076. Only In Europe: A 90-Minute Donald Duck Documentary

"The Donald Duck Principle" attempts to explain the lasting success of Donald Duck.

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9077. Keiko: Wild Rumpus

For more Keiko, see my Keiko comic archives.

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9078. Smaug and Scale

via Temple of the Seven Golden Camels http://ift.tt/1BBj2Rf

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9079. Printable: With Our Thoughts We Make Our World

The quotation, as a whole, reads:

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world." -- Buddha

And there's a version that has "the" world instead of "our", but I prefer the idea that it's our world that we are, each one of us, constantly creating, changing, evolving, and choosing to live in.


03 Make Our World by Floating Lemons


Here are a few of the in-progress shots I remembered to take while drawing and painting ...






It then went for a huge clean-up in Photoshop, and will now be offered as a free printable to subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. So if you'd like to download it (or any of the printables being given away in 2015) to print out for yourself, just sign up HERE.

I'm now off to think loads of good thoughts, and wish you a week full of wonderful ones. Cheers.



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9080. First few passes of color. #comic #kidlit #illustration #sketch ...

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9081. world book day 2015 costume round-up!

If you follow this blog, you'll know I love dressing up, and it's SUCH a rush to see other people dressed up as characters in books I've helped create! So here's this year's round-up, and it's SUPER EXCITING. Check out Oliver and Iris from Oliver and the Seawigs:

Poppy, tweeted by @rebeccamascull; mermaid tweeted by @HollySwainUK

And a KILLER CAKE from Cakes in Space! (I was SO hoping Philip Reeve and I would get a character from that one, hooray!)

Tweeted by @RachLilBC

Check out this spooky Jampire!! David O'Connell and I were hugely chuffed to see this!

Tweeted by @nidpor

Claire Freedman and I were thrilled to see some caped heroes from Superkid!

Tweeted by @alexchiorando and @annaborthwick2

Joel, via Facebook

And here were some of my other favourite costumes! Check out Larry Ladybird from the Gary's Garden comics in The Phoenix Comic by Gary Northfield.

Via Caroline Smith on Facebook

Be sure to check out his Gary's Garden book of collected strips; it's ace. And check out the brand-new trailer for Gary's book Julius Zebra!

Last one, Joe Undrill dressed as Fish-Head Steve, by Jamie Smart. Fabulous!

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9082. The Making of ROLLER GIRL

Oh boy oh boy, VERY FEW DAYS REMAINING until the release of ROLLER GIRL! I am preparing for my book release parties as we speak! (hint: a rainbow of frosting). In the meantime, please enjoy a *free* e-book on the making of ROLLER GIRL- you can click on the image to download a pdf file.

And if you're in the Portland area, please come to my party! You know it will involve rainbow frosting, so how can you say no?

Tuesday, March 10th
7 pm
Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Saturday, March 14th
2 pm
Green Bean Books

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9083. Sailor’s First Story (that you’ve heard, that is)

(written between the 18th and 19th of February, 2015 in one straight sitting (a story written when time crosses midnight, is likely to have a few more strands and maybe bad words, than others)

Title: Sailor’s First Story (that you’ve heard, that is)

There are stories for the telling
and there are those which ain’t
– that’s what I’ve been told,
but I still can’t see no difference.

So I’ll throw a whole
flock of them at you
and you can decide
which is which.


I blows the stories out
as they come
– just as they come,
so sometimes there’s two middles,
or no end,
or even just three beginnings.

And if you want to know more about me
– well that’s definitely the one story
I know’s not worth telling.

All I give is my name
and that’s Sailor.


How dee doo?
Good I hope
and if not so,
spin three times,
blink at the sky
hard and long,
then think on this:


They called her Butterfly,
sometimes Terfly for short.
Not because of some airy, light beauty,
no, more because she’d never stop,
never alight in one damn place longer than a flea bite
(I’m telling of them fleas that bite for nanoseconds,
not thems others that grip on long and not be shaken
even on the brutalest fairground Waltzers).

And this goes for lovers too
– soon as some poor fret
had been dazzled by her shimmery
blizzards of soft words,
she’d be off with their hearts
and on to the next habitation
and over and over again.
Three a month. More.

Some say she’d never been held,
time-stopping slow and gentle,
s’why she’d never stay, get cosy
and ease into her self and surrounds.

