BOOK US TO SPEAK, PUT ON A WORKSHOP OR DO A SHORT TERM RESIDENCY AT YOUR CONFERENCE, COLLEGE, COMPANY OR KINDERGARTEN
Now that Matthew Draws has returned, I hope to curtail some of the bad habits that have plagued the previous incarnations. Gone are the days in which I would wait weeks and weeks to post answers! I add the exclamation point to remind myself that I mean it.
Let’s dive right in. I drew, you guessed. Mostly, it was a disaster, but there was a single ray of light. My first drawing was a resounding success! To remind you . . .
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Screen-Shot-2016-03-21-at-9 NULL.38 NULL.21-AM NULL.png)
Though I would love to give a gold star to the person who said Laura Ingalls Wilder, that person is probably deranged and dangerous.
There were a number of Gwen Stefanis, several Miley Cyruses, a Lil Kim, a Nicki Minaj, and a Mary J Blige.
There was a Tammy Faye Baker and a Female Che Guevara.
But, by acclamation, the Missy Elliots ruled the day.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/chelseaclinton-e1380756316153 NULL.jpg)
Thank you for for somehow penetrating the cold, dark vacuum that is my lack of drawing acumen. I’ve seldom felt more understood.
I should have stopped while I was ahead. But that is not how Matthew Draws works. And so I did another drawing. Here’s where things got murky.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/chelseaclinton-e1380756316153 NULL.jpg)
There were no real themes to the guessing. We had a couple Steven A. Smiths and a few Spike Lees, but the rest were a series of desperate one-offs that I will share with you now.
- Batman and/or Robin
- Paul Giamatti
- Bob Balaban
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Or Pete Townsend.
- The Edge
- Will Smith
- The guy from the ESPN sports show
- Steve Buscemi
- The piano guy on Letterman… I can’t remember his name. But it’s the glasses that made me think of him, so I’ve probably been thrown off track.
- Don Lemon
- Chris Darden
- An old Deitrick Haddon?
- Al Roker
- Moby without a shave
- That’s actually a good likeness, but of whom I can’t remember
All I can say is, no, no, no, and no. I was trying, albeit horribly, to draw Elvis Costello.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/chelseaclinton-e1380756316153 NULL.jpg)
Because the rule of Matthew Draws dictates that there will be precisely four drawings each time, I plowed forward. I drew this delectable morsel.
Once again, most of you fired blanks. I do not blame you. It is entirely my fault.
Here are your best efforts, reckless stabbing in an Affleck-tinged, Baldwin-esque fog.
- Haggard Wall Streeter
- Hugh Jackman
- A Baldwin?
- Marco Rubio
- A Baldwin bro?
- John Travolta
- Ben Affleck. John Travolta. No idea!
- Billy Baldwin
- Ben Affleck
- John Hamm
- David Duchoveny
- John Travolta as Robert Shapiro (context is critical)
- Hugh Grant
- Ryan Seacrest
- The guy from Burn Notice
- Nick Cage
- Billy Baldwin
- Steven Baldwin
- No idea
- Ben Affleck
- Elliot Stabler
- Ron Perlman
- Howard Cosell
- Kevin Bacon with hair plugs
- William Baldwin
- John Travolta
- Ben Affleck
- Justin “le Hot Stuff and not just the poutine kind” Trudeau?
Such a chronicle of misguided disaster. But one of you, one glorious, lucky soul, guessed correctly. This is none other than Ryan Gosling.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Feminist-Ryan-Gosling NULL.jpeg)
My finale was not worth the price of admission. Please know I really, really tried, as I always do, even if the evidence is difficult to locate.
Did some of you get this one right? Yes! A few of you did. And some of you, in guessing wrong, incorrectly guessed the mother of the correct answer.
The rest of you were firing arrows at the moon, earnest, admirable, and completely misguided:
- Carmen Electra? She hasn’t aged a day.
- Oh God No
- Jennifer Aniston
- Hilary Clinton
- I refuse to insult anyone by putting their name to that likeness. No, wait, Sarah Palin.
- One of Drumpf’s wives
- Barbra Streisand
- Queen Latifah
- Jennifer Anniston
- Miley Cyrus, upon de-coupling, yet again, from Liam Hemsworth
- Gloria Steinhem
- Barbara Streisand
- Miley Cyrus
- Julia Roberts
- Hannah Montana
- Barbara Streisand
- Ryot Wilson
- Lily Tomlin
- Mayim Bialik
- Susan Sarandon
- Ivanka Drumpf, because TIMELY!
- Kim Davis without glasses
An entire four of you correctly guessed that I had attempted to draw Chelsea Clinton.
Though I must give a special shout out to the handful of you who guessed Barbra Streisand. I see it! I really do.
As for my star rating (a new feature of the Matthew Draws reboot), I earned a whopping 3.4 stars from you people. Which is to say, which of you is trying to bribe me, and what is it that you want? Only one of you had the good sense to award me the single star I deserved, and eight of you gave me FIVE STARS. By what standard am I being measured? Do you people enjoy pain? Were the instructions unclear. I am shocked and a little bit flattered and a whole lot worried about the readership of this blog.
And for the bonus question: If you were to choose two of these people to star in the 2016 reboot of “The Shining,” which would you choose to play Jack and Wendy and why?
- I’d put a whole new twist on it and have Missy Elliot be Jack and Haggard Wall Streeter play Wendy. It would be a “fresh new gender-swapping take” and I think Missy Elliot could pretty convincingly scare the pants off of Haggard Wall Streeter.
- Missy and Oh God No
- Baldwin and Clinton. Because peanut butter and jelly. That’s why.
- Balding eyeglass dude and Sarah Palin, because it would make for a much shorter movie, as Jack would have been driven into a murderous rage by Sarah Palin’s Wendy at a much earlier point in the film.
- Definitely 3 and 1. 3 looks halfway around the bend to begin with, and 1 would not take any supernatural shit off of anyone.
- Billy Baldwin and Missy Elliott. Because, duh.
- Missy Elliot and Bob Balaban. Because that I would pay to see.
- Well. I’d pick Miley for Wendy, cuz she’d come in like a wrecking ball on all that creepshow. And I suspect the 2nd male figure is actually the newly botoxed and tucked Tom Cruise, not, in fact, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. So, given that, I’d cast Missy Elliott as Jack, because she’d write a hella good soundtrack to go with it.
- The Balding guy should be Jack. He looks scary. Hannah Montana (on the right) should be Wendy for similar reasons. Terrifying.
- #3 would be Jack, and the little face on his forehead would be Wendy. GIMME THE BAT!
- Ivanka Drumpf & Justin Trudeau because POLITIX!
- Kim Davis to play Jack of course, and Ryan Gosling to play Wendy because I can’t remember Wendy at all, and in this drawing, Ryan looks very unmemorable. I think he could play unmemorable well, despite his charming handsomeness.
- The first to play Wendy – she looks badass. The second to play Jack – he certainly does not look like a dull boy.
And that, my friends, is that. I hope you enjoyed the guessing. I sure did enjoy the drawing. What is Matthew Draws if not a constant affirmation that the line between pleasure and pain can be very thin indeed.
Please tune in again next Wednesday for a fresh batch of drawings.
It’s been a long time coming, but with spring in the air, March Madness on the near horizon, and children spending more time outside, Matthew is FEELING IT. And by “it,” we of course mean, “the strong desire to set misgivings aside and plow forward with pen and paper and a complete lack of skills.”
As an added bonus, I’m using Typeform (https://www NULL.typeform NULL.com/) (use it! it’s easy! and no, nobody pays me for endorsements, I just love them!) which allows you to give Matthew a 1-5 star rating at the end. Please be honest and don’t worry about his feelings. That’s the way I always play it, anyway.
Alright – so here you go (and don’t forget to check back next Wednesday for the answers):
Hey, folks! We are busily preparing a new talk, which we plan to debut at the Kent County Public Library (in beautiful Chestertown, Maryland) on Wednesday, October 7 at 6:00pm.
I am telling you this because:
1) we want you to mark the date on your calendar using your most colorful sharpie
2) October 7 is two weeks from today, and we have a lot of practicing to do
If you are the sort of person who likes to know what a talk is about before deciding whether or not to come, I can tell you that
1) It is called The Accidental Entrepreneurs and
2) It tells the story of our long, winding, improbable journey from sad people to people who make books – using the development of our picture book Babies Ruin Everything as a narrative through-line
3) It contains more than 100 hand-drawn illustrations in the style of the one below
4) After we conclude the talking, we will answer questions and sign books, should you be inspired to buy them from us.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-23-at-7 NULL.01 NULL.08-AM NULL.png)
That is quite enough for the moment. We will do our best to remind you again. But please do come. It would be a shame to share our timeless wisdom with an empty room.
