Entries in Novel (2)




I've had the chance to relax and reflect this summer, always a healthy combination, right? Isn't that what summer should be?

September has hit me with a wave of responsibility and new work. I will be taking my son Jacob to University next week. He is going to Lakehead, in far-flung Thunder Bay, for a combined Outdoor Rec and Science degree, complete with an academic scholarship. New adventures, and real excitement for him. A mixture of nostalgia, anxiety and pride for Mom and Dad.

I got a call from Greg Klee last week to illustrate a book review for Jonathon Franzen's new book, Purity. I didn't have much to go on, but having read The Corrections and Freedom, I know it's going to be a great book. It's about a young woman's journey, looking for her father, and her relationships along the way. Obviously, with Franzen's attention to detail and finger on the zeitgeist of society, it's much more than that. So I wanted to capture that feeling of starting a journey, searching for something. Technology plays a role in driving the story, so I pictured her on her cell phone, in an urban environment where the story begins.

I'm looking forward to the fall, the routines and challenges. Also finding the time to read this book!

Here's a few process shots, taken while I was inking the final. I love drawing detritus.


Here's a parting shot - I framed this print, from my collection for my friend Ruth Gangbar. This used to hang in a local hangout and breakfast joint called Chesterfields. It's a nice tribute to past, preserved, framed and ready for the future.




Crime Wave

I was neat, clean, shaved and sober and I didn't care who knew it."

That's when the phone rang.
Getting work via email these days takes all the drama out of assignments.

"It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window."

No, it was actually Dave Bamundo from the Wall Street Journal. The topic was crime, and we talked about creating a good Noirish image for an article on a wave of new Crime novels and imprints.

"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room. "

In truth, I went to my studio and got to work. An overnight deadline and a looming trip to New York the next day.

"Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon."

When I woke up the next morning, the assignment was done. No one was harmed or lying in a pool of blood on the floor. Dave B. got his artwork and I was able to work in a new genre.
- apologies to Raymond Chandler.