A Basketball Story – Cover

This week I finished illustrations for a new picture book for Entrepreneur Media Inc. Here’s a mock-up of the cover. The final text will be formatted a little different, probably a different font, but this gives you the idea.

A cover mock-up for a picture book titled A Basketball Story:  Always be Humble, based on a true story by:  Miles Davis-Majors and Illustrated by:  Karen B. Jones.  

The cover is divided into four quadrants.  The upper left shows a team picture of the Jackrabbits team, a youth basketball team consisting of players around 10 years old.  The upper right has the same sort of team picture for the Sea Turtles team.  The lower left is a close-up of three Jackrabbit players' faces in profile, receding from the viewer.  The lower right is the same for the Sea Turtles.  The center has a basketball with the title text and bylines overlaid.

A little behind-the-scenes detail: I originally had a different cover design concept in mind (below) but the client wanted this one (above) because they wanted to show everyone on both teams and didn’t want them to look aggressive.

A rough cover mock-up for a picture book titled A Basketball Story:  Always be Humble, based on a true story by:  Miles Davis-Majors and Illustrated by:  Karen B. Jones.  

Two basketball players, both around 10 years old, hold a basketball between them with one hand each.  The other hand for each is a fist.  The Jackrabbit player on the left is frowning with eyes narrowed and eyebrows down.  The Sea Turtles player on the right has a similar aggressive expression, but with his teeth showing.  The Jackrabbits player is an African American boy with his hair bleached blonde on the top.  The Sea Turtles player is an East Asian boy with thick, shaggy hair.  A crowd seated on bleachers is out of focus behind them.

Book Recommendation

A couple weeks ago I attended the SCBWI’s event, Graphic Novel Day.  One of the presenters there was Ben Hatke who gave two very nice lectures and signed a copy of Space Girl for my daughter Katie.  (Who was thrilled to get it!)  I like him because he’s a total geek that plays D&D and Munchkin and does archery and told a hilarious story about getting arrested during a D&D game with his friends.  (Plus he’s a talented illustrator.)

I was disappointed that one of his books that he talked about wasn’t in the little mini-bookstore that day.  So I ordered it.  It came awhile ago and I was not disappointed.  Nobody Likes a Goblin is a terrific little picture book about a little goblin who has to go off and save his friend Skeleton from the adventurers that invaded and looted his dungeon.  In this story, the goblin is the hero and the adventurers are the home invaders and thieves.  (As they should be depicted!)  Anyway, I highly recommend Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke.

(I find it hilarious that the princess was piled in with the loot on the adventurer’s cart.  So much for “rescuing” the princess, huh?)

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Christmas Cards Available

(Other merchandise also.)

This is the time of year to think about buying Christmas cards.  I have several designs available at my Zazzle store.  (Lately they’ve been running some 60% off sales on holiday cards, which makes them a reasonable price.  Just look for the coupon code.  Today’s is HOLIDAYZSAVE, but that only lasts until midnight tonight.  Black Friday’s coming up, though, so they’re bound to have more good discounts soon.  The code BLKFRIDAYZAZ will get you 60% off until the end of the day 11/25/18.)  The code ZCYBRMONDAYZ will get you up to 75% off on some projects.  I think it’s 60% on cards.  Until the end of the day Cyber Monday.  And I have a coupon code for 60% off cards, among other things. Good until midnight on Monday, Dec 3rd. Use ZCYBRMONDAY2 at checkout.  Use DECKTHEHALLS at checkout for 60% off cards until midnight on Friday, Dec 7th.


My latest is the Christmassy Streetcar that my Dad requested.
Ogerita

Last year’s card was my family ice skating.  Sorry it’s not a more universal image.  It’s very specifically my family, complete with Katie in her Canadian flag hoodie.  I have considered reworking it with polar bears or something skating instead, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Ice Skating

Before that was a snowman family.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.)
Snowman Family

A single snowman with a cardinal perched on it’s hand/branch.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.  It’s particularly pretty on a coffee mug.)
Snowman

And, for the more new age among you, a Stonehenge winter solstice card.

Winter Solstice

There are also tons of other products up on my Zazzle store.  Mostly prints and cards, but other merchandise as well.  More-or-less any decent images that I still hold the copyright on are fair game for Zazzle printing.  If there’s any of my work that you’d like to see printed on something and I don’t already have it up, just let me know.  I’d be happy to set it up for you.

I’ve illustrated two books that are available also.  They’d make good Christmas gifts.
The Squishy, Stinky Diaper Written and Illustrated by Karen B. Jones
The Genie Loophole by Paul Maguire Illustrated by Karen B. Jones

(Preview images were generated by Zazzle.  They own the greeting card templates, I own the images pictured on the cards.)