Sunday, August 10, 2014




Oh, it's August 12th?


Ok, well, I'm in a Halloween mood anyway, since NOT VERY SCARY is out today!

NOT VERY SCARY was written by Carol Brendler and I did the pictures. Janine O'Malley was our editor at FSG, and I really couldn't wish for a better collaborative team.

We had a lot of fun making this book, and we're all thrilled that it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. I've decided to share some sketches and early stuff here for those interested - here goes . . .

The final cover
Very early cover thumbnails

Early concept sketches of Melly
Melly in the final book

Early Goblin sketch

Some lettering options (we went with my favorite at the top)

A spooky house that I threw out

Some rats that also got canned - hope to find a purpose for these guys someday
Rat close-up

And here is some of the final art from the book:

The Title Page (sans author/illustrator/publisher type)

My wife's favorite character is this spooked ghost

I threw in some easter eggs, too, for any super fans out there (and mostly to keep it fun for myself)

A screenprint by my friend Tim Gough that hangs in my living room
found it's way into the book as the "Pin the Drool on the Ghoul" Game
Here's Tim's poster in the book (with his permission of course)

Sculpture by my mother-in-law Julia Healy, made from pencils and a tree branch
Melly's cousin Malberta has a very similar sculpture in her living room
In a way the whole look of the book felt like my version of a tribute to one of my art heroes, Charles Schulz, and I directly referenced his work from the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" movie:

Pretty obvious right? 

NOT VERY SCARY is out now! Hope you'll check out the book, and Happy Halloween!*

*In 2 and a half months