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.