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.

The Talking Potatoes

I'm pretty dang excited. The Talking Potatoes just reviewed our book, The Boy Who Went Ape. I don't care, call me a sucker. But I was more excited about this than maybe anything else that's happened as a result of getting published. Why? Because they're so dang cool. I love Ida and Small and think they're smart, nice, and wonderful. And they read like I eat Snickers. I had the pleasure of meeting the taters once and I can say they are just as charming in person as they are on the world wide web.

I was also very pleased to see the Potato's distant cousins Fry and Tot from Port Townsend review one of the books I loved, Superfudge by Judy Blume and also Bad To The Bone by Lucy A. Nolan. " 'Sup potato yo's" Go check out both of the awesome new Talking Potatoes book reviews. And while you're at it, become their follower. Why the heck not?

The girl book, boy book debate rages on over at Kirby's for the next few days. And promises to heat up, getting to the heart of the Great Debate that has been flying around the kid litosphere.

Stay tuned sometime this evening for the Great Dubbing. It is Saturday after all. And tip-of-my-hat wag-of-my-finger to, wait, that's taken, lick-of-my-finger and swipe-on-the-air-chalkboard to the Seattle Seahawks for having another preseason game tonight at 5. N0w, if you didn't already know, you do know. I'm a Seahawks junkie. Don't ever expect to talk to me on Sundays once the regular season starts. I will be busy. And in a bad mood when (IF) they lose. : )

Does Amy think this guy is really cute? Yes, yes she does. She thinks it's funny that he is a tight end too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey kid you want a free book? How about a gender discussion?

I wanted to give everyone who enjoys free books a heads up. Kirby Larson is starting her panel on boy/girl books tomorrow around noon. I think she's going to post a portion of the discussion each day. To sweeten the pot, Kirby is also offering a copy of her Newbery Honor book, Hattie Big Sky, to the first person to comment on each post.

My very own signed first edition, to me! : )

Kirby, the book giver-outer and all star blog panel creator.

And some shameless Linus pics at the dog park.

He met Chester who he quickly became pals with. You can barely tell them apart.

Linus is in the back and usually has a ball (and blue collar).

I love dogs.

Why I had nightmares of burning crosses as a kid

I'm very proud of my big brother.

This was us a good while ago, more hair, less fat, less wisdom. Actually, Jesse has been playing soccer like a madman and surfing so much I think he's back to his Junior High weight. Me, I'm sporting the Chris Farley look. I guess that's what happens when you jack up your knee living in the lower forty-eight and work for yourself. Can't afford surgery, can't do any sports at all, or exercise much. So you get fat. Enjoy the rush of chronic pain. It's going on six years or so now. Then you marry a Canadian, move to Canada and voila, horrible, horrible free and excellent health care. Amazing. The same country getting criticized by the ignorant right now about their communist health care might just be my salvation from being chubby. And pain. Cool.

But I digress.

That's the cover of my big brother's new awesome picture book, called I and I.

This post is really about my brother Jesse and how he just had an incredible interview with the School Library Journal that I would encourage everybody to check out.

For any skeptical about Jesse's passion against injustice, I have a couple stories for you. Completely unapproved by said older brother too.

When I was a young boy I used to have nightmares about the KKK coming and leaving burning crosses on our front yard. It's true. Which is weird on a few levels because I'm a white boy, white family, and we lived in gold rush country in Northern California, between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. You wouldn't think I'd have to worry much, or even know much about the Klan. But I was pretty sure they were going to come for my brother.

Why would a young boy worry about such a thing? Well, read the interview and you'll get a much better picture. Before Murphys, we lived in Pasadena, California, where I was born. Jesse's best friend there was African American. And our grandma was a member and activist for the United Nations and a devout feminist. Side note: when we'd bring girlfriends to meet her she'd grill them about their ambitions and views. Thanks grandma.

When Jesse was in Junior High School or High School (forget which) our family watched Cry Freedom, probably prompted by Jess. After the movie was over, Jesse was so mad at the injustice he kicked a whole in the drywall with his Doc Marten combat boots (all the rage). I was impressed and still am. That's passion.

In high school, Jesse was arrested (yeah, you heard me) with his friend because a hotel in Angel's Camp (where our hs was) refused service to a black reporter from the Sacramento Bee and so Jesse J and friend posted signs and picketed out front, just the two of them. Small town cops don't like that kind of thing. Arrested him, threatened him. Read the interview. That's why I dreamed about burning crosses.

When I was in junior high and Jesse (four years older) in high school, our family went on a trip to the Middle East and Europe for two months, one month per. My dad was illustrating a picture book for Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's wife and they sent him to research it. While in Israel we saw both sides of the deep conflict. I think Jesse, being older and more inclined, was deeply affected by some of the camps we saw that the Palestinians were forced to live in. This was around 1988 I believe. We met many Jews, Muslims and Christians and heard so many stories. Our Palestinian guide, Elias, was a personal friend of Billy Graham. He was one of the original boys who found the Dead Sea Scrolls. A respected and honored man. Yet, as an old man he was told by a soldier to pick up rocks and refused, so beaten severely.

I have always looked up to my older brother for many reasons. His lifelong passion for justice and his courage to speak up despite consequences or fear is one part of him that I especially admire. I hope you go read this article and find out more about this great guy and passionate artist.

Here's Jesse's blog and his website. Love you jess. Very proud of you.