Book 2 Approved

This morning I got the word that the books are printed and were shipped this a.m. As the old gospel song rings: Soon, yes very soon…

Here’s a little quirky thing no one knows about me, but now you do… I’m not superstitious, but I have a thing for numbers and dates. One little tendency is to finish important things on dates that are already meaningful to me. For example, I always try to finish a painting on someone’s birth date. That someone is usually one of my parents or children or grandchildren. There are times I choose a death date of someone I loved. Which brings me to the ship date for Book 2! The books should be here within a few days, and I will probably ship them on January 22, the 21st anniversary of my dad’s death (I like calling it his Feast day, but the Church reserves that title for canonized saints.)

Okay! Now you know I’m weird with no uncertainty. As promised, I’ll be sending my Kickstarter backers a little extra something with Book 2… Coloring pages! It’s all the rage for adults to color intricate ink drawings. I’ll be sharing the first three pages from a little book I’m putting together about a bunny that wandered into my fairy garden, based on a true event. (view a drawing in a previous post about Thistle: Oct. 11, 2015) If you did not get in on my Kickstarter campaign, but really like the bunny drawings, a few of the pages will be available for FREE download on the Taradiddle page.

Hecock, Book 2: Jinx the Junket will be for sale in my store on this site, soon, yes very soon!

God Bless.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

To all my readers, I hope you had a marvelous and blessed holiday and that this new year holds many more blessings for all.

It was a long recovery, but I’m back on my feet after three weeks of fighting asthma and that darned coughing virus that is going around. What an inconvenient time to get sick! Thank you for your patience for the delay of Book Two. Here is a peek at the cover:

Jinx the Junket cover

Most people won’t notice, but I’ll give you heads up: the map on the back cover on this book is Cleveland, late 1800’s, with the Union Depot right at the water’s edge. Wondering now what was on the back of the first book?

I have but one tiny half page to finish inside… the very last page… the preview of the next book, actually. And then it’s off to the proof reader, and then to the printers.

You might be interested to know that I’ve made some MAJOR changes to Book Three. It may just be the final book of the series, so I suppose, technically, this could be a trilogy, not a series. Worry not your pretty little heads: sneak peeks will be trickling into your inbox. And if you are slated to be a character in the story, this is the one! Lot’s of cool characters will be introduced. Two cameo characters are in Book Two already. Well, enough of me giving away all my secrets.

Be at peace, my friends. Let’s make 2016 a year to remember.


Happy Dance

Are you doing your happy dance? As you can see, Burrell has something to be happy about in Book 2, Autonomy. But things aren’t always what they seem.


As for Book 2, we had a slow start, but for good reasons: new characters, additional pages and dialog, and a few major tweaks that were not in the original story. The rest of the book should go together without a hitch since I’m keeping it all-digital for now. Look for slight changes in style and line work in Book 3.

And now, I’m doing a happy dance! Looks like Book 2 will be on schedule for publication, and be available for Christmas.

Happy Sunday and God Bless!

And Now For Something Completely Different

This may LOOK like something completely different, but its actually just an exercise in pen and ink techniques. I’m considering going “old school” as part of my process for creating “Hecock.” Up till now I’ve done everything digital, with Photoshop and Corel Painter 11. But many of my Comic Colleagues are doing beautiful pen work that I feel may be lacking on my all-digital pages.

Thistle page 1

So… about 6 weeks ago, this adorable baby bunny moves into my fairy garden. He’s so young, he doesn’t know he’s supposed to be afraid of me, and he allows me to feed him carrots and apples. He sometimes lives under an old sand box we piled on top of the stump of a walnut tree we cut down this year, and the rest of the time he’s in the burrow he dug behind the rock wall adjacent to the fairy garden. His family is no where to be found. Now, isn’t this just the perfect subject for a children’s book?And it’s happening right in my little garden! I’m using this opportunity to hone my pen and ink, to decide for certain if I want to proceed with the process for  “Hecock.” So far, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Real pens, real paper –  I’ve missed you.

Thistle visits the fairy's home.

Thistle visits the fairy’s home.


As for Book 2, it’s coming along nicely. Two additional pages were needed to accommodate the new character, Mr. Whittlesey, the singing delivery man. I mistakenly introduced him as Matthew Turman in an earlier post. (That’s not his last name! Silly me.) His mother and I then decided to use his ancestral name of Whittlesey for the book. It’s these kinds of things that make me realize being my own author/ illustrator/editor/ publisher is the only way to go!


“Hecock” at The Toonseum!

On August 29, 2015 the Toonseum will open their exhibit “Drawn In Pittsburgh”  in the Cultural District in Pittsburgh, PA. This juried exhibit seeks to highlight, celebrate and promote the talented community of cartoonists working in the greater Pittsburgh area and expose their work to a wider regional audience.

That being said, Yours Truly has been accepted into this exhibit with a four-page spread from “Hecock, the Last Hour”. In addition to this great honor, the Toonseum’s gift shop will be carrying my book!

If you would like to attend the opening or visit the exhibit, there will be more information on their website soon.

Hope to see you there.

Funding a Huge Success!

Onward and upward! $3,623 have been pledged to publish and print Book 1 and 2! I’ve devoted an entire page on this site for Thank you’s and acknowledgements. With the Kickstarter campaign at an end, I’m filling my days and evenings with creating book marks, posters, and of course the books themselves! I’ve sent Book 1 to the printer and await the print proof to make sure all is done to the highest standards. Within several weeks of my saying it’s A-Ok, the books will be packaged and on their way to all my funding backers. Soon after, it will also be available on my NEW Catalog page along with my nifty and uplifting Lapel Pins, posters, book marks and the PDF digital version of the book.

So, with everything on schedule and running smoothly, I’ve “got nothing on my mind but my hair!”* and it’s off to the Grand Canadian Steam Punk Expo in September! I hope to get lots of inspiration to enhance the Hecock artwork. Tally ho

And Happy Birthday to my first-born, Joshua!

Leda, Jay and Mel


*turn of the century expression meaning “nothing to worry about.”

Get Steam Punked!

My Kickstarter campaign has really taken off! It is already 75% funded. I have 16 days left to raise the final $682 and I’m planning several updates to the project.

It seems that the most popular reward for backing the project is for the $100 pledge, where you become a character in the book. There were only ten available and all are now taken. So, I created a NEW reward… for $75 I will recreate you as a cartoon, outfitted steam punk style, and feature you on my blog. PLUS I will send you an 8×10 glossy of the “new” you. There is a limit of ten, so better hurry!

In case you haven’t visited the project, you need to know that you get more than just a cartoon for $75. There are the print versions of the first two books of my graphic novel series, “Hecock”, the pdf versions, a beautiful inspirational lapel pin, books marks, and two fine art prints of my paintings.


Of course, any amount of support is much appreciated. Go to the link, watch a really cool video short, and check out the rewards for anything from one dollar and up. Thank you for all your support!