7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #285: Featuring Jake Parker

h1 June 24th, 2012 by jules

I love this illustration, which comes from freelance illustrator, designer, and comic artist Jake Parker.

Jake is the creator of the Missile Mouse graphic novel series, published by Scholastic, and he has also worked for Blue Sky Studios. While at Blue Sky, Jake created sets and environments for such films as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Rio. Right now, Jake—who lives in Utah with his family—is working as a freelance artist, creating picture books and comics.

Most recently, Jake embarked on a project to fund The Antler Boy and Other Stories, a collection of short comic stories he’s been writing and drawing over the past eight years. There’s more information in the below video, as well as lots of art. (For the record, I haven’t seen The Antler Boy yet, but this doesn’t stop me from featuring Jake’s art today.)

I thank Jake for visiting. Be sure to visit his site for more of his work (and previously published books); the “characters” page is particularly fun. His blog is here. I hope we see more of Jake’s art in even more picture books in the near future.

Oh, and I have to start out with his tattooed Santa, though it’s nowhere near Christmas. I love him too much — and maybe he’ll help us cool down a bit, even if he himself seems to be in swimming trunks.











Jack and the Beanstalk


From Missile Mouse


From “The Antler Boy”


From “The Robot and the Sparrow”


From “Hugo Earhart,” one of Jake’s first comic stories


Jake’s video; click the play button to see more art

All images reproduced with permission of Jake Parker.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a 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. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

I don’t mean to be so brief today, but I think my kicks 1 to 7 this week can be embodied in the fact that last night I saw Lost in the Trees perform at a tiny club in Nashville. I’m actually typing this on Friday night, since I have a busy weekend ahead, so it feels weird to use the past tense.

Below is a picture of the band and one of their newer songs, which is My Current Favorite Beautiful Song. As you can see in that picture, there will be many instrumentalists playing tomorrow night. (I don’t even think all of them are pictured there.) I am such a fan of this little-known band that I feel an awful lot like Mel:

(That’s too fun not to post.)

So, I’m not at all like Mel, but I do know the words to all their songs. (And she’s impressive, huh?)

Okay, now here is the song. I won’t be standing in a forest tomorrow night, listening to them, but I will finally get to hear them live. I still say their latest CD is, hands down, the most gorgeous CD of 2012.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

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17 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #285: Featuring Jake Parker”

  1. That tattooed Santa is the best. I will have to find Antler Boy
    Jules, I always love that you share such great music with us all.
    My kicks:
    1. Going to spend the day at The Writing House.
    2. Dinner with two teacher librarians who are retiring.
    3. A great two day workshop on teacher evaluation.
    4. The garden.
    5. A garden party las night.
    6. Read Wonderstruck.
    7. Walking.
    Have a great week.


  2. Jake Parker is great! I was glad to see this week that he will be a contributor to the Drawn Blog, which is always sending me down to illustration rabbit hole.
    http://blog.drawn.ca/post/25658865357/our-newest-contributors
    Jules- You are also always sending me down the rabbit hole of awesomeness. I listened to that whole Marc Maron interview the other night up in the studio. Now I am listening to song after song of Lost in the Trees.
    Jone- You have given me the great idea of calling cookouts “garden parties” from now on.

    kicks!
    1. School is out. I’m going to consider this a good thing despite working mom’s guilt.
    2. It was actually hot this week.
    3. I finished husband’s promo card for his business.
    4. Summer is here!
    5. Supportive friends and family.
    6. All of the great ice cream shops on the Cape.
    7. Last but not least I have Little League news.
    The first place Red Sox won the championship game!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4119490953916&set=a.1091599138513.16336.1482546367&type=1&theater

    Happy Summer Imps!


  3. What a post! How I envy Jake’s ability to render his dreams in lightning-flashes of line and color, unimpeded by the temporal, cumulative effects of words — and his skill at drawing “cute” without succumbing to schmaltz.

    This week brought the first heat wave of 2012 to New England, and it prompted me to write this:

    Once You’ve Wandered from Under Your Yellow Cabana

    or beach umbrella—
    your canopy made

    to tender shade
    or hinder sun

    from sand—
    meander here

    and stand stock-still,
    bewildered

    by a splendor
    grander than

    thunder in winter,
    a span beyond

    your slender reach
    properly to ponder—

    watch the sea-spray
    crash the strand,

    tinderbox of kindling,
    flint and firesteel

    till, in candor,
    you will blunder

    toward a bored
    gelato vendor,

    numbly as your hungry
    tongue commands,

    as goose unmans
    her gander,

    come to squander
    summer’s wonders,

    cash in hand.

