2011

Queen For Two Weeks: Book

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.

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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.

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My thanks.

Dog Dreams v.2 Opening at the Oakland Museum!

Kids (and those of you Kids with Kids), Dog Dreams is like The Little Kid's Book that Just Won't Go Away!

We're excited to invite you all to the re-grand-opening of Dog Dreams (v.2) brought to you by the kind folks at Gingko Press and The Oakland Museum. This is the second printing of Dog Dreams. The first printing was only 100 copies and those sold out, like, RIGHT AWAY, so I was more than thrilled when Gingko Press offered to do a second printing. This is the same book, mind you, we scanned in the letterpress prints and used those to construct the pages for the new book but this one was printed 175% larger (it's 7" x 7"!) and is has been pre-tested to work beautifully as both a board book and a chew toy.

Apparently, it tastes delicious.

Here's a sneak preview of the new version.

Dog Dreams first look

And a video of me talking about this thing:

You might ask: "Michael? Will you and Andy and Suki be getting up in front of the gathered to embarrass yourselves again with tiny drums and a ukelele and badly-sung novelty songs about dogs?"

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. And that answer is YUSSS.

What: Dog Dreams v.2 Opening! When: Sunday, December 4. Starts at 2pm, ends when my pen runs out of ink. Where: OMCA Gift Shop. The Museum is FREE that day. The address is 1000 Oak St. Oakland, CA 94607, and it's very close to Lake Merritt Bart. Who: YOU. Why: BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU.

So. Come see us, grab a book, laugh at us. We don't care. We like it. In fact, it's 'free day' at the museum, so you can just come and laugh at us without buying a book and the whole thing will cost you NOTHING. Hey, it's hard times! We understand! If we can momentarily distract you from the constant buzz of police helicopters overhead, then we'll be happy campers. If you're looking for a giftie for the holidays (I started to itch all over while typing that last bit), these puppies are priced to move. I will be signing books as well.

Another question: "Will this event be kid-friendly?" Yuppers. Most of my kid's book events thus far have been in the evening, when our precious little darlings turn into flesh-rendering wildebeasts, so here's your chance to bring 'em out when it's not dinnertime. Plus, you can take them to the museum and the cool gardens and let them run around. BONUS.

See you then?

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new prints & books & tees up in the shop!

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.

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West Coast Passport Campaign : Hostelling International

Friendlies, recently designer Pete Friedrich from Charette Communication Design and I had a brain bubble: wouldn't it be cool if we created a Passport and a set of Illustrated Stamps so that when one travelled from Hostel to Hostel (along the West Coast) one could collect the stamps in one's very own passport? With enough stamps (and a few blisters - that's a long hike), one is eligible for a t-shirt.

Yes, this would be cool. And, if I do say so, they are. Very cool. Here's the stamps I created. And here's a bit about the campaign on the Hostelling site.

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... and here's the Passport cover.

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Neet, huh? This was a super fun job.

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'Secrets of the Dog Park' selected for American Illustration 30!

Friendlies, 'Secrets of the Dog Park', my screenprint that explores the issues of the gay dog community, has been selected for inclusion in American Illustration 30, a sooper groovy hard-cover compendium of hand-picked images. This is the seventh time my work has appeared in the book. "From more than 7,000 pictures entered by over 1,100 illustrators, magazines, agencies, publishers and schools, the jury selected, by a majority vote or better, only 316 images to appear in the book and represent the best pictures from 2010."

Buy yourself a copy of the print here.

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Yay!

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Dazzling Dogs Release Recap

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.

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A Dazzling Display of Dogs on shelves this week!

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!

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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.

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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

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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!

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