We are back from New York, road-weary but pleased by the contents of a busy weekend. There is much to report, but no time to do so at present. There are children to reunite with and a bloated inbox to dig out of. So for now, here is the latest midnight drawing from Robbi.
Photos and stories of the weekend to come.
Day one of MoCCA Fest is in the books.
One more to go.
Full report to come.
Last week, we got up early and drove north, taking the “scenic route” through Kennedyville, where the sunrise is nicer than it is on the faster road.
Our destination was William Patterson University, where we spent a wonderful afternoon with students.
First, we talked with graduate art students and critiqued their work. I fell in love with this print by artist (and master printmaker) Jase Clark.
Not long after, I fell in love with this sushi.
After lunch, we did our dog and pony show for a big group of undergraduates.
August hung out in the hallway with our friend Claudia during the presentation, but joined us for the Q&A.
We had a great time. There’s nothing more energizing than meeting young people who are interested in making art. As much as we love the barn, it’s good to get out into the living, moving world every once in a while.
That said, at the end of the day, we always seem to enjoy the ride home.
Thank you, Claudia, for such a wonderful day. Thank you, students of WPU, for taking the time to listen as we shared our work.
And remember to keep on making stuff.
Alden has always enjoyed making marks on paper, from finger paints to crayons to markers to ballpoint pens. Only recently has she graduated to the good stuff, by which I mean fancy pants watercolor paper. With four-year-old status comes certain privileges, including a seat in the studio.
In addition to the finer points of composition and brushwork, Robbi has been teaching her the essential artist’s skills of nonchalance and self promotion. Note the perfectly cocked wrist.
Admit it. You’re hooked. Try and tell me you don’t want to drop six figures for this sucker.
Here is August at four-months.
Thriving, jolly, and larger than life.
In our minds, he is the size of a planet. One of the larger ones. Saturn, maybe, without the ring. Not quite Jupiter, to be sure, but far more magnificent than Venus or Mars.
Alden and Kato are like Pluto. Almost not planets at all. Hugging the low end of the growth chart, they are destined for a lifetime of asking others to take the cookie jar down from the highest shelf.
But not August. At two months, he was at the 75th percentile for length and weight! He would be the one to protect the rest of us when all hell breaks loose at the end of days.
We took him in for his four-month checkup yesterday, wondering if, perhaps, he had grown even more magnificently large than he had been before. Our tired arms and aching backs suggested that he might be among the biggest four-month-olds ever to grace the planet earth. We eagerly awaited his measurements.
The verdict? August has shrunk, in a relative sense. He is squarely in the 50th percentile for both weight and length (though his head is apparently still off the charts).
We have decided to go on loving him in spite of his failure to be quite as large as his early metrics suggested.
It seems as if we’re going to need another protector when the End Times come.
Yesterday, I shared Robbi’s ogres. This morning, I give you her sketches for the girl who is the heroine of the story with the ogre. She also has something stuck in her ears. If it were up to me, I’d be coy and refuse to tell you, but Robbi has spoiled the fun by making it explicit.
Here she is, though. (She does not yet have a name.) I like her spectacles and shocking orange hair.
Both ogre and girl will appear in one of the first few Bobbledy Books, though we have no idea if this is what she’ll end up looking like. Waking this morning, Robbi doesn’t remember having drawn them (those of you who have been up in the middle of night to feed babies will probably relate to this) and can’t quite decide whether or not she likes them.
Time will tell. On with the day.
Lately, we’ve been busy. Very busy.
Rolling down hills.
Contemplating life in the cat tower.
Throwing flower petals high into the air.
Riding in wagons.
Walking the straight and narrow.
Letting it all hang out.
Hanging with mama.
Pulling wagons in the dead of night.
And getting some well-deserved rest.
That’s what we’ve been up to. In case you’ve been wondering.
Quietly, behind the scenes, we are making steady progress on Bobbledy Books. There is so much to do: a web site to build and populate, envelopes to design and print, consumer shwag to imagine and produce…and then there are the books themselves. We’re very much hoping to have the books for the entire first year done before we launch. Which means we have to make them.
One book is finished (though not yet printed), and two more books are on the stove at a low simmer. One of these features an ogre with something stuck in his ears (we will not tell you what it is). Early this morning, Robbi did some preliminary sketches, which were this morning’s email treat.
Who knows if the ogre in our book will look anything like these? I guess we’ll find out.
Bucking our usual trend of waiting until the last possible moment to tell you about where we’re going to be and when, I am pleased to tell you that we are going to be at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts Festival this weekend in Manhattan.
Here is the snazzy poster.
MoCCA Fest is a gathering of people who make, distribute, or otherwise care about independent comics, self publishing, illustration, art, and etc. Housed at the 96th Regiment Armory, it looks a little something like this.
This is the tenth anniversary of MoCCA, and crazy as it feels to admit, we will have been present for more than half of them. Somehow, improbably, if you keep doing something, eventually you will have been doing it for six years.
The hours are 11-7 Saturday and Sunday. Other particulars can be found here. Come. It’s fun. Plus, we’d love to see all of you New York-based friends/subscribers/blog readers. Alden and Kato will stay home to clean the barn, but August will be present. We plan on renting him out in half-hour blocks for a modest fee of $0.
The day August turned four months old, we mixed up a batch of rice cereal, just to see what would happen. Neither Alden nor Kato had been ready to eat real food at four months, but we had a sense that August, being a veritable beast, might have a different relationship with all things edible. And we were right. From the very first try, he lunged at the spoon with craven enthusiasm.
Today, we put him in the high chair for the first time and took him for a spin with a jar of mashed bananas.
The result was more glee. The jar was just too small. We soon moved on to mashed pears. Kato demanded to get in on the action. With Robbi’s help, he offered his brother a bite of the good stuff.
We monitored the situation closely for a while, but Kato was such a natural, that we decided to let the brothers do their own thing.
It’s probably good that Kato get used to doing chores for August. If current size projections hold, within a year or two, August will outweigh his big brother 2 to 1. Kato may one day look back and lament the day he willingly threw gas onto the bonfire.