Monday, December 31, 2007

Drawing In Church - 12/30

I need Kurt to preach a bit longer. I'd like to add a herd of riderless 5-legged camels coming up the mountain.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

USS Trumpetfish

A drawing I did for my father for Christmas. He spent his time in the Navy on this submarine, The Trumpetfish SS-425. He told me stories about when the water was unusually calm, they could pop the hatch and drink coffee on the deck. Wish I could have shared that with him.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Garden & Gun

It has been a busy week in the studio. I'll be posting the NBA campaign next week, as it all wrapped up yesterday. I've already received many calls and emails from friends saying they have seen the ads in print.

For now, here is a drawing I had some fun with, for Garden & Gun Magazine. Much of the graphic tom-foolery was influenced by the amazing Al Parker show, Ephemeral Beauty, up through January 28th at the Washington University Kemper Museum. If you are in the region, its a wonderful retrospective.

This was about a foundation for nature conservation created by Nascar driver Ward Burton. It's a stock car made of leaves. Hah.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rock'Em Sock'Em

A drawing for an article in Christianity Today about a theological showdown between 'post-conservatives' and 'evangelicals.'

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Drawing In Church - 12/9

...from the parable of the 10 virgins.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Midweek Sketchbook

The page sponsored by the Bic Blue Classic Round Stic.
Needless to say, I'm a purist.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

COVER: Abe Crosses a Creek

Over the last 6 weeks, I've been busy with the final changes to the Abe Lincoln book drawings. That along with a great advertising project I'm working on for the NBA has kept me out of regular editorial work. (I'm pounding the pavement again, so I'll be posting a few new ones by next week. ) But the elbow grease of the last fortnight has produced... a sneak peek:

Here is the cover for the above-and-oft-mentioned Abe Lincoln book. Hold your horses, you won't be able to buy your 12-18 copies until next fall. Good News: Next on the drawing table, I'm working on the art for the book I wrote about John Brown. Bad News: Prepare yourself for looking at more antebellum-themed images for the next 10 months.

Monday, November 26, 2007

SI 50

Three of my images were selected to appear in the Society of Illustrators 50th Annual Exhibition. They have been up on the blog before, but here they are again.

"Greetings From Nowhere" -Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

"Doomsday" -Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

"Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek" -Schwartz & Wade Books

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Border War!

Slavery-hatin' John Brown (my beloved hero and star of an upcoming picture book I'm working on at this very moment) has been in the news this week. Missouri and Kansas play a tackle football game this weekend. It happens to be a very important one because Kansas is nationally ranked No. 2 and Missouri No. 4. Repeat: Football, not basketball.

On the telecast, I'm sure you will see some John Brown/Quantrill's Raid references. Don't let the anti-abolitionist media fool you into feeling sorry for the Bushwackers. Savages who kill Free-Staters! Border Ruffians! Marauding mercenaries! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jack & John Drawing In Church 11-18

A father son collaboration from this morning. (Also, I forgot my sketchbook so this one involves a bit of contextual ephemera.)Look at those searching contours! Sweeping gestures! Kinesthetic mark-making! His third solo show opens in the spring.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Then and Now

An MFA Illustration Alumni show will be opening next Tuesday at the SVA Gallery in New York. I have two images in the show from my graduate thesis along with a few books I've done since. The show is opening in conjunction with the 1st year MFA Book Show. If you are in the city, it would be a good one to see. Plus the SVA Gallery balcony space is amazing. Other former students showing work include Andy Rash, Stephen Savage, Sara Varon, Lauren Redniss, Yunmee Kyong, Victor Koen and many others.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Illo Fire Drill

From last week:
During my visit to the New York Times Op-Ed page last friday, there was an abrupt death. An illustration that was supposed to run on the letters page was killed at 6pm. Yikes. Since I was the only illustrator in the room not occupied by art direction and page proofing, Brian Rea and Sam Weber pulled out a chair and said "Want to take a crack at this one?" It was like getting the call to pinch hit from the bench in the bottom of the ninth! Pick me out a winner, Bobby. I rolled up my sleeves and with my uni-ball micro and some copy paper, came up with this quick solution.

