Barnaby Vol. 4 is here!

Well, it is almost here. Barnaby Volume Four is in press. The book will officially be released on December 1st. I hoped to have an advance copy to show you by today — Crockett Johnson’s 114th birthday. But I don’t. I do, however, have a pdf from the page-proofs stage. One of the classic comic strips,…

Barnaby, Vol. 4: 1948-1949

Where is the fourth volume of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby (co-edited by yours truly and Eric Reynolds)? Wasn’t it supposed to be out a year or two ago? What happened? In 2017, I submitted my Afterword and notes, Trina Robbins gave us her Foreword, and Jared Gardner contributed his Introduction. We hoped the book would be…

Harold vs. Donald, round 2

Last year, there was Donald and the Golden Crayon, a satirical look at Mad King Donald, inspired by Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955). For more on that, see my interview with the book’s author and publisher from October 2018. This year, it’s Donald and the Black Sharpie, in which at least four five six people have invoked Johnson’s hero to…

Harold and the Deluxe Edition

Today (20 Oct. 2018) would be Crockett Johnson’s 112th birthday.  In commemoration of that event, here is the second of two posts for you!  The first was an interview with the author and the publisher of the new satirical book Donald and the Golden Crayon.  The second — below — is a Harold collection featuring an afterword…

Donald and the Golden Crayon

Today (20 Oct. 2018) would be Crockett Johnson’s 112th birthday.  In commemoration of that event, I have two — yes, two — posts for you!  The first is an interview with the author and the publisher of the new satirical book Donald and the Golden Crayon.  Enjoy! “In the middle of the night, Donald woke from his…

Crockett Johnson Tells the Story of Money

Today is the 111th birthday of Crockett Johnson (1906-1975). To celebrate, let’s take a deep dive in his oeuvre — looking at one of his lesser-known books, This Rich World. The popular story is that Crockett Johnson began creating books for children when he illustrated Ruth Krauss’s The Carrot Seed (1945). This is a compelling…

Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby, Volume Four (1948-1949): Notes and queries. UPDATED!

Good news: I’ve finished the Afterword and Notes for Crockett Johnson‘s Barnaby Volume Four: 1948-1949 (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, and coming next year from Fantagraphics)!  Revision to first sentence: we might put “finished” in quotation marks because there are a few references that stump me.  Perhaps you can help? At the back of each book, I…

How to Read Harold

To celebrate Crockett Johnson‘s 110th birthday, I offer some advice on how to read Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955). Sort of. This is not so much “advice” as it is a glimpse of my work-in-progress, How to Read Harold: A Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson, and the Making of a Children’s Classic.  The book (when finished, and presuming anyone…

Talent on Tape: Scattered Thoughts on Morton Schindel (1918-2016)

You may not know the name Morton Schindel, but you certainly know the people he worked with. At his Weston Woods Studios, using his “iconographic” technique, he adapted works by Maurice Sendak, Robert McCloskey, James Daugherty, Ezra Jack Keats, Tomi Ungerer, and William Steig, among others. His film of Steig’s Doctor De Soto was nominated…

Gosh! Barnaby Volume Three (1946-1947) is here!

74 years ago this month, five-year-old Barnaby Baxter wished for a fairy godmother.  Instead, Mr. O’Malley — a loquacious, endearing, pink-winged con-artist — flew through Barnaby’s (open) bedroom window, and announced himself as the lad’s fairy godfather.  For the next ten years, devoted readers of Crockett Johnson‘s Barnaby saw O’Malley elected to congress, running a business, and —…