Friday, February 25, 2011

A Nice Comparison

Barry Blitt's new book, The Adventures of Mark Twain, by Huckleberry Finn, a hysterically clever concept, is out now and getting good reviews. Barry was kind enough to forward me this review, which mentioned my work in an insanely flattering manner.

Hot on the heels of Susy Clemens, in Barbara Kerley’s The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), comes a rival Mark Twain child biographer, of sorts—Huckleberry Finn himself. With Burleigh’s, ahem, editorial assistance, Huck recreates his creator, one might say, in his own homespun voice: “Sam tried soldierin’. But it didn’t take. There wasn’t much sand in his craw for killin’ people. And . . . he was very unfavorable to bein’ killed hisself.” Huck not only effectively and wittily conveys the basics of his literary father’s life, but he also displays an excellent grasp of the critiques addressed to Twain’s work by both contemporaries and later generations: “Before I came along, most folks wouldn’t pay no attention to a story ’bout a no-account boy. . . . And they wouldn’t like that my words ain’t always presented in the King’s English.” Huck is assisted in his authorial debut by Barry Blitt, whose spidery line-and-watercolor paintings echo the fluid ink work of Robert Andrew Parker and the spot-on caricature of John Hendrix. Our “author” admits he “left a lot out,” but he slyly puts responsibility for any of his work’s shortcomings on Twain himself: “I coulda throwed more style into it, but I can’t do that very handy, not being brought up to it.” Fortunately, his editor supplies additional data in an appended note, and as to style—well, I reckon most kids’ll think he done just fine.

I owe so much to Mr. Blitt in my work that it is almost embarrassing to read a review comparing his work to mine, but regardless, a very rich compliment. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Drawing in Church- 2/6

Clearly, I'm procrastinating. Enjoy another one from the pew.

Friday, February 04, 2011

In the Art Cave

For the next two months, I won't be taking any work outside of completing the final art for my next book, the true childhood story of Charles Dickens titled, A Boy Called Dickens which will be out in the spring of 2012. You might guess that 2012 is the 200th anniversary of Dicken's birth, and if you know anything about Charles Dickens writing, then you know something about his childhood. David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Little Dorrit and many of his other works come directly from his traumatic childhood experiences living in debtor's prison and working 12 hour days in a blacking factory.

I wanted to share a few of my sketches and drawings, and a bit of the final art. Here Charles is running down the streets of London, to Warren's Blacking Factory, where he packaged shoe polish.

I'm drawing without as much of the ink in this book, using instead graphite, pencil and charcoal to create much of the atmosphere. Look for some new work in a few weeks.