7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #48: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Chris Eliopoulos

h1 February 3rd, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome to our weekly 7 Kicks list, the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not) that happened to you.

Happy February to all! It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means we’re featuring another new grad or student of illustration. I’ve been looking forward to this. I think this feature is fun, if I may say so myself. If you missed our very first one ever on the first Sunday in January, go here to see the illustrations of new grad Ashley Smith.

This week we welcome Chris Eliopoulos, who goes by Elio. You’ll see there at his site that he is a Chicago-based illustrator and comic artist “who enjoys telling stories with my work. I reference mid century print, design and advertising; UFOs, donuts, and old cranky men.” Maybe he can tell us later if he’s ever done an illustration of an old, cranky man eating donuts on a UFO.

You gotta love the title of the above illustration, “ESP Cheese.”

And here’s the very cryptic “Pipper.” Hmmm, there’s a story waiting to be told here:

Here’s what Elio had to tell us:

My name is Chris Eliopoulos. I was born in Chicago, IL where I still reside. I am a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.

I’ve always enjoyed children’s books ever since I was little. My parents would always make sure I’d have plenty of reading material.

As I grew, I started drawing with Ed Emberly books. I’d love to follow along creating my own little world using his simple drawing instructions. Just using triangles, squares, circles, a few lines and color, Ed would should you how to create anything! Very modern and great line economy!

I think children’s books are really important. I like to believe they are more then just silly stories. They can be used to introduce children to culture. Children’s books can be very sophisticated and introduce them to art as well.

I look forward to making my own contemporary children’s books. I enjoy telling stories. I enjoy the challenge of creating simple yet attractive images. Right now, I’m working as hard as I can to get myself and work out to the world. Let’s make great books!

Wahoo! Elio makes me want to cheer with that closing sentence there. And here is one of Elio’s short comics:

And we’ll close up here with a look at Elio’s eggs, which are terrifically menacing, are they not? Or, wait, they could be more wide-eyed and innocent, depending on how you slant your head when you look at the image. We’d like to thank him for stopping by and sharing his very stylistic illustrations with us. And we wish him much luck and tons of fun in the field of children’s book illustration. If you want more information, he has his own blog, elio’s journal. And his web site has some more illustration goodness (including Godzilla. Roar!).

Thanks, Elio! We’ll see you in children’s books one day.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* This week’s illustrations. “ESP Cheese”!!! Seriously, it doesn’t get better than that. And I also love this new thing of featuring up-and-coming artists.

Miles at 10 months2* Check out my nephew Miles at 10 months. My sis-in-law sent new pics, and a skills update: he can stand, play peek-a-boo, wave and say “bye-bye,” and give high-fives. He can also climb as high as two shelves up in the refrigerator if she has her back turned while unloading groceries.

3* I survived my first week at my new temp assignment. It’s a bit more demanding than the last one, since I’m actually covering a vacancy rather than providing additional support, and this position has a lo-o-o-o-t of responsibilities covering everything from event planning to building security. But everyone’s been very gracious and welcoming and patient with my newbie-ness.

mmm…4* Blue Moon has a new beer flavor for spring: Rising Moon. It’s brewed with kaffir lime leaves and lime juice. I tend to think lime juice enhances the flavor of almost everything, so I’m quickly becoming a big fan.

5* I finished The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales. Dang. That last story really is amazing.

6* Um, did I mention I went to a Neko Case concert? Well, that was kickworthy enough to mention twice.

7* Good food with good friends: dinner at Moosewood with our neighbors before the show, and dinner at B.’s fellow professor’s house last Sunday.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Featuring illustrations from new grads like Elio.

2). My almost-four-year-old daughter loves to make up looong words, and she totally told me this week — while I was driving, no less, and I could barely see the road from laughing — that “reading is engorgeable.” You think ALA will wanna use that for one of their “READ” posters?