    © 2012 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved


  4. Yay, Jake Parker! Not only do I like his work in general, but he’s on board to illustrate my next picture book, so it’s great to see him featured here.


  5. Good morning, Imps! Hi there, Jake Parker! I like the page from The Robot and the Sparrow.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Rehearsals – The musicals are this week!
    2) Filming
    3) Audition
    4) Music
    5) Sleep
    6) Comfort
    7) Movies

    Jone: I am now singing Garden Party by Ricky Nelson. I love that song.

    Moira: Congrats to the athletes!

    Steven: Thanks for sharing your poetry.

    Jules: Here, have some contrasting songs from the same performer:
    Lovesick Mistake by Erin McCarley
    Elevator by Erin McCarley


  6. Jules and Jake: What a beautiful array of artwork demonstrating such versatility…I have to agree the Santa is awesome and I love Jack and the Beanstalk. Up until now my only introduction to Jake’s art was The Astonishing Secrets of Awesome Man and Missile Mouse.
    Jone: I read Wonderstruck aloud to the entire third grade student body this year. We were in awe. Check out the virtual visit to the Museum with Selznick.
    Moira: My mouth is watering thinking of all those ice cream shops.
    Steven: Your poems are like music, silent but stirring.
    1. Enjoyed debut authors work this week; Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough and A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christoper Healy
    2. Homer is my new favorite dog book…my fave book of alll time.
    3. Went on a taco binge after reading Dragons Love Tacos.
    4. Finally got my gardens in order to the watch and grow stage.
    5. Enjoying ALA in CA through Twitter.
    6. Won a book giveaway (again).
    7. Walked in the rain with Xena (my lab) this morning.


  7. Jone, the girls and I are reading Hugo Cabret now. The kindergartner didn’t *want* to like it (long story), but she can’t help it. They’re both quite taken … Walking is so good for the soul. Also, I agree with Moira, and I just want to say I threw a garden party.

    Moira, thanks for the Drawn tip! And wasn’t that Maron interview good? (I assume you meant Jack White.) I hope you like Lost in the Trees. I swear, there were only about maybe 15 people there last night. But they were very gracious to those of us who showed. This band is amazing. I wish more people knew about their music. (And I always worry about appearing pushy with my yakking about music, so I’m glad it doesn’t appear that way — at least to you!) … And, hey, school is just now out for you all? We are halfway done! … Congrats to the Red Sox!

    Steven, I love when poems get right to it like that with the title being the first line.

    Kate: Great news. What’s the name of this one?

    Little Willow, I’m glad to see “sleep” in there, given all the other busy kicks. You’re living it up, as always. I admire you like that. ….Thanks for the music. Ooh! That second video!

    Margie: So glad you like Homer, too. That book works on so many levels, it’s rather brilliant. Oh, and I gave Dragons Love Tacos as a gift this week to some friends. Don’t you wish we could all be at ALA, hearing those speeches in person?


  8. Jake Parker offers up some real fun. Tatted Santa (ha!), sweet Robot & Sparrow and moody Antler Boy especially caught my eye. Thanks for sharing.

    Jules – The Mel vid pretty much takes one through the stalking experience: at first, she’s sweetly amusing; by the end you feel oddly creeped out. That speech about how she wore down her college professor into marrying her was the turning point for me. Ha! As always, both music and art a wonderful Sunday start.

    Jone – Have a good writing day. I can picture your garden (from photos.) Lovely.

    Moira – Yea for your Red Sox! And for hubby art support. Can’t go wrong with summer and ice cream.

    Steven – You and Moira are in summer-stroll-for-ice cream synch. Love, “crash the strand, tinderbox of kindling, flint and firesteel”. Captures that sound so vividly.

    Kate – Lucky Kate. : – )

    Little Willow – Ditto: Jules relief that little sleep is included in always-full schedule.
    Thanks for Mccarley links (she got a great emotional rattle in her lower range.)

    Margie – Now I want icecream AND tacos. Reading to assembled 3rd grade, yes!

    My mid-June kicks:

    1- 3. Watching the most adorable humming bird nest out my window with 3 chicks (unusual is 2.) Nesting, sitting, feedings, chirpings and now…. they’ve flown away.