Hello, folks. For various reasons involving travel, fishing, writing things, drawing things, traveling some more, sleeping not enough, and then traveling, we put the art auction on hiatus for a few months. But now it has returned, along with a volley of blog posts (http://bobbledybooks NULL.com/theme-of-the-month-weather-balloons/)dealing with the wondrous global phenomenon of weather balloons.
Inspired by a weather balloon she found on the tundra in Alaska this summer, Robbi has been telling their story. And it is such an interesting one.
Robbi has been so fascinated by weather balloons of late that she decided to paint one. And then another and another and another.
At this very moment, all over the earth, more than 1,000 balloons are floating up and up and up, doing their thing, letting us know how to plan for the weekend ahead.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/weather_balloons_crop NULL.jpg)
Here is a scan of the whole shebang, a gods-eye sideways glance at the collective ascent above a grateful planet.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/weather_balloons NULL.jpg)
If you are so inspired, you may place your bid HERE (http://www NULL.ebay NULL.com/itm/121760874575). The auction ends at 9PM EST on Sunday, Sept. 20th. Which means you don’t have much time. So get to it. These suckers only stay in the air for so long.
Friends and supporters (and lovers of independent publishing who neither like nor support us), we write to let you know that we (and hundreds of other eager creators) will be on hand this coming weekend for the Small Press Expo (http://www NULL.spxpo NULL.com/), in North Bethesda, MD, just north of Washington, D.C.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/tumblr_nsxqi3Rubg1qztifro1_1280 NULL.jpg)
SPX is a gathering of people who make comics, illustrations, objects, and other wonderful stuff. There are panels and such, and then there is a double ballroom full of tables and tables of creators just dying to share and sell their stuff and to talk to you about what you do. It’s a rare and inspiring gathering that we are honored to be a part of and look forward to all year long.
If you are in the DC or Baltimore environs and have some free time on your hands, we would love to see you either Saturday from 11-7 or Sunday from 12:00pm-6:00pm.
SPX is to be found at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at 5701 Marinelli Road in Bethseda. You can get there via the Metro (White Flint station) or via a short drive from Baltimore or DC.
If your name is Lindsay and you are trying to figure out whether or not to bring us delicious cookies, please know that we will love you regardless, but that we will love you .05-.07 percent more if you arrive with cookies in tow. This goes for people not named Lindsay, too.
Hope to see ALL of you there.
This is a long story, but I’ll try to make it short. Or at least entertaining.
Way back in 2003, Robbi and I made our first book together. Kind of accidentally. She needed some words to illustrate for her grad school application, and so I showed her some of my strange little stories.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.06 NULL.53-AM NULL.jpg)
Robbi illustrated my words. A book (http://shop NULL.robbiandmatthew NULL.com/products/a-bully-named-chuck) emerged. We had a ton of fun.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-06-at-12 NULL.59 NULL.35-PM NULL.png)
And so we decided that making books together was the thing we wanted to do one day. When we grew up.
But it wasn’t quite time yet. First, Robbi got her MFA.
Then we got jobs at a design firm and learned about branding and page layout and publishing and production schedules and printing and the other things you need to know in order to run a small publishing company.
We did that for a few years, but then we got sad, realizing that we were spending all of our best energy making stuff for other people.
And so we quit our jobs, moved into our barn, and started making books for ourselves. Over the years, we’ve made a LOT of books (65 and counting).
