We received a few nice blurbs the other day from some book sellers who saw advance copies of Everything Goes: On Land. After a year-plus of sitting in a studio by myself cranking this thing out, it’s sure swell to poke my head out of the hole and read this kind of thing.
“Everything Goes: On Land is the story of a boy taking a car trip to the city with his father and all the modes of transportation they encounter there. Each two-page spread introduces us to a different class of vehicle, which is then followed by a see-inside spread allowing us to learn more about the different vehicles’ parts and how they work. The pages are so busy and colorful that a child will spend hours poring over them and discovering new details. At the same time, color-coded speech bubbles allow the parent to read the story’s conversation between father and son.
For booksellers, this delightful book offers the best of both worlds — a book for a non-reader to enjoy alone, and one to be shared between adult and child. This would be a perfect recommendation for a grandfather to read to his grandson.
Everything Goes: On Land is informational, educational, and just downright fun – you’re not going to find a better combination anywhere! This is Where’s Waldo?, Richard Scarry’s Busytown, and See-Inside for a new generation! Bravo Brian Biggs!”
Mary Brown, Books, Bytes, and Beyond
“I love this book. I can’t wait to read it to Ian, my 2-1/2 year old nephew who is really into vehicles. It is very Richard Scarry (a favorite of mine). I love the bright colors and detailed illustrations. This is a book that you look at over and over again and still find new things. I love the comments of the people in the street scene. There is so much to look at! It’s a really great interactive picture book, which will be great to hand sell. This book just makes me smile.”
Jennifer Brenninger, The Doylestown Bookshop
“This picture book comes with a money-back guarantee for endless hours of enjoyment for kids as well as moms and dads. Everything that has wheels and goes gets the funny-interactive treatment with great little stories and illustrations by Brian Biggs. Richard Scarry has met his match!”
Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshop
The first book of the Everything Goes series, On Land, is scheduled to be published on September 13. It’s high time I start writing a bit more about this book. The fine folk at Balzer+Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins) have given the go ahead to show the cover. So I thought that I’d start with a bit of a tease before I pull cover off the cover, so to say.
The idea for Everything Goes is “lots.” Lots of everything, going. Lots of cars and trucks and trains and bikes and motorcycles, and then in the second and third books, lots of airplanes and helicopters and balloons and rowboats and tugboats and ocean liners and sailboats and you get the idea. I may have written this already, but mixing a little of Where’s Waldo and David Macaulay with a lot of Richard Scarry was generally the idea going into this project.
So to that end, I knew that the cover was going to be busy and jammed with a little bit of everything that is in the book. But beyond that idea, I didn’t have much.
I started out by drawing what I figured would be a decent basis for the illustration. This would be a traffic jam. Just a mass of vehicles with which I could set into a 10 inch by 12 inch frame and start working.
I used this sketch for the basis for the first sketch.
And then used it as a take-off point for a second sketch. These are the two I first sent to HarperCollins.
Generally, it was agreed that this is a good start. I was asked to try and show different kinds of vehicles that were in the book, like trains and bikes. And the type wasn’t working, since Everything was reading as Every Thing. For the second round of sketches, the background illustration was starting to fall into place but the type still wasn’t working. I’d became slightly obsessed with getting the type to work as a sign, like a billboard or on the side of the truck.
My editor believed that the treatment for “Everything Goes” should be something that would work on all three books and not necessarily be tied to the illustration itself. I squirmed at this suggestion, though of course she was correct. I knew it was 5% too clever to actually work. You can see the illustration getting a bit more refined as well.
After some prodding, I worked up some sketches for the “logo” as we started calling it.
Now, we were getting somewhere. Here’s how the sketch looked with the logo in place.
This is the sketch that got approved, though the logo still went through another round of changes. As a technicality, I made one more iteration of the cover sketch, just to nail down the details before I started inking. Below are the final illustration sketch and logo sketch that led to the artwork, which I shall reveal tomorrow. Stay tuned.