Thursday, December 22, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 7

And here they are--everyone's elfs!

Yesterday's winning name was "Dean," by Shannon Hale. Santa is a big fan.

That's it! Have a Merry Elf Christmas everybody!

I'll be back in January! Maybe I'll post something over the break--but I've never needed a break so badly, so I might not. In any case, big things are coming in January. Starting off with the second half of Taco Hell Drive Thru.

Thanks for a great year of comments!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Confused Elf Day

Hi guys, one more day to enter your elf--tomorrow I'll post it and we'll call it a year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reverse Elf Name Day!

Oh this should be fun. We're flipping the tables for this elf.

You name and describe it first, then I--I mean SANTA--will choose the one to draw for tomorrow! Name that Reverse Elf!

And keep naming yesterday's light-hanging elf. I--I mean SANTA--didn't get a chance to choose a name for him yet.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 6

This elf is in charge of hanging lights. Name that light-hanging elf!

Day 5's elf was named Hampton, by Gretchen Alice. Hampton the scooper.

Thank you to everyone who came to the signing on Saturday. It was fun. We SOLD OUT of both 12 BOTS and DINOSAURS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I was happy to sell out (in truth, they didn't have that many copies to sell...) but there was a little boy there who wanted a 12 BOTS soooo bad, and we were sold out. It was very sad.

A special thanks to the Allred family who brought EVERY BOOK I'VE EVER DONE to the signing. Wow! (okay, not EVERY book, but a large number of them) It was fun to sign so many at once. Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 5

This elf's job is following the reindeer around.

Yesterday's name was the first one posted, Lipnick, by Stuart.

I will be signing books today (Saturday) from 12-2 at the Orem Library with a whole bunch of authors. Who? You'll have to come and see!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 4

This poor elf has been overworked at the doll factory.

Yesterday's winning name was Crenshaw by Tanei Atagi. Santa laughed and said, "Oh She's totally a CRENSHAW! Ho ho ho."

I'm going to keep the elfs coming (I know it's supposed to be "elves" but "elfs" is so much better. Also, I don't put an "an" in front of elf. No, I say it, "A elf." Plural, "Elfs.") Anyway, gonna keep the elfs coming through the weekend, since I missed the past two days and there is only so much time before Christmas. We've got to name these elfs while we can!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Space Elf DOUBLE Overtime!

Sorry Elf Namers. You get TWO days to name the space elf. What a wild and fanciful name she will have!

Guess who just turned in the finals for two mega graphic novels. It'sa ME!

I'm currently uploading the final files via the publisher's ftp site. The files are so huge it'll take a while. I wrapped the last page about 15 minutes ago. It's a wonderful feeling.

The finals for my first few picture books had to be shipped to the publisher in boxes. As in, the ORIGINAL art packed into homemade safety shipping containers. It was a humongous nightmare. I'd be coming off a series of late-night/all-night sessions to finish the art, then I'd have to scramble to pack the finished pieces into protective boxes and spend a FORTUNE at FedEx. Then wait in terror to see if they arrived safely. It was a terrible time all around.

Technology can be a wonderful thing. To be able to finish 256 pages of artwork, then send it to the publisher with a mouse click--that's magic.

Ahhhhh, I can't think of anything nicer that watching these FINISHED pages load one after another onto the publisher's site. So relaxing.

We still have to work out the cover...and the back cover. Possibly the endpaper...

But at least I won't have to box anything and stand in line at the UPS/FedEx/Post Office whatever.

I'm rambling, it's all the caffeine. And the euphoria from finishing something. I'm going to crash hard in 3...2...1...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Space Elf Overtime!

Hi Elf-namers. You get an extra day to name our friendly space elf. I'm right at the very edge of my deadline. I'm putting everything I've got into finishing on time. Thursday is the deadline, I won't be sleeping much between now and then. Crunch, crunch, CRUNCH-TIME!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 3

This one's another lady elf--a space lady elf. Name that elf!

