My Nineteenth title in the ‘Who Was’ series for Penguin was “What Was the Bombing of Hiroshima?”, which I illustrated in 2019. It was around this time that I started noticing that I seemed to be getting pegged as the ‘sensitive subjects’ artist, as subsequent titles would indicate. This was a tricky one, with lots of crowded scenes and devastation, but I was warned not to make it too horrific to avoid traumatizing the young readers. This is the first time sharing all 80 illustrations from this project (I usually try to wait a couple years past publication before posting). Come January, I shall endeavor to post the two titles that I did during the Covid year of 2020 (my twentieth and twenty first).
Just realizing that the first month of summer is already almost over, and seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye. I finished up the Harlem Renaissance book for Penguin this week (one sample of the 80 or so black and white illustrations is pictured below), and I’ve been plugging away at the illustrated edition of ‘The Sun Also Rises’ for Skyhorse (above, and a few below from this week, also see previous postings from this month). This week was also complicated by a power outage on Friday, plus a few quick turnaround assignments that I’m trying to squeeze in for Delaware Today over this week and next (one of which is pictured at the bottom of this post).
In 2018, I worked on a few of the ‘What Was / Who Was’ series of young adult non-fiction books. The next two in the series, my 18th and 19th books for this publisher, featured some rather heavy topics, The Vietnam War, and the Bombing of Hiroshima (samples to come next month). The challenge for these books, which feature a lot of real life horror, was to not sugarcoat the images, and yet not get too grisly with the details. It was a fine line sometimes. I dedicated this book to my Aunt Lynn and my Uncle Bernard, who both served in the armed forces during this conflict. Here’s all the illustrations for this book (still available at Amazon and other fine booksellers).
Been a long time between posts. After a period of quiet, this past week I’ve been caught up with sketches for an upcoming ‘Who Was’ project. My favorite part of these books is the portraits, and here’s a few rough sketch versions of some of the cast of characters from this project. I’ll also be finally starting work on another book project for MacMillan (which got sidelined during the whole pandemic of 2020), and with one more ‘Who Was’ project waiting in the wings, it should be a pretty busy spring.
In the meantime, the ‘What Unites Us’ graphic novel has been making the rounds, and there was a very nice review for it on Multiversity Comics.
Was asked to revise one of the illustrations for a revised edition of the book “What is the Constitution?” for Penguin Young Readers. Since it was published, of course, we have a new member of the “Impeached Presidents” club, and they wanted “The Previous Guy” added to the portraits of Johnson and Clinton.
In the meantime, I’m currently in a holding pattern, awaiting the manuscripts for two new ‘Who Was’ books, one on Charles Schultz, and another on the Harlem Renaissance. Hoping to get started in the coming weeks.