Tuesday, July 25, 2017

First Rise

That was fast, or so at least it seems to me.  I've a new book coming, and soon.  That's the illustration for the back cover above.  Every such effort in the past has required time; to make the pictures and decide on rhymes and whatnot, and then to gather the component pieces into something more like a book.  Since my last, the process of publication has become, if not a well-oiled-machine then at least  a working contraption that no longer means figuring out how to make a wheel.  I'm usually the slowest part.  This time out I did the drawings, including the covers in less than a month.  I may have a book in hand before another month's gone.  Imagine that.

Can't quite say I've been inspired, as I don't accept the premise of inspiration, divine or otherwise.  In my experience an idea comes when it comes, good or bad, usually from something I've been reading.  I doodle something while I'm standing at a cash-register at work, just to pass the time really, and either the idea, and or the drawing, works or it doesn't.  If I like what I've done, that idea may lead to another, or not.  Best is when I hit on something that turns into a streak or a series.

This time I couldn't quite think of who the woman on the television was reminding me.  Then I got it.  So, I drew Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  The result was amusing and surprisingly popular.  The rest of what will now be a book came along in just the two weeks after that first sketch.

Well now.

I mention this because I've never before had the experience of people actually telling me to make a new book because if I do, they will buy it.  Friends have been very kind to my previous outings in self-publishing, but no one ever told me that what I do strikes them as full of commercial possibilities.  No one's ever suggested I might sell a lot of coffee mugs if I put a caricature of Hilaire Belloc's mug on it.

I rather liked the new experience of being told people will buy what I do.  I'm not picking out new cars, you understand, but it was flattering to hear.

Meanwhile, I will say the present administration, while ripe for satire, is such a terrifying collection of side-show grotesques that I've also had the unique experience of being told my caricatures are "too kind."

As some of my subjects are leaving the scene even as I type, I can't quite say I hope the rest will stick around long enough for me to rush my book into print.  I will say sincerely that I hope they don't blow up the world before I can finish this sentence.

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