3). Speaking of, we’re still reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and it’s still a big kick. We also got in the first two or three chapters of Charlotte’s Web, but she wanted to stop. I think that one’s for when she’s a bit older anyway.

4). I’m still wow’ed by the final illustration from the new picture book Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker, which I shared in this post on Wednesday after getting permission from the publisher (if you love it as much as I do, the illustration is much bigger in that original post). Isn’t that beautiful? I think that’s my very favorite kick of the week, other than finding out that reading is engorgeable.

5). For someone who doesn’t normally watch a whole helluva lot of television, I did this week. My husband and I finished Season One of “Battlestar Galactica” (take one for me; take two for him). And “Lost” returned. Creepypuzzlingentertainingmaddening ‘ol “Lost.”

6). After reading this post over at Jama’s blog (and getting some of those titles in a library run), I decided to make my very own creamy tomato bisque-y soup for the whole family, and I have to say that I did quite well. It was yummy. This is remarkable, because my husband is more of a cook and baker than I (Exhibit A: I burnt my arm while pureeing the soup! ‘Cause I’m kind of a bumbling mess in the kitchen sometimes). Jama probably won’t speak to me again for saying this, but I’m very picky about soups and really only like a few. But a good, creamy tomato one is the best of all. I also ALMOST made Honey Chocolate Pie straight from The Pooh Cook Book by Virginia H. Ellison, but I ran out of time and bought a chocolate pecan one from Publix instead. Amazingly, that took no time at all. Mmm . . . pie.

7). And last, but far from least, this impassioned video from John Green about the Looking for Alaska book-banning attempt at Depew High School in Buffalo, New York. “Shut up, and stop condescending to teenagers.” I love it.

He closes with instructions about how to help if you’re so inclined. (I’m sure this video is everywhere, but I got my info from Kelly Fineman, so thanks, Kelly).

P.S. Did you know it’s Library Lovers’ Month? I got that info from picture book author Natasha Wing, who has a new blog.

* * * * * * *

What are your kicks this week? Please do tell. And what about that Elio? Give me a “wa!” and give me a “hoo!” I like his style.

21 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #48: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Chris Eliopoulos”

  1. My favorite is Elio’s illustration with the ghost and the dog. I want to hear that story. 🙂

    Eisha, Miles got EVEN CUTER. Look at him! If I saw him IRL, I’d have to pinch him for sure.

    Jules, You have to make “engorgeable” part of your vocabulary now, a la Frindle. It’s just too good.

    My seven:
    1. I’m starting to get caught up on my blogs again after all my travels, so I feel more normal.
    2. Our age-leveled weekly storytimes started up again at WPL this past week, and my groups were so, so, so much fun.
    3. I also told stories at a school in Webster I’d never been to before. Also fun.
    4. I made waffles for the first time ever this past week. I overfilled the waffle iron on the first try (with alarming results), but it was all good after that. Yum, yum, yum.
    5. My BFF and I ran errands together last night, and then I made us fried egg sandwiches for dinner as a reward. We got to visit AND accomplish something.

    Oh my. That’s all I can think of just now. It was a good week, though. 🙂 I needed a little quiet.

  2. Jules, I love it that your daughter is freelancing in the word department. Record everything!!

    Eisha, that lime beer sounds excellent. I hope you’re saying cheers to all of us when you drink one…I bet it goes great with Thai food.

    My list:
    1) Being interviewed here on Tuesday. I felt like a superstar. Thanks for much for the warm fuzzies.
    2) My daughter’s thinking of starting an undergraduate science magazine at her college. How cool is that?
    3) My son worked through some love and relationship issues with real class and grace.
    4) Brunch with several other DC-area KidLit lovers. I’m posting a pic tomorrow!
    5. Patrick Stewart in Extras. Make it so! I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. He was so deadpan. I think you guys (Eisha maybe?) turned me on to this show, so thanks!!
    6. Hearing from several new commenters on my blog this week. Did your interview send them my way? I think so…
    7. Finished reading all the nominees for the Cybils poetry award. Wow. Judging is going to be HARD. But I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read all seven titles.

