Thursday, December 31, 2015

What Now?

 Ah, New Year’s Eve.

We’re just about to turn out the lights and lock the doors for the last time on 2015. This time of year is calm like a flat tire: quiet and motionless because all the air has been let out and it ain’t goin’ no further. It’s a great time to sit and reflect. Or, if you’re anything like me and you’re terrified at the torrent of existential thoughts that rush in to fill up the vacuum of silence, it’s a great time to do busy work with the radio on while you tap your fingers nervously and your left eye twitches.

We always claim that the end of the year sneaked/snucked up on us. But it takes an entire year for it to do so. If the end of the year were a monster in a horror movie and took an entire year to chase us down, I’d be rooting for us to have our faces eaten. I’d be yelling at the screen and pointing, certain that the characters inside the magic talkie box can hear me: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! AND IT HAS BEEN FOR LIKE A YEAR!” Plus, the end of the year happens, like, every single year. Why are we always so surprised?

Mebbe because we never really know what the year is going to throw at us. I’m also always surprised by how much gets crammed into a single year. Like Mary Poppin’s carpet bag (if her bag contained things like holiday travel and colonoscopies instead of lamps and other household durables). For instance, here’s 2015 in a nutshell:

-Finished the book.
-Got rejected by like a million publishers.
-Put together and ran a (successful thanks to you) Kickstarter campaign.
-Printed the book.
-Sent the books to you.
-Had my first book signings.
-Got engaged.
-Learned peanuts grow underground.

So…what happens now?

Welp… I’m not too sure. See, we’re past the part where I know what the eff is happening. I mean, at least when I was working on the book or trying to get it printed, there was a clear-ish start and finish. But now it’s this big, open-ended…thing. I guess it’s a process? One where my connections and social capital are really going to come in handy.

So…if any of you happens to own a large publishing company and you’d just plum forgotten up until this moment, drop me a line.

While I’m holding my breath for all those mucky-mucks at the publishers to come crawling back, I’ll continue to do signings and promoting the book where I can. It’s now available for sale on my website (there’s also a list on that page of the other outlets where “Saturday” can be found) if you know of anyone who’s looking for a book that’s non-standard in just about every way.

There’s a part of me that’s super cavalier. There’s also a part of me that’s fairly cautious. Maybe a big part.

The latter is like having a driver’s education instructor constantly inside my head, depressing the passenger-side brake pedal every time the car is in any gear other than “park”. I picture him as having a well-trimmed mustache and wearing a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. He has my safety in mind and means well. But were said instructor to have control of the wheel, I’d never get anywhere interesting.

He’s fond of rules. And following them. There’s a set of rules for just about everything. Here’s the set he wrote about books (this is in the manual under “Creative Endeavors”, Chapter 64, subsection C):

1.)   Do not attempt to write and illustrate your own book.

If you decide to disregard Rule #1 (doing so may invalidate your warranty and result in serious injury or death), be sure to read, understand, and obey the following rules:

1.)   Choose an acceptable, pre-existing genre and subject matter.
2.)   Decide the size and format of the book based on ease and cost-effectiveness of printing.
3.)   Choose your target audience and tailor every element of the book to their interests.
4.)   Send the idea out to agents and publishers for vetting. If the idea does not garner interest, shelve it. If an agent is not interested, no one will be interested.

But, like I said, he doesn’t have control of the wheel. I do. And it’s about time to get back on the road. I kinda feel like starting on that next book. And not paying much attention to the manual (again).

I’m afraid of a lot of things. Spiders. Clowns. Contracts that involve a lot of legalese that I’m expected to sign. Responsibility. Germs. Clown germs. But when it comes to drawing, I’m not afraid of much. Not because I’ve carefully considered the dangers and know how to diffuse them. Not because I’m brave. It’s because I know there’s fun to be had. My pursuit of that fun is stronger than my fear of what might happen if it goes wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with the rules. But I don’t think that following them will get me anywhere that interests me. There’s fun to be had in another direction, so I’m headed that way.

It’s just that, because of that passenger side brake, I’ll be going there very, very slowly.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

This and That.


Just wanted to send out an update and give everyone the skinny. You know: the scoop, the D.L., the Q.T., the juice. First off, my 1950s slang class is going really well.