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.11 NULL.24-AM NULL.jpg)
And we’ve sent them out to anyone who seems to be interested.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.07 NULL.25-AM NULL.jpg)
One of our early titles was After Everafter (http://shop NULL.robbiandmatthew NULL.com/products/after-everafter). It’s a mix-and-match book that lets the reader recombine parts of ten illustrated stories to make 10,000 separate permutations.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DSC025551 NULL.jpg)
Another of our early efforts was Babies Ruin Everything (http://shop NULL.robbiandmatthew NULL.com/products/babies-ruin-everything), a satirical book about an older sibling’s frustrations upon the arrival of the new baby. It doubled as a birth announcement for our son Kato.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-06-at-12 NULL.21 NULL.47-PM NULL.png)
One day back in 2008, I think, we were at a book fair in NYC. It looked a little like this.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.07 NULL.37-AM NULL.jpg)
We didn’t even know it at the time, but a guy from Disney came by our table and bought a copy of After Everafter.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.07 NULL.52-AM NULL.jpg)
About a year later, he shared it with an editor who worked for a major publishing company.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.14 NULL.29-AM NULL.jpg)
As it turns out, SHE was looking for someone to make a mix and match book about super heroes. She called and introduced herself to us.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.08 NULL.25-AM NULL.jpg)
Erin, who is very nice, asked us if we’d like to write and illustrate a book about the Super Hero Squad series (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Super-Squad-Flips-Marvel-Hardcover/dp/0316176273/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441559117&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=super+hero+squad+series+flips+out) (which is a little kid version of the Marvel Super Heroes). We said yes, of course. It was a huge opportunity to get our foot in the door.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-7 NULL.10 NULL.46-AM NULL.jpg)
The Super Hero Squad Flips Out (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Super-Squad-Flips-Marvel-Hardcover/dp/0316176273/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441466663&sr=8-1&keywords=super+hero+squad+flips+out&pebp=1441466663792&perid=1BB3PETM1J4Y3GJ757Y5) did not turn us into overnight sensations, but it did let Erin know that we knew what we were doing, worked very hard, and always met our deadlines. When the super hero dust settled, Erin was interested in doing another book with us.
We had shared our self-published stuff with Erin, and she thought that Babies Ruin Everything might make an excellent children’s book—with major revisions and entirely new illustrations, of course.
The Idiots’Books version of Babies Ruin Everything was written as a satirical piece for adults, and so some aspects of the original material was not exactly children’s book fare.
The terrifying moment when bloodthirsty spiders threaten the baby for example.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-06-at-12 NULL.22 NULL.18-PM NULL.png)
And that heartwarming passage when the baby pees all over himself. Actually, the baby pees all over himself on pretty much every page of this book.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-06-at-12 NULL.22 NULL.26-PM NULL.png)
Or that moving episode during which our protagonist fantasizes about riding on a pony as it poops on the head of her sworn enemy, Nancy.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-06-at-12 NULL.22 NULL.42-PM NULL.png)
Needless to say, some tweaks were needed to make it appropriate for the children’s picture book market, and so Erin and I set to work in revising the manuscript.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Erin_M2_collaborating_BRE NULL.jpg)While Erin and I worked on the words, Robbi sketched and painted and developed the characters.
A spunky little girl…
…her menace of a baby brother…
…and the girl’s trusty sidekick, best friend, and totem animal, Leonard the Hamster.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2014-03-24-at-2 NULL.25 NULL.08-PM NULL.png)
Robbi also created one full scene—just to give a sense of how the characters might look when placed in a colored layout.
Months passed. (Things happen not terribly quickly in the trade publishing world.). One day, we got a call from our agent, Meredith.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/R_M_M-copy NULL.jpg)
Erin had made an offer on Babies Ruin Everything! In fact, it was to be the very first picture book published by her brand-new imprint at the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. And in case you are wondering, the imprint’s name is…wait for it…Imprint (https://twitter NULL.com/ImprintReads)!
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-10 NULL.15 NULL.52-AM NULL.png)
We did a lot of leaping and hollering. This was the “big break” one dreams of, and we had been dreaming of it for a long, long time. We spent a few minutes pinching ourselves…
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Photo-on-2013-08-19-at-16 NULL.12 NULL.jpg)
…but then it was time to get to work. And so we did.
There was more revising to do, and so I did it.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-10 NULL.18 NULL.51-AM NULL.png)
But most of the work that remained was Robbi’s, and so she rolled up her sleeves and got down to business.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-10 NULL.19 NULL.02-AM NULL.png)
Her first job was refining the characters, in particular the protagonist. One of the great things that happens when you illustrate a book with a publishing company instead of with your husband in in your living room is that you have access to people with great experience and great ideas. Our editor Erin and our art director Patti Ann thought it might be worth exploring what would happen if the girl’s eyes were simplified from the version in our pitch.