It had been a few years since I felt the delightful rush of completing a drawing from idea to finish in a half hour. The experience fully confirmed my oft-referred to statement that the NYT Op-Ed page is illustration's greatest "Extreme Sport." This one ran on Monday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Sketchbook 11/11

A few drawings from the Illustration Symposium "Illustration in the Age of Anxiety."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The New New York Times

On Friday afternoon, I stopped by The New York Times, to see some old friends I worked with at the Op-Ed page and check out the brand new building. I hopped into the elevator, only to notice there were no floor buttons of any kind inside the car. Realizing I had entered the world of GATTACA, I figured I would slowly starve to death in this elevator. A kind soul entered moments later and told me it was a 'smart elevator' (leaving the conclusion that I must be the 'dumb passenger'). He explained that you have to push the floor button on the panel outside of the elevator and then it routes you to car that is going to nearby floors of other passengers. "Hal" got me to the correct floor.

The new building is really beautiful, the lobby is gargantuan. The giant signage outside the new building on the 8th Avenue side is amazing. The enormity of the space actually made me reflect on just how influential the New York Times is today. The other building wasn't even part of the visible New York Skyline. Finally, the paper seems to be physically living up to its reputation. But, it is hard to match the well-worn, daily-planet ethos of 229 W. 43rd, the building the NYT had been in for 80 years. One foot inside and you were greeted with the ghosts of clicking typewriters. Millions of words written by thousands of reporters were around every corner. The building sat on top of the giant presses that printed the paper for years... ink and newsprint and hot lead type in every crevice. Going to work, I walked under that humble little sign that held the word TIMES above and the time below. It made me feel special and small all at once.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm dusting off my black sweaters and hoping a plane to New York for the weekend. I'll be attending the American Illustration opening, as well as the FUSE Gallery show with my a drawing of mine hanging on the wall. On Saturday, the Illustration Symposium at Parsons is on the schedule. Hopefully I'll have a few sketchbook pages to post on Sunday. If you can find me this weekend, I have buttons to give you.

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


A hand drawn type assignment from The New York Times Magazine. I've always wanted to illustrate William Safire's column on etymology. Who can define a Retronym (without Google)?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Alt Pick Award

My drawing of "Doomsday" was voted 3rd place in the juried vote of the 4th annual Alternative Pick Awards.

It has been a while since I have updated with new work as I've been in the foxhole for a few weeks. Plenty to post very soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Lord God Bird

This personal drawing will be part of a group show at Fuse Gallery in NYC.

19th century southern farmers took to calling the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker the 'Lord God Bird' because of its unnerving majesty. Most serious bird people believe it has been extinct for 50 years. But, in 2005 a group of ornithologists made the claim they had seen one in Arkansas (the have a fuzzy inconclusive video to prove it). Despite throngs of amateur and professional bird-watchers canvassing the deep south, no such sightings have been made since. Skeptical experts doubt the bird sighting was legitimate and suspected a conspiracy. If indeed it was an actual sighting, some scientists have speculated that the single bird seen in 2005 was the very last Lord God Bird.

Oddly, he was last seen drawing a sword from the mouth of a fish.

Drawing In Church - 10/16

After one sunday working and one traveling, I'm back doodling on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Overheard while drawing in local hipster coffeeshop (Ep. 4)

"Money is an illusion. Unless you are making A LOT of it."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Buy a door from the New York Times- Cheep!

My friend Lawrence Levi, who I worked with when I was an art director at the NYT, tipped me off on this..

Up for auction: A door I went through every day to deliver the sketch to the editor for the illo that ran on the Letters to the Editor page. The NYT just moved from the building they had been in for 80 years or so. It will be condos eventually.
I might just make a stab at it. I'd like to install it as my front door.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Sketchbook

I've been so busy recently that I haven't been drawing in my sketchbook outside of Sunday mornings. But, this is a rare mid-week edition of the sketchbook update.