Others say her old man’s bark,
– approx. three per minute – startled her so bad,
she couldn’t stop still for longer than
a third of a minute


(you see – now I know that last bit’s
dreadful storytelling for at least three reasons,
but it came out that way,
puffed out crooked.
And now it’s out there,
there it stays.
them’s the rules).

Terfly had more skills and talents than
an army of circuses and every single one in them,
including the animals.

It’s easier to tell
what she couldn’t do.
And that’s cook, sew and clean.

But the others
she’d do so well,
there was always and every
opportunities flowing
wherever she landed.
So that suited
her flit-flight nature.


Now that’s a long beginning.
And we ain’t yet got no middle
and certainly no inkling of an ending.

I’m never sure what’s its shape
when it’s coming out.
This one feels like a two middler,
so hold your horses
(and don’t forgets to give thems a sugar,
or apple, and tell thems they the best.
And anyone else hanging round
as long as them’s deserving.
Respect’s earnt, you know that, right?
There’s no respecting no one who ain’t worthy of that respect, thems like a barking-three-times-per-minute Pa, or a cold-heart Ma with no soft in her arms for snuggling and comfort).


Here’s the two middles.
Them’s short.

1) Terfly falls in love for the first time
with SkyLock, a cloud-tenter
(thems that make the hovering, giant bauble things for circuses – look just like bubbles, but there’s windows and seats so folks can get a good look from all angles – and you have to be trained for hundreds of years, so easy it is to get it wrong and have families flying they won’t have you back, that particular habitation).

2) SkyLock’s heard her reputation
and builds a special cloud-tent
– sets out backwards to make one
that goes against all the training
– one that will take them away, away,
keeps her with him,
no flit-flighting this one no more.


Now here’s the thing.
He’s not liking that there’s no cooking, cleaning, sewing
– he’d made this cloud-tent fixed up to the nines with all the latest a chief chef could desire
but all she does, Terfly, is fret
– fret so loudly, wolves can hear her
twenty one summers away.

SkyLock regrets keeping her
– useless he thinks
and barks for the third time that minute.


Now. He knows well
there’s no ties for her
– no family wanting and wishing and missing her soft heart,
or sweet song, or tip-tap dancing so mesmerising
you can’t do for anything after, just gaze long-lost into nothing.

So he shoves her out
cruel as war,
shoves her out, barking every bad a sailor’s ever heard
and that’s the baddest bad ever of all. And then three times more.

Okay, but here’s the thing
(and I think this might be something of an ending,
or is it another beginning?
Who know, who cares,
I’m puffing hard and fast now,
couldn’t stop if you corked my straw).


Sudden, Terfly discovers
she’s got a skill she never knew:
she can fly! Well, more like a kind of flitty-swooshing
(have you watched a feather fall lately?
If not, do. it gives you the answer to everything.
Straight up.
And down).

So she’s flitty-swooshing,
soft and grinning, singing free
and happy-to-bursting.

She scoffs love.
Maybe that’s why Pa barked
and Ma was ice-cold
– maybe that’s what love does.

But no sooner this sad thought’s out there,
almost like it’s visible or something,
there’s this creature – a humale kinda,
but his legs joined like a merman
and fins as well as arms, but ohhhh, so handsome,
just thinking of him I’m getting half-lid dream-eyes.

He catches her
(she ain’t quite mastered all them sky-diving tricks yet).
And holds her long…
And holds her soft…
And holds her gentle…

And slow-by-slow,
her cheek finds his upper arm
– it feels good enough she cries,
fist time ever. And he brushes and strokes
her hairs and head and that little tiny bit
where somes of us can grow bristle-hairs.

And she’s thinking:
no, this is love.
This is DEFINITELY love.
This is something all shades of new,
new as flying,
new as tomorrow’s sunrise,
new as the butterflies
beneath my tum-button
and she stays absolutely mushy-soft-still
in that place
for longer than all the time
she’s been on this god-forsaken land.


That’s the first.

Will you stay for more?
They come plenty.
Long as there’s ears and eyes.

I also like, every now and then,
the odd pat and smile,
or treat, you know
– that little something that says
I’m here and that’s
not too much hell of a thing…



PS: Shhhh. This next bit’s not for sharing:

(“Thanks Sailor!”

That’s me, typing up the words.

I love this little feller that came into my life as a surprise gift from the cafe owner where I sit painting pigeons and other all-kinds-of-odd most days. I think he’s seen me drooling over it every time I get a new napkin to wipe brushes. There’s something just so sweet, funny and compelling about him – can’t put my finger on it, but I’m so glad he’s landed in my life.

