Saturday, August 29, 2009


For some reason, besides the Golden Eunuch (if he even counts), I have not dubbed a guy yet. That changes now.

Today's dubbee comes all the way from Portland, Oregon, one of Amy and I's favorite small-towns that masquerades as a big city. This absolute stud-muffin is sweet, kind, funny, doesn't suck to look at, is incredibly charming, possesses talent up the yin-yang, has great taste, is remarkably humble, hard working and, sorry single folks, happily married. And he's an illustrator.

There's a scene in Superbad (uh oh, just lost half my readers) where Seth tells Evan about a girl he likes, Jules, and why she's out of his league because of who she dated before. "And Matt Muir. Matt Muir? He's like the sweetest guy ever. Have you ever stared into his eyes? It's like the first time I heard the Beatles." That's Jimbo Jabber. AKA Jim Di Bartolo. Go ahead take a good look into his eyes. What do you hear?

If all that isn't enough, I dug up a little more history and found that to make sure that he would shame ALL the rest of us guys for good, he proposed to his wife in Venice.


In a canal.

On a gondola.

Thanks Jim, jerk. My wife used to think I was romantic.

Here's his blog and his website. HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check it out. Incredible artwork. Imagine a hipper, contemporary, comic-influenced NC Wyeth with a touch of film noir and you're getting there.

Jim has done a ton of illustration work for the likes of Arthur A. Levine Books, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Upper Deck Entertainment, White Wolf Publishing, Paizo Publishing and Pacific Bell amongst others (whew) , including the artwork for the incredible Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor who doubles as his awesome wife! And the sequel that I think is out or almost out now, Dreamdark: Silksinger as well as an incredibly cool sounding new teen book collaboration with Arthur A. Levine Books, Lips Touch Three Times by Laini and illustrated by Jim. This is Jim's description of Lips Touch from his website:

It is a collection of two short-stories and one novella written by my wife Laini Taylor. Every story is a tale of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the character's souls. The book is out on October 1, 2009 and has just been selected as one of six YA novels to be featured in the "YA Editors' Buzz Presentation at the Annual National BEA Conference.

Whew. Talk about hot, this couple is taking the children's book world by storm. Talk about buzz too, I hear when they go to conferences now, there is a long line of drool behind them from all the editors following them. Sorta like a slug trail, kinda rainbowey.

But they remain humble as ever, very approachable and just plain sweet. They even have a mellow dog named Leroy. Linus is a Leroy fan.

Jim has expanded his familial role now, but I'll leave that to both of them and their blogs to share all about that. But you can imagine what kind of a dad this wonderful person is.

So to business. It's time.

I, BJW, Murderer of Muses, and Dubber of Dubbees (not to be confused with doobies) do solemnly and with the full official support and endorsement of no professional writing organizations or the writing Gods themselves, do wholeheartedly and with great aplomb and little-to-no shame or any regard to customs or propriety and with great honor...

Do Dub Thee...

The Gentle Bad-Ass Bohemian Warrior Daddy. No one draws/paints guys like you. No
one. Your characters and creations are as tough as you are warm-hearted in real life. While you could certainly do some serious damage if you wanted to, you are a friendly bear and a fine human being and I'm glad to know you. Your illustrations have always strongly affected me and drawn me in. I just can't wait to see what you work on next.

PS I have not given Laini her fair share of public gushing here because this is all about Jimbo, but rest assured I will eventually. This is her blog and website.

Thanks to Jim for letting me swipe his photo and his amazing cover of his new book. Please go check it out yourself. This is the superhero that Jim made at the Superhero Factory. Even looks like him, 'specially the pork chops.


  1. I also have to say that Jim's pictures never do him justice. He's even better looking in person. :)


  2. Trail of drool--dude, you floor me!
    And I shall definitely check out that book. Very cool post.

  3. Congrats to Jim and fantastic illustration.

  4. Cheers Angie!

    Not so bad looking yourself Awdie! But you're right. He's a hunk! Always a wonderful morning when Arthur A. Levine is around. I think I even hear bird's singing. You tend to brighten things up and make people smile.

    Hello Tricia. We strive to floor people around here. I call it literary judo. And me too! Thank you.

    Indeed. Hip Hip for Jim and fantastic illustration. Thank you so much BJ for the zombie chicken blog award. That is the best award name by far. I'll be doing a post about it soon (promises, promises). And how cool is your fortune. I'd kill a chicken for that fortune. Awesome.

  5. What boy hasn't dreamed of being Gentle Bad Ass Bohemian Warrior Daddy, I ask ya?

    Hmm. Is this like a new trend now, where manly men are not afraid to say other manly men are good looking? Better alert my husband.

  6. Yeah, Jim makes me feel very small as an artist. but it's okay, because at least I get to enjoy his talents. Lips Touch looks so gorgeous. I can't wait until I can get my hands on that book.