Santa chose "Dinah" for yesterday's elf. Thank you , Gaby Seeley.

ROBO-Santa has just appeared in the title bar of this blog. He has an advertisement for the 12 BOTS. This is the time of year--the ONLY time of year--you can read that book. Make sure to buy seven copies! The TWELVE BOTS OF CHRISTMAS! Word is Amazon even has a few at a special Christmas price!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 2

Santa has picked the name of his first elf. That name is Ronnie! Sent in by Heather Hoyt. Thank you Heather. Ronnie is a "Nice" name (which means everyone else's name was "Naughty.")

Name that Elf!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Name That ELF! Day 1

I can't do it, guys. I can't kill the blog and recycle a whole story (as much as I love the LEGO BOTS--go visit the December '10 archive if you haven't seen them--and oh yeah, go BUY a copy of THE TWELVE BOTS OF CHRISTMAS!)

So, instead of killing and recycling, I'm doing a holiday version of an old standby favorite (an easy-to-do, quick favorite.) It's time to...


Name that elf.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And the textbook is...

...the Bible!

I usually keep pretty quiet on the jobs I work on. But this one will be so long-term, I figured I'd let you in on it.

I'm illustrating the WHOLE bible--Old and New Testament--for St. Mary's Press. It's a textbook bible for grade school level religion classes.

Here's an early sketch from one of this week's pages:

I'll give you five guesses which Old Testament (hint!) story this is for--but only five.

If you guessed Noah's Ark, you are correct.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Must Save Christmas!

Gang, I have some bad news. Christmas is in danger this year, that's right. Christmas might be canceled. My deadline situation has grown so dire, so ridiculously down-to-the-wire, that I may be churning out illustrations on Christmas morning! I'm close, SO CLOSE to wrapping everything up. But the loose ends that pile up on a graphic novel project (or two projects, in my case) are astounding!

I have until the 15th of this month to get everything in. These things include, but are not limited to:
  • Covers
  • Title Pages
  • Endpapers (?)
  • Bibliographies (in comic form!)
  • Author pages (you saw one yesterday)
  • Timelines
  • Short biographies of each historical figure to appear in the books (and portraits)
  • A mini comic about Historical Research
  • A mini comic about Crispus Attucks (hardly mini--it's seven pages!)
  • Proofreading passes for both books (since I'm hand-lettering them all, there is no spell or grammar-check built in. Everything has to be reviewed, then carefully re-lettered by hand.)
Not to mention the other big job I'm working on (the big textbook has heavy deadlines each week. Three spreads a week, each spread features around six full color illustrations)

If I slip up on any of this stuff it will RUIN Christmas. So I have to get it all finished--I have to SAVE Christmas.

What does this all mean?

It means you are going to have to wait for the end of the Taco Hell story. Cliffhanger and all. I just can't fit it into my horrific schedule right now. I can't do it. To save Christmas, I must kill the blog!

I even had a Christmas story all lined up for this month--I'm scrapping that entirely. We'll see that next year, I guess.

We're going to re-run last year's TWELVE LEGO BOTS OF CHRISTMAS posts starting on the 13th. And the conclusion to the Terror at the Taco Hut will resume, deep breath, in January.

I'm sorry. Is there anything worse than an interrupted story?

Yes, a ruined Christmas--a ruined Christmas is worse than an interrupted story.

But trust me, in January, when the story picks back up, I'll make it really good.

Now back to the deadline death march.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Morning Again?

You know how this goes. Monday mornings are almost a lost cause lately. Today is no different. But I do have SOMETHING for you today. This is the author bio page on one of the graphic novels I recently finished. We're just wrapping up loose ends, like the cover, backmatter notes, and this author page:

What do you think? I like an author bio with a lot of practical information in it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taco Hell Drive Thru 22

Looks like we're now entering spooky December.

In a horrible case of life imitates blog, I've now returned to the crazy, flip-flopped sleep schedule that this story started with. Spooky December indeed.