Archive for the ‘headlines’ Category



Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Little Golden Books
Well it’s out, and now I can safely say that when I retire as an illustrator and spend my days on the golf links in Boca Raton, I will have illustrated a Little Golden Book. I’ve loved Little Golden Books ever since I can remember. My grandmother’s house had a stack of them that belonged to my aunts and uncles back in the 50’s and 60’s, and I liked the goofy stories and wonderful illustrations. At the time, I knew nothing of the legacy of these illustrators like Richard Scarry, Tibor Gergely, Leonard Weisgard, and Alice and Martin Provensen. As I grew up and went to college and became a designer, I forgot about much of the Golden Books.

It was only much later, while I was working on a poster for The Kids in the Hall in 2002, that I rediscovered these works. Mary Blair’s I Can Fly, Garth Williams’ Mister Dog, the Provenson’s Color Kittens, and especially Scarry’s Rabbit & His Friends were the inspiration for this poster.

[singlepic id=16 w=400]

Last year I discovered a book called Golden Legacy by Leonard Marcus. It’s a history of Little Golden Books, and I was about halfway through it when I got a call from out of the blue, that the editors of Little Golden Books would like me to illustrate a new book called I’m a T.Rex, written by Dennis Shealy. Needless to say I fell over and was stunned.

I love drawing dinosaurs but I hadn’t had a chance to draw dinosaurs for a book before. Sketches commenced. The T. Rex had to be fierce and angry but I wanted him to be kinda cute and funny as well.

I'm a T.Rex! cover sketch

The work went smoothly and just this last week, on May 11, it was officially “published” and released into stores. I got my copy on Thursday. And like I wrote, I’m pretty happy to be able to be part of the “story” of Golden Books now. I sure won’t put my book up there in the same echelon as the Scarry, Gergely, and Prevensen books. But at least it’s now sitting on the same shelf…

I'm a T. Rex!
My Little Golden Book: I'm a T. Rex!
My Little Golden Book: I'm a T. Rex!

Monday, February 1st, 2010

new stuff
Today I’d like to introduce you to a completely redesigned MrBiggs dot com. The redesign is obvious on the external side, which is the side that you see. It looks different and hopefully it’s easier to navigate and more interesting to read. The redesign also extends to the internal workings, as I’ve finally dumped the manual updating of html pages and thrown the whole thing into WordPress. I’ve been using WordPress as a blog on my site, what you know as the News page, since 2006. Ever since them I’ve been wanting to wrap it or something like it around the entire workings of my site, but the learning-curve proved to be significantly slower than I imagined. I know, I know, your grandma made a WordPress blog and had it running in twenty minutes. Ok. Mine took a little longer. Leave me alone.

As with all websites, this one isn’t done yet. I have some plans that I haven’t had time to implement yet. Namely I’ll be adding a number of sections to the illustration department and, I hope, creating a searchable database of sorts of hundreds of illustrations. The idea being that if you want to see all the work I’ve done for the New York Times, or all my illustrations of robots, you can do that. It’s not there yet. Furthermore I have a lot of goofy stuff I plan to add to the miscellany page, I’ll be adding a comics section in the books department pretty soon, I’m going to have a section where you can see and maybe buy the screenprints I’ve started making, and I’ll have better categories and general taxonomy of the News pages so that you can find stuff in the archives more easier-like. Because I know that you want to search my archives and read about what I was doing in 2007. I also plan to have several “making-of” areas where I’ll show the process of complete projects, including initial sketches, research, and finished work.

As I add these functions, features, and sections, I’ll post about the additions here on the News page, as well as the new work, events, and general ranting that I’ve always posted. If you follow the News here via RSS or Atom, you might need to re-up your subscription by clicking RSS link. I’m not sure whether the changes carried over.

One of my personal favorite changes is the front home page, which has several background images it randomly cycles through each time you visit. Go ahead, check it out and refresh the page a few times.

So go now and poke around. And if you don’t mind, please let me know if you find any broke stuff or things that look wrong.

Thanks
Brian

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

My little movie “Playground” got featured on a terrific blog called PlayGroundology. It’s all about, yes, playgrounds. LIke it you will.

PlayGroundology screenshot

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Brownie & Pearl Step Out

Publisher’s Weekly posted a review today of the first book in the Brownie & Pearl series, written by Cynthia Rylant. It’s a very good review and happily makes a point of mentioning Brownie’s stockings. It’s the fourth review down on this page. In case you’re wondering, Brownie & Pearl Step Out will be published in very early January.

Here is the text:

Brownie & Pearl Step Out Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Brian Biggs. S&S/Beach Lane, $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8632-4\

A birthday party (“Cats are invited”) is the outing spotlighted in Newbery Medalist Rylant’s sweet snippet of a story, first in a planned series, which introduces a happy if a bit timid girl (Brownie) and her similarly sanguine cat (Pearl). As they arrive at their destination, a front stoop festooned with balloons, Brownie has second thoughts: “Uh-oh. Brownie feels shy. Maybe she’ll go home.” But Pearl leaps through the cat door, forcing the issue (“Now Brownie has to knock”). She’s warmly welcomed and enjoys games, cake, and ice cream. Short, snappy sentences (“Look! Pearl went in the kitty door!”), a bold font, and spot-on themes for this age level—birthday party, spunky pet, and the rewards of overcoming shyness—tailor this for girls just beginning to read on their own. Bubblegum pink and lime green pop from Biggs’s (the Roscoe Riley Rules series) digitally rendered cartoon art, which features such endearing flourishes as Brownie’s mismatched striped socks and floral dress, as well as the pink flowers she and Pearl wear in hair and fur. Cheerful from start to finish. Ages 3–5. (Dec.)