  7. I love your dubbings! I'll have to check the book out!

  8. Great, great dubbing! I swooned when I read how Jim proposed to Laini. What a incredible couple!

  9. Not going to comment on all of perfectly placed targets. I will choose instead to focus on how much I agree that Jim is a badass-sweet-bear (yeah, that is MY title, dont go dubbing with it) and EVERYBODY should mail him a dollar right now. I'll do it if you do it! (seriously, can we start a huge trend? It costs us each only a buck but the recipient is gonna bank! AND if it takes off we could all become millionaires and buy Literary Agencies! Just think.....
    And while you are looking for a stamp, check out his blog and website.

    I wholeheartedly agree, Benno.

    ...not bad to look at? :)
    (Ah, Ben, been a while since you've seen any good Brad Pitt flicks, I see, eh? Straying from the standby? Or don't you get movies up there in Far Canada?)

  10. Well Ben, I'm SO SO incredibly flattered and humbled and HUGELY appreciative of such amazingly kind words!! Wowzers man. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever read such tremendously generous compliments and I can't thank you enough for it all.

    I'm always trying to improve my work, and I really hope I can eventually live up to all that praise someday ("NC Wyeth" and me in the same sentence?...that's going to take several lifetimes for me to live up to that! But thanks Ben :)

    And as for the Venice proposal and all things Laini, I have to say that she deserves nothing less than that kind of treatment (as I'm sure Amy does as well!) -- I'm a lucky man (!!) and thanks for the props!

  11. Yat-Yee, certainly all boys dream to be such a thing! Ha, I knew I was in for some ribbing for calling Jim easy on the eyes. Let's call it me acknowledging the obvious and alerting all my wonderful female readership to a newish "hot guy of children's lit". You're welcome. His poster in his fireman costume will be on sale soon.

    Natalie your illustrations are awesome and comparing is like peas and pastrami. Each is great for what it is. You're welcome for my Deep Thought of the day. Yes a group of us at a Portland Conference got a long verbal teaser trailer from their editor, Arturo the brave, and it sounds incredibly unique and intense.

    Hello Susan, thank you very much. They're the most fun posts to do. Thank you Jaime CocoaStomp for the original idea.

    Great Vivian, now Jim has women SWOONING! The rest of us are going to HAVE to step up our game. Or just never let Amy on the internet again. That could be tough. Yeah they both are really cool and perfect for each other.

    And dear sweet big brother Jesse J. Here it comes. First off let me just point out that you got the mail-the-dollar idea from It Could Happen To You with Nicholas Cage, Bridget Fonda, and The Annoying-Voice-actress you sap. But I'm in. You mail the dollar, I'll mail the Loonie.

    And as for the Brad Pitt thing, you can't tell me despite him being tabloid fodder and eye candy for countless woman and some dudes, that he doesn't sometimes impress you with his different roles. 12 monkeys, Snatch, Seven Years In Tibet, A River Runs Through It (one of my top two favorite movies), Fight Club, and recently Burn Before Reading? Pretty decent list. Sure he has his cheesy Mr and Mrs Smith (Troy-why don't you oil yourself up more Brad) moments, but overall I think he's a pretty decent actor on top of being a babe-magnet. And he wore the gorilla suit in Jackass. After being married a while now, I can acknowledge a dude is surely going to make both of our wives sprain their necks doing a double-take without being too jealous. Just like Amy knows I'll always have my Linda Carter-Wonder Woman/Princess Leia crushes and fainting spells if ever I was to meet them (or even more if I went back in a time-machine). Side-note, for being in hopelessly shallow roles and FHM and all that stuff, is it just me or is Megan Fox a dead ringer for Linda Carter. Somebody should make a decent Wonder Woman movie with Megan Fox now. Done and done.

    And Jesse admit you liked the Superbad quote. Admit it. ADMIT IT! You wished you'd thought of that yourself.

    JIMBO! You are very welcome and deserve them. Even my muffin-ass brother Jesse will tell you, you're a quality guy. Glad to know you. You're doing just fine being you and just keep doing your thing with your work. It is powerful stuff. I know you've worked very hard to get where you're at. You should be real proud of that.

    It's really cool to see how much you and Laini love each other and are pursuing both of your dreams. (how cheesy did that sentence sound? It's true though!) You're spot on about Laini and Amy deserving it, I know you and I are on the same page there. We are both lucky men and you are very welcome. Thank you for letting me swipe your images. I was going to dub you a while back but you had much more important happenings. Cheers!

    I love the writing children's books. Can you all believe how many incredible people we get to meet and rub shoulders with? Jim and Laini are unique in how cool they are, but in another sense our little industry is full of passionate, hard-working folks who love what they are doing just like them. I love children's books. Thank God I'm not doing some of the other stuff I've come close to being stuck in. This is a noble endeavor. I know so many of us truly believe that.

