Some of you know Nasty Chipmunk, the lovable antihero subject of Volume 23. In the course of his adventures, Nasty runs afoul of his nemesis, Give Me Your Money Bunny. The ensuing standoff looks a little like this.
I tell you this to set the scene for the following, a lovely comic-style homage to Nasty submitted by subscriber Tara Scherner de la Fuente. In addition to having perhaps the finest name in the subscribership, Tara is wickedly funny.
Please join me in admiring her handiwork:
Thank you, Tara, for providing this glimpse into the continuing adventures of Nasty.
I just discovered that Nasty has a page on Good Reads, where several people have said embarrassingly nice things about it. Feel free to jump into the fray if you love…or hate…Nasty.
There’s little more inspiring than a truly withering review.
This just in from Idiots’Books subscriber Seth, who credits us for the chain of events that led to his latest child.
“We loved the onesie so much we thought it would be a good idea to have another baby to put in it. We have had some occasion to question the wisdom of this decision, but after some deliberation we’ve decided to keep him.
And he’s awfully cute.”
I suppose that we should consider this a compliment. But instead we shake our heads and wonder when someone is going to take our warnings to heart.
Today, over on the Bobbledy Blog, we announced the winner of the Gorillas in the Kitchen “Make Your Own Book” contest. That author/artist extraordinaire is named Spencer Nichols. At the tender age of six, Spencer managed to write an interesting, funny story with a lively plot and a surprise ending AND managed to draw interesting, consistent, fun illustrations throughout. The kid is really amazing, and we’re so glad that he sent us his book.
Obviously, the contest was for kids, and so it makes sense that a kid was the winner. But, that doesn’t mean adults were barred from entering. And boy, are we glad that they didn’t hold themselves back.
It is now my distinct pleasure to announce the winner of the Gorillas in the Kitchen non-kid bracket, won in a landslide by the talented, smart, and hilarious Holly Kohler of The League of Lost Causes fame.
Holly’s version of Guerillas is playful, irreverent, and brilliantly illustrated. If you do nothing else, scroll down and check out her drawings. But if you have time, it’s well worth your while to read her delightful story.
Amazing. I do love it when people use their imaginations. It’s a shame that we’re so often discouraged from doing so once we hit middle school.
The Gorillas in the Kitchen contest was everything we had hoped it would be, and much more. Thanks to Holly for refusing to let the kid in her stand by while the actual kids had all the fun.
Half the fun of what we do is sending things out: books, t-shirts, posters, baby onesies. We make stuff, and we send them into the ether.
But the other half of the fun is seeing what you send us.
For example, today we got a box in the mail from a subscriber. The box was very light. It almost seemed empty. And yet there was something rattling around inside. Something so light it almost wasn’t there.
I was baffled, perplexed, intrigued. What could be inside?
As it turns out, the box was full of money. Don’t get me wrong, I love money. The seeming consternation on my face is a function of confusion, not displeasure.
Further investigation brought us to the bottom of the mystery. Instead of using a credit card, PayPal or a check, Richard decided to send a holiday-themed laundry line of cash, helping us avoid processing fees while injecting a little festivity into the transaction.
We’re torn. Richard’s payment is, in fact, a piece of “art,” a thing we’re loathe to dismantle in the name of, say, buying groceries for our children. We’ll see how long our commitment lasts.
The point of all this is that we love hearing from you. Please send us stuff. We love getting mail.
Even mail that does not consist primarily of decorative cash money.
Sometimes, I have something to post, but can’t quite tell which blog it belongs on. Today is one such instance. Last Friday, we got an email from joint Idiots’Books/Bobbledy Books subscriber Holly. The email contained an attachment: Holly’s submission to the Gorillas in the Kitchen contest. Clearly a Bobbledy Blog post, right? Something tells me it’s more aligned with Idiots’Books sensibilities.
You be the judge.
All I can say is, oh my.
Putting on my art director’s hat for a moment, Holly has done several things I admire.
She took the liberty of changing the title, which I thoroughly encourage anyone entering the contest to do.
She drew on revolutionary iconography to tap into a larger world of associations.
She made Che look sexy in cherry red lipstick. No easy feat, my friends. No easy feat.
And, finally, she spelled her name correctly. Not that this is a requirement, of course, but I feel she deserves some credit, nonetheless.
If you find yourself chuckling at Holly’s work, I suggest checking in on her web comic, the League of Lost Causes. And if you find yourself inspired to try to top her amazing cover with one of your own, I heartily encourage it.
Over the years, we have heard one persistent complaint about the Idiots’Books catalog. Our sizes and formats vary so dramatically that our readers have found it difficult to find a fitting way to shelve their collections. Some of our more enterprising and determined subscribers have taken this inconvenience as a challenge, several electing to create a designated box for their Idiots’Books, carefully labeled and thoughtfully adorned, of course. We have been flattered by these efforts, satisfied that, for a few stalwarts, at least, the pride of membership exceeds the pains of storage.
But today, we received a photograph that let us know that one among you is gunning for sole possession of the Subscriber of the Century award.
Yes, this is a dedicated shelf in our friend David’s bookcase. Yes, that is a custom-made steel-with-antique-finish nameplate bearing the Idiots’Books logo.
Are we honored? We are.
Do we wish we had a shelf this nice to display our own collection? We do.
Do we expect each and every one of you subscribers to follow suit? We hope, of course, while harboring realistic expectations.
Frankly, we are honored when we walk into a home and see one of our books wedged awkwardly beneath the gimpy leg of a wobbly table.
We aim to keep our expectations low. So photos like this one really make our day.
Thanks, David. We’ll aim to keep going until that shelf is full.