They suggested that Robbi model the eyes of our Babies Ruin Everything protagonist after those of the main character in our independently published children’s book My Henderson Robot (http://shop NULL.robbiandmatthew NULL.com/products/my-henderson-robot). Here’s how her eyes looked.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-11 NULL.33 NULL.03-AM NULL.png)
And here’s what Robbi came up with for the new version of Babies Ruin Everything heroine.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/girl_finals_color-copy NULL.jpg)
Simpler, sweeter, more expressive. More Robbi. We loved it. Once the girl was in hand, Robbi did more studies of the baby.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/baby_finals_color-copy NULL.jpg)
And trusty sidekick Leonard.
The next step was seeing what these characters would actually be doing as they made their way through the story. Instead of starting at the beginning and figuring the book out a page at a time, Robbi sketched out the entire thing by creating thumbnails. This is the illustrator’s version of creating an outline before sitting down to write a paper.
The thumbnails allowed Erin and Patti Ann to get a sense of the visual pacing of the book and whether there was a good balance of fully developed scenes and simple illustrated spots. There was a bit of back and forth at this stage, but once Erin and Robbi were both happy, Robbi started creating more fully fleshed out sketches on her computer—still not final art, but a clearer sense of how the actual pages and spreads would look.
Here are a few examples.
The girl’s bedroom.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-02-10-at-10 NULL.00 NULL.20-AM-copy NULL.jpg)
The baby being hoisted over mom’s shoulder.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-02-02-at-1 NULL.06 NULL.39-PM-copy NULL.jpg)
Girl and baby scribbling not very carefully in the corner.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-02-02-at-1 NULL.01 NULL.29-PM-copy NULL.jpg)
Once the entire book was sketched out like this, Erin and Patti Ann took another close look and made more suggestions for refinements before Robbi took the huge next step of developing the final artwork.
First, she took out her pen and ink and brushes and painted all the final line work for the characters, using her light table so that she could use the sketches as a guide.
Once the lines were inked, Robbi stopped briefly to set up a photogenic tableau and admire her handiwork. Admiring is an often overlooked, but utterly indispensable, moment in the creation of any book.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-11 NULL.40 NULL.42-AM NULL.png)
Then it was time for the painting.
Painting, from what I can gather, is immensely gratifying.
It’s the moment when the characters escape from one flat, monochromatic plane of being.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-11 NULL.41 NULL.25-AM NULL.png)
And leap suddenly into another.
Suddenly, they are utterly alive and unleashed, for better or for worse.
When the painting was done, Robbi placed the inked and painted characters in the layout and built fully rendered scenes around them, using cutouts of sampled of watercolor washes like pieces of collage, adding shadows to create texture and depth. It’s a long and technically complicated process, but the end results are pretty satisfying.
Here’s what the three scenes I showed you in sketch form look like as finals.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-10 NULL.52 NULL.47-AM NULL.jpg)
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-10 NULL.53 NULL.04-AM NULL.jpg)
Apples and oranges. Day and night.
Once the insides of the book were done, the tricky and essential process of creating the perfect cover.
In this process we were aided by the talents of the book’s designer, Liz Casal. Liz’s lineup of gorgeous cover designs speaks for itself (http://www NULL.lizcasal NULL.com/), and so we knew we were in very good hands. But no matter the talents of those at the table, the process of testing and exploring and lamenting and weeping and finally rejoicing on the way to finding the perfect cover is a long one. But a hugely important one. As it turns out, people really DO judge books by their covers, which is why there are people who specialize in knowing what works and what does not when it comes to covers. Fortunately, the team at Macmillan really knows what they are doing. And so I am happy to share with you, for the first time, the actual, real-live cover of Babies Ruin Everything.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-05-at-6 NULL.56 NULL.07-AM NULL.jpg)
We are over the moon about this cover. We love everything about it, from the general concept to the helpless and offended look on Leonard’s face to our wonky handwritten names.
Just the other day our appreciation for the cover rose to yet another level, because just the other day our proofs arrived.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DSC02530 NULL.jpg)
The proofs are the actual artwork printed on the actual paper stock with the actual finishing techniques. In the case of our cover, all that delicious red ink will be covered with a varnish, which is laid down in a subsequent run through the press after all of the images are in place. The varnish creates a deligthful gleam, and a texture that you can deliciously appreciate by running your finger across the page. Those scribbles literally rise up from the stark white.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DSC025631 NULL.jpg)
We got seriously geeked out. Not only is the quality of printing head and tails above anything we can manage in-house, but such techniques as varnishing are just beyond our scope as DYI publishers. Another first with this book: the dust jacket. Here it is in full, stretched-out glory. The front flap (on the right) introduces the characters and teases the story. The back flap (on the left) has our bios and author’s photo, or author’s illustration, as the case may be.
