Where Is Area 51?


I’m currently in a ‘holding pattern’ on several books (either waiting for the manuscript to begin rough sketches, or waiting on rough sketches to be approved to go to finish, or waiting final approval to go to publication), and, since two of the books on the docket are from the ‘Who Was’ series, I thought I’d take the time to share the artwork from a previously published title that I was involved with. This one is “Where is Area 51?” from a few years back, and, like most of these projects, consisted of around 80 illustrations of various sizes, ranging from spot art to two page spreads. Like the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ project, this one had a fair number of airplanes to draw, plus quite a few barren landscapes. While I have shared a few samples from this book here in the past, this is the first time sharing all of the collection.

The two books I am currently working on (What was the Civil Rights Movement? and Who was Walt Whitman?) are the 20th and 21st books that I will have illustrated for this series. The others were:


What was the Bombing of Hiroshima? – 2019
What was the Vietnam War? – 2018
Where is Hollywood? – 2018
Where is Area 51? – 2018
What is The Constitution? – 2018
Where Is The Bermuda Triangle? – 2017
What was the Ten Commandments? – 2017
Where Is The Eiffel Tower? – 2017
What Was The Chicago Fire? – 2016
Who Was Milton Bradley? – 2016
Where Is Niagara Falls? – 2015
Who Was Edgar Allan Poe? – 2015
Who Was Robert Ripley? – 2014
Who Was Julius Caesar? – 2014
Who Was Isaac Newton? – 2014
What is the Panama Canal? – 2014
Who Were The Wright Brothers? – 2014
What Was the Lewis & Clark Expedition? – 2014
Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder? – 2014



Here’s how that Chronicle of Higher Education piece turned out for Monday. In retrospect, the color scheme seems a bit limited, but I didn’t notice it until I saw it in print later the same afternoon. Been a while since I’ve done a quick turnaround piece. I guess I’m out of practice. Below is the black and white version.

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

ChronicleHE, Green Prints, Jukejoint Handmedowns

Or to paraphrase a line from a Terry Pratchett novel I just read: “Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or is the end of the tunnel just on fire?”

In the last few days of this week, after a much too quiet month, business-wise, a few jobs trickled in, which did wonders to buoy my spirits. Above are a few rough sketches for an illustration I’ll be finishing up this weekend for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Oddly enough, this is the first assignment I’ve had pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic. They wound up choosing the first one, but told me to hang on to the other one for possible future articles. And then on Friday, I was contacted by the publisher of the ‘Who Was’ series of books, to take on an upcoming book on Walt Whitman. I’m currently working on one on the Civil Rights Movement, and expect to begin work on a book about Climate Change very soon, so I anticipate having a very busy May, which has put me in a much more hopeful mood than I’ve been in several months.

Earlier in the week, I had a few spot illustrations for GreenPrints (pictured above), and I’ve been spending a lot of time this past month working on a new album for my band, the Jukejoint Handmedowns. This will be our 5th album, which we began recording in February, and then, when the ‘stay at home’ order came down in March, we decided we would attempt to finish the album in isolation, each of us recording our parts separately and sharing them with me for final mixing and mastering. We are very near completion, and below are a few of the ‘in progress’ versions of the lyric sheet insert (front and back) and the rough layout for the album cover. The album was already very dark and apocalyptic in tone before we even began, so the pandemic and shut-down seemed to fit the theme even more urgently. We are hoping to release this sometime this summer, when, hopefully, some of the restrictions loosen up.