Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Bookish Life

I don't normally do this, but I'm going to plug our business.  My wife and I have been on Etsy for almost 7 years and have been doing arts and craft shows around the Midwest and the Madison Farmer's Market for years.  In the last year and a half we've become more focused on our business and hopefully in the future we'll open a real brick and mortar store.

Our focus is in creating art and accessories for bibliophiles using recycled books, like jewelry and art.  Lately I've been doing illustrations on  book pages, like Sherlock Holmes, Lord of the Rings, Slaughterhouse Five, etc...

Hopefully people like what they see, we certainly enjoy doing it!  Check out the Etsy shop here!  And our not so often updated blog Our Bookish Life!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Countdown To Halloween! Happy October 6 - Uncle Don't Terror Theater

When I was a kid growing up in De Kalb Illinois (1985-1989) I discovered a couple of late night Television Shows that featured old horror movies.  One such show was Uncle Don's Terror Theater (which later became Uncle Don's Theater).  Every Saturday night my brothers I would turn to WQRF channel 39 in Rockford, IL at 10:30 pm.  His jingle would come on I knew I was in for a night of fun horror movies and hilarious parodies and hi-jinx from Uncle Don (Matt Swan).

Some of the movies I remembered he showed were War Of The Worlds, Food Of The Gods, The Leach Woman, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, (pretty much most of the Universal Monster movies)....

On top of great schlocky movies he did some comedy bits in between the movies and commercials which to me really was the whole draw to the show.  It was great fun all around!

Oddly enough Uncle Don lives in De Kalb now and is the Communication Communication Instructor at Northern Illinois University.

Check out some of these hilarious bits from his show!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Countdown To Halloween: "Dagon Wagon", Happy October 5

A few years ago I started doing a series of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth style monster hotrods mixed with H.P. Lovecraft style creatures, I called them the "Elder Rods".  The first couple were "Carthulhu" and "Love Gug", this newest addition is the "Dagon Wagon"!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Countdown To Halloween 2012: Happy October 1st!

It's that time of year again!  Halloween, and what better way to kick it off than with zombies!  I hope this guy brings all of the Halloween spirit to the blog and I'm looking forward to doing more posts, either showing off original artwork, remembering watching old horror host programs or posting about my favorite horror movies and books.  Happy October 1st!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Genghis: Birth Of An Empire

I picked a copy of Conn Iggulden's Genghis: Birth Of An Empire on Saturday and I've just finished it and it was utterly fantastic!  I haven't found a book to be more exhilarating since I read The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Corwell!

This is the first book in what looks like will be an extensive series which appears to go from Genghis Khan to his grandson Kublai Khan.   The story begins just before the birth of Temujin (later to become Genghis) and follows him from a child trying to please his father Yesugei great khan of the Wolves only to have his father mudered by conspiring Mongol tribesman and the rival Tartars.  Temujin and his surviving family must first deal with their betrayal by their own tribe and then survive alone it the wilderness after being abandoned by a treacherous former Wolf bondsman of Yesugei.

Temujin and his family learn the hard lessons of the wild steppe as they struggle for food, shelter and safety from wandering bands of marauders and Tartars.  Eventually Temujin is able to unite a group of outcasts and wanderers from various tribes and then ultimately uniting several of the Mongol tribes against the Tartars, carving out larger are for the future Mongol Empire.

It was a great read with lots of fast paced action and very like-able characters (yes Iggulden makes twefth century barbarians like-able).  Pick it up if you like accurate historical fiction or if you are just looking for an action story.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brushing Elbows With Tolkien And C.S. Lewis...

... sort of.   This weekend my family and I went to visit my parents, they live in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  And as part of our weekend we went to Wheaton College to visit the Marion E. Wade Center Museum which features historical items related to several authors, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Of course I went mainly for the Tolkien and Lewis exibits and I've was on seventh heaven.  I think I was geeking out more than my kids were.  

First we got to see C.S. Lewis' wardrobe which was handmade by his grandfather and also inspired the wardrobe in the book "The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe".  My kids really wanted to step inside and go to Narnia for the day, but they had to settle for just looking inside and touching the fur coats.  There was also one of Lewis' desks that he had donated, which was neat to see.

Next we looked at some of the memorabilia from the Narnial films, like a Telmarine helmet, a sword and the arrest warrant for Mr. Tumnus.  All courtesy of Weta Workshop.

Then I got to touch the desk that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote and illustrated The Hobbit.  I can't tell you the feeling I got just seeing and being near it.  It was truly a great historical item to see!  Also on the desk was a handwritten letter from Tolkien explaining the donation of the desk and it's history.  Due to copyright I couldn't take a picture of it, but I absolutely love his handwriting.

Also in the exhibit was the original painting by Pauline Baynes that was on the Puffin Library edition of The Hobbit.  She's also the original artist who illustrated the covers and interior artwork in the Chronicles of Narnia.  What a beautiful cover and the original painting is more vibrant and beautiful in person that it is on the cover.

The whole place seemed magical, it was a great little museum and wonderful to see all of these great items.  If you are ever in the Northern Illinois are I highly recommend going for a visit.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Riddles In The Dark

Just another illustration on a book page.  This one is on a page from The Hobbit from the Riddles In The Dark chapter.  I think this is the first one that I've done on a mass market paperback so it's a bit smaller that the others that I've done.  I plan on mounting it on a 2.5 x 3.5 canvas so it'll be even smaller.