Dear Friends, hi. Here's a thing we made and posted at the very last minute.
Dear Friends, hi. Here's a thing we made and posted at the very last minute.
The release party for my new kids' book ABC Oakland is on April 29 at Oaklandish, 1444 Broadway (between 14th and 15th) from 5-7 pm. ABC Oakland is a collaborative venture between myself, Heyday, and Oaklandish. The Book is itself a celebration of Oakland, its iconic monuments, and its storied history, that is fun for younger audiences and adults alike. ABC Oakland highlights everything from famous streets and boulevard such as Broadway Avenue, to Children's Fairyland and other icons, to the Ohlone people, who have lived in what is modern-day Oakland since before Spanish colonization. Michael, Heyday and Oaklandish all wanted to make this book a fully educational body that simultaneously celebrates the Town's history and people.
In order to make this book accessible to all of the Town's children, Oaklandish and Heyday are teaming up with the Oakland Unified School District to provide a copy of 'ABC Oakland' to every kindergarten classroom in the city!
In addition to the book's release, I am teaming up with Oaklandish on a t-shirt collaboration that will be in-store the day of the event.
So please join us from 5-7pm on the 29th to celebrate ABC Oakland, listen to live music by Special Ghosts, and pick up your own copy of ABC Oakland! Here's the book trailer (thank you to Andy for his patience and iphone skillz):
Also: Meet me at Children's Fairyland on Saturday May 6 for Turn the Page, a children's book festival featuring 25 local artists and illustrators! I will be on hand to sign books all day, from 10-4.
More ABC Oakland: A is for Aviary, a home for the birds; B is for Broadway, from College to Third. C is for Cranes standing tall in the sky; D is for Dogs, wagging tails, saying “hi!” On May 26 at 7 pm, I will be hosting a fun-filled PJ Party at Diesel Book’s Oakland location! Kids are encouraged to come ready to party in their PJs and excited for cookies and milk. Look for: Milk. Cookies. Drawing. Singing!
Even more ABC Oakland: Laurel Books has generously offered to host another ABC Oakland event at their lovely shop right on Broadway and 14th Street on May 27 at 2:00 pm (which is the day after the Diesel event)! I have a feeling we'll be attempting to draw their beautiful building. Maybe I'll bring a bunch of sketchpads and we can walk around the building. There will probably be: Lots more Drawing. Even more Singing!
See you at one (or more) of these events, and thanks!
Friendlies: are you sitting comfortably? Good. Let me tell you a story.
Back in 2011 (my, how time flies), Jim Winters and I set out to make a follow-up book to his artists' book Queen for a Day. Jim Worked up a set of coats-of-arms, and I did portraits of my favorite queens. We hand printed the whole shebang at Inky Oxnard Studios on Rives BFK and trimmed and glued the prints into accordion-folded books. Behold.
On the left, my queens (interspersed with Jim's coats-of-arms) :
The B-52's. Siouxsie Sioux. Elizabeth Taylor from the movie Boom. Lynda Barry. Helen Lawson from the movie Valley of the Dolls. Pepper LaBeija. Rosalind Russell from Auntie Mame.
If you don't know who they are, then you haven't lived.
These are the colorful, talented, quirky, smart-as-a-whip ladies who inspire me to keep on making stuff every day.
A silence fell over Wertz's social media presence. For months.
What was it? What was happening?
What is the sound of one page turning?
It is a book. This book. ABC OAKLAND. A new kids' book for Heyday Books, written and illustrated by yours truly. It's been a long time in the making, and it's getting close to being finished.
Here's a sneaky peek at a few of the images. I'm excited about this.
(VAGUEBLOGGING) p.s. There's more big news on the way. I can't tell you yet. (/VAGUEBLOGGING)
the kind folks at Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids asked me to show the original letterpress prints for Dog Dreams, so I've installed those prints plus a few extra in their front room. The show will be up through January 2014, so visit the Mission, grab some gifties, and check the shop out. It's a goody-goody. The framed prints (yes, the framed Dog Dreams prints are for sale) are priced to move! Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids is located at 766 Valencia Street in lovely San Francisco, California.
Dear Friendlies, behold! The kind folks at Hard Boiled Industries made this promo video for the San Francisco Center for the Book and Dog Dreams as part of what will be the eBook version of Dog Dreams. Neet!
(And, I'm not joshin' when I tell you I hope to see you at the Center making your own books soon!)
Friendlies, we're getting the band back together again - again - for a singing and book signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz. This is one of my very favorite bookstores, and we're excited and grateful that they want to host and event with us. We have a long history with the town of Santa Cruz, and Bookshop is one of the best things about Santa Cruz. We always go there when we visit. Usually we go to Zachary's to fuel up, then down to Bookshop. It's a thing we do.
So come on down, check out the surf, grab a book. Come say hi!
WHAT: Dog Dreams singing/signing at BSSC WHERE: Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA WHEN: January 19, 2012, 7:30 pm.