Also, I had my first book signing at our local bookstore (Bookpeople of Moscow), who were gracious enough to fit me in during a pretty busy season. It went very well. It was short, but there were loads of people who said nice things about Saturday right to my face, which is where I prefer nice things to be said. Granted, A.) I knew most of the people who came and, B.) They have to continue living in the same small town with me and so are socially encouraged not to be super mean because I’ll see them again in the future and I can hold a grudge longer than a Hatfield and McCoy put together. You hear that, SHELDON? I haven’t forgotten about that thing.

But I digress.

It reminded me how much I love our community and why I love my hometown. And that was maybe the most Rockwellian thing I’ve ever said. Gah! Sincerity. Quick: Think of a fart joke to wash the taste of real emotion out of your mouth!

Books are arriving at their new homes at various rates and times. I know because you’ve been telling me. Not right to my face this time, but to my computer, which in turn tells it right to my face. And you’ve also given me some of the best compliments I’ve ever had. I will keep these compliments with me and take them out when I need them to keep me warm, like when you put a hot potato in your pocket on a cold wintry night. What? You don’t do that? Well, it’s great. Plus, your pants smell like potato, so…bonus.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, reviews. While it’s flattering to receive compliments from people I know, it’s also nice to get them from strangers. They’re not obligated to be kind the way friends and family sorta are. For example, here are a few of the internet reviews that have come in:

I.M. Realperson: “This book great!”

Phil Intheblankreviews: “SATURDAY  is a terrific product. I use  SATURDAY  every day and I don’t know how I ever got along without it. I would definitely recommend SATURDAY to a friend.”

ReviewBot3000: “This book adequately conforms to human standards.”

NoahsMom: “Is this where I was supposed to type something? I’m not sure how this thing works. Love, Mom.” “Your service or product is good.”

What? How dare you suggest these aren’t real, live humans giving my book four star reviews. All these reviews are merit-based, like every other review on the interwebs.

Ok, jokey jokes aside (NEVER!), y’all have said some beautiful things about the book, and I’m grateful. One person (granted, a friend I’ve known for 15 years, but still…) brought up the amount of “care” put into Saturday. I think it’s a great word that nicely sums up my goals for the book. I cared deeply about every panel and every page. And I’m happy to now be sharing that with you.

Ugh: “sharing”, “caring”, “community”: Today’s post is just an all-star lineup of mushy words and sentiments, isn’t it?

Now, a few S.F.A.Q. (Somewhat Frequently Axed Questions):

International Shipping Costs and their existential ramifications: (Yup, I thought I’d start out with the most exciting topics in case you lose interest and don’t read the rest): I substantially undercharged for international shipping. But the explanation is simple: I’m dumb. So much so that pretty much all that extra money pledged for Kickstarter (thank you), went toward shipping. No bigs. It was never about money. Given the amount of time and personal money I’ve invested, CLEARLY, it was never about money.

My brother in law, who’s very smart and very business savvy, did a quick calculation of the entire affair and told me that, if I sold every single book, I stood to make a couple hundred dollars. It forced me to acknowledge that I’m a bad businessman. But I’m good at making fun things and sharing them with people. So I suppose that’s the point for me.

I’ve talked about my goals for Saturday many times (good craftsmanship, big, strange, funny, etc.). But the pie-in-the-sky goal was to make something that people want to read over and over and something that maybe possibly maybe inspires people the way my favorite books inspired me. The only problem with that goal is that there’s no real way for me to know it’s happened. The only thing I can do is make something as fun as I can and then share it. And that part HAS to be enough for me. It has to be satisfying and sustaining for me (because the money sure isn’t going to do either of those things).

What Now? Book events, maybe some comicons, etc. Work-wise, I’ve started a new series of fun, single-character poster illustrations. They’re sort of a palette-cleanser after eight years working on the same project.

When will the next book come out? I’m not too sure on that one. I’ve started a new book, but it’s on hold right now. I can’t jump straight from one book to another. I need a breather. But I will definitely keep you in the loop.

Ok, that’s enough jibba jabba. If you made it this far, you’re probably exhausted. Re-hydrate and relax for the rest of the day.

And thank you again. For everything.



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Firstest Book Signing of Saturday!


Good news: I’m having my very first book signing! It’s at our beloved Bookpeople of Moscow on Thursday, December 3rd from 6-7 pm. It’s the first time my book Saturday will be available at a bookstore (which is pretty exciting for me).

