fan art

And now for a nature lesson

Polish fan Joanna sent me a photo of her Nepenthes Rebecca Soper, which is a carnivorous pitcher plant. And, as many of you know, I have a particular fondness for plants that eat living things! Pitcher plants work by attracting insects - and sometimes small rodents in some of the larger plants! - to their sticky sweet fluid. Once the prey falls into the liquid, it drowns, and the liquid breaks the body down to the nutrients the plant needs to survive. Delightfully diabolical, no?


Reminders and things!

Don't forget to pop by Tinychat tonight for an e-reading from Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow and a chat with me! All you need is a Tinychat account and a way to listen in. You can participate in the chat via webcam, mic, or text-chat! And while we're talking reminders, here are some more places to find me:

And places to find my book:

Speaking of the book, check out the latest fan art I got! Aw, Phillip. And sandwiches! Good job, Zoe. And that reminds me that I may have to do a book-related fan art contest soon. Been a while since I had a contest, hasn't it?


Oh heavens!

I've gone and turned 30 some time in the night. The 10-year-old in my head is greatly displeased. The 70-year-old in my head says, "Pipe down, whippersnapper!" But the artist in my head promises that this year will be filled with all the illustrated blood and written guts you can shake a stick at. Growing up is for somebody else to do, I say. ;) Coming soon: all of your recent fan art (it's wonderful!), some new illustrations, a calendar for 2011, and more prints.

Coming later: a cartoon called Boy, and a novel about some Skary Childrin.

Fan Art Contest!

I'm about to embark on a journey to NYC. When I return on Sunday, I intend to post all the fan art I've been late on posting before. But I could always use more! That's where you come in.

You have until 12am, Monday the 22nd to send me a Skary picture in any medium (digitally drawn, pencil, paint, Crayon, photo, whatever you like). But the theme, you see, is vacation. How would a Skary child enjoy a trip away from home? Send me your picture using the fan art form. Judging will take place all next week, and the winner will receive any print of his/her choice (signed, of course) from the Skary ImageKind store!

Rules (gotta have 'em):

  • Your artwork must be original and by you and you alone!
  • You must use a current email address when you submit your pic. Your email won't be shared with anyone, but I need a way to get in touch with you should you win!
  • File type must be jpg, gif or png. No bitmaps, please!
  • Entries will be accepted from anywhere in the world
  • Theme must be "Skary vacation"

Remember: the deadline is 12am, March 22nd, 2010. No exceptions!

Winners to be announced soon!

News about the cartoon but also some answers

Hey and hello! I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day weekend, even if you're not American. I spent mine writing, animating, and attending a barbecue where a horrible, terrible, awful children's version of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was played. (Where can I get a copy for myself?) The upcoming cartoon is still underway and could take some time even though it's short, as I have other projects to work on. I'm not going to tell you when to expect it, but I guess I can tell you what it's about now that I'm sure I'm not going to change my mind. The working title (likely to be changed) is Masterpieces Explained. Sounds boring, I know, but it's the real story behind a very famous painting. (No, it isn't The Scream, and it's nothing by Dali). You all think you know the story behind this one, but I'm telling you now: you're wrong. Anyway, that's all I'm saying. You'll find out more soon.

Oh, a couple of notes... have you noticed there's a Facebook quiz now? Also, there's an easier way to send fan art.

All righty. Time to answer some emails.

Where did your inspiration come from for the girl. -TH

I guess you could say I wasn't very happy when I wrote that and, while Emmeline's story is not at all autobiographical, it came about because, well, I felt like writing about revenge. And originally, that's how the story ended. Emmeline got fed up, exploded with rage, crash-bang-boom, the end. But that sort of ending isn't how things happen in life. Vengeance is, in reality, a very nasty thing that only makes a bad situation worse. As I thought about this, the story developed further. How the specific details of a small girl with a monster friend came about, I'm not really sure. It just fell into place. But my point with the story is not only that love is more important than toys and things but also that bottling up one's feelings until they explode is just as dangerous to oneself as whatever caused one to bottle them up in the first place.

(Also, I had a fuzzy white dog once. Her name was Tofu. She didn't have red eyes or wings, but she was my best friend. And she liked socks.)

Do you comission the artists/orchestras yourself for your movies? Are you involved with the creativity process with the score? -N

Most of the music from my cartoons is purchased stock music or public domain or otherwise royalty-free. My friends Gwydi and Aisha Elderwyn composed and performed the soundtrack to When Genevieve Ruled the World, however, and I was as involved in that process as I could be without abusing the very generous gift of their talents. Basically, I gave them the script with extremely detailed notes on what was supposed to sound like what and where, and they sent me snippets of music for me to approve along the way. It was a lot of fun (for me, anyway), but also a great deal of work (for them, definitely)!

Is skary something from your own personal time? ... Have you've been approached for commercial items? - N (part 2)

It is most definitely from my own personal time, and a big chunk of it too. Not that I mind, of course! I have, indeed, been approached for commercial items a few times, but it was always either the wrong thing or the wrong time, or I was at risk of losing my control over it. It's wonderful when artists are able to profit from their work in any way. I'd just rather let mass-produced t-shirts wait until people actually know what it's all about.

I noticed that the captions for the skary movies have been mysteriously ran away from the posted movies on this site. I enjoy the captions (being a wee bit stone-deaf) and wondered if you could post the clips with captioning at at least on the skary youtube tags. - N (part 3)

That is an excellent suggestion. I moved everything to YouTube because the burden on my site is immense every time I post something new. It's just so much easier to host them elsewhere! But I hadn't even thought about the subtitles and, as soon as I have the time, I will add those to the YouTube videos, too. Thanks for the reminder!