Some video has emerged from the Dog Dreams opening at the Oakland Museum: here it is. It's super goofy.
OH MY GOSH I ALMOST FORGOT AND THERE'S THIS! SUPER CUTE! (t/y Carolee)
Hey kids, It's been a busy summer in the silkscreen studio, and finally I can share some of the work I've been producing. There's a mess of new stuff to peruse on the shop page: the collaborative book by Mister Jim Winters and myself, Queen for Two Weeks, numbered and signed and packed up pretty in a cellophane wrapper. The super-tall-and super-fifties Sutro Tower screenprint. The longer-than tall Lake Merritt (featuring the also-longer-than-tall Lake Merritt Monster). There is also a photograph of an attractive young man modeling the t-shirt design (it looks just like the Sutro Tower print) I did for therethere.
Frenz, I'm totally overwhelmed by the positive response - we packed Diesel Books! It was SRO! We also sold out of copies of A Dazzling Display of Dogs (but not to worry - if you want a copy, you can order one here).
For those of you who braved the rainy weather and [maybe even] came out with your kids on a Wednesday night - I thank you! I hope you had as much fun as we did. Thanks also to Tricycle Press (this is, sadly, one of the last books they will publish), Suki and Andy for the music, and Loriana and Carolee for helping out and setting up. Thanks to Betsy Franco for making the trip to Oakland, and to Diesel Books for being so accommodating. If you're in the Bay Area, go buy your books there! It's a great shop.
Here's a little video that Michael Zelner shot (thanks Michael!):
What's next for the book? Well, The Mutts are going to be recording these songs for real sometime soon. Betsy and I are going to be making a book trailer or two for the two books we've published together thus far. There are also rumblings about another collaboration. Stay tuned.
Friends to the Four-Pawed: my second picture book, A Dazzling Display of Dogs (written by Betsy Franco - yes, that Betsy Franco), has been released and is available at your local bookstore and online. We're super excited about it over here, and hope you'll get yourself a copy!
The book release party has been set for March 23, at Diesel Books here in Oakland. Andy and I will probably, as with the Curious Cats opening, embarrass ourselves in front of you. Just to let you know.
Here's a great review from School Library Journal:
Starred Review. Grade 1–5 - This follow-up to A Curious Collection of Cats (Tricycle, 2009) is dazzling indeed. Each of the 34 poems features a different animal, most of them engaged in true dog behavior. From farting in the car to wheezing and snoring while sleeping, these pups are funny and lovable even when they're being annoying. The verses and the book's design are beautifully matched. In "Emmett's Ode to His Tennis Ball," the text is enclosed in a circle held firmly in the dog's mouth. It begins, "Slobbery, sloppy, slimy, sphere—oh, tennis ball, I hold you dear…." Like the poems, the pictures are funny and dynamic. The pages are definitely full, yet careful use of color, typeface, and detail means they never look chaotic. A note says the pictures were started in pencil and then finished using monoprints and Adobe Photoshop. Overall, a delight for kids, their adults, and maybe even their beloved canine companions.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Sadly, 'A Dazzling Display of Dogs' is one of the last books that Tricycle press will publish. I am so grateful to my editor Abigail Samoun for making this book happen!
The Imprint of the SFCB is excited to announce the launch of Dog Dreams, an artist's board book written and illustrated by Michael Wertz. Dog Dreams imaginatively reveals the hopes, wishes, and ambitions of over a dozen dozing canines through playful imagery and rhyming text. The book is letterpress-printed in two colors on a Vandercook proof press on French Muscletone paper and is part of the Imprint's Small Plates series issued in 4" x 4" format, numbering 100 signed copies. Come join Michael and the Imprint crew in celebrating Dog Dreams' publication on Thursday July 29, 6-9 PM at the San Francisco Center for the Book. 300 De Haro Street (entrance on 16th Street), San Francisco CA 94103 | http://sfcb.org | 415.565.0545
Please bring your (leashed and friendly) dogs.
Can you make it? Say yes!
Dear Friends of the Four-Pawed, here's the first letterpressed print from Dog Dreams. I hope this is going to be a great little book - I'm excited!
The idea for Dog Dreams came to me while watching my (then new) dog Olive sleep on the couch next to me. She twitched, huffed, barked, and jerked her way through a series of (seemingly) very exciting dreams. I'm pretty sure she was dreaming the typical dog dreams: squirrels, cats, and ball. But who knows? Maybe she was dreaming of a trip to Paris - or of flying like a bumblebee. Maybe she was simply sitting for tea in the shade of her favorite tree. This book is an exploration of that idea - as well as a little taste (for kids) of what it might be like to be a grownup.
Please join us as we celebrate the release of Dog Dreams - one of the 2010 Small Plates editions published by the Imprint of the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Book release party: Thursday, July 29 from 6-9 pm. Bring your dogs. SFCB 300 DeHaro Street, San Francisco.