Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Friday Book Signing in Clinton, NJ

In case you find yourself aimlessly digesting Thanksgiving dinner somewhere in central New Jersey, I'll be signing copies of Pip & Squeak and Cat & Mouse at the Clinton Book Shop at 33 Main Street in Clinton, New Jersey, on Friday, November 28th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Come early, wander and shop during the town's "Dickens' Days" - and, while you're at it, have some breakfast, brunch, or lunch just around the corner at my sister and brother-in-law's restaurant, The Fine Diner. That's what I plan to do. The trouble is, I go infrequently enough that I wind up ordering the same dish: a crab cake on the house salad with lemon dressing. I can't help it: it's too good. Well, if you see me there, I promise not to talk with food in my mouth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I don't think I'll ever make a bookplate for myself, mostly because I cringe at the thought of pasting anything into my books. But I love the art form and have no qualms about making them for other people.

Recently, I finished my first bit of bookplate art for a friend and fellow bibliophile from Delaware. He had found a copy of On The Frontier by Bret Harte which had once belonged to Howard Pyle. Being a rabid Pyle collector, I had to have it. So we arranged a trade: I would make him a bookplate and he would give me the book. As usual, I made this with ink on scratchboard.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board

Here's what I'm up to right now: painting this bear, this elephant, and a cast of what sometimes seems like thousands. These two will appear in Read It, Don't Eat It! next spring, but this particular illustration won't debut until...Winter 2010?! Maybe the elephant will look less gloomy by then.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Riposi In Pace, Signor Pyle

Just a little posting in honor of Howard Pyle, the American author and illustrator, who died 97 years ago today in Florence, Italy. Here he is with Phoebe Churchman Pyle, his eldest daughter, photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston in early 1896.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bubba and the Bear

I made this for Bill Keller's piece on The Russia Hand by Strobe Talbott. I'm not sure if I captured (or understood) the gist of the review or of the book...but I like the bear.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grudge Match

And now a delightful trip down memory lane, when politicians treated one another with grace and civility. In this corner, wielding the Constitution, is John Marshall, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And, in that corner, armed with the Declaration of Independence, is Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States. Who will win? This adorned Joseph J. Ellis' review of What Kind of Nation by James F. Simon, titled "Clash of the Titans" which appeared in the New York Times Book Review (March 10, 2002). Be sure to count the stars. Clever, no? Not really.

Politics As Unusual

In honor of Election Day minus 2, I'm posting one of my rare forays into "political" illustration. In this case, a piece I did in ink on scratchboard for the New York Times Book Review (July 7, 2002), illustrating a roundup review of the books Where We Stand by Roger Rosenblatt, Why We Fight by William J. Bennett, and What's So Great About America by Dinesh D'Souza. The review itself was "Their Country 'Tis of Them" by Michael Lind.