weekend catch-up

I’ve been doing LOADS of drawing today for my upcoming Scholastic book, but I’m still waiting to hear if they’ll let me post sketches as I go, or if I need to keep it under wraps. This was my first weekend at home in more than two months, so I tried not to go anywhere near the Internet, and mostly succeeded.

But I got this really lovely drawing from Simon Tofield of the Simon’s Cat animation and books, as a pat on the back for winning the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and just as a general encouragement sort of thing. Our studio are big fans of the Simon’s Cat team: Simon, Mike Bell, Nigel Pay and Daniel Greaves. (And the cats, of course.) Thanks, Simon!

Have you seen, writer and illustrator Alex Milway has started up a new blog! Be sure to bookmark it at AlexMilway.com.

And I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but fab Seattle-based comics artist David Lasky (dlasky) has posted a bunch of photos from my sister’s first solo show of paintings.

David pops up a lot in my head as my alternate universe buddy, that place where I never moved away from Seattle and am now sharing a studio with him and my sister. In that place, I’ve just done a series of paintings and sketches of those massive orange loading cranes down by the docks, the ones you pass on the way to Alki Beach. I love those things, every time I go back to Seattle, I wish I had a few weeks to do a project around them. They’re a bit like the big red horses you see in early 20th-century Russian paintings, so iconic. But I remember it being a bit tricky to find a place to park anywhere near the cranes, since they’re on private dockland. Although I also have a fuzzy memory of being lost in the car somewhere around them with my Taiwanese sister Joyce, when we were sixteen, at about 4am, which felt well dodgy. I think we’d been TP-ing someone’s house, shockers! The other popular wasteful things to do at the time were ‘forking’ people’s lawns – sticking plastic forks in the grass in the dead of night, or noodling them – sticking dried spaghetti in the lawn which would wilt in the rain and be impossible to pull out. Apparently ‘flocking’ was all the craze after I left, which involved a night-time raid to cover a lawn with plastic pink flamingos, but that seems like it might have been out of our price range. TP-ing involved the most skill, or you’d lose your roll as you threw it over a tree. It’s the opposite of environmentalism, really, we were such little wasters.

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