My idea for a Pet Sematary Little Golden Book. You know, for kids!
Sometimes I get an idea that’s too much fun not to do. In this case, it was a Little Golden Book adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. I took the character designs from the new film. I’d be very interested to work on a G-rated version of that story, if only for the creative challenge.
I drew the Beatles in honor of Abbey Road’s 50th anniversary. Each has a lyric they wrote, or in the case of Ringo, the drum solo in The End.
The first famous person I ever saw at ComicCon was Lee Salem. It was my first year attending that convention, before I even had a table. One of my early stops was to the Universal Press Syndicate booth. To my complete shock I saw the man himself, talking with a few other editors. I approached him with the awe appropriate to kings and religious figures, and I think he was baffled by this young man’s recognition. I shook his hand, mumbled something about how great it was to meet him, then moved on. That moment stands as one of my all-time ComicCon highlights (and I’ve met the voice of SpongeBob).
As longtime readers of this here blog know, I wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist since I was a kid. Calvin and Hobbes has been my guiding light since around age 10. Through that strip, I’ve learned just about everything I know about making good comics. Of course there have been others, but Watterson’s work has become so ingrained I believe you can see some of the jokes written in my DNA.
At some point I learned that Lee Salem was Bill Watterson’s editor. I later learned he edited many of the greatest comics to ever grace the pages of newspapers. This was a man I needed to know. As any good writer knows, they are only as good as their editor (Salem’s suggestion on an early submission from Watterson, to focus on the younger brother of the main character, led to the creation of Calvin and Hobbes). When I was old enough to submit comics to syndicates, my first letter was always addressed to Mr. Lee Salem.
Though I never got to work with him (he was promoted to President of Universal Press Syndicate before his retirement) his legacy left a lasting impression on me.
It feels strange to miss a man whose work was, for the most part, invisible. He helped innumerable cartoonists be funnier. He led the industry to give creators more rights. He was president of a comics syndicate during a time of great uncertainty and change. He did all these things well. I am sorry to hear that he is no longer with us. I am grateful for the good work he did.
In my ongoing effort to create coloring pages for every character LQ requests, I have made a Finding Dory scene (LQ, when asked which characters she wanted, said “Dory, Nemo, Marlin, and that’s it”).
I also made a autumn scene with a tree and all the animals who depend on it, from the book Tree, by Britta Teckentrup. If you haven’t seen her books yet, you are in for a treat. They definitely reward repeat readings.
In my ongoing quest to make all of LQ’s favorite fictional characters available as coloring pages, I present the latest batch. Bash, Dash and Ferdinand are from Thomas & Friends. Jumpy is a late addition, considering she is one of LQ’s very favorite characters and figures prominently in her day-to-day mental life. She is a motorcycle from the Amazon show Stinky & Dirty. Finally, Otis the tractor is a book character, starring in his own series of picture books.
As always, feel free to download and color these yourself. I’d love to see other people’s takes on these (in our house, at least) quintessential characters.
My eighth year at San Diego ComicCon was just as fun and surprising as ever. Falling Rock National Park issue 8 made its debut. Dinosaurs in Space continues to be my biggest seller. I got to catch up with old friends, and I made some new contacts. In all, a very successful trip. Here’s a few highlights, but if you want even more, visit my Instagram @kidshaycomics.
I will once again be at San Diego ComicCon next week, July 17-21! Stop by and see me at table 0-6 in the Small Press Pavilion. I will have issues of Falling Rock, including the brand-new issue 8, dinosaurs in space prints and coloring book, and my two graphic novels.
The eighth issue of Falling Rock is a truly unique production. For the first time, I handed over the entirety of drawing duties to someone else. My friend, the incredibly talented illustrator Oscar Woodruff, has drawn issue 8 from cover to cover. He and I worked on a story idea from one of my early comic strips, and I think the strange marriage of my words and his art is compelling.
As always, if you are a subscriber you will receive your copy in the mail. Otherwise, if you’d like to get your hands on this issue you can purchase it over at my Books page.
I will also be at San Diego ComicCon once again this year, from July 17-21, at Small Press table O6. Please stop by and say hello!
Without further ado, here is the cover. It’s an understatement to say I was blown away the first time I saw this, and each subsequent viewing has not diminished my awe.
On July 20, 1969, 50 years ago this month, NASA sent the first human beings to walk on the moon. It’s the farthest any human has been from our home, the planet we evolved on, and the same planet every single one of us lives our entire lives.
Sure, politics played a large role in making the moon landing possible. But it would never have been achieved without a healthy dose of scientific and technical curiosity. I believe the lasting legacy of Apollo 11 will be of humankind’s quest to better ourselves and to learn more about the world and universe around us.
In honor of this anniversary, I made a version of the Apollo 11 seal. You’ll note the pteranodon instead of a bald eagle, but otherwise it has essentially the same elements.
Happy Moon Landing Anniversary, everyone!