  3. Adrienne and Sara, as my husband put it, reading is engorgeable, depending on what you’re reading. Ahem.

    I think it’s safe to say she’s never heard the word “engorge,” but she randomly put those syllables together and that’s what came out.

    Adrienne, a quiet week after travelling is just what one needs.

    Sara, have fun tomorrow! And I don’t envy the Cybils work you have ahead of you.

  4. Sara, That Patrick Stewart ep is my FAVORITE. After that, I’m going to say it’s Daniel Radcliffe or Ian McKellen. Good stuff, that Extras. I am anxious to see the new season that’s not out on DVD yet.

  5. Jules, Yeah, I guess you’d have to make that family vocabulary. People are so narrow-minded.

  6. Hey, Jules, the brunch was actually yesterday; I’m just holding out on the picture until tomorrow. Mean of me, huh?

  7. Good Morning! Love Elio’s “ESP Cheese” and the comic…looks like the seed of a book. Eisha, that is one cute nephew. Jules, chocolate pecan pie, yum! My kicks:
    1. Now in my possesion, all the Cybil poetry books. (borrowed the last three from other school libraries). Almost laa read. Agree with Sara, we have a hard decision to make.
    2. My second grader, Jenna, revised a poem on her own. It is on my Poetry Friday post.
    3.My granddaughter’s second birthday party and the kid zone at the pizza place. Lots of pics and lots of fun.
    4. Started Eat, Pray, Love.
    5. Book club at my house last week, talking about the process of writing with Laini.
    6. A snow day on Monday (and I played all day instead of working on the national boards).
    7. Listened to Midwife’s Apprentice on the way to work this week. Love listening to these Newbery’s.
    Have a great week.

  8. I am back. Just watch the John Green vlog. Hellooo, Jone, he will be at the joint library conference in October in Portland. Glad he is taking a stand with his book. There is an Oregon author who actually caved to pressure about a scene in his book and he revised the book. Thanks for the info.

  9. Good morning all! Eisha, that boy is just adorable! He’s got a face you just want to plant kisses all over. Jules, I love the book on Art Tatum, and the John Green video. In fact, all my friends from Buffalo have been sending me notes about it, asking to write in support.

    Here’s my list for the week.
    1. Steve Jenkins, Steve Jenkins, Steve Jenkins Yes, I know this was on my list last week, but I loved the Q&A at the Cybils and can’t wait for more tomorrow.
    2. Sara’s interview right here!
    3. Shopping on a rainy Friday afternoon in my favorite consignment shop with William. We sat on the floor in the used book section and read and laughed. We left with 16 books, including some Daniel Pinkwater, a few Caldecott medal winners and honor books, two I Spy and a Junie B. Jones.
    4. William started Saturday art school this week. We dropped him off and I took my husband for a date to the Cafe Gutenberg, where we ate good food, perused the used books on the shelves, and walked around the downtown area holding hands until it was time to pick up the boy.
    5. I got a used copy of the book Under the Moon, a book of previously unpublished early poems of William Butler Yeats. I’ll be sharing this coming poetry Friday.
    6.My first podcast went up on my new blog. It was relatively easy, and I’m already working on the second.
    7. The first nonfiction Monday was a great success. I’m glad Anastasia started this and look forward to participating again.

    That’s it for me. Have a wonderful week, all!

  10. Happy Sunday! I can tell Elio’s my kind of artist — grilled cheese and eggs are two of my favorite foods :)! The comic is very cool, too. And Miles — adorable and wise (he likes me)! Jules, I am SO proud of you for making tomato bisque (but sorry you burnt your arm)! Yay for soup! Please make more engorgeable creations for your family :). And I have that Pooh cookbook — maybe I’ll have to make the honey chocolate pie since it’s chocolate month on my blog. LOVE pie.