Last week I presented you with the following challenge: identify the wearer of the underwear below (as a hint, I offered that the model was a “famous writer”) and write a fitting caption for the scene depicted.
There was great enthusiasm for identity guessing. The range of possibilities included many heavy-hitters from the literary set:
Some long-dead greats:
(Too short to be) Longfellow!
A few contemporary masters:
John Green, looking for elastic. (he wrote a book called Looking for Alaska)
One bona-fide rock star:
Must be Mr. Stun Buns himself
And a couple of washed-up wannabes (with admittedly well-shaped buttocks):
I am sorry to say that not a single one of you correctly identified the owner of those well-loved orange boxer shorts. I’ll reveal his true identity in a moment. As for the captions, here were the finalists:
Ripped from the headlines?
Feeling a little cheeky…
I’m not sure why a Hemingway theme emerged in these responses. Something tells me that Hemingway’s buttocks would be larger and much more hairy. But no one asked my opinion on the matter.
As for the winner, I’m partial to “U-rip-a-these,” a play on Euripedes (an undeniably famous writer). Something about the thought of an ancient Greek playwrite ambling around in silk boxer shorts tickles my funny bone. And so, for his troubles, Mr. Robert Ortiz is the proud winner of my root-beer flavored Yankee Candle lip balm.
Bob, I’ll bring it by in person. If any of the rest of you is a fan of fine, contemporary furniture in the Shaker and Japanese traditions, I highly recommend checking out Bob’s site. Or stop by his studio the next time you’re in Chestertown. It’s about two blocks from the barn.
As I said earlier, no one correctly identified the writer in question, and so The Sensational Pansy Saddle will dwell in the barn for yet another day.
I’m sure you’re all kicking yourself as I tell you that our underwear model is none other than Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of the critically acclaimed Lincoln’s Melancholy, the writer of the most read article in the history of TheAtlantic.com, and the relentless, probing mind behind the four-part Slate.com series on Robbi’s and my creative collaboration.
Here he is.
And here he is again (one of my favorite photos, taken at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge a few summers back).
Josh gave us his blessing to post the photo, saying that “My ass needs some exposure.” And whose ass doesn’t? The plight of many a famous writer: always a need for greater doses of the same.
And so, I offer this prime venue for any of you dozens and hundreds of famous writers who read this blog. Send us a photo of you in your skivvies and we’ll keep this contest going.
That Pansy Saddle needs to find another home somehow.
This is already old news, but while we were crashing at BFF Stella‘s pad in Chicago, she was getting married to Geek Hero Josh in New York.
Though they are both super fetching, I’m keeping Stella’s identity slightly mysterious so she doesn’t get bludgeoned by you hordes of jealous readers if you happen to see her in the streets. Josh, on the other hand, can be found quite easily for being an internet superstar, so I don’t feel the need to blur his features. Plus, I love this photo.
For their nuptials, I sent one of mom’s containers to Saipua, a top-notch flower shop (and soaps, too!) in Brooklyn for filling and delivery. I am a big fan of of the Saipua blog, starring Sarah and absolutely delicious photos of her flower arrangements. I cannot more highly recommend her.
Mom was a master in the Ohara school of Ikebana (japanese flower arrangement) and her arrangements always captured a bit of the wild in them. I think Sarah did a stellar job stepping in for mom, who (like the rest of us) would have been so thrilled to celebrate with Stella (who, frankly, was one we had all figured would happily remain blissfully single).
The container in question is called a “double ring” – the perfect piece for a wedding. Though I’m sad I couldn’t be there in person, it makes me so happy to think that a piece of mom was.
Happiness and blessings to my favorite couple in the world!
Not long ago, subscriber, BFF, and maven of the cutting edge, Stella, asked Robbi for an image from one of our books, Nasty Chimpunk. Specifically, she was interested in the epic confrontation between our hero Nasty and his nemesis Give Me Your Money Bunny. We wondered why Stella needed/wanted the image, but decided to ask no questions. After all, she has never before led us astray.
The other day, we received a photo that answered all questions. Stella, she of consummate consumer-savvy and impeccable taste in illustration, saw fit to create a customized iPhone case.
In other news, Stella is getting married next weekend to the hottest geek we know.
Ladies (and Don), now you have two reasons to cast your searing jealousy her way.
We are establishing a proud tradition of confusing and upsetting children with our work. Not long ago, we received a letter from the father of a young boy who was distressed by the unfolding of events in our book The Super Hero Squad Flips Out!
Now, just this morning, we received this email from the mother of a young girl named Addie who was baffled by certain scenes from Build Your Own President: 2012.
As follows (I will insert a number of images from the book to more fully illustrate the terms of Addie’s confusion):
I hope all is well in your part of the world! We received the latest book last night and loved it. However, Addie has a few questions that I thought you all might best be able to answer. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) “Mommy, this one is the silliest. How can you have two heads and only one neck?”
2) “How can Obama have a basketball while he is on a camel?”
3) In reference to the cover: “Why does Obama have a mommy shirt and nipples?”
Thank you for providing stimulating breakfast and dinner table conversations for our family!! You have truly reached the hearts and minds of both the adult and 3-year-old populations with this one!
Talk soon, Garet
We are cheered Addie’s clear engagement with the issues of the day. In her, we find a keen observer of the contemporary political landscape and all its blatant hypocrisies and baffling contradictions. We only wish we had satisfying answers for these questions, which are sure to plague her throughout her life.
Perhaps the best we can do at present is to propose that every commander in chief needs a mommy shirt at some point and that Michael Jordan’s game might have been even more transcendant had he played from camelback. As for two headedness, we agree that it’s just creepy. Surely no one with this problem should be elected president.