I’m to bed now. I pat Sailor, pass him a sugar. Tell him he’s lovely.
He grins. I nod and grins back :-).

PSS: I’ve found out Sailor likely came from the HMS Warwick Castle, biggest navy ship in both wars – went down in 1944, with Lucky Lady, a small ship, sailing out to help any survivors.


Filed under: flying, journeys, love, sea

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9084. House of the Bishop

House of the Bishop by Ellen Beier, from Les Miserables
     In this image, Jean Valjean returns to the house of the Bishop: from the (abridged) text: “What a wretch I am!” he exclaimed, and he burst into tears for the first time in 19 years. Valjean realized that he had to change. When the church clock chimed three on that morning, he was kneeling in prayer at the bishop’s door.

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9085. Frank Viva

Read a terrific interview with illustrator Frank Viva at American Illsustration

...and here's a video on his delightful MOMA book 'Young Frank, Architect'...

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9086. Writing Devices: Pros and Cons of Connectivity

By Joyce Audy Zarins Mobility increases productivity. Although you write B.I.C. (Jane Yolen’s famous rule #1 on writing: keep your “Butt in Chair”), that chair now has wings. With the right connectivity between devices, you can write anywhere you are. There are definite pros and cons to being connected through different devices, so be aware […]

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9087. Module 003


Module 003 | It takes 12 modules to make a sphere. The sphere is very light and is about the size of a softball. The module has 5 arms. I created one arm and then rotated it 72° around a center point to create the module shown below.


Module 003 | All 12 modules are cut from one letter size (text weight) piece of paper. The hooks are too little small. I need to make them larger next time.

note | I am beginning this exploration building with modules. If you have some interest in the subject, please contact me and share what you are doing.

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9088. Travel Journal: Studies

When on vacation, there is plenty of drawing time, and I love that! It gives me the opportunity to take the time to do elaborate drawings, but also to study. Trying out new techniques for example, or focusing on drawing things that may seem daunting to draw.

During my trip to Thailand in February, one morning I sat down after breakfast to have a very, very long look at the surf. Then I looked some more. And even more. I focused on the patterns the water made, the ripples, the waves, the foam and air bubbles, the swirls and movements of the water, the reflections and the transparency. The constant moving of the subject was very challenging, but I just got into the page and started drawing bits and pieces, focusing on the different aspects and trying to translate them onto the paper, discovering new things with each pen stroke and with each long stretch of looking at the sea. This whole process gave me a lot of insights and was very interesting.

Another thing I don't draw often: animals. I don't have pets, and even though I love looking at dogs and other animals - I hardly draw them because I don't seem to get the chance. Which basically means that I never take the chance to draw an animal.
In thailand, I got lucky because I found myself sitting close to sleeping cats a few times. A great opportunity to study and learn.
Even on lazy holidays, there's always room to study and learn.

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9089. Eye Level in Complex Street Scenes

In the upcoming issue of International Artist magazine (April/May 2015, Issue #102), I'll present an article about how to establish the eye level line in a scene, and why it's important.

If you were standing in front of an ocean or a flat desert, the eye level would be the same thing as the horizon. But in many scenes, the horizon is not visible. So you can think of the eye level as the line of your level gaze, where the horizon line would be if you could remove everything in front of it.

Layout sketch for Dinosaur Boulevard, pencil on tracing paper, 5 x 10 in.

When I planned the painting "Dinosaur Boulevard" for Dinotopia, I did a lot of small layout studies like this one. The eye level is drawn right through the whole scene, and marked "EL." The eye level is important here because it establishes the height of the viewer in relation to the scene. The line intersects all the forms—human and saurian—about five and a half feet.

Dinosaur Parade Layout, pencil layout, 7 x 14 inches
Here's an early sketch for Dinosaur Parade, drawn in pencil from my imagination, before I sought out any references. The actual ground plane shifts as the figures descend the stairs, but the eye level is still essential for the construction of the perspective and the placement of the figures.
This will be my 34th consecutive article for International Artist, the magazine which GurneyJourney readers rated #1 overall.
The paintings in the article are all currently on view in Stamford, Connecticut through May 25.
I cover this topic in Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist
It's also covered in How to Draw by Scott Robertson

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9090. Edinburgh - Pictures 5

I promised more from today and here you go...
Just across from Hollyrood Castle sits the Parliament building (seems appropriate). It's modern architecture stirred some debate when it was first built, but I think it's grown on everybody:

