Monday, May 21, 2012

Total eclipse of the something or other

The eclipse this morning, Tokyo 東京, circa 7:35 am... It was a very nifty experience, albeit a wee bit clouded up there. I'd actually "seen" a total eclipse once before, back in Australia when I was about 10 years old. This was more fun, since my 6-year-old Cocoa was so darned excited.

Here are me and Cocoa with our eclipse specs, looking like the audience at a 1950s 3D monster romp.

Cocoa's ones (the gold space-age pair) were absolutely brilliant. My disposable things weren't too bad...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

East Dragon, West Dragon

When I was a wee tacker growing up in Melbourne, my dad picked up this second hand tome called Myths and Legends, published by Paul Hamlyn way back in 1959.

The illustrators were the insanely cool Alice and Martin Provensen, and it turns out that Martin was also the originator of the first Tony the Tiger character for Kellogg’s - an iconographic '50s feline that decorates my fave coffee mug these days.

About five years ago, I started writing for an American magazine called Geek Monthly and, a few issues in, they showcased a relatively new artist/illustrator named Scott Campbell, alias Scott C.

To me, his images were akin to the Provensens, channelled via Blackadder writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, and then stretched to the point of surreal hilarity by Dr. Seuss.

I was busy hacking together a novel at the time (Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat) and my publishers at Another Sky Press asked if I'd decided yet who I'd like to get to do the cover artwork.

That was now a cinch - all I had to do was track down and ask Campbell if he'd be interested. After some crap detective work, I did so, and he agreed in an instant, very few questions asked, and turned out a way cool couple of goats.

I always wanted to interview Scott in order to find out the buried treasure beneath his easy-going artist facade - and I finally did so this last month, on the back of his fantastic new children's tome East Dragon, West Dragon, which my six-year-old daughter Cocoa loves as much as me, by the way.

So, you can read the interview over @ FORCES OF GEEK.