The Way Back

I'm back after what feels like a very long time that has passed all too quickly (and it has!). Where has the summer gone? Well, my summer has gone in this order. Deadlines. Convention. Deadlines. Convention. To little time to finish any project. Conference. And as I just finished a deadline for a project, of course a new Convention approaches....so anyways here is a brief summary:

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San Diego Comic Con took place in July and for the 3rd year in a row, I went. It was of course, a visual onslaught of the entertainment monster, and a lot of fun. It may be my last year attending unless I can get a booth though. Hanging out with great friends was actually my highlight. I picked up a number of really great books too. Cory Godbey has become a really great friend and he set me up with his "Hidden People" book. A MUST, if you like to enjoy what your eyes see.  Go buy it NOW.

I was also able to briefly hang out with the my pal, Jake Parker, who gave me an advanced "viewing" of his new picture book that he illustrated AWESOME MAN!  It was awesome.  My picture book pals James Burks, Kyle Neswald and Dan Santat were also there in fine form as well as the Houghton Bros Shane and Chris of REED GUNTHER fame.  Also was able to hang out with DJ Welch, Mike Henry and his wife Laura (and a number other friends and groupies of Zatransis).

The next thing on my visit list was the SCBWI LA conference.  In case you don't know, SCBWI stands for The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  It was the the 40th anniversary and my first time!  It was spectacular.  The keynotes were amazing and I learned so much from the sessions.  More than all of that I came to truly appreciate the opportunities that have been placed before me.  I really love what I do.  One of the real bonus's was meeting all the other great people in the children's lit world.  Dan Santat and James Burks were there again, as was Bob Boyle, another member of what I am calling the LA Picture Book Brotherhood AKA the LAPBB.  I also made some really great new friends, like Barry Wolverton, Lauren Strasnick, Shannon Messenger, Kelly Sonnack, Mary Peterson, Catherine Meyer, Jen and Ryan Bosworth, Richard Watson, Jonathan Schkade, Martha Rago, Angela and Caz of Australia, and so many others.  Also what was really great was that I finally got to meet my amazing agent Jen Rofé in person for the first time!  The final night was a highlight and perfect ending as Jen set up a small BBQ with a number of her agency's clients overlooking the Topanga Canyon.  Eric Elfman and his wife Jan were spectacular hosts (and chefs!).  I cannot wait for the next SCBWI convention!

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This final image is almost necessary as I DO do art for a living - most days.  Actually, it's a sneak peek from a story I wrote and illustrated for Chirp Magazine coming out this November.  Was a lot of fun and I'll share the rest with you in a few months.

I at this point I feel I must throw out how incredible my wife is.  While I've been all over and working like crazy this summer, she's held down the fort with all three children (including a 6 month old!!!).  She is my inspiration.  Love you babe!

Well, that's all the time I can afford now as I have to prepare for the Toronto Fan Expo where I will be spending much of next week with my friend Keith Grachow!  If you're in the area come seek us out!

Oh, and I do TWITTER now.

 

Take care!

-Mike