     And just south of both lies the infamous Arthurs Seat:

     A new friend, Blythe, mentioned how hard it is to get lost in Edinburgh because of the enormous landmarks - the castle, Hollyrood, Arthur's Seat, etc. We will walk to the top one of these days, but gads, we need to get our legs in slightly better shape first. (And I say that after almost a week of solid walking... on cobblestone streets and slate sidewalks.)
     Instead of the mountain, we walked up a road that ran parallel to The Royal Mile and also turned into Grassmarket eventually (a central area for us). Before long we found ourselves back at a restaurant where we met friends for a foodie event at the beginning of our visit - Hemma, so we stopped in for refreshments. We had no idea we were as close as we were - but that's been true of the entire town. It's just not terribly huge. In fact, we headed south towards Newington (not the same as New Town) to check it out, and ran into Blythe on the sidewalk! This is a SMALL town and I love it! Alongside the sidewalk was this scene - a hillside of budding white, yellow and purple crocuses

growing against the

In Newington we again cut north through the heart of the University of Edinburgh campus. Many buildings here have iron boot scrapers set into the rock beside the front doors:

On the other side of the Uni, we once again found ourselves in The Meadows - the lovely park we hope to live alongside when we move here. A violinist serenaded us as we walked. Actually, we stopped to rest for a moment and listen. He was marvelous. That was when I noticed the murals (click the images to see them larger in a new window):

The sign that described the murals had a QR code so I was able to access the website that got into more detail (brilliant!). CLICK HERE to read more about them. Gads, I adore that bear!
     We continued along the park path and were joined by friendly doggies. (Leash laws, if any, are rarely followed here - but the dogs are SO well behaved.)
     From there we went to the International Pub on the south end of Lothian Road (we're staying farther north), which was awesome. We didn't take any photos because it would have been weird. This place was the real deal - a billiards table, old men playing dominoes, horse races on the televisions (and a bookie in the corner), everybody knew everybody and I had a hot toddy. This may end up being our neighborhood hangout.
     But yeah, we were pretty exhausted after a great day, and DAYS of walking. So we headed back to our flat and now you're all caught up! Stan is making me a fabulous home-cooked meal in our wee little AirBnB kitchen. It smells so good in here!

Oh, and I almost forgot... They really do have these here:

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9091. ‘A Brief History of Skateboarding’ by Antonio Vicentini

Some skateboarding history squeezed into a few minutes of visuals.

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9092. Edinburgh - Pictures 4

Today we did the Royal Mile and I made a point of taking more pictures for you guys. But before we went, we ran up to Castle Terrace where they have a Farmer's Market every Saturday. We bought wild venison and wild garlic sausage to use for tonight's dinner. (The woman selling it said she'd harvested the garlic from the fields around her farm the day before.)

Yes, it was a rainy, windy morning (although not cold). Many folks just forego umbrellas because the wind either turns them inside out, they become dangerous weapons which might put out an eye, or the rain comes in right under them anyhow. But it's still bearable. ALL of the weather is bearable here, despite it's reputation.
     We also picked up one carrot, one parsnip, two potatoes, two onions, four mushrooms, and one wee head of cabbage (everybody says "wee" here and it is my new favorite word - like in "The Wee Free Men"!). Stan is making me a hearty stew as I type - so I have more time to share some details with you.
     SO! Back out, we headed to The Dogs for lunch - which was FABOO! It's up in New Town. We really like that part of town, but have decided it may be too far from the College of Art to be our residence. At any rate, after lunch, we headed for one of the main tourist destinations here - The Royal Mile - THE hot spot during The Fringe Festival in August...

No, it's not just a pub. It really is a mile - High Street or Canongate, as a matter of fact. And most of the partying centers here. The Royal Mile is a true tourist destination, so the local businesses play up everything Scottish, like Rabbie "Robert" Burns, a poet and local hero from the 1700s (author of Auld Lang Syne -

For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne.

And Robert Ferguson Scots...

With whom I had a lovely conversation whilst walking...

Despite the touristy nature of the road (which really isn't too over-the-top), there are some very cool random things to spot...

Including the John Knox House, which is the oldest house still standing on the Royal Mile:

(Did you notice the subtext on The Royal Mile pub window? "John Knox probably drank here." HA! Not.)
     At then end of The Royal Mile sits Hollyrood Castle - it's where the British Royal Family stays when they're in Scotland:

From there, we headed south a wee bit (ha!), then west. I'll make that another post...

