Working It Out

MacMillan, River Styx

For the past three weeks I’ve been pretty much exclusively working on the Dan Rather “What Unites Us” project (above is a River Styx illustration which I just finished up this morning before diving into the final chapter). I’ve been working up layouts and doing rough sketches for the book’s page flow. Below is an image containing all but the final chapter in thumbnail form (the ten or so pages at the bottom are today’s workload, and then the 8 pages with the ‘red marks’ at the bottom are pages that may be gained by splitting some of the more crowded pages already sketched). This is the first time doing a graphic novel adaptation like this, so the biggest challenge for me so far has been in making it all come out to be the proper number of pages (in this case, 264). The plan is to perhaps release this book in serial form online on Mr. Rather’s website, so perhaps as I make headway into the finishes, I can share some of the work in progress. This has, so far, been one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever been involved with.

Back to Work

AHMM, MacMillan, River Styx

Been a while since I’ve written.

The green light to begin sketches on the graphic novel came through over the weekend, and I began work on outlining the structure of the book, and this week I have been hard at work at sketches. Nice to be busy again. I’ve set the paint brushes aside for now, but hopefully when things get a bit more under control I can return to them.

But as a nice reward for getting back into the painting, I decided to enter three pieces in this year’s “Festival of the Arts” visual arts competition. Our town hosts an all-volunteer run arts festival every year (this is their 50th year anniversary), and I have only ever entered artwork once before, way back in 1990 (or thereabouts). I am pleased to report that all three were accepted and will be on display from June 1-22 at the old art museum here in Grand Rapids. From the previous post, the paintings were “Life of the Party” (the sleeping man with the party hat), “Shot and a Beer” (man in the tee shirt with the bottle of J&B) and “The Water’s Fine” (the girl in the bathing suit).

Meanwhile, I’ve also had a few smaller assignments to work on in the margins. Above was another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and below is a sketch for an upcoming River Styx assignment.

And as a sneak peek at what has been taking up most of my time this week, here’s a look at one of the sketch pages for the Dan Rather “What Unites Us” graphic novel. More on this, I’m sure, over the coming months.

Resurfacing

MacMillan, Penguin, River Styx

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Been a busy several weeks. I haven’t had time to post any samples in a while. The illustration above was a quickie for River Styx about a young newlywed couple who do some ‘caving’ on their honeymoon. I actually preferred the energy of the sketch to the final illustration on this one. In the past few weeks I’ve been finishing up a few new book projects. One of them was another of the ‘Who Was’ series of books for Penguin, this one on the Bermuda Triangle (I’ve attached a sample illustration, one of about 80 of the illustrations for this particular title). I’ll be sharing all the illustrations for this book probably sometime next year after it is on the shelves. The other book I was working on was for a new client, MacMillan Children’s Publishing, and was a semi-humorous book on Orville & Wilbur Wright (if you recall, I also did a book on the Wright Brothers for Penguin a few years back). I’ve attached one of illustrations as a sample (and again, will share more of them after publication).

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Wrapping up September

ABA, Dover, River Styx

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A few of the assignments I did this week, including an assignment for River Styx (above), and another courtroom scene for the ABA (below), and a couple more covers for the Dover Evergreen Classics series of reprints (Tom Sawyer and Rose in Bloom, pictured at the bottom). I’ll likely be starting back to work on book project finishes next week.

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