Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ludington trip:
My Dad and his wife Rki invited Julia and I up to their new summer house in Ludington this last weekend. Ludington was our summer camping spot when I was a kid, and I still love the West Coast of Michigan. It was on the beach just north of our campsite that I proposed to Julia about five years ago. Anyhow, Dad & Rki's house is great and it was nice to spend the weekend with them in the lovely fall weather. We made a few trips out to the beach and was able to let Autumn run free one of the days. Got some lovely photos for future Mouse Guard stories and some nice shots of the lighthouse. Check out some of the photos from the weekend at my Flickr page

Update on the Mouse Guard site:
I updated the Mouse Guard site with a preview to issue #2 of Winter 1152 (in stores Oct. 31st), a gallery of pages available for sale, and I opened the character section. All that and more news over at
German Limited Edition Hardcover:
I was asked by Cross Cult, the German publisher of Mouse Guard, to do a new print to be inserted in their upcoming limited hardcover of Fall 1152 (or Herbst 1152 as they say.) I left the text out of the banner so that I could digitally add it to be either in English 'Harvest' or German 'Ernte'. Here is the image in English.

I was inspired by the peasant paintings of Pieter Bruegel the elder, a few scenes from Disney's Alice, and the scenes of Bilbo's birthday from both the Bakshi & Jackson versions of LotR.

Kendal College of Art & Design:
I recently spoke at Kendall in Grand Rapids, MI as a guest of the digital illustration department. The turnout was good and the students seemed to enjoy what I had to say. I talked about artistic process, things to do to promote yourself, the business side of making artwork for a living, and technique. It was a pleasure to talk to students who are really invested in making their artwork a career focus. So, a big Thank you to the Digital Art Department for having me out and the students who attended for a good round of Q&A.

Conrad's History:
This story came up at the Kendall talk, and I figured I would share how Conrad came to be. Guy Davis had seen the Mouse Guard figurines even before Mouse Guard was a book. He asked me at every Motor City show I brought them to "Will you sell them"? I always said "No". My thinking was that if I sold my Saxon or Lieam, I'd never be able to sculpt another that I would like as well as the first one. Then it hit me, I'd sculpt a mouse just for Guy (who was very supportive Mouse Guard getting off the ground). This mouse would be a nobody. Not a character from my book, just a generic mouse that I wouldn't have the attachment issue with. The night I started sculpting it, I wasn't having much luck. I had started using Super Sculpy instead of the regular stuff I was used to. Among other problems, I couldn't shape two feet that matched. Frustrated, I picked up a watercolor brush with all the paint chipped off the handle and snapped it. I took the short end of the handle and crammed it up in the mouse's leg socket thinking "now I only have to sculpt one leg"! Then I ripped his ear, and added an earring (really a loop for stained glass suncatchers) By the time I was handing the mouse off to Guy, I knew it had to be a character in Mouse Guard. So I asked Guy "What's his name"? Guy said "We will let Rosie (his fiancée) pick, I'd just come up with something dumb like Conrad" Rosie did come up with a name, but I was already attached to Conrad, so I used her suggestion "Calogero" as the outpost home he lived in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just like to tell you that I'm a huge mouse guard fan! The mood set in each issue only gets better and better. Keep up the good work!

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