7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #66: Featuring Philip Huber

h1 June 8th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome once again 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.

This week we’re featuring illustrator Philip Huber, who is a professor of art at Lock Haven University, a Fulbright scholar, received his Master’s degree in illustration and a Master of Fine Arts degree in visual communications at Syracuse University, and who illustrated this year’s A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry by Marjorie Maddox (also a professor at Lock Haven; Marjorie teaches English and is the director of the Creative Writing program there).

A Crossing of Zebras, published in April by Wordsong, features Philip’s scratchboard (with colored inks) illustrations, depicting—as the sub-title of the book tells you—various animal packs. We thank him for sharing his butterflies and giraffes (below) with us today — from, respectively, the poems entitled “A Charm of Butterflies” and “A Tower of Giraffes.” These are my two favorite illustrations from the book.

Here’s what Philip had to say about his art work:

“While an illustrator in graduate school at Syracuse, I became interested in developing a look completely my own. I enjoyed working with the detail of pen and ink and color through dyes but did not want to be one of so many working with those materials. It was then that I began experimenting with scratchboard. Leaving aside traditional and colored scratchboard, I began applying dyes and inks to white (uncoated) scratchboard, which has led to the style seen in this book. It offered extreme detail and almost endless variations in color.”

Many thanks to Philip (and to Marjorie for helping me get in touch with him!). How about that butterfly image, in particular, everyone? Isn’t that beautiful?

Okay, kicks time. So, without further ado, here are . . .

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). I took a break from blogging this week just to get caught up on reading, and I did finish more than one novel. This is good and something I was hoping to accomplish. But the best part was that this book which IMMEDIATELY caught my attention had just appeared in my life, and all that curiosity about the book was rewarded greatly when I started reading it. And then it turned out that I couldn’t put it down. It was fortuitous, indeed, that I had taken that blog break. I fell into this book — and fell hard. I aim to do a post about it this week.

Sam IS the fifth Beatle.2). I’ll try not to go on too much about this; you all know of my love for Sam Philllips’ music. Her new CD came out this week, and, no, I actually didn’t time a blog break for this week for that reason, though I’m sure no one believes me. The CD is . . . well, I’m almost speechless. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to tell you of its greatness. It’s flat-out brilliant is what it is, but I’m not surprised.

If you are an air-drum player, here’s a song for you (Jay Bellerose on drums. He is talented in seven different directions on this instrument). You know you want to hear it. It’s just $.99, my friends. It’ll improve your life exponentially. Whether you actually take my advice now or just end up being blessed by the musical gods and hear it one day later in your life, just remember that you must make. it. LOUD.

And also: Look at this. See, the universe knows I’m her biggest fan. I beat out 197 other people. And I’ve never even seen that television show, not to mention that OF COURSE I already have the new tunes; I just heard the words “Sam” and “autographed CD” and went and quickly left my name. Mwahahahaha. (Of course, I’m just going to have to share the extra CD I will soon have with some lucky friend — not the autographed one, though. Mine. All mine.)

3). Guys Lit Wire has taken off. Like a big goober, I timed my blog break during the week it was launched. There are some great posts thus far over there. Guys Lit Wire, as the site explains, “was created after a broad discussion among YA bloggers within the lit blogosphere about the lack of books for teenage boys” (I believe the conversation started way back here with Sara.) I’m very honored to be involved with all these talented people over there; I’ll be posting the fourth Tuesday of every month (more if I get inspired) about, essentially, books with good art. Kudos to Sarah for the kickin’ site design.

4). I subbed last-minute at a story time at my local public library this week. Ronald McDonald bailed for the summer reading program (McSlacker), so I showed up with some new books, a felt board, probably my favorite story ever, and a great song about zooming to the moon that Alkelda taught me. ONE SKERJILLION kids, to be precise, were there. But all went well. And the best kick of all is that Alkelda and Adrienne gave me some much-needed advice. Thanks again to both of them.

5). Look at this fabulous post, which made Eisha and I feel greatly flattered and quite humbled. It’s from Abbeville Press’ (a NYC-based independent publisher of art and illustrated books) new blog, The Abbeville Manual of Style. They called us a website “worthy of {their} discriminating readers’ attention,” and they like our site’s “classy look”; I was giddy after reading that.

Though Abbeville Press has been around for thirty years, they’re new to blogging. Their blog covers, in their words, the intersection of the art and publishing worlds. It spotlights Abbeville news, books, publishing and arts events, and “high-quality art and publishing websites” (another reason we’re so flattered they chose to post about us); it also includes podcasts and videos. And as their wonderful first post explains, they’re trying to make the world a little more stylish in the process of blogging about art and books, something with which we wholeheartedly agree needs to happen.

