Friday, May 21, 2010

Another 5 year anniversary that is coming up for me is the starting of this blog, so as Julia Gillian and Dream of the Dog is coming out in a month I thought I would have a little contest. I'll be giving away 5 books ( the first 3 will be the new hardcover of Dream of the Dog with a special bonus for first and the other two will be the softcover of Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing)
If you are interested in having your name thrown in the hat for a prize, email me at with the heading Hypnotik Eye and in 3 weeks I will pick the 5 names from the mentioned hat ( a stylish hat to boot).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Its just about 5 years ago (end of June) that the first children's book I illustrated, the wonderful Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esme Raji Codell was published by Hyperion. I feel fortunate to have worked on this book. It lead to working on other great books over these years. I've got some sketches of these witches that I need to post one day soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Had to get some files from a external hardrive and came across these old pieces.
The middle one is a sketch for a story the other two were sketches that got a little further worked up.

Going to see the Buzzcocks tomorrow so Vive le Rock!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Julia Gillian and the Dream of the Dog will be out in a month and I previously posted some sketch's.
Here is one final and the initial sketch. I did almost 100 interior black and white illustrations
so posting one can't hurt.

Last night I finished Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation by Gregory Maguire. Its a fairly quick read and filled with a nice career overview of illustrations if you don't have the two large Sendak Monographs (which are fantastic). The book
compares various themes and influences/inspirations in his work and being more compact gives a good indication of the wide variety of styles and techniques Sendak used on various books.
Still have to see the Spike Jonez documentary that came out recently

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sketches before I head out to try a new breakfast place in the neighborhood "Around the Corner" that I've got high hopes for.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Writer and film producer Val Lewton.

Morning sketch

Recently released the first volume of John Stanley's Thirteen Going on Eighteen in a nice fat volume. I've never read these before and I loved them. Especially after the first couple of issues when Stanley starts to draw them. The characters get more well defined and funny as we go along and there is some killer poses and panels. The Judy Junior stories are particularly fantastic. My only quibble being that I wish Stanley cover art was on the front as well
and the covers of the individual issues included inside. I would have liked all the covers to have been included in the Melvin Monster books as well but what are you gonna do.

Just look at these great panel layouts and expressive poses!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Its available for preorder online but I received some copies the other day of my first official picture book Don't Call Me Pruneface! written by Janet Reed Ahearn and published by Disney-Hyperion who published my first children's book Diary of a Fairy Godmother. It was a joy to work with Tamson the editor, and Jennifer the art director at Hyperion and it will be released August 3rd so more posts about it after that. I won't lie to you, I love Janet's story and I'm very happy with how the book came out. Here it is in my happy paws.
Morning sketch with coffee of director Tod Browning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Frank Frazetta passed away the other day and tho his medical difficulties were well known its still a
sad moment. Like many kids I was snared by his jacket illustrations but it was through these early collections of his work that I came to appreciate most his draughtsmanship and staggering pen and brush work in comics, books and his 60's film posters.
I'm happy I made the road trip a couple of years back to see his house and museum, meet Ellie and
take in the originals and be blown away by his pen and ink work in the flesh. Like being a kid again!
Thanks Frank!
You can click on the label below to see photos of that trip from a previous post.
German born artist Walter Trier who lived in Toronto for awhile. The AGO gallery here has some nice originals.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dr. Sketchy's life drawing last night. As usual not entirely pleased with my drawings but it was fun. Here is some...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Dan Clowes excellent talk at the Toronto Reference Library at TCAF last night.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Patricia Highsmith is a writer I really like and have always found her life story interesting. I read Beautiful Shadow, a previous big bio book on her I liked but was a little bummed that not even a page was devoted to researching her golden age comic work. The writer must have been as dismissive of that period of her working life as Highsmith was but I thought it was a major weakness of a otherwise great book.

This new bio corrects that giving as thorough a reading of that period of her life (as well as all others) as possible within the boundaries of this book. She never discussed and pretty much buried her comic book script work even tho she worked in the industry for 7 years. There is even a photo of her rough outline for a Golden Arrow story, the only fragment of comic work she accidentally saved tho her diaries mention some of the other writers and editors she worked with. The writer argues that those seven years of writing duality/alter ego stories had a bigger effect on
Highsmith's themes then she would care to admit. A great bio so far, I'm about halfway through.
Now I want to watch Strangers on a Train and the American Friend again.

Sketches for Julia Gillian and the Dream of the Dog out in late June early July.