Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Fun things are happening in the Teen Zine Factory over at the Telling Room. I'm leading a workshop on making zines with a group of very fresh kids, thanks to my fanaticism about the punch that can be packed in such little paper vehicles.

Zines are any kind of self-published statement, maybe words, maybe pictures, ideas made real. I've used them as an ice-breaker assignment many times, and have quite a collection. Here's just a few of my favorites:

At the Telling Room, everybody spreads out and gets into their creation.

Some were sketching, like Elias, who drew a favorite character called the Blob. Camille drew fluid, flying horses. Janine drew cute comic girls.

Lily was clacking away on the vintage typewriter, making up "lies no one ever told you."

Stay tuned for the upcoming debut of a round of original zines!

In between classes, I trekked to Curious City, where words are always at play. Notice how Curious Chief Kirsten Cappy works under the watchful eyes of her beloved friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.

She served up a hearty lunch and a brilliant publicity plan for A Warmer World, my most recent illustrated book, due out on February 1. And only Kirsten could deliver a cup of tea with such delightful character. Here's my sketch:

The semester has begun again at Maine College of Art, with sparkle and great expectations.

In Illustration 2, we got rolling with a quick exercise called Alphabetic Landscape, in which one draws a word like it sounds or feels or is.

Here's a good one by Isaac.

And I love this one by Molly.

(I added the green for emphasis.)

These two words together are good indicators of what the semester will hold: lots of expanding ideas!

Meanwhile, a delightful package came in my mail from Melissa Sweet, who's just won another well-deserved award for her latest, "Balloons Over Broadway."

Somehow, she can't sit still, and sent along these very groovy potholders! Oh. My. Word.

They are too cute to use, but look lovely hanging next to her other work in our hotsy totsy kitchen.

Bravo, Melissa!

Now it's back to work, drawing more whales. In honor of the Chinese New Year, here's a book jacket I illustrated, which may make you hungry for a bowl of good fortune.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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