Monday, February 08, 2010

Illustrator

My favorite book when I was a little kid was(a series)called Henry the Explorer. I really loved the story, which I would try to act out each week, and I loved the illustrations which I would try to copy using a box of Crayolas. As I got older my interest switched to comic books, which I would also try to act out but I had an easier time trying to recreate the images of the super heroes using colored pencils and paints.

For the longest time the only thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a cartoonist or illustrator. This is one of the covers to a comic book I created with my friend Bob when we were 8 or 9 years old. We went so far as to make up our own comic book company.


I was the Black Archer and Bob was the Silver Swordsman*. We also tried to act out the adventures we planned on drawing. There was one time where we used Bob's dad's hunting bow to shoot arrows at each other to see if we could catch them. It didn't end good, but it didn't end bad either.



Even as an adult I still have dreams of being an illustrator. This is as close to that dream job that I ever got.


Last summer I met Eric Wight, author and illustrator of Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom. My kids loved the book. I bought a few copies to give as holiday presents to other kids I know. I thought it would be a good idea to get one of those kids an autographed copy. I knew Eric lived in my area so I emailed him to see if I could meet up with him to get some books signed.

A few days later (this was early December) we met for lunch. We talked comics, books, Brad Meltzer and much more. I would like to think that Eric enjoyed our conversation as much as I did but I was the stalker and he was the stalk-ee, so maybe he did not. We did discuss his latest Frankie Pickle book, which Eric was nice enough to bring me a preview copy.

I brought the book home and read it to Max and Wyatt. Even with half of the illustrations missing (preview copy and what not) they both loved Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000. Max loved it so much that after reading it for the 10th time he sat down and wanted to draw images from it.

I felt, I don't know, I guess proud would be the word that my son was doing the same kind of stuff I did as a kid. I just hope he gets his mother's artistic genes.


Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000 hits the stores Tuesday February 9th. If you have kids or know kids go out and buy it. It is a great read. I can't wait to get a "finished" copy.

As part of my 5 year blogging milestone I am going to give away two copies of Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000. For a chance to win one of the books, leave me a comment telling me your favorite childhood book. I will pick two random winners (out of a hat). Please only one comment per person. Even if you don't have kids you should enter because I am sure you know a kid who would like this book. I will stop taking entries as of Friday February 12th. Hell I may even stalk Eric and see if he will autograph the books for you.

*The Black Archer© and Silver Swordsman© are Copyrighted to William and Bob 1978 or 1979-ish. Any use their names or likeness or recounts or rebroadcast of this blog post without proper written consent from the NFL or Greatest Comics Company is strictly prohibited by taste.

50 comments:

Lela said...

I have so many favorite books from when I was a kid and now, because my son is 5. Just recently my mom brought out a Richard Scary little golden book where the big bear dad has the little bear on his shoulders and he goes all around pretending he can't find him. I love that one, and I had forgotten it! But I have to admit that I think Little House on the Prairie was my favorite. It was a t.v. show, too. So that was huge, because I did not get to watch much t.v. It's cool that you are famous so you can get interviews with your kids' favorite authors. That is an awesome perk.

inklenaomi said...

who doesn't have every book they ever owned? love to get the Frankie Pickles book.

jordan said...

Best series-Time Warp Trio

for a different kind of girl said...

I LOVE the fact that a child can get so engrossed in a book or story that they want to do something like draw it out. I was never much of an artist, good, bad or otherwise. I was more one who sat under a tree in our front yard and wrote stories, hoping to one day have someone illustrate them.

I've never heard of Frankie Pickle books. We must not stock them at my store, because I've touched enough books in the last five years that's a series title that would stick out in my mind.

Eric Wight said...

Thanks for the awesome post. Your comic looked killer! Love the pic of your son drawing.

Of course I'll autograph the books. Let's figure out when we can grab lunch again. My turn to buy.

Karen R said...

The Curious Owl. He would ask Why? Why? instead of Who? Who?

James (SeattleDad) said...

Keep encouraging him, I hear that kind of thing is popular these days.

Mine had to be Where the Wild Things are.

Melinda said...

I am so glad you survived the arrow shooting re-enactment. Sheesh...

I loved reading to my daughter, a series of books that had a fat cat called Wilberforce. Wilberforce had many different adventure hero jobs. But he always got tired and had to stop and eat something...'to keep up his strength!' My kind of hero.

Now if I win this book, I would like you to donate it to the children's hospital ward that took care of Max. Sick children need good books to read!
Thanks for the recommendation.

SciFi Dad said...

My favourite book as a kid was The Monster at the End of this Book (the original with just Grover, not the new one with Elmo in it).

BunnyBear said...

I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry. I ran out to get it as soon as I was pregnant. My son loves it.

Anonymous said...

I don't really recall any favorite childhood book, but my son likes Frankie the pickle books.

Amy in Arizona

House of Pugs said...