The blog pretty much reeks with a style of its own, and the posts are great reads.

That’s it. I’m done. This is long enough. Eisha, were you as excited as I was that Abbeville spotted us?

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

eisha: I was indeed. Not only does the Abbeville blog reek of style, as you pointed out, but there’s a potent whiff of humor and intelligence about it. Like in this post. They publish cool art books, and they’re smart-asses. How can I not love that? So, I’ll just call this Kick #1.

2* I bought some much-needed new clothes, including some fabulous bargains: gray wide-legged pants with those buttons going up each side like sailors’ pants for, like, $9, and some adorable brown t-strap flats for about $10. Which made me feel better about finally splurging on a black cardigan (yes, me too!) and pair of linen/cotton pants that I’d been stalking for weeks but didn’t seem to be getting any closer to going on sale.

3* My husband was thoughtful enough to get the window air conditioner installed before he went out of town again this weekend, so at least one room of the apartment is bearable in this 98-degree weather.

4* I’ve been hired by another academic department to organize their book collection.

Miles and Oliver, chillin’ in da hoopty.

5* Thanks to my generous mom and sister giving me an early birthday present, I’m going to be flying home to TN in a few weeks. I get to see my nephew! (My sis-in-law sent recent pics. Just look at that. ARGH! He is SO CUTE it’s like a superpower. Able to stop a speeding locomotive with a mere bat of the eyelashes.)

6* This also means I’ll get to visit Jules! Yee-haw!

7* Like Jules, I discovered a couple of fabulous books this week. One of them, a book of essays about the Narnia Chronicles by YA authors, has sparked lots of interesting discussions with co-workers who spotted me reading it on my lunch breaks.

8* I’m diggin’ this week’s art. Scratchboard is a great medium for depicting animals – I want to pet those giraffes.

* * * * * * *

How about the rest of y’all? Any good stuff to report? If you aren’t too busy with MotherReader’s 48-Hour Reading Challenge, kindly tell us about ’em in the comments.

22 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #66: Featuring Philip Huber”

  1. Hello Ladies! Happy Sunday morning. I’m not doing the 48-hour book challenge, as hubby’s new job has him working weekends, and since I haven’t been here in a while, I’m glad be be sharing.

    First, hurray for blog breaks. I took an unintended one this week, but I really needed it. It sounds like yours was just what you needed, Jules. And Eisha, that nephew of yours is too beautiful for words. I’m glad you get to visit him and Jules in the near future.

    Here are my kicks.
    1. Summer school started and I have a great class.
    2. With all my work and hubby’s new job, the house is a mess. Hubby decided he doesn’t want to clean, so he hired me a cleaning person and said he’ll be springing for it twice a month. Woohoo!
    3. Stopped at an antique shop on the way home from a conference Friday and got a great deal on a teapot. I’m using it right now.
    4. Had an impromptu lunch with the girls at work this week. What fun.
    5. We just hired a new faculty member who will start in July. He’s great and I’m very excited he’s joining us.
    6. Did a lot of reading this week, including The Willoughby’s, which I enjoyed, though I wonder how much kids will like it. It seemed to be written for adults who appreciate children’s literature.

    That’s it for me. Have a great week!

  2. Good Morning! Oh that poetry book, thank goodness I still have an open PO to purchase it! The artwork is so amazing. I wonder how long it took to scratch it out.
    Jules, fabulous score with the cd this week. But what is the book you read this week?
    Eisha, how great you get to go home for your birthday and that nephew is way adorable.
    You have company not doing the 48 hr. challenge, Tricia. I am studying for the national boards exam (1 week to go, if you hear a big Yahoo next Saturday 4 EST you will know it is me, finished.)
    Could you all on the east coast send a little heat west? We are 15 degrees below normal here.
    My kicks:
    1. Posted the interview with Katie Davis and 5 students on Friday. Her book, The Curse of Addy McMahon is a fun read. This was to be my first pod cast but I had technical difficulties.
    2. The school play, written by three fifth graders was performed on Monday. It was really fun.
    3. Discovered an amazing nursery about 20 minutes from my house. http://www.wildgingerfarm.com/index.htm Good thing we had to be somewhere or I would still be there.
    4. Getting an invite to dinner at the home of three students for the end of the year.
    5. Realizing how close and how easy to get to a public library by my house. Can we say, I can walk to it. This brings me back to my childhood days.
    6. Finished listening to The Giver. Powerful, timeless book.
    7. My husband, dogs, and cat who make me laugh a lot.
    Have a great week.