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9093. "...like a memory recalled or a dream put to page.

You know what makes one a very happy author? Reading an analysis of your book as thoughtful as the  one Desmond White just wrote for Sequart. Go read it!

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9094. pictures mean business: historic moment!

At last, it's happened! The Bookseller trade magazine, from this week, is listing writers AND illustrators in the sales rankings for illustrated books! Hooray!!! This might look like a small thing, but it's a good start to being taken seriously as professionals who contribute to book sales.

Big thanks to journalist Charlotte Eyre and editor Philip Jones for making this happen. See here, you can spot Tony Ross, Garry Parsons and Axel Scheffler, who wouldn't have been listed as of last week:

If you take a look at their covers, you can immediately see these books aren't just words and paper; so much of what makes them is the illustrations:

Huge thanks to everyone who's been supporting the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign! Even when we've pointed things out, people have been incredibly helpful and made changes; there's no lack of goodwill, it's just sometimes people haven't noticed illustrators being left out. So what's happened so far?

What have we definitely achieved?

1. Carnegie listing: illustrators were included on the Carnegie medal longlist.

Writers were always listed on the Greenaway lists, even though it's an illustration award, and the listings had followed a long-standing format, using incomplete data supplied by Nielsen. (Philip Reeve has always freely credited me as a co-author for Oliver and the Seawigs so our own listing there was obviously incorrect. He's blogged about it here.) The committee still need to consider how illustrations play a part in judging these books, and if they can accept co-authored books in future lists.

2. An online and printed apology from The Bookseller for feature article celebrating writer Michael Rosen as the creator of the We're Going on a Bear Hunt picture book with no mention of illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

This kind of omission has been common in the media generally and hopefully we'll be seeing less of it. But The Bookseller is a trade magazine, and we really need our own book people to be pioneers in this - bloggers, publishers, parents, teachers, people who already love illustrated books.

3. The Book People amended the listings of winners on the website for the Red House Children's Book Awards to include illustrator Oliver Jeffers in the award for The Day the Crayons Quit.

Only writer Drew Daywalt had been credited, although apparently Jeffers was also credited in the printed press release. The website manager still hasn't fixed the listings for the other nominees. The Book People's Twitter spokesperson explained that they gathered their own data, but the website didn't allow enough characters on the line to include two names (so at least one co-author was also left out). The spokesperson said it might take awhile to fix this but they'd get on the case.

4. The Reading Agency amended their Summer Reading Challenge Record Breakers book collections online lists to include illustrators.

They had included some illustrators but not all, and they explained that their data came from the publishers. Kudos to them, they were very quick to fix this, and thanks to writer Caryl Hart for leading the way on this one.

5. The Bookseller magazine has begun listing illustrators in sales charts.

What still needs to happen?

1. The big book databases are still faulty.

These subscription-financed companies are still pumping out book information to many different sources that doesn't include the name of the illustrator (or often the translator). This is partly because their systems are badly in need of upgrading and partly because publishers still aren't filling in all the relevant 'meta data' when they register their books. Here's what's happening so far:

* Journalist at The Bookseller Charlotte Eyre and my agent, Jodie Hodges, are looking into this so they can go right to the companies with well-researched questions. So let them know if you have any good information or insights on the subject. I'm like most illustrators, I know something's wrong but I still don't know exactly what, because I don't have access to any of these subscription-only databases.

* Publishers, we're asking you: please, please be sure to fill in at least the names of your writers, illustrators and translators. And it would be great if you could include illustrator names on the front covers of illustrated books, to make the illustrator name easier to spot.

2. The wider media still needs to realise illustrators have a major role in creating picture books.

I don't want this to become a sort of witch hunt for people who accidentally leave out illustrators, but when, say, The Guardian does a features specifically about picture books, it seems nuts not to include the illustrators. Here's an example from World Book Day. The girl in the picture has made a terrific Superworm costume, based on the book by writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. The costume is a based on Axel's paintings of Superworm, but the journalist credits the book as 'Superworm by Julia Donaldson'. Even the parent is more clued in, recognising the 'Axel Scheffler style eyes', but Axel's name should really be in the book credits. Let's let children (and their parents) be inspired by illustrators as well as writers.