I'm tied between Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. I wanted sooo much to be able go pick blueberries on a high hill as a kid. I've bought both for my niece & nephew.

Anonymous said...

My favorite childhood story was "William and Bob and the Two Kick Me Signs"

amoreena said...

Where the Wild Things Are and the Nutshell Library books by Maurice Sendak. Then Nancy Drew (I STILL re-read them once in a while).

Mel said...

Stregna Nona by Tomie Depaola was my favorite from Round Meadow library. I have read very Depaola to my kids I can get a hold of. The Art Lesson is a favorite too.

I have loved the Magic Tree House series (still love my history) and the Junie B. Jones (a study in how not to behave).

bew (yeah i suck at pw's) said...

A Wrinkle in Time & The Phantom Tollbooth were my favorites...

oh and Bread & Jam for Frances was the best good night story ever (especially when mom would sing like Frances!)

(i'll go look for it while i'm out today...looks like a book my boys will enjoy! Thanks!)

Amanda said...

I loved the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Could never really get into the rest of them at the time, but we've been reading the set to our 2 1/2 year old since he was a few months old. We've stopped for now, reading more Thomas the Tank Engine books, and other ones with pictures at the moment!

Mary said...

Hands down- Charlotte's Web. I still have my original copy with grafitti of boobies added by my annoying brother.
I have an 8 yr old who I bet would love this series.

MommaTMac said...

A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite book!

Bethany said...

"Stand Back Said the Elephant, I'm Going to Sneeze" and "The Man Who Never Washed His Dishes."

Living said...

Where the Sidewalk Ends was my favorite book of all time... I also enjoyed a book called Petunia it was about a Goose on a farm who found a book and thought she was so smart even though she couldn't read... she started giving the other animals advice on how to treat certain aliments and it gets all messed up... Its a great story!

Mainline Mom said...

Happy Five years! I guess I've known you almost that long, huh? Well anywho, my favorite book was probably something in either the Nancy Drew series or the Babysitter's Club series.

Laura Leigh said...

Ping - It was a book about a little duck who live on the wise-eyed boat on the Yangzee River.

Anonymous said...

I also liked "William and Bob, Please let us out of our lockers"

Anonymous said...

Oh Yeah,I liked the story of "William and Bob... Let's stay inside and clean the erasers while everyone else goes out to recess and plays kickball"

Anonymous said...

Book four was great as well "William and Bob... What do you think of my new glasses?"

Anonymous said...

William and Bob and the kindergarden haircut was priceless.

MIchelle said...

Hands Down my favorite book as a kid was "The Monster At The End Of This Book" By Jon Stone Starring Lovable Furry Old Grover!!!! I adore that book! I have great memories of my mom reading it to me as a kid & she'd do the dramatic Grover voice and make us struggle to turn the pages! It was great! I now read it to my girls & do my best attempt at the Grover voice. We have the board book version so it's much easier to make my girls struggle to turn the pages without worrying about them being ripped. Grover is awesome!!! The more I see Elmo, the more & more I wonder how he got phased in over Grover...UGH!

(Note: my word verification is: plato...Not quite sure if Grover is that of a philosopher/teacher but he's pretty close!)

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

OOOH, THIS IS SO EXCITING! The boys and I just finished the Closet of Doom, and you're right, THEY LOVED IT! Sooo excited for this new one.

My favorite childhood book was Charlotte's Web, hands down. My dad used to read it to me, and by the time I grew up he practically had it memorized.

Thanks again for the great recommendation!

Creative Breathing said...

William, You would visit me on a post day that I'm not wearing any clothes! Thanks! I visit you and I get to read such a great story about your childhood. You soooo remind me of my brother - how many times have I said that. I know you are a good Dad because you are teaching your children what is best in yourself. That's a pretty great thing William. I think your Super! E

Annalisa said...

My best book while growing up has time frames. My favorite book as a small child was "Where The Wild Things Are". Later I loved "Charlotte's Web". Even later than that were the Nancy Drew series and Little House series. After THAT Judy Blume and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" (which girl growing up in the '70's didn't read THAT?). Does anyone remember a book about Ping, a Chinese Duck on the Yangtzee river? Oh... I'm rambling. I would love to win this book. Thanks Bill. :o)

Hootie Mac said...

Where The Wild Things Are
Harold and the Purple crayon
The Monster At the End of this Book
Amelia Bedelia
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Green Eggs and Ham
Harry the Dirty Dog
Ramona
Misty of Chincoteague


I read a lot of books. I once complained to my mother that she had to take me to the library because I had read ALL the books on the bookmobile.

Anonymous said...

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"...Dad would always read it to us every Christmas Eve. After many years, we could all recite the story without looking at the words. This past Christmas all sisters and I were together for a Christmas Tea. We were discussing best Christmas memories. All of a sudden, we all started to recite, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in unison, without pause. Knew all the words and even added Dad's inflections. It was a good moment and a very happy memory. Considering we're all between 67 and 49 years old,,,,not bad for memory and fun! Something to be said for traditions! Long live Santa Claus!