  3. Forgot to say, I am recommending Guy Lit Wire to my librarian friends.

  4. Happy Sunday!

    Whoa, everyone’s got some mighty fine kicks this week. Congrats on winning the Sam Phillips CD, Jules. Of course, it was fate; no doubt you ARE her biggest fan in the universe. And what a great birthday gift, Eisha! Your nephew keeps getting cuter and cuter. That’s also very very cool about the Abbeville mention. We all love our Imps!

    Tricia, I am totally jealous of your cleaning person and teapot!

    My kicks:

    1. That butterfly picture is simply wonderful. Never heard of scratchboard before.

    2. Finally got to try turnip cakes yesterday! After last week’s disappointment, we decided to venture farther from home to seek them out. They were yummy, and of course we pigged out on lots of other types of dim sum, too. All because of Tricia :).

    3. Though I received two rejections this week, the editors both offered some encouraging words, like “fun, fresh, and appealing.” Two of my submissions even made it to the final round, placing in the top 20 out of 2000 submissions.

    4. My Elaine dream that I blogged about this week is still kicking around — Friday I saw this commercial on the Food Network showing a muse wearing a white gown, just after I had deemed Elaine a possible muse. I had a beautiful salad for dinner last night to celebrate, of course.

    5. Reading up on pie and preparing for my next SOUP’S ON interview.

    6. Making a fellow LJ blogger all the way in Victoria, B.C., very happy for winning the CHINA book contest on Friday. It still astounds me to be able to connect with people so far away.

    7- 7 million. OBAMA, of course!

    Have a good week!

  5. I posted my kicks on my blog: http://saintsandspinners.blogspot.com/2008/06/seven-kicks-for-sunday-in-june.html

    For those who don’t want to click over to my blog, here’s the summary:
    1) Gig
    2) Jules!
    3) Recess Monkey
    4) Sam Phillips
    5) Sam Phillips again
    6) Dan Zanes
    7) Coffee

    Okay, Eisha, I’m thrilled that you get to fly home to TN to visit and see Jules, but I’m bummed I won’t get to see her at 2nd Kidlitosphere and I don’t see you on the RSVP list either. Sometimes this country is too big.

  6. It’s like you could touch just reach through the computer and touch those giraffes. Cool.

    Jules, Yay to falling for a novel. Sometimes I think that’s exclusively what I live for. (Then, I remember ice cream.)

    Eisha, It’s 88 degrees and breezy here today. Feels positively refreshing after yesterday. Hope you have the same. (And not only is your nephew super-cute, he’s staged there with a dog AND a red wagon, which are also cute. It’s like a cute triple-whammy.)

    Tricia, A cleaning person! WOO! Five gold stars for your husband.

    Jone, Best of luck with the exam next week!

    My kicks:
    1. It has been really HOT here, and I love hot weather.
    2. I watched a lot of zombie movies yesterday.
    3. I also went on a hike before it got too hot to move.
    4. I finally made the decision to hire a kid who lives up the street to mow my lawn. This will make my life way easier.
    5. I ate lunch out several times this week.
    6. I’ve been reading the new David Sedaris book, and it is not disappointing me.
    7. I did a bunch of field trips and outreach visits at work this week, and they all went really well. It’s fun to be doing a lot of storytelling.

  7. Tricia, I also am jealous of the cleaning lady. Housecleaning makes me actively angry, ’cause I keep thinking about what else I can be doing with my time. Like reading more books. I don’t live in filth, I promise. Sometimes I wish I could find that Martha Stewart-esqsue cleaning-can-be-zen-like vibe, but ah screw it. I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

    And, Tricia, I picked up The Willoughbys, too, after Sara recommended it. Haven’t started it yet, though.

    Jone, that nursery looks great. And, hey, I want a hummingbird garden. I love hummingbirds. And I learned a new thing about them in reading that fabulous book I read, which—to answer your question—was Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath.

    And good luck studying, Jone. Will that thing never end?

    The manifestations of your Queen Elaine dream, Jama, are cracking me up. And congrats on your top-20/2,000 ranking. Excellent.

    Alkelda, yes, T Bone Burnett, with all due respect, managed to make “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us” sound like a dirge on the Plant/Krauss CD. Sam does it right. But, of course; it’s her song.

    And congrats on the great gig! Woot! (I didn’t know Zanes had a new CD either.)

    Adrienne, speaking of zombie movies, I just started Generation Dead. Have you heard about it or read it? It’s oddly compelling.

    I’m glad you got a lawn-mower person. That, like hiring a housecleaner, will leave you more time for books.

  8. P.S. Everyone, speaking of Alkelda’s site, did you all see this? I think she’s on to something.

  9. Technically it ends June 14, 2008. But I do have to wait until NOVEMBER to find out the results. And hopefully they will be GOOD results.

