Saturday, November 24, 2012

sons of the desert 1

My brother was hit by a moped three years ago. It ran right over his face and took his nose with it. He has a hole for a mouth and a tire track running from the left side of his forehead to the right side of his chin. And then there’s this:
Yesterday, I asked my brother if he’d ever seen Sons of the Desert, a Laurel and Hardy movie.
“No,” he said.  And then he paused.  “Wait, are you talking about me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
“You”, I said.
“Oh, okay.  No, I haven’t.”
“Have you seen any Laurel and Hardy movies?”
“I think so…wait, me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
And so on.
Every time I ask him a question about his personal history, his favorite ice cream flavor, his shoe size, anything, he always has to clarify whether I’m asking him or Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Which is not to say he thinks he IS Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He still signs his rent checks with his given name.  And he still introduces himself as Auggie to new acquaintances, as long as his name isn’t solicited.  If it is, well:
“And you are?”
“Me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
I’ve asked him numerous times if he was aware of his own peculiarity.  And in each instance, he’d ask me if I meant him or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I mean you,” I said, the first time we had this conversation, about a week after he returned from the hospital, “I always mean you when I ask a question about you.”
“So why do you have to ask if I’m talking to you or Arnold Schwarzenegger?  He’s not here.  He’s never been here, nor will he ever be here.  Neither of us know him, and no one we know knows him.  He’s a former movie star and the former governor of California.”
 “I know who he is, Bob.”
And he stormed out of the room.
We spoke again at breakfast the next morning.  I waited for him to sit down and pour milk into his bowl of Mini-Wheats.  Then I asked him to pass the carton.
“Me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
“Arnold Schwarzenegger,” I said.
“Yes” he said. 
I wasn’t sure how to respond to that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

louis, don't!, continued

Here's a sample spread from my *nearly* complete book dummy, Louis, Don't!, which shows a typical interaction between Louis and myself (both in the book and in reality). Just a couple more pages, and it'll be publisher-bound!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

louis, don't!

Here are some character sketches (a rocket is a character, right?) from a book I'm making, called Louis, Don't! It stars my son, Louis, in the lead role, and myself, not pictured, in a supporting turn. And an alien. And space fruit. Don't worry, it'll all make sense.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

baby walks trailer

In today's episode of Putting the Cart Before the Horse, watch a work-in-progress trailer for a book that has yet to be sold, Baby Walks, written by Dan Richards, and illustrated by me. Idle hands and all that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the greedy worm

It's semi-official! Assuming my contract doesn't explode in the mail, my next book as an author/illustrator (and my third with the incomparable Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster) is The Greedy Worm. It's about a greedy worm. There, now you don't have to read the book. But please do. I shouldn't have said that.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the incredible disappearing website

For some reason, my website no longer exists. I don't recall getting any correspondence from my hosting company regarding this matter, but then again, I don't recall much ever since the "accident". The upshot to this is that it's the final push I need to completely overhaul, which has been severely played out for a good half-decade.

Until that happens, please contact me at Thank you, Hotmail. And thank you, reader.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

phoebe & digger

Tricia Springstubb's Phoebe & Digger, which I had the great pleasure of illustrating, is also complete! It'll be published by Candlewick Press a few months after Rabbit's Snow Dance, on February 12, 2013, just in time to resolve your President's Day shopping dilemmas. Here's a peek:

Sunday, February 19, 2012


No more saying I hate brussel sprouts without trying them, first.

I finally joined Twitter. Mostly in a desperate attempt to halt the ageing process, and partly because everyone else is. And I'm still not sure what to do there. Rather, I'm still not sure what I SHOULD be doing there. So far, I've tweeted three times, which sounds exactly like what that phrase sounds like it should mean. I've tweeted, and all three Tweets continue to just sit there in a metaphorical basin, waiting for a metaphorical flush, or a metaphorical...what exactly is the bathroom-centric behavioral equivalent of someone reading and re-tweeting your Tweet? Is that question good fodder for a Tweet? Is fodder a good name for a Tweet that no one reads?

Sweet Zeus.

I've got a lot to figure out. It would be dangerous to let me do it alone.

Friday, February 17, 2012

a very special blog post iv: the necronomicon edition

Colin, from Decatur, Georgia, is the undisputed (and completely unchallenged) winner of The Great Shrinky-Dink Giveaway, the Fourth! And for the first time in this contests long and storied history, I received a "gift", in return: a wonderful poem, written by our winner, that I soon discovered is not a poem, at all, but some kind of wizard's incantation. How do I know this? The same way I always know when I've gazed upon forbidden lore: lightning, and lots of it, shooting out of my bloody eye sockets and killing everything I've ever loved. H-duh.

Please stick around for more chances to win a Shrinky-Dink (and perhaps other more substantial prizes) in the near future, which is really all we have left if this primordial text I'm reading is corre...GAH!

Rest in peace, Fido.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

revenge of the great shrinky dink giveaway

Thirty-eight years ago (give or take), I started this thing on my blog called The Great-Shrinky Dink Giveaway, in which I Giveaway Dink-Shrinky, great. The.


Okay, it's like this: I gave a one-of-a-kind Shrinky Dink, with an illustration by yours truly, to the first person that sent an email to with the subject line "dink". If I had met that person in person, if I we had so much as looked at one another askance during the Color Me Badd show at the Worcester Centrum in 1991 (you know who you are), then they got zilch. If I hadn't, then they got a Shrinky-Dink. Now, I'm not gonna lie to you. We had some issues. Alternate timelimes. Pacts with Beelzebub. Shit like that. I don't want to get into it.

All you need to know Shrinky-Dink! You're going to die, anyway. Might as well do it with an extra piece of plastic. Throw it on your miser-pile. Eat it. I don't care. Email me, win, and we'll work out the shipping details, later. Good luck, friends. And by friends, I mean complete strangers.

Newmanpicturesblog is in no way affiliated with Shrinky-Dinks or K & B Innovations, Inc., and is not responsible.

remember joe

Monday, February 13, 2012

rabbit's snow dance

Rabbit's Snow Dance, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, written by James and Joseph Bruchac, and illustrated by me, is in the can! The proverbial one. I don't think it belongs in the trash. I'm actually pretty fond of it. I hope you will be, too. Pick it up wherever you buy books on November 8, 2012.

cat and dog

Thursday, February 2, 2012