Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find many samples of my finished art, conceptual work, unpublished material, and other miscellaneous jobs. You can find a complete list of my published books at this link.

I currently have signed copies of THE GREAT MONTEFIACO, WHACKO THE CHOOK, THE PUMPKIN EATER FROM PONDICHERRY, and THE SHIKKER COLA COWS available for purchase. For more info, please contact me at whackothechook@internode.on.net

Monday, August 27, 2012

FAQs Part I

There's a question I get asked often:

Why does Charlie have a tail yet Furley doesn't?
Spread from "Monkey Don't"
I should be well-rehearsed at answering this question, but, I'm not... the simple answer is, I-don't-know! I don't have a satisfactory answer, I've never given a satisfactory answer, and you won't find one here either.

If I did have a reason for docking Furley, I've completely forgotten it. But this troubles me, because I have no problems remembering what my brain was thinking for books almost twice as old as Who Flung Dung?, and WFD is only about 5 or 6 years old! I've gone through this over and over in my head, and I've even wondered, could it be, I actually forgot to give Furley a tail? Surely not!... I'm too pedantic about fine details to forget something like that! Furthermore, I don't drink and I've never taken drugs, so that rules that out, and I highly doubt there was some sort of deep underlying philosophical reason for it, though I could always make one up...

After some cursory research through my archive, I discovered an interesting thing — early roughs of Charlie show that he didn't have a tail at one point also...
But when I look back even further to the original Furley design in the very first draft, Furley himself did have a tail! Though, Furley wasn't called Furley at this point, and he resembled a sock monkey (the reasons for the dramatic change to Furley, is for another post...).
So, basically, the evolution, so to speak, of these monkey's tails throughout draft stages went like this: Furley and Charlie started with tails, then they both dropped their tails, but at the eleventh hour Charlie grows another tail, but Furley remains without — so why wasn't Furley's tail reinstated? I'm not sure... There were six drafts of Who Flung Dung? in total, and for the first five Furley had a tail. Was it laziness? Possibly, it is one less thing to draw each time, but I doubt that's it.

It's a mystery for the ages! If I can't answer this question, no one can! Or can they? Why don't you tell me how Furley lost his tail! Perhaps there's a story in it, a prequel to Who Flung Dung?? Hmmm...

Curiously enough, no one ever asks me why Furley is bald...


Here's a little teaser I did for my latest book Monkey Don't, using Photoshop, Anime Studio Pro and iMovie. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Knitted Toys!

A friend recently sent me a link to Ebay where she'd found a set of knitted toys based on my characters from Who Flung Dung? up for auction. I was really flattered someone took the time to create these, so I placed a bid. I was outbid at the last minute unfortunately, but I contacted the seller, and she very kindly made me a fresh new set. In record time too, a mere two days or so! All the way from the UK my package arrived Tuesday, much to my delight. So now, here they are, the cast of Who Flung Dung, in wool!

Elephant & Rhinoceros
Vulture, as a finger puppet (my favourite!)
Gnu (my second favourite)
Crucial details...

Furley & Charlie, rear view
She even included a little knitted poo for Furley's head, a wonderful touch!

Unfortunately, the little knitted Charlie has already begun wreaking havoc with my other toys! Curse you Charlie!!!!

Thanks again Linny, I'll treasure these! :-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Mark and Marg!

In recent days there have been a couple of milestone birthday celebrations happening. My Mother-in-law (and her identical twin sister) turned 60 on Sunday, and author/friend Mark Svendsen turns 50 today. In honour of this event, Mark's daughters put together a special book made up of one page contributions from his friends and relatives. Coincidentally, my wife and sister-in-law organised the same thing for Margaret. So I had my work cut out for me.

I did this pinup for Mark...
'Pretty Pennyfeather': acrylic and gouache; based on a rough from the unpublished sequel to Whacko The Chook

And a 'Monquet' for Margaret...
A.k.a 'Monkey Bouquet'; acrylic and collage; there are precisely sixty chimps in this bouquet
Happy birthday again! You're both awesome!