Haven’t heard of Saturday? It’s a lavishly illustrated book about an odd family, a rotten swamp of a week, and the wild ride back to almost normal. It’s chock-a-block full of strange characters, odd cultural references, mostly-appropriate jokes, and enough detail to choke that one kind of pig that only eats details. So, it’s like…a lot of detail.

“I’m skeptical, Noah,” I hear you say, skeptically, “I mean, sure, Saturday is so elaborately drawn it makes me want to spit on an illustrated manuscript* and the book’s size is wide enough to sit a family of three quite comfortably*, but is that really enough for me to want to take this book home?”

Certainly not, sir or madam. Why, there’s a whole host of other reasons to bring “Saturday” home to your loved ones. And here they are:

-Saturday is multipurpose! It’s a mix between a graphic novel and a children’s book. It’s the spork of books!

-This book will sit by the door (assuming you leave it by the door) and wait loyally for you to return every day. It’s reading material AND a companion. It will also guard your house while you’re away. I mean, it won’t DO anything, but it will be there if someone breaks in. Perhaps the thief will be distracted when they see the book and sit down to read it instead of stealing anything. Then you’ll have TWO companions waiting when you get home. Awww.

-Own a piece of history! This being a book and all (ask your grandparents if you’re unfamiliar with the medium), it continues the proud tradition of Gutenberg and it’s printed on paper just like the…er…ancient Egyptians used to use! Why, paging through Saturday is like traveling through time. Bring a big stick in case you have to fend off Morlocks*.

-It’s funny (in parts). Aren’t you tired of all those children’s books about tax law and estate planning? Good news! Saturday has almost none of those things and way more of the stuff enjoy, like bathroom humor and enough references to “The Golden Girls” to make you Blanche!

Why, with that bushel-full of reasons and my charming, country-fried way of a’ speakin’ (he said, with his thumbs hooked beneath his suspenders), I’d reckon you’re just about all outta excuses. So come on down to Bookpeople of Moscow (Thursday December 3rd from 6-7 pm) and pick up a swell gift for your loved ones just in time for the holidays. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of my book, too. Or just swing by to say ‘hi’. In the immortal words of England Dan, “I’m not talkin’ ‘bout movin’ in, and I don’t want to change your life, but there’s a warm wind blowin’ and the stars are out, and I’d really love to see you tonight (Thursday night).

*Don’t spit on any illustrated manuscripts. Think of the feelings of the long-dead monks, please.

*Assuming this family’s…ahem…southern borders, side by side, measure no more than 18” across.

*Don’t bring a big stick to Bookpeople. It’s probably against store policy. And anyway, Morlocks live underground, so no worries.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hissy Fits and Giggles

Remember that long, whiny email I wrote, like, three days ago?

Voice of Reason: “You mean the one where you were having a hissy-fit over an ever-so-slightly delayed shipping schedule? The one where you had a Bieber-esque tantrum about having to wait for three seconds? The one where you felt a suffocating load of stress crushing you like a fat horse sitting on top of a marshmallow Peep but it was actually just a thing that didn’t happen and thereby ended up being a (shudder) normal-in-every-respect-week? That email?”

Me: “Uhh…yeah. That one. So…you remember?”

Well…Good news! The books came!

They were delivered by an honest-to-goodness trucker named Kelly. 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of pure, un-cut Saturday, baby. Hey, by the way: did you know I can lift 1,500 pounds? I mean, not all at once (heaven forefend; I have delicate illustrator’s wrists). But broken up into very small increments, I can lift that much weight. Eventually. To be fair, I had help from a neighbor who is, fortunately, not an illustrator. He’s a construction worker who also plays rugby. Which worked out real good for one of us.

We moved the books inside (my everything hurts today) and then I spent the next eight hours unpacking, signing (180 books! My delicate illustrator’s wrists!), and re-packing. Today, my totally awesome parents drove an hour and a half in bad weather to help their miscreant adult son pack boxes. We worked like beavers who are just about to get fired from beavering and are terrified because they have beaver bills and a beaver mortgage to think about.  And then I spent several hours at the Post Office where a group of employees with saint-like patience helped me mail them (well, there are a few left).

They’re on their way to you (unless you didn’t fill out your survey, tsk tsk finger wag tsk). I don’t know when they’ll arrive. Particularly if you live outside the US. Hopefully before the holidays. In the meantime, I’ll make something you can print up and give to people in lieu of the book in case it doesn’t arrive in time (thanks for the great suggestion, David O.).

If you live in the United States, Thanksgiving is Thursday.

I just realized what a stupid sentence that is. Even if you live in another country, the American holiday of Thanksgiving is STILL on Thursday. Your geographic location does not effect the date of a major holiday in another country.

Let me start over.

Hey, Thanksgiving is coming up!

And what better time to count one’s blessings? That’s totally the point according this made-for-TV docu-drama I saw on the WB network. It had that guy from “Saved By the Bell” (not the main guy, the other one) and I think I remember it was really touching or something. Anyhoo, I thought I’d make a list of the things for which I’m grateful, in the spirit of the docu-dramas:

-Books that arrive eventually.
-Construction workers/rugby players who are amenable to helping lift heavy things.
-My parents, for pretty much everything, ever.
-Patient Postal Workers
-My (totally condescending, uppity, I-told-you-so) voice of reason.
-You (you know why; let’s not make it weird, ok?)
-Sleepy time.

Ok. I’m going to go soak my everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You helped make this possible. And someday I hope it gets portrayed in a made-for-tv docu-drama starring that guy from “Saved by the Bell” (not the main guy, the other one).


Saturday, November 21, 2015

The way-yay-ting is the hardest part.

The Waiting Game

Have you ever stopped to think about how many types of game there are (board, video, wild, etc.)? I’ve played my share. My favorite is probably Ticket to Ride. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a phenomenal board game where you pretend to be a railroad tycoon bent on world-domination. This is only slightly different than my everyday disposition, so it’s not much of a stretch for me to play the game. I just don my beaver-pelt top hat, grease the curls of my mustache and forge my rail empire one stretch of track at a time, preferably on the backs of opposing players. Mwa ha ha ha.

But for every great game there have to be at least three crap ones. Operation, for instance, is grotesque and traumatic. You attempt to remove foreign objects from the open wounds on an angry patient with a clown nose (who, I might add, is fully awake) without triggering the nerve-grating sound of the buzzer. Monopoly is a game where you can mortgage yourself back to the Stone Age in order to drive your fellow players into poverty and homelessness. And then there’s “Sorry”, the only game that apologizes in advance for the dearth of fun waiting for you.

But I have to say my least favorite game is the waiting game (with the possible exception of the crying game). Seriously, who thought up this game? I can picture the Milton-Bradley meeting now:

Boss: “So, what are our ideas for new games, people?”
Phil: “What about ‘The Waiting Game?”
Boss: “How do you play it?”
Phil: “Well…you just wait. You pick something to wait for and then you just… wait for that thing.”
Boss: “I’m not sure I get it. What’s fun about that?”
Phil: “Oh, nothing. It’s actually pretty awful.”
Boss: “Well, what makes it a game?”
Phil: “It says ‘Game’ in the title.”
Boss: “Well…it still sounds better than ‘Operation’.”

I’ve been playing the waiting game for weeks now, and my stress level is at a fever pitch. It feels like I showed up to school without pants on test day while the dentist in clown makeup maniacally revs the pneumatic drill in the background. Last week, the books were going to arrive Monday. On Monday the date was moved to Thursday or Friday. On Thursday, it was moved to Monday or Tuesday.

Why am I so nervous? I guess “Saturday” feels like my child. A child that took me almost ten years to create. And then I found a company in Hong Kong with a reputation for manufacturing quality children to make a large number of them all at once. And now they’re done and on their way, having been sent overseas on two pallets in an unheated cargo ship and sat in customs for a while. The metaphor sorta falls apart pretty quickly, but I think you get the point. Or, at least, I hope you do, because I’ve lost my train of thought.

Suffice it to say my best-laid plans have gone awry. I was hoping to has the books by now. But I will has them. Hopefully soon. And once here, “Operation Send-Books-To-Super-Awesome-Kickstarter-Backers” will resume. At this point, it looks like the clunkily-named operation will resume at the tail end of this month or early in December. Past the deadline by a goodly amount, I know. But I had zero control over this part. Still, I apologize for the delays.

While I’m on the subject, here’s something to keep in mind: Since the campaign closed, I’ve been cobbling together boxes, labels, addresses, and a pile of other things to get ready to send the books (I was hoping for some cobbling help from magical elves, but I guess their union only allows them to work on shoes). I’ve done everything within my limited mental and financial capacities to make sure the books get to you safe and sound. The boxes are sturdy, the labels meticulous and clear, and the bubble wrap will hug each book like an ugly, squeaky sweater. But once mailed, they’ll be literally and metaphorically out of my hands. Fingers will be crossed, lucky charms will be employed, and hope will be hoped against hope (whatever that means) that the books arrive in a timely and undamaged manner. But I can’t promise either. I would hand out every book in person if I were A.) A guy with unlimited money and time and B.) Not slightly afraid of air travel after this one flight I won’t get into but that made me pee a little bit. Since neither are the case, I’ll have to ask in advance for your patience and understanding (both of which you’ve already given generously and for which I’m grateful).

I know: You’re waiting, too. And in the grand scheme of things, being a bit stressed out about the arrival of the books is no biggie. It doesn’t always feel like no biggie, but I know it is. I’m impatient to share “Saturday” with you.

So, TL;DR: The books aren’t here yet, but hopefully will be soon. I’ll send ‘em out soon as I gets ‘em. In the meantime, here’s some of what’s waiting for you inside:


Friday, November 6, 2015

Maps, Stacks, and Flapping Yaps.

Oh, hi there.
You ever have one of those days where it seems like you’ve been doing nothing but assembling boxes and making labels in order to ship out your over-sized book about a creative and depressed little girl named India McGreevy?
Huh. Well, I have. A bunch of them, as a matter of fact. Stacked one right on top of the other like…like cardboard boxes. I’ve been so wrapped up in the rigmarole and mishigas of preparing to ship that I completely forgot to bore you all to tears with a long-winded, hyper-verbose and over-hyphenated update.
Well, let’s rectify that right now, shall we?
First off, I’d bet you’ve been just dying to hear about boxes. “Oh, man,” I hear you gripe to your significant other/cat/potted fern as you pace a hole into the orange shag carpeting/linoleum/floor of the International Space Station, “if that guy…what’s his name? Doctor McDraws-a-Lot or something? If he doesn’t tell me about those boxes pronto, I’m going to write a sternly-worded letter to my congressman/member of parliament/fiesta cruise director.”
Calm down, Sir/Madam/Your Grace. The boxes are done. 145 (insert colorful descriptor) boxes. Finally assembled.

Assembled while I watched TV.
Assembled while I had my tea.
Assembled and it was a bore.
I do not want to do no more.

I’ve also just finished the labels. Take a look at this:

Each dot represents 10,000 books (minus 9,999 books).

This is everywhere the outbreak has spread. As you can see, major parts of the Eastern Seaboard have been heavily infected. Wait, that’s for a different presentation. Disregard. These dots are everywhere a book is going. I have packed them each a little snack and pinned mittens to their tiny jackets because books are dumb and often lose their own mittens, regardless of how many times you remind them not to.
29 states (U.S.) and 16 countries.
It’s been super cool to see how far away the book is going. The number and variety of locations is fascinating to a bumpkin like myself. Of course, there is some unpleasantness: There are many parts of the world where no one wanted a book. Entire continents, in fact. I’m looking at you, Greenland. Ahem. And don’t give me that crap about your Internet being down, either. What? You’ve got Comcast? Oh. Well, I guess that’s a different story. Carry on, then.
Speaking of things sent overseas, look what came in the mail last week:

That glare is the spot UV. It cost extra. You're worth it. And you smell nice.

Calm down, that’s just the advance copy. And there’s only one. BUT, I DID finally hear from the printing company. The full shipment of books is supposed to arrive at my door November 20th. Now, there’s a big asterisk next to that date. Things happen. Shipments get delayed, clerical errors are made, there are sea monsters that look like weird, badly-drawn pigs with horns that spout water and sometimes attack seagoing vessels according to this map I found in an old book. You know: the usual stuff.
But if I actually do receive the books around then, I should be able to send them on to you a few days after. Which is why I’ve spent the last several weeks entombed in cardboard boxes like a grouchy pizza.
What will I be doing in the meantime? Customs forms! 30 individual government forms in triplicate so that I can send “Saturday” off to distant lands.
Grousing aside, have I mentioned that I’m fairly allergic to expressing sincere emotions? I am. But here goes anyway: Thank you once again, to everyone who supported the campaign and is excited about the book. It’s coming sooner rather than later.
Ok, I have to go grab my epi-pen.
The Grouchy Pizza

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Worriment: Like Merriment, except crappy.


I haven’t sent out a transmission in a little while, so I figured I’d do so today and bring everyone up to speed. Which, at the moment, is glacial. Yes, we’re hurtling toward the date where the books will be mailed out at the speed of an elderly person writing a check in line at the grocery store. The wind screams through our hair and our cheeks are making that gross, wet slapping noise because the air is forcing itself into our mouths like a bad junior high kiss. I think I can see time bending around us, such is the rate of acceleration.

Which is to say, not much has changed since I last checked in.

I’ve been making boxes. So many boxes. And let me tell you: When it comes to exciting subjects to put into an update, boxes are pretty hard to beat. Yup…boxes. More or less identical brown cardboard boxes being assembled at a steady rate. That’s…uh…


Sorry, I fell asleep on the keyboard while I was typing that. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. The state of things.

Have I mentioned I’m a world-class worrier? Well, I am.

I’m a serviceable cook. I can juggle competently. I’m a good illustrator. But worrying is where I really shine. I worry about things that have already happened. I worry about things that are currently happening. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet. You might say I’m….tense.

But my specialty these days is worrying about things over which I have absolutely no control. I like the worry to begin as an idle thought and then blossom into a sweaty, futile exercise in anxious, repetitive thoughts and twitchy circular logic.

Fortunately, the process of getting physical copies of “Saturday” to all of you provides plenty of opportunities to do just that. I’m currently working on the following worries:

-The books won’t be printed on time.
-The books will be damaged on their way to me.
-The books will be lost on their way to me.
-The books will arrive when I’m not here and something will happen to them.
-I’ll screw up the shipping labels and they won’t make it to you.
-The books will be damaged on their way to you.
-The books will be lost on their way to you.

I’m mostly focused on the very top worry at the moment. Here’s what it sounds like in my head:

Me: “Hmm…that’s weird: the advance copies of “Saturday” haven’t arrived yet and I haven’t heard anything from the printer.”

Worry: “Well, no one is saying something bad has happened and the books aren’t going to make it here on time.”

Me: “Uh, yeah. Someone is saying that. You’re saying that. You just said it and now it’s in my head.”

Worry: “I’m only saying it to show you that it’s so unlikely that no one is even bringing it up.”

Me: “You just brought it up. And now I can’t un-think it. So that was completely unhelpful and insane.”

Worry: “Well, no one is saying you have a mental illness.”

Fun times.

But here’s the good news: You don’t have to do anything! I’ll take care of all the worrying so you don’t have to. I’ll also keep you in the know about the schedule and what nots. All you have to do is wait. Which, I guess directly contradicts the thing I said at the beginning of this paragraph. But waiting is something you can do passively. You can do other things while you’re waiting and the waiting will still get done while you’re totally checked out. It’s like a file download. Or listening.

Wait, what?

Ok. If you have any questions about anything, I’ll be here. Just in my own head. Rocking back and forth gently and muttering.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Saturday Kickstarter 2 Launch!

Dear Everyone,

Salutations and a happy Tuesday to you all. It’s officially September 1st and today’s the day I launch my Kickstarter campaign to help fund the printing of my giant illustrated book, Saturday.

Haven’t heard of it? Saturday is a great big book about imagination, creativity, an abysmal week, and family. If that sounds more cheesy than Pizza Hut's Mozzerellapocalypse Pizza, keep in mind that Saturday also involves robots, dinosaurs, aliens, references to "Carrie" and "Bladerunner", Estelle Getty-like old ladies, and some bathroom humor.

How could I possibly fit all that into one book? Well, I’ll tell you: almost a decade’s worth of elbow grease did the trick. Saturday also includes my patented “Work-On-A-Thing-Until-You’re-Half-Dead” technology. And now by supporting this campaign, you can finally get your hands on your very own copy. You can also get custom stickers, postcards, posters, and see me look awkward on camera. If you’re a fan of good craftsmanship, elaborate illustration, quirky humor and odd cultural references, this is the book for you.

The campaign is fairly short (it ends Sept. 20th) and the number of books and custom rewards I have to offer are limited, so jump on it if’n you’re interested.

To visit, support, or just gawk, click here:

Thank you for your time.

Most sincerely,

Noah Kroese

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Life's a Pitch

Hiya Folks,

Welcome to the freshest, most innovative post about "Saturday" the book you're likely to briefly skim this week.

If you're not exactly sure what "Saturday" the book is, lookie here. If internet ennui has made the thought of clicking another link unbearable, let me summup: "Saturday" is an illustrated book about imagination, creativity, a crappy week, and family. If that sounds more cheesy than Pizza Hut's Mozzerellapocalypse, keep in mind that "Saturday" also involves robots, dinosaurs, aliens, references to "Carrie" and "Bladerunner", Estelle Getty-like old ladies, and some bathroom humor.

