Archive for June, 2012

Summer has kicked in. Travel, pic-in-ics, yard work. Driving kids to Safety Class. Amputations. Coyotes.

So I will be an absent blogger until the leaves start falling. Or the rain starts falling. Whichever comes first. And here in Oregon I think you know…

I’ll be posting weekly and/or announcing particular things that demand that I waste 30 minutes in front of a computer or iPad. But it will be far less frequent. Here’s to not looking at the computer so much!

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I’ll be at Green Bean Books on Saturday the 30th, from 2pm until roughly 2:15pm.

OK. Honestly, I will be there a little longer that that. I’ll be signing books – any books, as I mentioned before. Bring in a Ken Min book, I’ll sign it. Bring in a Mary Peterson book, I’ll sign that too. And I’ll write something like, ‘To my good friend. I could never have done this without you.’

Buy a Carolyn Conahan book and I’ll draw a picture of Carolyn in it.

Actually I’ll be signing copies of Earthling! (mainly) and doing some drawings of aliens and extraterrestrials.

And if you buy a copy at Green Bean books Saturday, I’m also giving out an original pencil rough page from the book with every purchase. These are the sketches that I scanned in and did my final drawing atop in the computer. Now you might say, ‘Mark, that’s insane!’ Actually these are rough drawings and some are different from the final pages in the book. Some are more detailed, some less so. But you might end up with the original drawing of page 118. Or who can forget page 76?! I’ll have a stack of these with me, but if I run out, I run out. I gave out original pages when I sold copies of The Book That Eats People a year or so ago and most people seemed pleased, or at least were polite about it all.

Below is an example of one of the roughs. They are kind of fun and certainly one of a kind.

Come and visit Green Bean Books at 1600 NE Alberta Street, 97211 (the cutest little book store you’ve ever seen) on Saturday, June 30th at 2pm. I’ll be the in-need-of-a-shave guy nervously looking around and talking about space exploration.

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How about a reality TV show that sends people to  Mars to establish a colony? Sounds like a great sci-fi book or movie. Or…actually a TV show about real people settling Mars. Click that link. You gotta read this…Then come back.

Imagine the ratings on the episode when that one guy, the not real smart one, runs out of oxygen on his mission to find one of the original Mars rovers. And when they kick someone off the island, I mean planet, that’s the real deal. The ratings wouldn’t just be stellar, they’d be extraterestrial.

I can easily imagine this being a broadcast TV spectacle that brings viewers in like a live sporting event does. It could easily beat Dancing with the Stars. After all that show doesn’t have real Stars. We all know that. The first two years of space travel would be the dullest. Maybe those are just monthly specials. But then you get the landing! Oh Baby! How much could they charge a minute to advertisers for that broadcast!?

And when the Mars show hits its sophomore slump (Typical complaint – I stopped watching because it was just so much yadda-yadda-yadda, big storm coming, yadda-yadda-yadda who is going to win the cup of pudding or the real apple this week…) they can have a singing contest. The Best in the Galaxy moniker would actually mean something.

By the fifth season it would have mainly Ultimate Fighters on it tearing each others oxygen tubes out. And by the 9th season the Superbowl would feature a half-time show from Mars.

Wait a minute…I had this idea years ago! Just watch this animated short on Reality Shows – we proposed putting people on the moon. We were just ahead of our time I guess. And we didn’t push this concept far enough. Would James Cameron spend a few bucks to be part of this? And by a few bucks I mean like an extra billion? Between him, Bill Gates and the Google guys we should be able to make this happen by next year.

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How does Martha save her family? By debt restructuring? Refinancing? Eating Green Beans?

You only have to wait until next April to find out! I was lucky enough to illustrate a book by David Larochelle and it’s now on Amazon for double-dog-early pre order. So I guess I can start writing about it a little more. I just saw the proofs for it last week and the designer really made a great looking book. I’m excited to get a copy!

So reserve a copy  of How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans now before I buy them all.

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At the park

Another quick sketch done at the park while my daughter played. Honestly, she also art directed the piece, telling me how many kids and creating a story about everything that happened between these groups.

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One in a series of 20. I’d love to have these printed at like 8 feet  wide. Clicking will make it bigger.

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When I decided to start writing this blog regularly I was told I should demonstrate expertise in a subject area. Even if I don’t have one? I asked my friend who seemed to have a lot of answers.

Especially if you don’t have one, they answered.

Recently someone emailed me pointing out that this blog is called Illustration. But that I don’t talk about illustration that much and that I almost never do How To posts.

True enough. I think I may have misnamed this blog. (see #2 below)

Things I am expert in:

1- Hearing our cat vomit. That sound can wake me from the deepest slumber

2- Questioning if I made the right decision about whatever I am making a decision about

3- Nervous stomach issues

4- Selecting good black teas

5- Drawing as I draw, writing as I write

6- Wasting time on the internet

7- Taking the dogs for walks

8- Blog posts with lists

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