Thursday, July 30, 2009

Scenes from my Bulletin Board•Part 1

I thought it would be interesting to post a photo of my bulletin board in my office once a month to see what I am working on. I usually post up covers that I am designing or art directing to 'live with them' for a while an see if they are working. Some titles on my board are The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Meanwhile, The Popularity Papers, Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies, Fizzy Whiz Kid, Sisters Grimm, Bear In the Air and Anxious Hearts. The beginning of every month I will be posting "Scenes from my Bulletin Board". I know . . . you're excited.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Designed by Jeff Kinney and Chad W. Beckerman— Our first Ice Cream truck design.

In keeping with the new book’s summertime setting, a custom “Wimpy Kid” ice cream truck will visit 40 U.S. libraries over the course of 30 days beginning August 3, promoting “The Dog Days of Summer Reading.” Beginning in Sacramento, Calif., the truck will wind its way through California, Nevada, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut before ending its tour in Boston, Mass. Additional tour details are available at the Wimpy Kid Web site.—Publishers Weekly

Check the map.
Click Here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Big Reveal: The cover of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Dog Days

New York, NY, July 23, 2009—Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, reveals today the title, color, and cover of the fourth book in Jeff Kinney’s bestselling series with press outreach and a special online reveal available only on

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS has a yellow cover, which follows the red, blue, and green of the first three bestselling books. It releases in a one-day national lay-down on Monday, October 12, and will have a first printing of 3 million copies. Following the astounding sales and publicity momentum of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, one of the biggest book releases of 2009, Dog Days is poised to bring the Wimpy Kid series to new sales and media heights.
“I didn’t want my fans to have to wait a year for a new book,” said Jeff Kinney. “I’m very excited about Dog Days, because it takes Greg out of the school setting for the first time. It’s been a lot of fun to write about the Heffley summer vacation.”
To promote literacy and libraries alongside the release of the new book, a custom-designed and branded Diary of a Wimpy Kid ice cream truck will tour to over 40 libraries over a 30-day period to promote the “Dog Days of Summer Reading.” Starting in Sacramento, CA, on August 3 and concluding in Boston, MA, on August 29, the truck will deliver free ice cream to fans as it traverses the country. The tour will include a social media tie-in chronicling fan enthusiasm in each city, and offer Q&A broadcasts with Jeff Kinney at random stops along the route. The complete schedule is available through a link on—Jason Wells Publicity and Marketing Director ABRAMS

Behind the scenes_ Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days

Pre-Order signs

Jason Wells ( Publicity & Marketing Director as well as Wimpy Kid Mastermind)

They'll be there all night.

Laura Mihalick, Mary Ann Zissimos and Merle Browne work into the night.

Jason Wells and his team prepare to ship out over 2000 Wimpy Kid : Dog Day kits to book sellers.

Charlie Kochman ( Executive Editor) and Scott Auerbach ( Managing Editor) work into the night to put the final touches on DOG DAYS

Monday, July 20, 2009

Behind the scenes—WIMPY KID 4

"A look (literally) at editing"
Charlie Kochman (Editor) and Scott Auerbach (Managing Editor)
go over the final manuscript for
Diary of A Wimpy Kid 4
( Title to be announced soon)

Asterios Polyp is David Mazzucchelli’s masterpiece

A new installment to Mishaps and Adventures, BOOKS I LIKE!
I have just finished reading David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp. It is beautiful and everyone should own a copy.

From The Pantheon website:

Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about?

As the story unfolds, moving between the present and the past, we begin to understand this confounding yet fascinating character, and how he’s gotten to where he is. And isn’t. And we meet Hana: a sweet, smart, first-generation Japanese American artist with whom he had made a blissful life. But now she’s gone. Did Asterios do something to drive her away? What has happened to her? Is she even alive? All the questions will be answered, eventually.

