Oh my gosh, you guys! I meant to tell you about the “Art of Over The Garden Wall” book that came out last month! I’d put it on preorder sometime last spring and then forgotten about it, so it was kind of like Christmas when it showed up in my mailbox. It’s pretty amazing. There’s a ton of art in it of course: backgrounds, concepts, character models. It’s also packed with creator interviews following the development of the series and giving quite a lot of insight into their writing process. It makes a great companion to the Adventure Time “Art of OOO” book (which I got last spring, around the time I preordered Garden Wall). They’re both great as not only animator reference, but also for artists and comic illustrators. 10/10 each
I finally got caught up with The Moth podcast and started in on SevenEves by Neil Stevenson. It’s a pretty dense read (and I swear Neil is obsessed with masturbation), but is an interesting “what if” story. It begins with the earth’s moon exploding and mankind’s realization that the debris would kill all life on the planet as it fell through the atmosphere. So the human race decides to flee the planet and live in space until it became safe to return. Part adventure, part science textbook, part exploration how humanity would change given time and distance from each other. I enjoyed the ideas, even though the exposition got tiresome from time to time. 7/10
Right now, I’m listening to The Animators: A Novel by Kayla Rae Whitaker. There was a great section in Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell that went something like “Romeo and Juliet hasn’t lasted as a great story because it’s a great love story. It endures because it reminds what it was like to be young and in love.” The hook in The Animators for me was the memory of college, and how earnest we were with our projects. The memory of working closely with friends and the potential of that. It continued to hold me though because, even though the stories of the main characters are dark at times, it’s about them looking back on their childhood and seeing how those experiences illuminate their present. That speaks pretty closely to my experience as an illustrator, storyteller and dad right now. 8.5/10
On the note of looking at the things that illuminate our present, there is a meme going around on facebook that I thought was interesting today. What five films would you tell a potential friend to watch to know what kind of person you are? After some thought, I came up with these five:
Stranger than Fiction
The Last Starfighter
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Kiki’s Delivery Service
What would your five movies be?
Thanks for stopping in today! My goal this week is to finish inking the American Artifacts cover. Hope you all have a great week, and a happy Halloween! Until next time, take care and be good!