“Fun with Phonics Grade 3” would have been the 5th book that I had done for Instructional Fair, in this, my first year of working with them. This was a whopper of a project with over 290 illustrations. I can really see the style evolving in this first year, especially with these two Phonics books, and the sheer volume of cartoons and the challenges of fitting them into oddball available space (at times they sort of reminded me of those ‘margin cartoons’ that Sergio Aragones did for Mad magazine, especially the long horizontals). In the past, I’ve only shared a handful of samples from these books, but I am going back and sharing each book in their entirety (writing this in 2018).
The above cartoon, and the one below were both for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Parent). Prior to this date, most of the illustrations for this client were in black and white, and it was only in rare instances when color was requested. In future assignments the opposite would be the norm. Not sure why, perhaps printing in color became more affordable around this time, or budgets increased (not that I would get paid any more for doing them in color).
The rest of the illustrations on this page were for Oxendine Publishing (Student Leader). The ‘archaology’ illustrations were done in my more routine ‘cartoon’ style, and the small factoid illustrations were done in more of an experimental ‘computer-ish’ style that the client preferred, but I would steer them towards the above style because it was something I was more comfortable working in, and was a style that I thought looked a LOT better.
Oddly enough, August was a rare month in which most of my work was done in a ‘cartoon’ style, and I only had a few rare ‘scratchboard’ assignments (examples to be found in another posting this month).
Oddly enough, there were very little ‘scratchboard’ illustrations this month. Most jobs were ‘cartoon-ish’ in nature, and the rest were experimental in style. The above ‘food’ illustration was for Newsday. This would become a regular feature that I would contribute to for a year or so. Below is another assignment for the same paper, this one had something to do with navigating the ‘downtown maze’.
The illustration to the left was for the Chronicle of Higher Education. I probably shouldn’t have used a collage technique on the ‘dollar carpet’, because of the curve. One of the temptations of working digitally that has tripped me up with during these early years.
The rest of the illustrations this month were for various Cobblestone publications. The ‘aztec calendar maze’ below was a fun challenge, but I think I should have ‘curved’ the type, or hand lettered them.
The following illustrations were all for the same ‘article’ in the same title. Something to do with stolen Nazi gold, and for some reason I did each illustration in a different style.
The first of two ‘Fun With Phonics’ books that I would do for Instructional Fair in 1998 (and one of five books for them in the calendar year). I’m going back and sharing each book in their entirety (writing this in 2018). This one, and the other ‘Fun with Phonics’ book that I would later in the year, were the biggest projects I would ever do for this publisher, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 illustrations each.