    4 & 5 Trip to house in Mexico; drove to Ensenada with my son to get new modem for internet service. With luck (and Google Earth) I somehow found the store. My son managed to convey, in his newly-conversational Spanish, our wishes and get the right equipment. Together, after hours of trial and error, we got it working. Yea!

    6. sketches

    7. summer reading: I’ve got three books going (car, purse and bedside.)

    Have a wonderful week kickers!


  9. What a diverse range of pictures today! Hope you had a great time at your concert, Jules!

    I will return after work to delight in everyone’s kicks! My kicks:

    1. A couple of weeks ago I lost my train card (the thing we load with money & swipe), cancelled it, and then by lunch had the train people ring to say it was handed in, and, even better, they could uncancel it.
    2. I then lost my purse by leaving it at work one afternoon (our floor has social nibblies & drinks together once a fortnight). The next day as I walked to the lift to go down to the bank to cancel our cards, I bumped into one of the managers who remembed they had picked it up and locked it in their office for safety.
    3. We are passed the shortest day of the year, so it will be getting lighter in the evenings soon which will make it easier to walk home
    4. I made a delicious pear and almond cake
    5. …and am going to make it again for a second occasion with a wedding present that many people chipped in for: a beautiful red Kitchenaid mixer! We just picked it up today. So excited!
    6. Looking at the instruction booklet, the name for the mixer in Dutch appears to be keukenrobot. I think this is a splendid name.
    7. Jonquils must have come into season (they are winter flowers here) as I bought an inexpensive bunch at the shops and they are now cheering up the lounge room


  10. Returned to note: The Google Earth street-view car (small green & white vehicle with red ball of cameras on top) just drove by our bluff street — passed one way and then, back the other. (I waved…)

    emmaco — ‘keukenrobot’, love that!


  11. Way, cool Denise. I wondered when Google will be on my street.
    And Emmaco, love ‘keukenrobot’.


  12. HI Imps!
    wonderful posts everyone. Thank you. You’ve cheered me after a tough, good and crazy weekend.

    Wonderful poem. Thank you Steven.

    Love the art, Jules. Especially the boy riding the T-Rex and then the boy riding the whale. These are definitely
    the fantasies of every 5 and 6 year old boy I know.

    1. listening to the neighbors’ garden party singers (now) sweetly singing and gently strumming.

    2. lovely weather in the low 70s with warm sun – oh wait it is Los Angeles, the weather is always like that! But my New Englander self is still appreciating it.

    3. enjoying the newly rearranged bedroom so that the crib for the soon-coming foster baby is away from all the windows. This was not easy. Thanks to my hubby for all the hard work.

    4. helping my 6 year old draw the trees in our front yard in his tree journal

    5. new draft of the novel I’m editing has arrived. I’m pleased with the results of lots of hard work.

    6. last week of editing online editing course. I’ve really enjoyed it and learned a lot, but I”m glad it is almost over.

    7. sold lots of odds and ends in our community yard sale yesterday, made $220. Major victory was only buying ONE item – a small and beautiful porcelain lamp from a neighbor that looks perfect in our living room.

    Thanks for doing the 7 kicks, Jules. I needed to be reminded of all the joy, beauty, kindness and gratitude in the world.

    Have a great week!


  13. Denise, your trip sounds fun, and kudos to your son for the communication win! I love hummingbirds and always think of The Underneath when I see them.

    Emmaco: DID YOU ALREADY HAVE THE WEDDING?!! I swear I read your kicks (pear and almond cake, mmm), but this is the one pressing question I have now. If we missed it, OH MY GOD, belated congratulations to you!

    Allison: Glad the imps brought cheer. We aim to do so. … Didn’t realize you were getting a foster baby. That is exciting, and I’m glad you got the crib all good-to-go. I hope this week is better, Allison, and not tough and crazy.


  14. Oh, and Denise: I giggled over what you wrote about Mel. So true how it goes from funny to all-out creepy.


  15. Wish I could have seen them in person! Glad you had fun. Who knew about Santa! Although I suspected he’s pretty tough under that jolly exterior.


  16. “Deck the hallz” made me snort-laugh.

    Thanks for getting me hooked on Lost in the Trees, Jules. I’m glad you got to see them in concert.


  17. Love all these lists. So cheering on a cold and wet night. (actually I like the weather as it’s a cosy change).

    Best wishes with your foster, baby, Allison!

    And yes I was married in March, Jules! I think you congratulated me already…maybe? (I have some photos on Facebook, but ones I’ve been tagged in rather than an actual album). But thank-you anyway :-)


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