Hey, everybody! Happy New Year, aka Happy two days after Public Domain Day, aka Happy December 34th! (It would be December 34th, if it wasn’t for stupid January. Thanks for nothing, January!) Guess what? I have some news!
Over the past several years, I’ve written quite a few Little Golden Books for Penguin Random House. Some of them are adaptations of famous movies. Most recently, I wrote The Back to the Future Little Golden Book, which came out today from PRH.
As you may have guessed based on the title, it’s an adaptation of the classic 1985 film Back to the Future, written as a Little Golden Book for very young readers.
Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies and I saw it SO many times when I was a kid (ask me some time about my childhood theory that the movie is a loose adaptation of The Hobbit). So it was a real thrill to write this book.
The Back to the FutureLittle Golden Book was illustrated by the brilliant Meg Dunn.
And much like The E.T. Little Golden Book (which I also wrote), The BTTF LGB is not just a Little Golden Book, but a Funko Pop Little Golden Book! That means that Meg Dunn drew all of the characters in the iconic, super-adorable Funko Pop style.
Happy holidays, fellow earthlings! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wrote The E.T. Little Golden Book, which is out now from Penguin Random House. The book was illustrated by the amazing Chris Fennell, and it’s a retelling of the 1982 film E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial. In fact, it was published to commemorate the 40th anniversary of that film. It’s also a Funko Pop Little Golden Book, so Chris Fennell drew all of the characters in the adorable Funko Pop style.
I first saw E.T. when I was a kid, and I remember thinking that it was the first time I’d seen a movie where the kids talked like REAL kids. The dialogue sounded authentic. Whenever Elliott, Michael, and Gertie spoke to each other they were saying things actual kids might say, rather than some adult’s not-very-accurate approximation of how they thought kids spoke. That’s a testament to the talent of screenwriter Melissa Mathison, who wrote E.T. * She was able to remember the thoughts and feelings she experienced when she was a kid, and she was able to accurately reproduce those thoughts and feelings on the page. That’s a rare gift.
And speaking of gifts…
Earlier this month, The E.T. LGB was mentioned in The Beat’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide! If you scroll down to the section titled “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Gifts ‘N Things,” you’ll see that Beat writer Rebecca Oliver Kaplan was kind enough to name-check the book (and to name-check me as well). Thanks, Rebecca!
* And yes, it’s also a testament to the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, and the exceptional cast he assembled. I’m not trying to minimize their contributions to this movie at all. This was obviously a very personal film for Spielberg, and it shows. But when people talk about E.T. and how great it is, sometimes Melissa Mathison’s name gets left out of the conversation, which is absurd, because she was such a key component of that movie’s success.
Happy Halloween, everyone! As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I used to draw one-panel gag cartoons. Like, professionally. Only for a handful of magazines, and really just at the beginning of my writing career. These days I mostly work as a writer, and I don’t draw that much, unless you count the rough thumbnail sketches I draw for nearly every project I work on. Which definitely counts as drawing. But I don’t often show those sketches to the people I’m working with (although sometimes, I do).
Anyway, since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d post one of the gag cartoons I drew back in the day. It’s called “Vampire Nerds,” and it was originally published in the October 2006 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. (That was the Halloween issue, as if you couldn’t tell by the cover date.) Check it out: