Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer stuff

Too many Monsters; A Halloween Counting Book is nearly done- here's a sneak preview. It's been a busy month. I did an entire issue of In Character magazine- a small journal put out by the Templeton Foundation (Sir John invented international mutual funds) that devotes an entire issue to a single virtue- in this case, wisdom. It's a collection of terrific essays by notable scholars. We liked it so much, we subscribed. I'm showing a wise doctor looking "inside" a patient. I usually draw my wife, Dr. Ruth, in these situations, although I gave her a haircut here. The piece was written by one Dr. Groopman .
The last drawing was for Slate- about Twitter and how an influential (irate) Twitterer can slam a product or service...

While I was looking up Dr. Groopman, it occurred to me how lucky I am to be able to work with such extraordinary people. Back when Slate was owned by Microsoft, we'd have these semi- lavish weekend retreats at resorts in Washington State. I volunteered to drive from the Seattle airport deep into the interior mountains of Washington (mountain driving is one of my acquired skills)- anyway, I had Emily Yoffe, her husband John, their young daughter , and Robert Wright in my car. The conversation was so interesting that I missed the turn and drove us all the way to Canada, where the Canadians politely turned us around. We drove through mountain passes and an avalanche that crossed the road. Arriving hours late, Mike Kinsley asked me what kept us. Always nervous in the great scholar's presence, I told him that my main goal was to keep the car between the white line and the yellow line, and not to miss a word. He was horrified.


  1. Cool stuff. Lovin' the monsters.

  2. WOW! Vivian and I were so very surprised and happy to see your comment on my blog! I think it is safe to say Miss Vivian is one of your (smallest) biggest fans, in fact, our entire family is!

    I am so curious about how you received the link to Vivian's reading of Wow! curious...did it come up in a search? Or maybe a reader of my blog sent it your way?

    In any event, we are happy you enjoyed it, as your books have added hours (and I mean hours!) of happiness in our home. In fact, there are many references to WOW! on my blog - so ingrained in our lexicon is the expression WOW!

    And we are super excited about WOW! OCEAN! I can already tell you the turtle page will be a favorite...

    Very sincerely,
    Vivian, a seriously big fan, 2 years old
    and her mama, Hannah

  3. Hannah!Vivian; I can't remember exactly how I got the notice. I think it was an e-mail. Vivian is exactly my readership "demographic" for the Wow books. There was nothing premeditated about 'Wow City"-it wasn't targeted at any age group. It evolved organically from my trip to NYC with little Isabel when she was 18 months old. She supplied the Wows and I drew the pictures partly from our experiences but mostly from my fond memories of twenty two years in Manhattan. It was my love letter to New York, seen through the eyes of my daughter. After it was published, it became apparent that it's biggest fans were kids between the ages of one and three- exactle Izzy's age when we visited New York.