They Draw and Cook – the contest

There's a great site called They Draw and Cook, that has recipes as illustrated by a variety of different artists. Anyone is free to submit at any time, but this month has an added bonus – if you submit before November 30th, you're entered into a Food Network blog contest.

I've been meaning to submit something anyway, but art contests motivate me and finally made me come up with something. I was stuck for an idea (my wife is the chef – and an incredible one, I might add – of the family, so recipes didn't come easily to my mind) until I thought of a fish wielding a scallion like a samurai sword. Thus Ginger Scallion Fish was born, ready to take on Ninja chefs.

This is the left half – all their entries may be put in book form, so I decided to make a left and right page (also easier to scan in that way). The right page will have the recipe, along with some more illustration.


The Lunch Note Project

Here's the beginning of something I've been writing for my daughter. She asked me if I would put notes in her lunch, so I tried to oblige. Now, I'm not the best letter writer, but I do like to tell stories, so the notes ended up as a daily installment.

Instead of putting them here all the time (since they occur daily), I made a separate blog for them called The Lunch Note Project. If anyone's interested in seeing where this goes, that's where they'll all be.


inspired by "The Magicians," by Lev Grossman

First off, I want to say (for copyright reasons) that all the things in the picture are from Grossman's book "The Magicians." Just so no one comes breathing down my neck about his clock trees.

"The Magicians" is not a kid's novel – it would be, as it's a mix of Narnia- and Harry Potter-type fiction, except that it's also got "Less Than Zero" thrown in there as well. So the main characters are all party-hard, big-city-jaded slackers who happen to go to magic school and (more improbably) want to find a magic land of their childhood. It's a readable book, even if the three elements don't always mesh well together.

The best part for me, though, was the "Fillory and Further" series (his faux Narnia books) that his characters are supposed to have read. They sound really entertaining, which makes me wish he'd actually written those. He even has a fake first chapter of "The World in the Walls" on one of the book's websites.

In addition, there is a fake fan site for the fake books, which includes fake fan art. That's what I really wanted to draw this for – I sent it to them to see if I could have it put up as a fake fan. Alas, as of posting it has gone unregarded.

Since one of his inspirations was Narnia, I chose Pauline Baynes (the original Narnia illustrator) as my inspiration for the drawing. She's got some amazing stuff – I like her work. If nothing else, trying to do this gave me an excuse to look up her work just to check out the style.


The Mad King

I was getting recycling ready to go out one day, and, as anyone's would, my thoughts wandered to crazy evil wizards. And, of course, if you have mad wizards there's also a mad king around somewhere, so this guy popped into my mind. He started out as a sketch on the border of a sudoku page, and ended up here.


Kiss the Cook... and you DIE!

I just got a third story published over at Enchanted Conversation - it's a great site for re-imaginings of the classic fairy tales. They're on issue 4 at the moment – if it's a genre you're interested in, I highly recommend it.

My story is "Cooking Children! with Witch Wanda." If you read it, you can tell that there's a LOT of Cooking Channel being watched in our house (and okay, I'll say it, Crone Weekly is inspired by Us magazine. But it's my wife's, not mine, really!). In it I describe Witch Wanda's apron, and decided to draw up some possible versions of it. They're just comps, since I can't make up my mind which one I like better. Anybody have a preference?


Been off for a while...

... to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Great times! Even got some sketching done in art museums, as well as taking lots of pics, that will probably end up as paintings here on the blog.

But, before I went, I did one more drawing for my friend's wedding. It's for the Ketubah, a Jewish wedding contract, that he wanted to liven up a bit with an illustration. It's been printed at the same place as the bicycling rabbi, so that means it was made into a printing plate, old-school style. Love that.

Here's the drawing: