Thank you, Jeff!

26 August 2009

I worked in the glass studio, today! It’s been such a hectic summer, this is the first chance I’ve had. The timing isn’t bad for Shannon, either, since her main assistant went home a week or so ago, and it’s time to gear up for final weekend and the pumpkin patch event she goes home to in the fall. So, we made tumblers and pumpkins. I didn’t do any actual blowing, but I paddled and did other various apprentice-type jobs. It just felt good to be on the floor, again!

Then, the triumverate—Kelly, Ginger and I toodled on up to Milwaukee, where our presence had been requested at the Giesen Manor for a small, intimate dinner. There is just simply not enough time to spend with all our Wisconsin family, and we were overdue for some quiet Larry and Denise time. The evening was marvelous, the food divine, as always.

And me, with no camera in my purse. I’d taken it to the glass studio where I forgot to take photos, I was so busy working. And it never found its way back into my purse.

So, when I sat down to think about The Daily KRuMB, I still had no photo from today. That’s when I remembered I hadn’t yet shared with Kyle, our newest acquisition and decided this was one way to do that. So, my photo today, is of a small part of the newest completed page in the sketch book where Kyle and I have collected original art from very talented people, since 1993. The book contains sketches, some in pencil, many in ink and some even coloured, from artists we befriended during our years in the comics and games industries. And almost all the artists worked within the theme we chose for the book—music and dance. There is beautiful work from such folks as Dave Sim (Cerebus), Jeff Smith (Bone), Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), Drew Hayes (Poison Elves), Phil Foglio (Girl Genius), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), NéNé Thomas (Magic, the Gathering cards) . . . the list goes on. Incredible pieces by dear friends such as Kerry Gammill, Brian Denham, Steve Erwin, Keith Wilson . . . and some who are no longer earthbound, as well. Among our favourite pieces, certainly invoking the most sentimentality, are a beautiful coloured rendering of the Green Lantern by creator Mart Nodell, and a quintessential pencil of The Spirit by creator Will Eisner. Legends, those two. Sometimes flipping the pages in the book makes me so “homesick” for that industry and those people.

But, this week, there is happy joy in the book once again. After a period of semi-retirement lasting nearly nine years (the previously most recent page is dated 2000), the book is off the shelf and was once again in the hands of a talented artist this past weekend. Jeff Easley, fantasy artist extraordinaire, has a booth here at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I discovered him here about three years ago, and was thrilled and delighted to meet him. Jeff is best known for his work with TSR—the Dungeons and Dragons people, back before Wizards of the Coast got ahold of it—beautiful fantasy scenes of dragons and landscapes and battles. And, my favourites of his work are the ones where it’s all about the dragon, and you can see the personality of the beast—some are cranky, some are devious, some are wise . . . fabulous stuff. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jeff a little bit. He experimented with a booth at TRF last year, and joined us for dinner on occasion. Now, this year, here at Bristol, I have seen even more of him, and I boldly asked him to take a look at our book and to please add his talent to the mix. He agreed, and what I got back from him is this wonderful inked drawing of one of his signature-style dragons holding a dancing fairy in the palm of his hand! I was so happy with it I was giddy on Sunday morning when he returned the book to me. I can hardly wait for Kyle to see the whole thing and in person. But, for now, this will have to do!

~MB