  10. Happy Sunday, Jules and Eisha!

    Terribly hot and humid weather this way has cometh! It’s beastly here today. I just returned from an outdoor wedding shower. I feel a tad soggy. I think I’ll just relax now and do some research and writing down in my air-conditioned offce. I’m not doing the reading challenge either–too many other things to do this weekend, including the wedding shower, shopping for baby gifts, working on a poetry collection that I started last fall and then put aside for several months.


    1. I’m planning to attend the Second Annual Kidlit Bloggers Conference in Portland. My husband is going to fly out with me and we’re going to take a vacation in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We love it out there.

    2. Grace Lin and I had a very pleasant “research” field trip to Maine recently–which led to some writing inspiration for me.

    3. I finished work on a poetry collection that I began writing in April–thanks to the inspiration I got from my trip to Maine and the discussions Grace and I had later that day.

    4. The manuscript for that poetry collection is now in the hands of an agent. Wish me luck!!!

    5. I had a starring role in one of Jama’s dreams. Imagine that–and imagine my surprise when I read the post she wrote about it at her blog!

    6. The daughter of one of my best friends gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Thursday. That ‘s especially wonderful news because the young woman lost the triplets she was pregnant with last year.

    7. The home traction unit my physical therapist ordered for me has really helped. I’m nearly pain free! I can now work at my computer without any physical discomfort.

  11. P.S. Today the Blue Rose Girls have posted our Question of the Week–which we haven’t done for quite a long time. See if you can find the picture of my desk.


  12. Tricia, I am deeply jealous of the cleaning person too. Your husband is a keeper.

    Jone, yay for the nearby library AND nursery. As Cicero said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” (Not that I’m a big Cicero scholar, I just happen to have that quote on a refridgerator magnet.)

    Jama, I KNOW! I’m excited about Obama too. And I don’t think you could do any better for a muse than Elaine.

    Alkelda, I love that you got a little girl playing air guitar in your audience. Clearly, you ROCK. And I know, I’m still not sure about Portland – there’s a wee slim chance that I may be traveling out of the country around that time, so I’m waiting to see if it pans out before I commit.

    adrienne, I also recommend Generation Dead, which I read a few weeks ago (co-review, Jules?). And yeah, it is a little cooler today, even thunderstormy. I can’t believe you went hiking yesterday, though. I could barely get my ass to Wegmans – fear of the hot car kept me procrastinating most of the day.

  13. I just left a P.S. comment, which wasn’t accepted. It must have been marked as SPAM.

  14. GOOD LUCK, ELANIE!!! Not that you need it, since you’re a muse and all. And I de-spammed you. Sorry ’bout that!

  15. Elaine, good luck with your manuscript. And #6 is the best kick of all, I think.

    I tried the Blue Rose Girls’ desk-game over there, and it’s hard.

  16. Jules,

    Yes, #6 is the best kick–especially because my friend, who is a grandmother for the first time, is also a survivor of breast cancer.

    I know MY desk–and I think I can guess who owns two of the other desks. But I’m not sure about one of them.

  17. I put Generation Dead on hold. How did I not know about it?

    Eisha, The hiking was one of those things that seemed to make such perfect sense until I was doing it, which is when I realized it was insane. It was early, and it was in the woods, so that mitigated the situation. Still.

  18. My kicks include guacamole, my niece graduating, and more guacamole…

    Nothing like being home…

  19. Mmm, guacamole. Good one, TadMack. And congrats to your niece!

  20. I love butterflies.

    Okay, that’s random giraffe sighting #2 in 2 days. I expect #3 tomorrow. (Things like that happen to me in threes.)

    I have been checking for Generation Dead at my library for a month plus. It’s not available yet.

    Go GLW!

    Congrats on the Abbeville kudos.

    Jules: Yay for storytime and stepping up!

    eisha: Sounds like you found some good deals on adorable pieces. Congrats on the hire and the organization to come! (I first wrote “organized hire,” then realized how mobster that sounded.)

    My kicks from the past week, in chronological order:
    1) Being asked to sign kids’ yearbooks
    2) Attending a graduation
    3) Going to an audition (only to find that it was cancelled – which was disappointing, yes, but I TRIED)
    4) Participating in the 48 Hour Book Challenge
    5) Walking a lot
    6) Sleeping through the night
    7) Slipping on ballet slippers

  21. TadMack, I had some yummy guacamole for dinner. I would say great minds think alike, but isn’t it you who has a sig line some where that says they actually don’t?

    Little Willow, I’m happy to send you my Generation Dead when I finish it. I’d love to share, and I probably wouldn’t otherwise keep it. I’m not done reading it yet, but if you want it when I’m done, it’s yours.

  22. Ooh, yes, please and thank you!

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