I actually did two comic strips, but the editor thought the first one was aimed at a bit older kids (and slightly crude - I'll keep it for another day), so I think we're both happy with this second one.
Here's a quick character sketch I sent her before I started it. The fat pink unicorn is partly inspired by fat rainbow pony. The shark, well, I've just finished a shark book. And the skinny pegasus might come in later.
And I noticed on Twitter that our Random House Children's Books publicist Lauren Bennett has shown off the covers for our paperback DFC Library books! I've made a completely new cover for Vern and Lettuce, and here it is. Ta-DAH!
And here's the set! I'm so excited to see Jamie Smart's Fish-head Steve; that one didn't come out in hardback so no-one's seen it in book form ever before. Find out more about the DFC Libary here!
And I'm still in Dublin - for a week, in fact! Here's Hervé Tullet and me in front of our lodge on the grounds of St Patrick's Cathedral. I'm wearing my new dress by Sika Designs! Do you like it?
We like having our hot drinks while strolling about the grounds of our estate, so I had to draw that.
The first day of the CBI Annual Conference was fabulous! A huge thanks to the team at Children's Books Ireland for all your hard work planning it. Annoyingly, I didn't get any photos of my comics event (which went very well) with Alan Nolan and Rory McConville. Did anyone else get a decent photo of that?
Here I am, having a fangirl moment with writer-illustrator Alex T. Smith.
Alex gave a brilliant presentation, including how to draw Claude the dog, and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock (who is a sock). Here's my drawing:
It was amazing seeing Alex's sketchbooks! And he also showed us some photos from childhood and a drawing of his grandfather and talked about their wonderful, story-filled relationship. If you ever get a chance to hear Alex give a talk, GO.
We all made drawings! It was great.
We also had a great talk by writer John Boyne. (You will undoubtedly have heard of his book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas). I once moderated a talk by his illustrator, Oliver Jeffers (and David Almond), so it was great getting to hear from the writer. And that's the legendary Robert Dunbar interviewing him.
I couldn't help drawing Robert with elves in his beard. I hope he doesn't think it's cheeky.
Here we are! He wanted me to send a big hello to my co-author Philip Reeve, because they've done some great events together and he's reviewed lots of Philip's books.
And here's our Dublin monster-making team - Children's Laureate na NÓg Niamh Sharkey, Hervé and me with Jon Klassen, awesome writer-illustrator of That's Not My Hat and lots of other fine books. (He won the Caldecott Medal this year! You can read about him here.) He's speaking this afternoon at the conference and I'm really looking forward to it.
For some reason, Niamh and I decided we had to show off our best monster impressions. You will probably see a lot of this in the next week. Jon and Hervé look a bit wary.
And here I am at pub dinner with my co-conspirator. Niamh's fabulous, I'm so glad I get the chance to hang out with her this week.
Hervé gave a brilliant performance at the conference, letting us feel like we were all small children reading his books. Here's slightly-embarrassed writer Sarah Webb getting hauled in front of everyone to press the painted buttons in his book Press Here.
I realised I'd also spent quite a lot of time at my studio mate's book launch playing with Hervé's The Book with a Hole. (More photos of us mucking about with it here.)
And illustrator Steve Simpson and I swapped specs to see how they'd look. I'm too blind to see him without my specs, so I have to take a photo.