3. Teachers need reminded of the importance of illustration.

My Superkid co-author, writer Claire Freedman, supportively retweeted my bafflement at this World Book Day classroom poster. I love the enthusiasm of the teacher who made it, but since the whole poster is based on the visuals of Superkid, why has he or she only included Claire's name? (Claire didn't decide how Superkid was going to look.)

Teachers are missing a trick, if they're not teaching their kids that there's more than one role in creating a picture book, and that stories can be told through both writing AND drawing. Some people get into stories through words, some through pictures, and most through a combination of both. And drawing can be a way in to storytelling for many children. People who train teachers, if you could flag this to them, that would be wonderful.

4. ACLS payments.

To be honest, I don't know anything about this yet, but writer-illustrator Debi Gliori has flagged it:
The ALCS site only has categories for author, co-author, contributor etc on its site when one is entering books to be included for future royalty payments. When I coauthored or in other words illustrated a few books, it deemed my contribution to be 0% and credited me accordingly. That needs fixed too.

Does anyone want to get on the case with this one?

Again, thanks for your support, and if you could keep using the #PicturesMeanBusiness hash tag, that would be great! (Click here for past blog articles on the topic.) This affects everyone, not just illustrators. We'll get better illustrated books if people can do it for a living.

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9095. Fabric Sighting

Just spotted my Minky Fly Away bird print on a company's product that was just featured on the Shark Tank.

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9096. Halloween Circus Time-Lapse Animation

It’s interesting to me how some ideas take time to marinate, while others click right away. The Halloween Circus concept came late last year after the Quest For The Ore Crystals. The story concept was entirely different at the time. After a while, the project went to the back burner until recently. Out of nowhere the genie hit me on the head and I scripted the first draft of Halloween Circus.

One of the fun parts for me is the creation of the cover of a new project. Who knows if this cover will stick or not, but it was enjoyable to work on. Check out the time-lapse video below and let me know your thoughts. Ciao.


Here’s the final image from this session:


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9097. Wombat christmas roughs-

I like my roughs- often more than the finished thing.
So here is a dump of Wombat roughs from last year.I've just about finished the book itself now.

Looking at these and other stuff- I can see I was getting stuff done last year- just those last few months last year and most of January where I couldn't get my working week....

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9098. King Bronty Is Taking A Sick Day

Sorry, King Bronty only dreams of sword fighting today but will be fit for adventure next week!

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9099. Good news lately…

I can finally announce that I've been at work on a new picture book! It will be published by NordSüd Verlag, the wonderful Swiss publishing house (Lisbeth Zwerger, Oliver Jeffers and Natascha Rosenberg are amongst the artists who regularly work for them).  North South Books (their American imprint) will also publish it— so it will be available in both English and German! Simultaneously!!

Publishers Weekly Childrens Bookshelf announced the news last week—
Though the announcement says that I'm unagented (I did negotiate this deal on my own), I am now being represented by the fabulous literary agent, Jen Rofé (of ABLA— Andrea Brown Literary Agency). They represent so many wonderful writers and artists in the realm of children's literature… I'm pleased as punch to be among them…

So if I am more quiet than usual on this blog, it is because somebody or other is cracking the whip and I am galloping full speed to keep up!

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9100. Upstairs Tabbies

Please allow me to present Sir Cedric Catley, the Earl of Mewton and his lovely wife, Lady Clara Catley.

Sir Cedric is married to the former Miss Clara Sweet, a licorice fortune heiress. He married her for her money, after his family found themselves in reduced circumstances, thanks to his father investing in a rather unsound financial scheme involving pigeons. He is quite the bug enthusiast, and has an impressive collection. He can often be found in his "bug room", pinning specimens while listening to Chopin and sipping chicken broth tea.

Lady Clara is married to Sir Cedric Catley, the Earl of Mewton. She is the heiress to a great licorice fortune, and he married her for her money. Her parents disapproved, so of course that made her keen on the idea, and also, she wanted to be a "Lady". She enjoys giving lavish dinners, and is especially fond of showing off her Cook's skills with stuffed fowl dishes. Her husband's bug collection is a course of embarrassment, but she allows it because he doesn't interfere with her catnip parties.


These two are the first in the Upstairs Tabbies series. I had fun with her hat! There will be children next, I think, and an odd relative or two. 

I'm sad that Downton Abbey is over until next January. And that will be the last season, I've heard. What will we do? There will be some serious withdrawal going on. Although I also heard that Julian Fellowes is planning a new series - The Gilded Age - about Victorians, so maybe we'll have another good period drama to dig into when DA is over. Let's hope!

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