The Bubble

The Bubble

We never had to deal with the stress of food allergies before, so this is all new to us with Oliver. Mostly everything in our house is nut, egg and dairy free. There are some exceptions that we hide well in top cabinets for when he’s asleep. And we do order pizza every once in a while (after the kids are in bed and we feel guilty about it), but we wash our hands thoroughly afterwards and we clean every surface that came in contact with the pizza box.

We’re on constant alert every time we go anywhere. Sometimes we half-joke that we wish we could keep Oliver in a bubble in order to keep him safe. And this was the inspiration for this illustration in the book I’m working on:

little penguin in bubble

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Working on a Children’s Book

Working on a Children’s Book

My son Oliver has severe food allergies. He’s not even three years old and he’s had his fair share shots of Epinephrine. Of course, I pray everyday that he outgrows all of his food allergies, or at least one of them, but in the meantime, I want him to learn about them.

For his age, he already knows a lot about which foods are “safe” and which are not (and also how to label a food that he doesn’t like as “not safe”), but I also want him to know that he’s not alone, that although we can’t go to restaurants together as a family, there are other things he can eat.

I looked around for children’s books dealing with food allergies, but honestly, I didn’t see any that were meant for his age. Also, the ones I saw, while they may have had a great message, they were really old.

So, I decided to make one. I’ve been working on it for a while. I should’ve completed it by now, but for whatever reason, I just haven’t made the progress that I wanted to make.

I plan for this blog post to be the beginning of a series where not only do I share my book’s progress, but also my struggles. Frankly, I think one of my biggest fears is completing a project (like this book) and then have nothing happen, like no one buying it, no one reviewing it, no one loving it. And although I am making this book for Oliver, I also want other children and other parents out there who struggle with food allergies to embrace it, to find solace in it.

So, here we go. Stay tuned!

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

Just tonight I rediscovered about 40 or more comics that I worked on when I was a teenager. The body proportions of these characters are completely out of whack, but what did I know back then? It’s fun to read through all of these and see how cheesy they were.

But also, it’s fun to just go back and look at how I created dozens of superheroes with recurring story lines and enemies and alliances. My favorite of all those was Captain All Hero. I certainly was very inspired by Superman when I created him and that’s pretty obvious by looking at him.

So, tonight, I did something fun. I scanned a character sheet I did about 19 years ago and digitally colored it. Again, the proportions are insane. His head is really small and his muscles are crazy, but keep in mind how young I was.

Here he is!

captain_colored

Drawing and Illustrating

Drawing and Illustrating

While I write and talk a lot about writing, drawing is also one of my early passions. I began writing and drawing almost interchangeably. While I credit my mother for teaching me how to write and for always buying me books to encourage my imagination, it was my father who taught me how to draw.

I began drawing cartoon characters that I saw in TV, and ever since then all of my illustrations tend to be cartoonish, that is, not realistic representations of things. For a long time, I thought that this meant I was less of an artist than someone who was a “classical” painter.

When I was around nine or 10, or perhaps even earlier, I began to write my own comic strips. At first, I used characters that already existed (Batman, Superman, Mickey Mouse), but eventually, I began creating my own superheroes.

Looking back, I think drawing helped me cope with the fact that both my parents were far away. And by creating my own comic strips, I was writing dialogue and creating plot lines that extended into multiple volumes. In other words, I was mixing both things that I loved.

I kept working on comics until I was 13. Being an illustrator wasn’t a hip and cool thing like it is now and I was kind of embarrassed of letting people know that I was into comics, so, sadly, I stopped. I wish I had continued and improved my skills, but alas, I can’t change the thought process of an insecure teenager on the verge of high school.

Fortunately, I did save a bunch of my comics. I have dozens and dozens of original superheroes. Anyone at Marvel or DC hiring or looking for new ideas?

Here are some of my “Superheroes Club” comics

Superheroes Club

And all of my comics

All Comics