But that was just the cover. The interiors were equally stunning. The kids joined us in perusing the proofs. They have been hearing about Babies Ruin Everything for so long and were excited to finally have a look.
Apparently, they like it. All except August, who (as the closest thing we have to a baby in this family) was insistent on living up to his role and ruining the shot.
Every day brings us closer to the release date, but that date is still not even sort of close. Trade books have a long gestation period. The book will hit the shelves on July 21, 2016. Between now and then, the Macmillan sales team will do their best to sell the book to bookstores and create excitement among people who love and promote and review books.
But the cover is just about to be officially unveiled, and so we figured it was high time to bring you up to date.
Until then, our protagonist waits not quite patiently on the magnet board above my desk, biding her time.
I want to take a moment to give a shout out to the core of our Babies Ruin Everything team. Although so many others have contributed to this book’s long gestation (thanks to Jesse Post, Nicole Otto, Patti Ann Harris, Mary Kate Gaudet, and Liz Casal, and Bridget Watson Payne among others), we want to give particular thanks to our incredible agent Meredith Kaffel Simonof (https://twitter NULL.com/mere215) (red dress), whose smarts and savvy and expert stewardship helped make this project a reality, and to our visionary editor Erin Stein (https://twitter NULL.com/arbiteroftaste) (far right), who took the leap of faith to give us this opportunity and feeds us donuts and makes our ideas so much better.
We have always loved the Flatiron Building, long before we had any idea that it housed the Macmillian offices and long before we knew that we and Macmillan would one day be in cahoots. But these days, we feel even more attached to the place, and so grateful to have a creative home there, in the eighth floor conference room—where tiny seeds of ideas grow into full-grown books and reckless dreams become reality.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_3267-copy NULL.jpg)
Since you can’t yet go out and buy eleven copies of Babies Ruin Everything, perhaps you’ll do the next best thing and like the Babies Ruin Everything (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/BabiesRuinEverything?ref=hl) Facebook page, which is launching today. We’ll use it to keep you up to date on the milestones yet to come, including the book’s release next summer.
And that’s all. Just an ordinary post for a Tuesday morning. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Here we are: another month, another painting up for auction (http://www NULL.ebay NULL.com/itm/121678178224).
The theme of the month is rockets (http://bobbledybooks NULL.com/theme-of-the-month-rockets/), and so Robbi’s options were somewhat limited. Here’s what she came up with. I’m rather fond of it.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/IMG_4715 NULL.jpg)
For those of you who do not live in the barn and are not, therefore, able to pick up the painting and peer at it closely, there are two figures in the painting, both dressed in green suits. One is looking (longingly?) out of the window of a rocketship. The other is blasting (gently?) through the vast recesses of empty space with the help of a jetpack.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/rocket_crop NULL.jpg)
There is some sort of dynamic in play, but I will leave it to each of you to draw your own conclusions as to what is going on.
Also, the painting features a planet. The planet is purple. It is riddled with various craters. This planet has had a rough go of it.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/rocket_moon NULL.jpg)
I told you I was going to let you decide for yourself what to make of this painting, but now I have changed my mind and am going to unload my theory on you after all. Robbi asked me to write a description of the painting, and it seems only fitting that I share it.
The wide, black universe their oyster, the newlyweds decide to settle near the lonely purple planet. While Stanley rocks his sweet new moves, Janet unwraps the salad spinner, lamenting that she had not instead registered for an additional jetpack.
Which is why the painting is called “Honeymoon.” Here it is in all its finished glory.
(http://robbiandmatthew NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/rocket NULL.jpg)
It can be yours, of course. Starting now and ending whenever someone splurges for the “Buy It Now” price of ,000,000, the auction will otherwise roll on until next Sunday evening.
PLACE YOUR BIDS HERE. (http://www NULL.ebay NULL.com/itm/121678178224)
And click here (firstname.lastname@example.org) to send lament-laden emails about how you have already been outbid.