Behind the Scenes of a Dinosaur Obsession

I fell in love with Dinosaurs when I was six years old. It’s the perfect age to discover something that is going to take root in your soul and stay forever.

This year was 1993, and Jurassic Park was everywhere. That certainly helped. Convincing my mom to buy me dinosaur books and toys, and take me to museums was really really easy. My mom liked dinosaurs too, although really she just enjoyed encouraging whatever we were enthusiastic about. This is one of the reasons my sister and I are so awesome.
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I grew taller. Obsessions came and went, particularly Star Wars, Monty Python, and Doctor Who (which is kind of like Star Wars and Monty Python mixed together), but Dinosaurs always remained. There were always dinosaur toys on the floor of whatever house I was living in. Dinosaur stickers on my bag. Dinosaur doodles on nearly ever piece of paper I owned. The research about dinosaurs changed, things I thought I knew updated. Pterodactyls lost the dactyl. Velociraptors shrunk and grew feathers. Triceratops becomes a juvenile Torosaur. Brontosaurus is made defunct, (a Brachiosaur skull on an Apatosaurus body, or some such) and then gets reinstated! Mind blown. I keep up with it as best I can, while still treasuring my 1990’s Smithsonian Field Guide, whose illustrations are becoming increasingly inaccurate. I own Jurassic Park on VHS, DVD, and BluRay.

During our first year of dating, my then girlfriend (now wife) takes me to see the ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ stage show extravaganza, with the most ridiculously giant and accurate puppets you’ve ever seen, and I feel exactly what it feels like to encounter a walking breathing 60 foot tall creature. As do all the other 6 year olds in the audience, as we are the  only unaccompanied non-minors in the house. Thus begins the dinosaur birthday tradition, Michelle has found dinosaurs for every birthday since we met.

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My son, Wellington, is now two years old. A little young, I think, to truly grasp what dinosaurs are all about. He’s got a plush Triceratops, and a electronic biting T-Rex in his toy bucket. Recently, he picked up the trike, and made it growl. I didn’t teach him that, he just knew. I can’t wait for him to get a little bigger. We’ve got movies to watch, museums to visit, and all the paper  in the universe to doodle on.

It’s gonna be awesome.

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This personal recollection was brought to you by: A-to-Z-asaurus! A Dino Guide with Teeth! I wrote the book, and my pal Mike Spiers did the illustrations, and we’re using Kickstarter to raise funds to get it printed. If you’re all interested in a book of silly dinosaur facts and outrageous opinions, with lavish illustrations, please check it out! We have until November 4th to get enough pledges to make the book a reality, so now is the time!

 

Fairy Tales AM HERE!

A truck dropped off an enormous pile of hardcover books at my house last week, and now my garage is full of them!

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We have been packaging up all the kickstarter preorders like crazy. The first wave is away, all that would fit in the car. We’re working on wave two – waiting to get the audio book finished, and the tshirts back from the tshirtatorium. Anybody’s order who includes one of them is going to have to wait a smidge longer, as I’m expecting them O SO SHORTLY. Basically, everybody in the US should be getting their order before Christmas. International people – if your order was simple, I’m gonna go with probably, but I’m not entirely sure. I may be figuring out a friend in the UK who I can ship a big pile of books to, and then have them ship the books out individually – crunching some numbers to see how effective that would be. International rates have gone up ALOT since I did all the math for the Kickstarter in June. Probably just the Christmas making the post office explode.IMG_7582

The book looks FANTASTIC. It’s big, it’s shiney, it’s brilliant. I have caught FIVE count them FIVE typos so far, in accordance with Gaiman’s law. All of these are typos that crept in AFTER the book got professionally edited. I tweaked some sentences in the last minute, and was apparently quite sleep deprived. There are two misspellings, one word oddly missing, and two spacing issues with words smunched together. Fortunately, I make up enough words that some of these should pass unnoticed. To the people who do do the typo noticing, I’d like to point out that 98% of the book is spelled correctly : )

The pictures look so fabulous, I am so fortunate to have gotten the artists I did to heap their talents upon this book.

We are having a book release party SATURDAY DECEMBER 20th at ‘Collectors Paradise’ a comic book store at 131 Winnetka Ave, Winnetka, CA. If you are at all in the neighborhood that evening, and are able to drop by, we would really enjoy it. There will be food and drink, free drawings and prizes, dinosaurs, and an art gallery showing of some of the most exceptional pieces from the book.  I’ll be doing another blog post about that shortly with more details.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Oh yeah, I had a baby. Well, my wife had the baby, but I helped. Wellington Friesen is now 1 month old, and everytime we think we’re used to his schedule, he changes them. We are the kind of sleep deprived that all parents will appreciate. He’s crazy cute, and I can’t wait to read this book to him as a bedtime story, and have him know what I’m talking about : )

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So, Mish and I wrote an ADORBALAWESOME children’s book last yesterday. I drew the first couple pages already. It became pop culture themed, that wasn’t the plan exactly, we just wanted it to be full of things we liked. I’ll post more illos as I have them, and if we find a place that does decent print-on-demand board books we just might offer them for sale!

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What do you think, would you like to see more pages from this project? Comment and compliment to fuel me! I CRAVE YOUR LOVE!