"But, Noah, " I hear you ask, "how can you possibly fit all that into just one book?"

Well, I'll tell you: About a decade's worth of elbow grease did the trick. "Saturday" also includes my patented "Work-On-A-Thing-Until-You're-Half-Dead" technology. That, and the fact that the book is big. It's 40 pages jam-packed with lavish illustration, humor, and odd cultural references.

"Where can I get this book, and how soon?"

Well, good news: Soon. No more than a couple of weeks. See, I'm making great progress on a second Kickstarter campaign where I'll be selling the book for the first time ever. All that work and fun and imagination crammed into one place tighter than a Japanese subway at rush hour. And like said subway, even with all that density it still manages to be polite and smell nice.

"Oh, wow! I would pay a billion dollars for a book like that!"

You're in luck, friend, you won't be paying a billion dollars. Or even half a billion. Not a million. Not a hundred thousand or even ten thousand. Not a hundred dollars. No, folks, you can have "Saturday" for just one single payment of $35 dollars during our exclusive upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

I can hear your incredulity, friends. I can hear your guffaws of skepticism. "Oh, come on, Noah, how can you possibly afford to sell the book for $35?"

I can't. That's why I'm running the second Kickstarter campaign to help pay for the printing. Hey, I'm a decent illustrator and a pretty cruddy businessman. Jay-Z said "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man." Well, it turns out I'm neither a businessman or a business, man. Which is why I'm selling the book for the low, low price of $35.

But wait, there's more! If you help make the Kickstarter campaign successful, I'll throw in stickers, postcards, posters, and maybe even some other rewards. Look, stickers:

And postcards:

So, stay tuned, folks. All this and more will be yours quick, fast, and in a hurry. And for prices that will make you realize why I buy off-brand ketchup.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Process, Printing, Pipers and Prattle.


Welcome to this week's update of "Saturday" (the book). If this whole kit and caboodle is new to you, "Saturday" is an illustrated book about the McGreevy family, a trying voyage through a week in which all manner of turbulence and frustration pile up on said family, and their roundabout way back to smooth sailing.

If the term "kit and caboodle" is new to you, it means a collection of small items. This has been learning anachronistic colloquialisms, with Noah Kroese.

Oh, wait. I can't wrap it up there. I have more things to tell you.

The final files have been sent to the printer. It doesn't feel real, exactly. Granted, there's a possibility that some problem will be found and I'll have to make a change or two and upload the files again, but the book is more or less done. Now all I have to do is wait for the proof. And put together the second Kickstarter campaign.

This involves all sorts of odds and ends, some little and some big. I know I did this once before, but I literally remember about 11% of the process of putting together the first campaign, so my previous experience isn't exactly helpful. It feels like applying for a job as an adult and using high school job experience on the resume.

Interviewer: "It says here you once had a job digging ditches and then filling them back in."
Me: "Uh...yeah, that sounds right."
Interviewer: "So...can you tell me about that experience?"
Me: "....Not really. I think the metal part of the shovel goes into the ground and you hold on to the stick end of the shovel. The whatchacallit...the handle, that's it."

Interviewer: ".....Welcome aboard!"

At any rate, it's looking more like late-August for the launch of the second campaign. You might be thinking: "Haven't you already pushed the date back a couple of times?" Yes, but there's a lot to do and I don't want to put together something slipshod. I also basically have to learn to shoot and edit all over again. At least for the purposes of this small video.

If my pushing back the finishing date of a project is starting to sound eerily familiar, well...good news! I can only push back the date so many times because eventually the printer pipers will need to be paid. Also, isn't there something comforting about someone so obstinately consistent? In this crazy world of fast-moving technology and ever-changing political and social landscapes, isn't it nice to have someone you can count on to be slow and predictable?


Yeah, me either. But I tried.

Anyway, enough blathering. Here's a thing to look at:

This is what a panel looks like from start to finish. This one is from page 27. What does this have to do with all that gobbledygook above? Um...they're tangentially related...I guess. It's from "Saturday" and...uh...other things. Mostly, I think it's a cool panel. And "Saturday" is, in my opinion, filled with cool panels. And I want you to be curious enough to support the next Kickstarter campagin.

The campaign that's coming.


And now I'll stop talking.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

I like a book with a big back cover.