This drawing is a small study for a larger piece I have been kicking around like a tin can the last few months. Its due for a show in October so you'll see the final up here soon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Globe Throwing

A small spot for Fortune about how American businesses excel at putting creativity to work.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Drawing In Church - 9/23

More on the topic of sex and its created purposes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hawk Vs. Thrasher

A small one for Atlanta Magazine, a column weighing the ornithological merits of the city's under performing sports franchises.

Overheard while drawing in local hipster coffeeshop (Ep. 3)

"I mean, I don't wish cancer on anybody, but she said eating vegetables were unnecessary."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reflections from a Sellout

Thanks to the great conversation at Graphic Tales I've been thinking a lot about the language of images. What if I said this: Traditional gallery painting is like Latin- valuable, but dead.

No one can possibly argue that Painting (capital P) is not important, beautiful and full of meaning. But more and more, the people who care about it are not the general populace, but scholars who dedicate their minds to studying and practicing it. The salon has been removed from the street and into the ivory tower. Am I saying that "Art" has also been removed from the sphere of cultural relevance? No, but I'd like the world to have a broader view of what art can be.

The kind of art that circulates in our culture's veins, the kind of images people interface with every day, has increasingly become comics, illustration, animation and other kinds of narrative pictures. (This said as a person who makes these kind of images on a daily basis.) I'm not looking to justify our industry, but more to use history as a validation of its value. If people make (things) and these (things) are political satire or social commentary or a vehicle to depict beauty - isn't that art? Now replace (things) with the word of your choice: paintings, sculptures, plays, comics, etc. In the Paris of 1899, (it) was painting. What is (it) today?

Painting, Fine Art's High Priest, is no longer the barometer of cultural conversation. That is not something I would choose if it were up to me, per-say. But, I've found it is frustrating and logically inconsistent to view arts (of any kind!) on a vertical scale -with the purest and holy forms existing above and the schlocky-est commercial pap down below.

What if we viewed art on a horizontal scale? This is harder than you think. Consider this question: Do you view both Brittany Spears "Oops I did it again" and Handle's "Messiah" as equally valid forms of art?

More to follow...

Image: John Cuneo, "The Freelancer"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Our Day in Court (Ep. 2)

More small claims hullabaloo. The judge was oddly nervous, andrea told me she was a substitute.

Drawing In Church - 9/16

Monday, September 17, 2007

Overheard while drawing in local hipster coffeeshop - (Ep.2)

"This American Life is so over."

Book Jacket of the Month #3

Good news, "How To Save Your Tail" is being reissued in paperback. Random House asked me to do a new cover for the edition.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Opening Photos!

The "Drawing on Deadline" opening was a smash hit. But, the unexpected break-out star was, of course, the $1 buttons. It was a mad rush. I'm busy having my wife make more (I'm on deadline) to fill the bowl back up. Be patient clamoring fanboys!
Thanks to all who were able to attend. Next show in 5 years.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book Jacket of the Month #2

A jacket for a novel published by Abrams Books for Young Readers about two girls (one of them who likes to fake being deaf) who get into trouble chasing a suspicous outsider through their small midwestern town. Ah, childhood.

Overheard while drawing in local hipster coffeeshop

"So, I just showed my professor my revised thesis draft, and he said it needed more research. He totally doesn't get my style of writing."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Drawing In Church - 9/9

Today we started the first of a six week sermon series about sex. Cowabunga.

Friday, September 07, 2007

SHOW: "Drawing On Deadline"

I'm having a show!

The opening is next friday, September 14th, from 7pm -9pm at Subterranean Books in the Delmar Loop. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Book Jacket of the Month #1

I've been working on four book jackets over the last month. All coming due in the next two weeks. Here is the first entry. This is for Knopf, a scottish adventure farce called The Reavers.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

En Suite Parking

A drawing for WIRED Magazine about an NYC condo with a fancy car elevator (being built in a sketchy neighborhood).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Drawing In Church - 8/12

I would like to clarify that the 'drawing' referenced in the recurring title 'Drawing in Church' is only done during the preaching, and not, say, during the hymn singing, etc. As mentioned in the compelling and clever blog Graphic Tales, the impression might be that I am curled up under the pew as onlooking parishioners marvel at my ghastly rudeness. That scenario happens only periodically.