  12. Perfectly done dub, dude!
    Laini and Jim are the bee's knees as are Ben and Amy. SUPERBAD is my favorite teen movie of all time. Sorry Molly Ringwald.

  13. Thank you Jaime, so are you and your'n. Ha. You're awesome. Nice Wallace and Grommit viewing at CocoaStomp. I hadn't seen that one yet and it was great but it cut off on me. Will look for the rest. Or just try to watch it again. I hope we get to hang out again soon. You're fun.

  14. hey bjw, you are a writing freak!

    not only do i love your gushes and dubbing, but your writing rocks. tell me you're working on a novel. picture books can't contain you, although the boy who went ape is perfect.

  15. uh huh.

    :)FILL IT UP AGAIN!!!!
    It tastes so good. Once it hits your lips, it tastes so good.

  16. Heyoooh

    "old school" quote there....
    just realized an uninformed blogiac might draw many different possibilities from that comment ...

  17. Wow. Very impressive credentials. And I LOVE the way he proposed. Maybe he could give my boyfriend some pointers!

  18. Great job of dubbing, Ben, and Jim is a well-deserving dubee.

  19. Forgive me in being so flipping far behind in reading blog posts.

    But well dubbed, Ben! I do agree.

    And can I be totally rude and say...Guess what I'm reading? Tee-hee. Oh, yes I am. And the only thing bad about it is that the arc isn't filled up with Jim's illustrations (but the book will be)!

  20. Thanks also to everyone for the kind words about me and my work. Putting things "out there" into the world for others to see and comment on is always a nerve-wracking thing, so any and all positive feedback is SO appreciated :)

    Oh and Jolie, we got hardcover copies of LIPS TOUCH a couple of weeks ago (you might know that already from Laini's blog) and I have to say, regardless of whatever anyone might think of my art (good or bad) the design team at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic did a fanTAStic job with all of the little details throughout the book. We LOVE it!

  21. Plus, he wears a fun shirt! What's not to like about this guy?!

  22. Sorry I'm so late to responding on these. Here goes...

    Thank you Karen Ann. That is an AWESOME compliment. Yes I am trying really hard on writing a long-suffering novel. Long-term I hope to write both. We'll see. I'll bet YOU could write some great novels in addition to pb's too! Thank you very much. That makes me feel very good.

    Yeah JJ New rule, no explaining old school quotes. actually that's something I believe in Ben. Yeah me too. Not prefacing them could probably lead to DEEPLY offending, well everyone. Rule revoked.

    Hi Stephanie. I showed Amy Jimbo's picture on fb of The Proposal in the canal on a Gondola in Venice (geesh, seriously Jim? You are a STUD and make the rest of us guys look like unromantic squid. Yeah squid) and Amy gave one of those girl noises that I can't even start to replicate. But Ahhhhooouuuuuuhhhhhh, then her head tilted over until she looked at me, then it kind of straightened up remembering we've never been anywhere NEAR Venice. Then she reassured me that our engagement was very romantic, as her eyes darted over to the Canal. Yeah thanks Jim.

    Hey Reed buddy! Miss you guys. Yeah he's near your neck of the woods. I just like saying neck of the woods. I'm trying to visualize the neck of the woods. Hee hee.

    Thank you Cuppa Writing Buddy. You are completely forgiven and far ahead of me. I can't BELIEVE you're reading the arc of that book. First Catching Fire and then THAT! No fair dude. Who'd you kill?

    Jimbo Jabbah! What a guy. We've got positive comments to spare in Costco size bulk for you around here. I'd say you're a hit. And I think people love your art!

    But Jim brings up something that many of us might not think about and maybe I'll just blog about eventually. I know from the horses mouth, that Arthur takes special pride in the cover and the makeup of the physical and graphic design/art of the book itself. He said he is very involved in covers and the rest of the "package". He went on at lengths of the little detail that doesn't have much function anymore, but is a little band thing covering the spine binding. Little stuff like that cost money but there's a WHOLE bunch of it that I'm pretty clueless of. Stamping, sparklies, what's underneath the jacket, so many little details that are fascinating. I look forward to getting Lips Touch in my hand and looking more closely at it after hearing how much thought goes into the little things.

    Apparently Anita, there is SOMETHING not to like about him. But it just hasn't been discovered yet. Maybe Laini can help us out with that. Amy sure could (and has) fill you in.

  23. I just-now-realized I never commented on this post!! I'm so horrified, because Jim is one of the COOLEST and KINDEST people of my acquaintance. He's also one of the most hilarious. (Seriously, if you've ever gotten an email from him, you know what I'm talking about.) And his work is amazing — so dark and beautiful. I'm a huuuuuuge fan. AND he's amazing to Laini. He racks up serious husband points, every single day, so know he'll be a wonderful dream dad.

    GO JIMBO! And GO SIR BEN for your flippin' sweet taste in dubs!!