Alternate cover for Field Trip to the Moon

So right before I turned in the final art for Field Trip to the Moon, I had an idea for an alternate cover. It featured the class and space station more, and the bus less. Basically I just really thought the station should look like it spins to make artificial gravity. The editor passed on it, which I agree with, but I still like the way it looks.

This sketch show an alternate cover design showing the kids departing a station that spins to make artificial gravity.

This sketch show an alternate cover design showing the kids departing a station that spins to make artificial gravity.

And this sketch shows what that station looked like from space. The scale of it is much more enormous than the station used on the title page of Field Trip to the Moon.  See below.

And this sketch shows what that station looked like from space. The scale of it is much more enormous than the station used on the title page of Field Trip to the Moon. See below.

This is the final art of the version used.

This is the final art of the version used.


Jean Bartik Rough Sketches

Work has begun on illustrations for the 2015 Notable Missourian series published by Truman State University Press.  First up is the story of Jean Bartik, written by Kim Todd. Jean was an early pioneer in computing. In fact, for awhile she was literally a computer. Yes I said that right. It's weird to think now, but in the middle of last century a computer or calculator was a job description, not a device. One of her many notable accomplishments was her work programming the ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic computer. I really want to emphasize how important those early room sized, vacuum tube laden, punch card programmed computers were in getting to where we are today, but I would be in way over my head.  I'm just glad I don't have to replace vacuum tubes and patch cables into switch boards to use my iMac.  

Speaking of vacuum tubes, when I was a kid I found an old box full of them and thought they were incredibly cool. Not for any practical purpose...I had no idea what they actually did.  I just thought they made great doomsday weapons for my toy GI Joes. If you came across  my Cobra Commander action figure holding a vacuum tube, some bad stuff was about to go down and GI Joe had some work to do.  

Back on topic, here are some rough sketches for Notable Missourian Jean Bartik

Jean as a teen daydreaming in the hayloft

Jean as a teen daydreaming in the hayloft

Jean and friends learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor

Jean and friends learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor

Working on aircraft during WWII

Working on aircraft during WWII

Small town girl in the big city of Philly

Small town girl in the big city of Philly

Jean working as a human computer

Jean working as a human computer

Jean and another woman working on the ENIAC

Jean and another woman working on the ENIAC

Jean up against the glass ceiling

Jean up against the glass ceiling

Rooting for the home team - Rough sketch examples

Here's a couple more illustrations for this Kansas City project. If there's one thing KC has in spades, its passion for our teams.  I shouldn't phrase it like that.  There's certainly more than one thing we have. Did I ever mention we have Tacos In A Tub? Tacos. In a tub. That's right. SO let me start over.  

PROMINENT in the long list of awesome things about Kansas City (including tubs full of tacos) is our passion for our sports teams. We have some of the best fans in the country - be it football, baseball, soccer, or college basketball - people here can't get enough. And they're good fans too. Go to a Chiefs game wearing a Raiders jersey and you'll still get offered brats, beer and ribs in the parking lot.  Then again if you're a Raiders fan you might want to keep an eye on that Brat during its journey from the grill to your hand.  Just saying I can't speak for everyone.

The point of this sketch was to put the emphasis on the excitement and experience of the crowd more so then the teams.  I love our major teams, but I swear you could go to a chess tournament or a curling match in this town and still find people tailgating in the parking lot and lovingly yelling expletives inside.  Its an awesome place to be a fan and we're always ready to root for the home team.