Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Simms Taback: 1932 – December 25, 2011

Simms Taback died at the age of 79 on December 25 of Pancreatic Cancer. As the School Library Journal says, "he managed to fulfill his dream of traveling to Israel and London before his death." SLJ also said that he designed the first McDonald's box in 1977, which I found interesting... so I went in search of it:

Friday, December 23, 2011


You may know that I love myself a good 1950s ad. Liz Goulet Dubois posted this of facebook and I can't resist reposting it. Enjoy the memories of the old typwriter:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I'm getting this book for my dad for Christmas. He's never read a graphic novel before but there's a first for everything, right?

Friday, December 16, 2011


"uh oh... the point broke." I think that's when I burst into laughter. Well, one of the moments.


Dan Santat did this. I like...

Thursday, December 15, 2011


My new roommate rocks. I love his art and today I found out he has a new blog - christoperdarling/blog - and on his new blog he posted about his studio. As I told him, I'm always jealous of people's studio and his is no exception. It's really super cool. It's the studio I've always dreamed of: spaciousness, cool/talented artists to share the space with, an amazing rooftop with a stellar view if you need to stretch your legs (ehem, and may I say it would be a wonder on the 4th AND on New Year's - basically anything with fireworks). My roommate is a great artist so I'm going to show you all some of his work, design, and his workspace.

Here we have some cans. I really love these. If you go on his website you'll see that they animate--the can lids flip open, displaying the sloshy, lumpy insides. I like to stare at them flip flopping over and over again.

This group of three is from a graphic novel he worked on. Chris is going to contribute something to my bully project, which is just super! His work is perfect for my vision so stay tuned!

Here is a lovely/detailed line drawing:

spot illustrations...

Chris interned at FSG and designed this eye-catching new cover of Shrek:

And these are examples from Carrier Pigeon, a magazine that he co-founded. He designed/illustrated the cover and endpapers. I really love the look of it. I want my own copy! Where is my copy? Okay, I'm going to go ask for a copy....

"I wrote and illustrated this the first winter I lived in New York. I intended 111th Street to read like a children’s book with adult content. It explores the relationship between isolation and city living."

And last, but certainly not least, are photos from his studio. It's in a fancy new loft building in Greenpoint, NYC. I remember when it was being built. I park my car in that area so every time I drove by I'd wondered who would move in. I remember thinking, "Wow, it looks so fancy. Only rich people will be able to move into a place like that!" But it turns out that his studio space is totally affordable and the people he splits it with are amazingly talented. I spoke with one of his "roommates" and she is really nice and her paintings are wonderful. I want one! I need one! Maybe I'll make another post about the other people in his space, if he'll allow me!

I've never lived with a fellow illustrator before but I can say this: It's inspiring. Uh, yeah, that kind of sounds cheesy but I'm being serious. It's nice to talk shop when eating some popcorn and that sort of thing, you know?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have to admit that when I'm researching something I love it when a book pops up on Google Books. ESPECIALLY when the WHOLE book pops up. I would buy this said book - I really would - but a lot of times books go out of print and there's no way for me to buy these things! I also love it when medical texts are available on google books. In those instances the books may be in print but they're so much money and all I want is a teensy bit of info that there's no way I'm going out and buying the book! So yeah, I use google books.

How do I feel about my books being on google books? Hmmm. I guess I don't mind. If you go to my website you will find that I have made available all of my out of print books to read in their entirety. Heck, I put a lot of work into those babies! I want them to be seen! I don't really care that much if my in-print picture books are available either. I still think it's crazy to sit around a computer and have story time. I figure if the text is small enough it would just be crazy to attempt it.

But anyway, I just read this:
The Google Book Settlement may be dead, but the litigation lives on..." This was done yesterday, on the 12th. Blah blah blah, the gist was does google's scanning of books amount to copyright infringement.

The Authors Guild said this:“Google’s scanning project has a commercial purpose,” the brief states. “Google undertook the Google Library Project to gain a competitive advantage over other participants in the search engine market, by offering a wealth of content not available elsewhere. Google uses the works obtained from libraries and other sources to attract visitors to its website, thereby increasing its attractiveness to advertisers.”