    1. Sara’s interview here on Tuesday. One of my all-time favorite interviews, and of course the poem at the end totally blew me away.

    2. Started Story of a Girl (Sara Zarr) and am loving it.

    3. Used part of a Christmas gift card to purchase two recent books about Bob Dylan.

    4. Had dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant last night! Yay for sushi, tempura, salmon, seaweed salad, negamaki, and dumplings!

    5. Totally enjoyed interviewing Jackie Urbanovic this week. She was so generous with her time in answering questions and providing all the photos I wanted despite having just returned from a book tour and breaking her ankle last Sunday. I will save and treasure all her funny emails, too.

    6. Being mentioned in one of Jules’ kicks this week! I love hearing about success in the kitchen. BTW, one time in England, the sleeve of my robe caught on fire while I was making breakfast. I didn’t even realize it until my husband kept hitting and slapping my arm to put the fire out. Luckily I didn’t get burned, but from then on, my robe was referred to as the “flame suit.” (And since my husband saved my life, I married him.)

    7. It’s warm and sunny today, and I have a date with chocolate!!

    Have a great week.

  11. Jone, speaking of Laini, how about that great news of hers? Wahoo. And happy birthday to your granddaughter.

    Tricia, juicy-good kicks there. Looking forward to your Poetry Friday, congrats again on your podcast, and ooh la la what a nice date you had with your husband.

    Jama, man, I wanna have a meal with you one day, esp. if you make the Winnie-the-Pooh Honey Chocolate Pie . . . your Jackie interview was faboo (I have to use that word more often after last year’s Yo, Jo!). Oh, and I just finished Zarr’s new book, Sweethearts, though I still have yet to read Story of a Girl. Man, I found Sweethearts unputdownable.

  12. I love that expression on Miles’ face, he looks so cheeky and cuddly!

    Lots of nice sounding food on the lists today, soup, chocolate pie, waffles and Japanese, yum!

    My list:

    1. I recently found out I had too many holidays owed to me so was forced to take Monday off and book in two more long weekends in Feb 🙂
    2. I accidentally missed my dad’s birthday (Queensland is inconveniently ten hours behind the UK which makes remembering birthdays after midday on the date quite pointless) but have got him the perfect present, which cheered me up
    3. After panicking about running out of books to read I have a long list of books on hold at the library/written down in a to-buy list
    4. We got out our ordnance survey map (these are really really detailed maps with public footpaths and things marked on them, very English and cool) and explored some embarrassingly near walks. (The sort of walk where you turn around and go: hey look, there’s our house!) Good news is I now feel a lot more familiar with my new home.
    5. We went for a snowdrop walk yesterday in the woods at a local old house, and it was wonderful. Snowdrops are my new favourite flower.
    6. And not to sound like the Southern English flower report, but now the daffodils are coming out! This is early but still very nice. They join the first bulb that flowered in my pot plants, a dwarf iris!
    7. I just hopped out a hot bath so am feeling very relaxed!

  13. Hi everyone! What great kicks everyone has. I’m catching up on the Sara interview RIGHT NOW, but I already know how awesome she is–can’t wait to read more of her awesomeness!!

    Eisha: Your nephew is soooo cute. I have one of those too now and I just gaze at his pictures.

    Jules: Love the ghost picture!! Fab new illustrator 🙂


    1) Much like Adrienne. I was back to the trenches last week, but with the flu. I really enjoyed teaching this week, though, now that I was feeling normal. It was great to get back in there. Plus, I’m teaching Nabokov, which is always fun. Good students, good papers, good fun.

    2)My writing groups are awesome. I’m sending out a query on Monday to an agent. My writing groups have kept me writing even when life is crazy.

