September 11, 2014

Eleanor Davis

Monday Sept 15 at 7:30, Eleanor Davis (and maybe husband Drew Weing) visits with her slideshow presentation of life, work, art, etc and also to share her new work: How to be Happy. Come talk comics, process, the struggle between freelancing and working on personal projects, etc.

Eleanor Davis, excerpt from How to be Happy, Fantagraphics (c) 2014

Eleanor Davis is one of those artists you know, even if you don't know you know her.

Libraries love her for her stellar all-ages book The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook. But magazine art directors seem to love her for everything else she does; and you will see her illustrations in every brainy and literate newspaper or magazine on the rack.

A meander through her various online art sites will show a breadth and depth of styles, a vivid and friendly color palette, charming line, and my goodness sooooo many projects. It is a wonder she gets anything done. Libraries have been antsy for a follow-up to tSSAatCC eager to catch up with the personable characters of her spunky geek elite crew, but a project like that requires a clear-the-decks level of focus, and clearly she has been very busy doing Other Stuff.

Anxiety: My Monster, My Self /for The New York Times

As such, in How to be Happy, we get snippets and inspirations, vignettes and dream sequences, whatever her pen desires to dash out in whatever time she has. Always charming, often touching, or surreal and disturbing, here she gets to follow her muse to wherever it skips and dallies.

A few of these stories beg for expansion, introducing artfully imagined settings. A next century farmer revisits the polluted homeworld to say goodbye to her dying father. A musician chances upon wild woodland spirits and tames one as a bride with the sounds of his guitar. A ferryman carries a succession of monsters across the river, trying not to wonder what burdens they carry in their sacks. Each finishes with a wistful poignancy but while they may serve as allegory or suggest a strong mood, my urge is simply to see more, more, more, and wish someone would kickstart Ms Davis the funds to pick a world, any of them, and sweep her desk of all other projects to dive deep into whatever single long story calls to her to write.

Come see if you agree, check out How to Be Happy, and enjoy an easy fun talk with a working artist.


Oh and a two-fer!

We may also get husband Drew Weing whose Set to Sea is a thoughtful yarn both deep and breezy following a feckless poet who finds himself shanghaied and hauled out to sea.

drew weing set to sea

Beautiful skritchy-scratchy crosshatchy lines and winsome cartoony characters steeped in nautical detail from the Age of Sail. Comparing their styles you can sense how Drew's influence affected Eleanor's work in Secret Science Alliance. I'd love to see what projects he's working on if he comes along.

Posted by Dave at 07:02 PM

September 01, 2014


Mouseguard author/artist David Petersen comes to chat with us and talk about his process, works in progress, plans, whatever -- in another in our series of visiting artists coming to the Takoma Park Maryland Library (101 Philadelphia Ave Takoma Park MD 20912) at 7:30 PM on Thursday 9/4/14

Stunning artwork, beautifully painted, appealing characters, small heroes proving stoic and determined against outsized odds -- if you have not yet met the valiant warriors of Mouseguard then you are in for a treat. If you have read them you know the story: the woods and wild spaces are patrolled by an intrepid band of determined guardmice. They protect the towns of civilized mousedom against constant threat in the form of predators and politics.

Where Mouseguard soars above most other comics is in the meticulously detailed and lush art. Divinity is in the details, the architecture of the buildings is both credible and to scale. If you happened to know any mouse-sized carpenters you could actually assemble these forts stone by stone, plank by plank. Realism promotes this book out of our 'all-ages' section where little kids might be frightened by plausible snakes and weasels taking swords through the eye and such like. But that realism lends verisimilitude to a world peopled by sword-carrying varmints.

The next book in the series is not due until later in the Fall, but that lets us get sneak peeks and previews into whatever Mr Petersen is working on next. But just to get a sense of how cool his work is, here are a few more stunning stellar examples.

Come check him out, have fun! Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park MD Library and Fantom Comics of Dupont Circle, Washington DC.

Posted by Dave at 07:12 PM
Recent Entries
Eleanor Davis
Other Web Logs
Children's Room
Teen Book Buzz
April 2015
February 2015
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
May 2014
April 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
Call the desk at 301-891-7259
Contact the director by e-mail