Friday, September 25th, 2009

I totally forgot about this. I wrapped up work on the Roscoe Riley series last Spring and book seven was just published a couple of weeks ago. So now you can get the whole series and read it as you would Harry Potter. Kind of.
Seven Roscoe Rileys
Also, since it’s Friday and I have lots of other work I should be doing, I decided to procrastinate spend some time making this little movie to commemorate the completion of the series.

I shot it with my iPhone clamped to a tripod. This works quite well and I’m afraid I’m seeing the end of my affinity for using tape-based video cameras. Anyone want a barely-used HiDef Sony HV20?

The music was made in Ableton Live with the Synplant synthesizer, which I can’t get enough of.

Seven Roscoe Rileys from Brian Biggs on Vimeo.

Monday, September 21st, 2009

15 x 10 inch puzzle for Mudpuppy
You may recall the Astronauts in Peril I posted during my recent month-long sojourn in Arkansas. This was a sketch for a puzzle I was drawing and designing for Galison/Mudpuppy. I’ve done quite a lot of work for Mudpuppy. In fact, over the last two or three years, the work for Mudpuppy has been my favorite in both the process and the results. So when Cynthia Matthews called and asked me to do a piece with aliens and planets and comets and stuff, I jumped on it.
I completed the puzzle last week. While it won’t be published for almost a year (June 2010), I am happy to be able to show it off now. The timing is nice, as I’m about to start working on a book for Hyperion about aliens and I’d not quite yet figured out how I want it to look. This is a good start.
Below are four smaller detail images showing the puzzle in more detail.
space puzzle detail

space puzzle detail

space puzzle detail

space puzzle detail

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Do you love Klutz? I love Klutz. I have an eight-year-old daughter who also loves Klutz. Klutz is the publisher of those activity sets and books you can’t help but stare at when you’re in a decent book or toy store. I’ve done a lot of work for them in the past for some of their books like “All About Me” and their window art project kits. But last year they called up and asked me to help them produce an entire book/set. Originally it was going to be about ships and boats, but then they changed their minds and it became Clothespin Cars. The idea here is that you can make cars out of clothespins. You get that? Ok.
Hey look! Klutz Clothespin Cars
There are six different kinds of cars you can make. You can see here the ice cream truck, the police car, and the bus. There are also two race cars, a taxi, and a fire truck. If you are a seven-year-old boy, you are in heaven. If you are not, you will like it anyway.
Klutz Clothespin Cars
Klutz Clothespin Cars
As you can see here, I not only drew the cars but also instructions and diagrams.
Klutz Clothespin Cars
Klutz Clothespin Cars
There is another part of the book wherein you cut out these buildings and make a diorama in which your cars can race and drive around.
Klutz Clothespin Cars
While my daughter was slightly disappointed that I didn’t do a project that involved fairies or flowers, she quickly opened up the set and built everything. So don’t be fooled by the boys in the pictures.
Thanks to Stephanie at Klutz for the design. According to the Klutz website, this will be available in May.

Friday, April 17th, 2009

This weekend is the Free Library Festival at the Philadelphia Central Library. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday April 18 and 19 at 19th street at Vine. I’ll be appearing (sounds like a magic act) in the Target Tent at 2pm on Sunday. The idea is that I’ll be reading from the Judy Sierra book I illustrated Beastly Rhymes. It’s a fun book to read aloud. They also tell me I’ll read something else too.
There is a lot of other things to do at the library as well. Please come out and say hello and have a good time. The weather will be nice! Yes!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The weather was cold and wet, but it was sunny and dry in YoYo Joe’s in Wilmington on Saturday. Thanks to Joe and his family, and to those who braved the elements to come by and say hi.
And for those who aren’t in the know, YoYo Joe’s is a great excuse to drive south to Wilmington. Books, toys, games, puzzles, and more yoyos than you knew existed. Oh, and a ship! It’s a great shop.
The Brandywine River Museum is just a few minutes away so you can check out the Edward Gorey show while you’re down there til May 17.

me, at YoYo Joe's

me, at YoYo Joe's

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I will be down in beautiful Wilmington Delaware this Saturday signing books and playing with toys at YoYo Joe’s toy store. Joe Mitchell asked me to come in and entertain for an hour or so, and I figure that since hanging out in toy stores is my sixth favorite thing to do, I’d say certainly.
So I’ll be down with Sacha and the kids all acting like a big shot between 1pm and 2pm. If you’re anywhere near Wilmington (seeing the Gorey show at the Brandywine Museum, perhaps?) please stop in and say hello.
YoYo Joe’s is at 3654 Concord Pike in Wilmington.
YoYo Joe's toy store