Enough said there. So, what do you think about this? Is this bad? Is this good? We all know they make money off of it. If they made money off of my book I guess I'd want some of it!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I just read this on the Blue Rose Girls (from 2006!!!)

"Calling all kids' book folks--writers, illustrators, booksellers, librarians, editors, etc. What has been the most OUT THERE story idea you've ever heard? I'm talking about those times when you're at a gathering and someone overhears that you have something to do w/kids' books. Then they immediately launch into the "I have a GREAT idea for a kids' book that I KNOW will get published soon..." and all you can do is sigh.

I'll start -- I was at a party a while back and a seemingly normal guy told me about his story idea. It was about a selfish child who loses her precious red shoes. She needs to be taught a lesson... (so far okay) and THEN things got interesting. "The girl whines that she can't find her shoes and Jesus comes in the form of a giant hand which comes from a cloud to tell her she doesn't need the shoes and she should learn her lesson..." This guy with beer in hand blabbed on and on about Jesus and shoes and even bunnies may have been involved, though I'm not sure. Then he said "So, you think you could help me with it?" "Help you?" I said. "Yeah, he replied, "help me get it published...."

The funny, or not funny thing, is that this continues to happen. This happens within my own family. My mom told me that my uncle told her that my cousin had a good idea that I should know about. (it wasn't good). Um... don't they think that maybe I have enough of my own? I'm not being cocky, it's just that I really do! I'm kind of booked at the moment. Then OF COURSE there are the parties. Those are the best places to get new bad ideas (as seen above). I should make a list for humor's sake. Of course, if your friends and family REALLY do know you then maybe they WILL give you good ideas. MAYBE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SEXIST 1950s and 60s ads

Here are some of the most sexist ads I've found kicking around the internet. Mind you, magazines from this time period ARE all about women cooking and cleaning but the ads aren't all blatant sexist ads like this. There are a few, obviously, because these were found. I will post a few that I've found on my own soon.

Get upset... laugh... enjoy:

This is when the man needs to be pushed off the cliff....

Oooh, pleeeease don't let me be locked out from you!

I know I want to circle all of them!!!

If she's not pretty she should stab her eyes out. That's what I would do.

That's right, just watch that football game while I wash all the dishes and then I'll bring you a beer...

what the???

Now women know how to get rid of a bad husband: get a lumpy mattress!

We all know that women are so weak that they can't twist open anything including soda bottles, pickle jars, pill containers, hot sauce, mustard jars, juice bottles, and so on. Thank goodness they've made something a woman can maybe open! MAYBE.

Oh, but women like a good spanking.

Thank goodness they've made pants to fit men in style and comfort so that they can walk all over women properly!

This is my goal: can I apply my knowledge of this and put it into a children's book? (all joking aside... REALLY) This is a tough one! I know I can do it though. I think....


I'm going through old magazines because I'm working on a new book and I'm doing some research. I've stumbled upon some interesting advertisements and articles, which I'll be posting just for fun. Here's one that I find kind of racist. What do you think about it? It was from 1939. In the same magazine I found a piece about a "Negro sorority." Obviously today one would find terminology insulting but there's a big photo of African American girls in college. So there was some forward thinking even then. Hmmm.


I was looking through old articles and stumbled upon this one from 1938. I just love that kids were encouraged even then!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It's Picture Book Month... or was?. Authors write why they think picture books are important. And they are!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


You all know I like street art. Maybe you do too... but maybe you don't. Check out this guy's stuff. It's blowing me away!

I'm inspired by all sorts of art. Right now I'm thinking about doing another Mona Lisa book - this time nonfiction - we'll see! Just looking at old paintings is inspiring. Looking at this guy's stuff is inspiring. He's doing a painterly style on walls outside - amazing!


If you have the desire to go back to paper... as I sometimes do, then this is for you!

Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


These sculptures have been deposited in libraries throughout Scotland. The anonymous artist has left notes such as, "I've left a little something for you near the Women's Anthologies X. In support of Words, Books, Words, and Ideas..." for the librarian to find.

This is a great story. Read the first part here and then the second part THE LIBRARY PHANTOM RETURNS!
Thanks to Julia for posting about this on Facebook!