In the meantime, we are enthralled by Mazzucchelli’s extraordinarily imagined world of brilliantly conceived eccentrics, sharply observed social mores, and deftly depicted asides on everything from design theory to the nature of human perception.

Asterios Polyp
is David Mazzucchelli’s masterpiece: a great American graphic novel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

ABRAMS new lobby sign has arrived!

For the past month or so myself and Ina Raghunandan have been working to remove the old company name of HNA or Harry N. Abrams from the lobby since we are now called ABRAMS. Yesterday the new signs were installed in our lobby. Take a look.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Behind the scenes of Dotty with Julia Denos and Erica Perl

The Making of Dotty by Erica S. Perl illustrated by Julia Denos
Part 1

Here is the origin story on DOTTY by Erica Perl, author:

EP: When I was a kid, I had imaginary friends. I told my parents that two of them were twins but were not the same age (which they found funny, though I didn't understand why for years) and their names were Sahti and Dahti. I was probably about three or four at the time, which I know because we moved to Rhode Island when I was four and these memories predate the move. I also had an imaginary pet (a sheep) when we lived in Vermont, where we didn't move until I turned eight. But by then I was pretty sure that I'd get teased if anyone found out about my imaginary sheep, so I didn't tell anyone. I think the initial idea for DOTTY came out of both of these experiences: having an imaginary friend that interested and amused others, as was the case with Sahti and Dahti, and having an imaginary friend that might be a source of ridicule. And, of course, the name "Dotty" came from "Dahti."

On writing the manuscript:

EP: When I first wrote the story, I relied on this memory I have of overhearing a girl gossiping about me to a friend and the friend replying, "Who's Erica?" And then the first girl pointed me out by saying, "Hey, ERICA, I like your sweater." But when I went to storyboard out the book, I was surprised by the intensity of Ida's —and Dotty's —reaction. This sometimes happens when I write a piece… it is much neater in word form, but if I start sketching and drawing, ideas flow and things happen. It's why I always encourage writing students to draw, even if they don't want to be illustrators. Sometimes you don't know what you want to say with words until you get an image.

Erica Perl on the evolution of Dotty:

EP: When my draft of the manuscript was finished—long before Julia was selected as the illustrator—I started reading the story aloud as part of my author visit presentations. I'd ask the kids to raise their hands and tell me what kind of animal Dotty was. And the kids would tell me: she's a bull! she's a goat! she's a giant guinea pig! So I realized for the first time that maybe Dotty was an animal unto herself . . . or a one-of-a-kind combination of many kinds of animals.

On selecting Julia Denos:

CW: It was actually kind of hard. Erica Perl ( author) remembers talking with Susan Van Metre and telling her here ideas and hearing hers. We were on the same page, both of us wanting someone who could capture the whimsical qualities of the piece without making it overly sentimental or losing the humor and range of emotions. Julia Denos was my pick among other. On a rare occasion do i find and illustrator from a mailer. Yet this is how I cam across Julia. Erica recalls checking out her online portfolio (after I sent here Julia site to review ) and thinking "YES! Oh please let us get HER!"

FOLLOW Julia at here Blog

You might remember Julia Denos's work from Tim McGraw's picture book My Little Girl.

So we begin. Julia and I worked out a time table for sketches and final art as well as other contractual items.

Here are Julia's first sketches

Video Chatting over sketches.

"During Choice Time, Ida found out there were even more in her class. Pete and Repeat came to school with Max. They were twins, but not the identical kind.
Kay was Benny’s. She had razor-sharp teeth, but Benny swore she would never really hurt anyone. Beeku was tiny. She swung back and forth on Katya’s braids, chattering all day long.
And there was Dotty. Who kept mostly to herself, nibbling the rug. "

First round character and layout sketches

Ida Brunnette . . .

or Ida Blonde?

DOTTY character sketches

She started out as a gremlin on a leash
and slow began to look more like a buffalo
then more cow like

Other Imaginary friends

Page layouts
Final Dotty Character Sketch