Anonymous said...

The Berenstein Bears frighten me to this day! When my kids were little, I begged them NOT to bring home from the library any Berenstein Bear book. I did not like to read them. I did not like to look at them. They are ugly bears! Those claws are fierce! Not a favorite of mine. On the other hand, The Three Bears that Goldilocks visits are the best!

Anonymous said...

When there is a competition, your followers come out of the woodwork!

Myrtle's Mayhem said...

Where the Wild Things Are ... and later anything and everything by Judy Blume...even the 'adult' book, Forever, that should not have been in the hands of a ten or so year old!

Love your blog!

Amelia said...

My favorite book as a kid was O Say Can You See by Dr. Seuss. I loved it because when my mom read it to me she would get all tongue twisted and we would laugh and laugh. Those are some good memories.

Joyce said...

I don't really remember books from my childhood. But as my kids have grown, I have fallen in love with many, many books:

Mr Putter and Tabby. That series is wonderful. Especially the beginning story (Pour the Tea). It tugs at my heart strings!

Henry and Mudge - My boys LOVED this series.

Charlotte's Web - probably the first "real" book I read to them.

Harry and the Purple Crayon

Are You My Mother? LOVE this book!

I Am A Bunny (BunnyBear mentioned this already). Love this one, too!

And I love pretty much anything by Roald Dahl. A group of fifth graders were laughing like mad when I read them The Vicar of Nibbleswicke.

I could go on...

Jill said...

I loved Shel Silverstein...Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Amy M. said...

Happy 5 years!

My favorite books were "The Monster at the End of this Book", "Never Talk to Strangers", "The Giving Tree", & Madeline L'Engle's trilogy "A Wrinkle in Time", "A Wind in the Door", & "A Swiftly Tilting Planet". Yup - I'm a nerd!

Laura said...

I loved the beverly clearly books... Ramona Quimby.

Paula Rodriguez said...

My favorite books as a kid was reading the series book "Box Cart Children." It's been so long since but I loved reading those books.

Love to win a book for my grandsons.

Shannon said...

Oh my, I could never pick just one!
But I would have to say that "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein was one of my faves as a child.
I've never heard of the Frankie Pickle books, but I bet my son would just love them! He loves adventure stories and superheroes!

And while we're on the subject of superheroes, my word verification is "lasercop". I'm not even kidding...

James said...

A close tie between The Monster at the End of This Book and Big Dog, Little Dog.

Sue said...

I loved The Snowy Day, which is ironic considering how I feel about snow now. I also loved Encyclopedia Brown books and All of a Kind family. Bill have your kids read The Seven Silly Eaters and or If I Built a Car (that one is by Chris Van Dusen) These are two of my favorite "new" classics!

jeanneen said...

Where to begin early reading years it was " When I grow up series" every week I would choose a different profession. Then in second third and fourth grade I read Laura Ingals Wilder to Encyclopedia Brown, then Judy Blume, and the Sweet Valley Twins. But my all time favorite book is " The Giving Tree " still read it every now and again.

green said...

Love the post and will have to get some of the books. I had a favorite book but it bothers me I don’t know the title. It was about a tiny house in-between two tall buildings in the city. An older woman lives in the house who makes cookies. The land lord wanted to demolish the house to make room for another tall building. Two little girls who lived in the buildings beside the house helped the lady make cookies and it ended up becoming a cookie shop/business and the older woman stayed in the house. Anyway, it went something like that. If anyone knows the title, please let me know. Thanks!

Tori Spelling said...

My favorite childhood book was called The Mummy Market - sometimes published as The Mommy Market (Mummy as British form of Mommy, you get it.) In this story three kids who don't have parents (no memory of what happened to said parents) live next door to this old lady with a garden (all the old ladies in stories have gardens...) who tells them how to get to this place called the Mummy Market, which is an open air market full of stalls filled with mothers who want kids. The moms at the Mummy Market fill their stalls with things that show who they are - the musical mom has a big grand piano, etc - and the kids pick a mom they think they will like and take her home. So, the kids go through trying out several moms - outdoorsy mom was one, also psychologist mom who was a total freak (i SWEAR i'm not making this up.) When the moms don't work out, they take them back to the Mummy Market and trade them in for a different one. Finally, at the end they take home the mom who had a completely empty stall, and she's all interested in finding out about who they are, etc, and she works out and they keep her.

i guess now that i am a mom, i should be totally appalled at how much i loved this book as a kid...

Bogart in P Towne said...

Call of the Wild and White Fang...pretty much all I ever loved in literature.

NMSpeedy said...

My absolute fave as a kid was the Sesame Street golden book There's a Monster at the End of This Book! Now I'm reading my original 70s copy to my 2 kids and they love it just as much!