    3) In all this craziness, my kids are somehow still in good shape. And getting along, which is a miracle. There were a couple years in there when they were at each other’s throats. A 5-year age gap can be difficult: when one of them is old enough to play, the other thinks they’re too old 🙂 Still, this situation has made my youngest one SMART. He’s had to keep up!

    Okay, as you can see, I have general kicks this week. Life in general is good on the big picture level.

  14. adrienne, congrats on the waffles. You can try out your new skills on me anytime if you need more practice with the batter/waffle-maker ratio.

    Sara, I can’t wait to see the pic – sounds like a blast. And omigod, Patrick Stewart is HILARIOUS in Extras: “But it’s too late… I’ve already seen everything.”

    Jone, if you see John Green in person I will be deeply jealous. You absolutely must give him a big NerdFighter salute from me.

    Tricia, could there be better ways to spend a Friday and Saturday? I think not.

    Jama, your kicks are full of my favorite things: tempura, seaweed salad, dumplings, and chocolate. YUM. Count me in for that honey chocolate pie too.

    emmaco, where you live sounds just beautiful. It’s so great you’re actually getting out there and exploring too.

    Kelly, isn’t aunthood awesome? I can hear about Miles climbing into the fridge and tossing out containers of yogurt and jam and just laugh, without having to clean up any of the mess. And my younger sister and I are 5 years apart, so I know exactly what you mean. We were at our worst when I was about 15, and she was 10 and wanted to hang out when my friends (and, ahem, boyfriends) came over. But we’re great friends now. If I’d known how cool she’d turn out (and smart, come to think of it), I might have been more tolerant.

  15. Eisha: Good job, survivor!

    Jules: Write down all of those words!

    Mmm, cheese… Kudos to Elio.

    John Green rocks. I intended to blog about that last week/this weekend, but I’ve barely been online this weekend due to illness.

    My kicks:
    My niece and my sister are healthy and happy. My niece was born on Friday. My sister was surrounded by loved ones (her husband, our mother, and her in-laws) and knew I was there in spirit. I had spoken to her earlier that afternoon and plan to visit later this month.

  16. Congrats, Little Willow! And get well soon.

  17. Woo-hoo, Little Willow! Welcome to aunthood! So glad your sister & baby are doing well. Hope you can say the same soon, too.

  18. It’s been a while since I played over here–where has the time gone? I love today’s art, too.

    My kicks this week:
    1. That GIants win. Sorry, Pats fans, but it was a sweet game.
    2. I finished my Cybils reading!
    3. I also finished my ChLA book award reading!!
    4. Got to a movie w/my husband –There Will be Blood. Amazing, amazing acting and cinematography. What a powerful movie.
    5. Did I mention all the reading I finished? It was good, too!
    6. Somewhere in there I managed to finish my taxes.
    7. And the financial aid forms for my daughter, who is applying to college right now. Whew!

    I can’t really list John’s video as a kick, since I’m sorry his book is being challenged, but I had a great email exchange with him over it, and I’m really glad he’s out there fighting, and the kidlitosphere with him.

  19. Hi, Libby. We’ve missed you. Those are some mighty good kicks, and I really want to see There Will Be Blood. I love to see Daniel Day Lewis act. Genius in action.

  20. OK, squeeze that little guy, Eisha. He’s almost as engorgeable as a good book if y’know what I mean.

    My top kick is reading all these kicks, I think. Sheesh you guys — ya’ll know how to LIVE!

    And then, what else?

    Taller daughter home for three days with fever meant lots of hang-time together. Naps, books, cups of soup.

    Remember All of a Kind Family? That was one of the books we zipped through. So sweet and proper.

    Next kick — taller daughter’s fever is now gone.

    Weather was positively blue and engorgeable all weekend. Sweet running weather.

    And I think, I really do, that I may be done with my sonnet which means it’s time to pass it onto the next poetry princess.

    Happy week, you all…

  21. Engorgeable weather — it doesn’t get much better than that, Liz. Glad your family is feeling better.

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