Welcome to our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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.
As you know, we feature students of Illustration or brand-spankin’-new illustrators the first Sunday of every month.
Today’s featured illustrator, Jeff Miracola, isn’t exactly new to illustration—he’s been working as a freelance illustrator since 1993 for companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Inc., Hasbro, Inc., Upper Deck Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Inc., ImagineFX Magazine, Advanced Photoshop Magazine, and many more—but he is new to children’s books, so we’re featuring him today. Welcome, Jeff!
These illustrations today are from Jeff’s upcoming thirty-six page picture book, Welcome to Monster Isle, written by Oliver Chin and to be published by Immendium this month. The book is about a family’s vacation gone haywire when a perfect storm tosses their skipper’s tiny boat off course. Seven castaways are stranded on an uncharted desert island. A boy named Finnegan, his sister, his parents and his dog, Howl, venture into the wild and encounter a zootopia of mythical creatures with names like the Yowie and Ogopogo. Super-keen. Or, as Jeff puts it:
…The story is basically like Gilligan’s Island in that a family goes out for a boat ride, gets caught in a storm and is washed up on an island full of monsters… monsters like a Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Abominable Snowman, etc. It was tons of fun to create and my kids say it’s the “best book ever!” And I didn’t have to pay them too much to say that.
Jeff’s freelance career led him to work on the world-famous trading-card game, Magic: the Gathering, and other successful card games, but now he’s focusing on other ventures, including children’s books. Here’s an illustration from a book on which Jeff is working that he hopes to publish:
Many thanks to Jeff for stopping by. Don’t miss his portfolio over at his site! We wish him the best and hope he stays in touch.
So, Eisha, what are your kicks this week?
1* Ooh, I’m digging the art this week. That last one reminds me of a scene from the animated movie version of The Last Unicorn.
2* I’ve been sitting on this kick for the past two weeks, but I wanted to wait until it was totally official before I said anything: after over a year of searching, sending out resumes, interviewing… I HAVE A LIBRARY JOB!!! Starting Wednesday, I’m going to be a Collections Assistant in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of Kroch (pronounced “crock”) Library at Cornell. It is an awesome job, where I get to do a little of everything: public services, reference, archival processing, and event planning. Eventually I may get to put together special displays. And the collections… you guys, they have an E.B. White collection. They have a draft of Charlotte’s Web. I’m serious! It’s like holy ground! How did I get so lucky?
3* Last holiday weekend, as I mentioned, I went to Boston (well, technically, Somerville) to hang out with a couple of my friends from when I lived there. I hadn’t seen any of them in over a year, and it was great to catch up.
4* I’ve been reading a wide array of fabulous poetry this week.
5* Jules and I are starting up a couple of interviews and co-reviews that I’m excited about.
6* For once, I actually got a decent credit card offer with a really good fixed APR, and I’m going to use it to transfer balances from a couple of high-APR cards so I can pay them down faster.
7* I got a long-overdue haircut yesterday, to get ready for MY NEW JOB.
CONGRATULATIONS to Eisha! That’s the best kick of all…
1). My four-year-old started her Parents’ Day Out, she loves it, and I didn’t weep when I dropped her off.
2). This is the last time I’ll proclaim my love for author Haven Kimmel’s blog, ’cause I’m sure I’m growing tedious, but I’m ADDICTED. All her posts are good, but any post in which she concludes with “your turn”—such as this one about phobias and this one about dreaded desert-island decisions—are terrifically fun to read. I keep going back to read the comments from her smart and endlessly interesting fans—not to mention Haven herself graciously responds to just about everybody—and I’m going to meet up soon, I hope, with two fellow fans from Nashville.
3). I travelled eighty-feet down the water slides pictured here. That’s a forty-foot drop. Even higher would have been better. It was ROCKIN’, y’all.
4). I got a wicked bad sun burn that day. So did my husband. It’s been painful just to walk around all week. But the kick is that the burns are finally going away.
5). I heard “Funky Cold Medina” in the car the other day and turned it up really loud. It was awesome.
On that profound note, I’m off. Yes, with only five kicks, ’cause—BEST KICK OF ALL—it’s my husband’s birthday and I have a cake to bake with the girls and some partying down to do.
What are your kicks this week?