The Boy who cried Alien « MrBiggs.com

Related posts



Tag Archive

1987 Abrams book Brownie & Pearl cars children's book collage college comic strip contest Etsy Everything Goes galison halloween holiday interview Jon Scieszka lettering library me moleskine movie mudpuppy music North Texas Daily North Texas State University NTSU Philadelphia Book Festival poetry poster posters puzzle race car review robots sketch ten trick or treaters The Boy who cried Alien time lapse transportation trucks typography University of North Texas vehicles video

Newsworks dot org

April 16th, 2012

I had a great time at the Mt Airy Kids’ Literary Festival this weekend. I even got my picture in the paper.

Hope everyone there had as much fun. The Boy Who Cried Alien is a great book to read aloud.

Alien day!

March 21st, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Alien cover

Today is publication day* for The Boy Who Cried Alien, by Marilyn Singer. Illumastrated by me. Published by Hyperion. I wrote a lot about this book a while back, and I’ll write about it some more soon. Go now to Indiebound or a favorite book store and get one for you, your spouse, your parents, your siblings, and maybe your kids.


Go now and get it.

* I think it’s today. It may have been yesterday.

The Boy Who Cried Alien

January 12th, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Alien cover

The Boy Who Cried Alien is a book unlike any other book I’ve not only had the chance to illustrate, but unlike any book I’ve read before. It takes the old Boy Who Cried Wolf tale and tells it a little differently. In this one, Larry the Liar is our protagonist, and one day he sees a tooth-shaped alien spaceship crash-land into a lake near the town where he lives. Larry, as his name would imply, has a reputation for telling tall tales, so when he runs into town to announce what he’s seen, no one believes him. (Well some do, but they’re loony-toons.) So as Larry tries to figure out a way to get the townsfolk to believe him, the two aliens, brothers named Dreab and Carlig, sing songs about their problems, which include the ship having crashed, being out of gas, and getting in trouble by their dad back home. Now, here’s where things get weird. Dreab and Carlig don’t sing in regular old English. No, Marilyn Singer devised a language for them all her own, based on rearranging certain letters of the words. For instance, instead of saying “Rocket Kaput, no more gas,” they sing “Tapuk Tocker, on eorm, sag.” Do you see the pattern here?
Luckily, Marilyn also saw fit to include a translation key in the book so the reader can understand what the aliens are saying, and about halfway through Larry is given a translator helmet so that he can understand what the aliens are saying. Here are a bunch of images of the book.

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

One of my favorite things about the book was a last minute bit of inspiration by my editor, Rotem Moscovich, at Hyperion. On the case cover, which is the inside cover, under the dust cover, we re-did the title and author/illustrator credits to read in the alien-language. I’d forgotten about this when I got my hot-off-the-presses copy in the mail yesterday, and when I opened it I just cracked up.

The Boy Who Cried Alien

Some books get written, get illustrated, get published, and the whole things seems like well-oiled machinery. And then there are books like The Boy Who Cried Alien. I’m not sure exactly when Marilyn Singer wrote the manuscript, but I know I first saw the it in July of 2007. Before that, at various times, illustrators as famous and talented as Dan Santat and Adam Rex were attached to it, and three different editors helped sculpt it into the work it is now. I often think of how relieved Marilyn must be to know that it is, finally, a real book and will be out in just a couple of months.
I’ll post more about this book as we get closer to publication date, including a bunch of sketches and outtakes. Ytas Dunet!

MrClean dot com

April 13th, 2011

After completing the first book of Everything Goes in mid-February, I went on a tear and illustrated the sixth Brownie & Pearl book by the first week of March, and then immediately completed a book for Hyperion called The Boy Who Cried Alien which I’d been working on since sometime in 2007. As you might imagine, this schedule has left little time for stuff like eating, going to the bathroom, and cleaning up one’s mess. Over the weekend I took care of the eating and bathroom issues, and this week I focused on cleaning the studio. Over the winter, with the windows closed and the garage door shut, the place got musty and dank. Piles of papers and bills and sketches and books were stacked in looming piles on one of my worktables. Cables and hard drives were scattered around my computer area, coffee cups were discovered still holding coffee (and milk) from days of yore (disgusting), my filing cabinet was disorganized, and a layer of dust and grime covered nearly everything.
Monday was a lovely day with temps in the high 70s and 80s, so I was happy to open the garage door up, let the place air out, and get to work. My storage closet is still needing help, but the main part of my studio is nice and clean. The papers were filed, surfaces wiped, and I have two boxes of papers and catalogs and ephemera that will go to recycling later this week. The place is now a good place to work, and it was such a pleasure to walk in this morning and see the results.
And not a moment to soon. Sketches for book seven of Brownie & Pearl are due toute suite, and UPS delivered a big pile of research materials I ordered from Amazon, all about airplanes and airports and aircraft, for Everything Goes: Air, which I’ll begin the hard work on later this week. No rest for the weary.

I wish I’d taken ‘before’ pictures. But here are the after.



aliens in the works

March 21st, 2011

I know you haven’t heard from me. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been busy. I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. I use it as an excuse way too often. I know what you’re gonna say. “Just a quick post? A card? Just text me and let me know you’re okay.”

Well, in my defense I have been updating my Twitter thing now and then, along with an occasional Dribbble and a Facebook update. Not enough? Okay, okay, I’ll try harder.

Everything Goes: On Land is done and at the printers, and the wheels have begin spinning within the deeper, darker halls of HarperCollins preparing to market and publicize the book. The I Can Read series that will accompany the books is in the works (which will be its own post one day — it’s a very odd and interesting process), and soon I have to start the beginnings of book two.
As soon as Everything Goes was done, I had to complete a long long delayed Brownie & Pearl book. This was book six of eight, so I have two more to do this year. Now I’m steamrolling through a book called The Boy Who Cried Alien, written by Marilyn Singer. This book first showed up in my life in the summer of 2007. It’s been through a few edits, a few editors, and then got hung up last year when I got buried in Everything Goes. Now it’s due in two weeks, and I’m laying low while getting this thing done. It’s a hilarious book and it’s been a lot of fun to work on, even if it has been for four years. I’ll post some more about this book as it’s completed and then as it nears publication as well.

two lost aliens

two lost aliens

These two images are of Dreab and Carlig, two aliens from the planet Yeah who crash land here on Earth. The language is their own, and the book includes translations.

This is Larry, who discovers the aliens and tries to warn the town. More to come. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Dreab and Carlig

May 24th, 2008


This is a “preparatory” image for a book I’m illustrating and starting to work on. It’s a pretty large black & white painting with color added in Photoshop. The book is nuts and will look pretty different from most of the other stuff I’m working on. It’s supposed to be done late this year and will be published sometime in 2009. More to come.