Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

double date

Last Wednesday, I drove down to Chicago to meet with Aaron Reynolds, who's writing the next book I'm illustrating, The Carnivore Club. We had a serious discussion about, among other things, animals wearing hats, and the comedic principle that a shark getting wheeled around in a bathtub is funnier than a shark walking on its fins (originally proposed by Sid Caesar, I believe), before heading out for dinner at a place called Carnivale. I always have a tough time distinguishing between various Latin cuisines, but the abundance of plantain and pork products on the menu clued me in that restaurant was probably Cuban-themed. In any case, they made the best raspberry mojito I've ever tasted. Yum.

The following Saturday, I was in the car again, this time heading to the fabled Brat Stop, where, for the second time, I lunched with my boy Matt Cordell. He brought along a couple of books by Saul Steinberg and Jean-Jacques Sempé that were just jaw-dropping, along with some samples of his own work which are nothing to sneeze at, either. Here's an image from his upcoming picture book, TOOT! TOOT! ZOOM! (written by Phyllis Root, to be published by Candlewick in the Spring of 2009):

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

reggie veggie head

Here's a little picture that slipped through the cracks during the whole Omro Oeuvre thing. My apologies to Mr. Wrage.


The Boys is in the can. My vacation is over. Work beckons. And now that contracts have been signed, I can finally talk about what's on my "to do" list for the next several months (and beyond).

First up is a picture book called The Carnivore Club. It's about a self-loathing trio of meat-eaters (including the Timber Wolf, below) that band together to confront their secret shame. I'm sure I'm making it sound funnier than it is.

Aaron Reynolds (Chicks and Salsa) is writing it, I'm (Hippo! No, Rhino) drawing it, and Chronicle Books is ponying up the cash to bind it all together in a flippable format. I'll be heading down to Chicago next week to meet the author for the first time (a rare opportunity in this business, especially when you live in the Midwest), so I'll be sure to report back on how it went.

After that comes my second book with Simon & Schuster (publisher of The Boys), which will either be called It's Mouse in the Morning...Starring Mouse!, or What's That Up Ahead?, depending on which idea gets the thumbs up from my editor. On the other hand, he could squash both of them, and send me back to the drawing board. But as I'm legally required to make another book for S&S, you can count on seeing something in the intervening years between now and the end of my life.

Last but not least, I'll be illustrating Joseph Bruchac's Rabbit's Snow Dance for Dial. Everything I know about this book I learned from the plot summary on my contract (it's the story of how the rabbit got its fluffy tail), which goes to show you the level of discrimination I exhibit when selecting jobs. Still, I hear the author's good, and snow is easy to paint.

More news as it develops.