After the tragic game two loss of the Cardinals last week in rhe NLDS, I returned to my computer to several messages wondering if my drawing from the LA Times was on the broadcast! (Of course, I had deleted it from my DVR in protest right after Matt Holliday's fateful non-catch.) Well, thanks to archiving hero Andy Kerckhoff, here it is- in beautiful LD (Low-Def). I don't get a shout out by name, but a slight bit of research would have told them the illustrator was from St. Louis, the game they are covering! (sound is low- still working on it-i'll post one with better sound tomorrow)
With the 150th anniversary of John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry, there have been many new reviews of the new book, including two new Starred Reviews!
From Publishers Weekly:
A small highlight- "... Hand-hewn, period-fashion fonts spell out Brown's pronouncements and biblical quotations, underlining his convictions. A strong introduction to Brown's controversial legacy."
A starred review from BookList:
Hendrix, who illustrated the terrific Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek (2008), now tries his hand as both author and artist in this account of one of America’s more controversial figures. He traces how John Brown went from conducting slaves along the Underground Railroad to espousing violent insurrection as a means to end slavery. Unflinchingly, he recounts the sometimes brutal lengths to which Brown was driven by his abolitionist furor, walking the line between lauding and condemning the man while making the case for his ideals, if not all his actions. At times, especially evident in the account of the doomed raid on Harpers Ferry, Hendrix loses the reins of the story and reveals his inexperience as a writer, but his inspired ink and- watercolor illustrations help smooth over the rough patches. Reinforcing Brown as a larger-than-life folk hero, the pictures are exhilarating as he twists into Kansas as a righteous tornado in one scene, harrowing as a noose tightens around the battered, unrepentant man in another. While the intense and complicated subject matter reserves this picture book for older readers, the attention-commanding artwork (and indeed, the entire book design) is so magnificently rendered that students who might be resistant to reading about historical figures, especially in a picture–book format, will be drawn in. By embracing Brown’s complexity, especially in the well-argued afterword, Hendrix sows acres of fertile ground for discussion about motivations and repercussions, and the direness of the conflict over slavery that would soon plunge the nation into civil war.
— Ian Chipman
From Horn Book Review:
Let’s face it: when John Brown stormed Harpers Ferry, he earned the historical reputation as a crazed zealot sacrificing his rag-tag army for his own fanaticism. Hendrix shifts his biography away from this view, showing how Brown’s growing militarism began with a wish for all races to be treated equally, exploded in violence as Kansas bled with slavers and free-staters fighting on the border, and concluded with his stand at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and subsequent hanging. Brown is presented as a larger-than-life figure, a rough-hewn man whose physical features and quoted statements become visually more emphatic as the book progresses. But the rock-solid landscape compositions, all earth tones and cool blues, set the stage for Hendrix to argue his premise in a concluding author’s note: that a sensible concern for hostages, rather than ineptness or zeal, led to Brown’s capture and trial. Still, the debate about the ends justifying the means is timely—the jacket art showing Brown marching on with two small black children could well be captioned “Onward Christian Soldiers.” An author’s note, bibliography, and index conclude the book. -B.C.
And a nice review from the book blog 100 Scope Notes:
A highlight: "Vivid, detailed, bold, memorable – Hendrix works wonders here with pen & ink and acrylic washes. Earth tones are rendered in crystal-clarity, providing a crispness that makes some other books seem out-of-focus in comparison. Hand-lettered passages pop up intermittently, highlighting important elements of the story. The result is a book that feels like a statement..."
Moving to audio/visual-
David Weinberg, an independent radio producer also did a nice story on the book, that aired on The St. Louis Beacon's website. Hoping it will find its way to NPR sometime soon. It is found here and also on the Beacon's homepage for now.