Welcome to the latest update of "Saturday" (the book), where things are a-happenin', let me tells you. But where are my manners? If you have no idea what any of this is and are interested enough to have read past the first sentence, allow me to explain: "Saturday" is an illustrated book about a little girl named India that I've been working on for approximately a billion years.

Actually, there's a pretty good description of things on the back cover, which I just finished:

It's got an ISBN and a barcode and everything. This book is totally, actually, like, for reals happening. And, what's more, the edits are (probably) done. I put that "probably" in there because I still have to take one or two last looks at the pages to make sure I didn't forget anything. Kind of like when you're checking out of a hotel room or some kind of mental asylum. Let's see: Keys? Check. Wallet? Check? Doll made from human hair? Check.

In a way, wrapping up "Saturday" does feel a bit like when I left the asylum; exciting, a little scary, and a little wistful. I looked things over and and a flood of memories came back: the first time I failed a Rorschach test, my first metal cafeteria tray heaped with jello salad and creamed corn, the first time Nurse Ratched had the guards haul me to shock therapy. But I also realized that nostalgia wasn't going to helpful. Mostly because those same guards were bound to discover my escape at any moment and I had to run for it.

But I've said too much.

Anyhoo, a few scaled fences, a cross-county run from the search dogs and an assumed identity later
brings us to the present, where I'm just about to wrap up the second mental illness-fueled section of my life: A children's book with enough detail to drive a sane man to crazy town and a crazy town resident to super-duper crazy town, which is in an adjacent county.

The edits are pretty much done. I have to format the files and send them to the printer. Once that's done, there will be a proof and then the books will be printed and shipped. Probably sometime in mid-September. In the meantime, I'll be starting up the second Kickstarter campaign to get the books out to you. This will probably be mid-August.

I don't have everything figured out about the Kickstarter campaign yet. It's not going to be just the book. Not that the book is anything to sneeze at. It's the best work I've ever done. But if you decide to get the book through the next KS campaign, I'm going to make sure it also comes with some cool stuff. I just don't exactly know what that stuff is just yet.

But we're getting there.

By the way, big shout out to the Chief for throwing that marble fountain through the asylum wall and making this whole thing possible. And also to everyone who has supported and continues to support the book and the crazy guy who's been working on it. Thank you.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Look at this Dummy.


Welcome to the latest update of "Saturday" the book. If you're just joining us, Saturday is an illustrated book about a creative little girl named India McGreevy, her odd but well-meaning parents, and their trudge through a swampy week in search of sunny, dry ground.

If you're reading this in the United States, you're likely recovering from the July 4th holiday weekend and may never want to see sun again. But fear not: Your Oompa Loompa complexion, barbeque-swollen gut and scalded hand (from that thing you did that the label CLEARLY told you not to do under any circumstances) are all proof that you've celebrated Independence Day precisely as our forefathers would have done themselves. I'm pretty sure there's a painting of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin wearing sleeveless t-shirts from Old Navy (back then it was just called "Navy") and drinking Miller High Life.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: So, good news! This post does not require you to: 1.) Stand in the awful, unforgiving eye of the angry sun. 2.) Eat another delicious, ghastly, mystery-filled hot dog. 3.) Wear a shirt without sleeves. More good news: I'm on page 26 of the edits. 9 pages to go. The second Kickstarter campaign is probably not going to happen in July, but running it in early August should work out fine.

So...I have something a bit different to share this week. Take a look at this:

Do you know what this is? It's a dummy. A blank one, of course. The printing company sent it to me for approval. This is what Saturday will look like. Hardcover, 11" x 17", 35 pages. Hopefully the printing will be as beautiful as this dummy. I'm surprised at how exciting this is for me. I mean, it's just a blank dummy. But it's also tangible. Being able to hold this and open it up and feel the weight of it makes me realize how close we are.

I'm excited and nervous for you to have a copy after all this time. It feels like a first date. Or the first time I held up a convenience store. What if I've built it up too much and you finally read it after years of waiting and you're like, "Meh."? Or worse, "Blech. I've read more interesting stories from the stalls of public toilets."

Well, fingers crossed that's not your reaction. On the plus side, with a book this size and quality, there are plenty of alternate uses:

-Live in a bad neighborhood? This handy home defense book will take down the most prison-hardened criminals! Try to hit them with the corner. Take that, crime!

-Do you have a table or chair with a wobbly leg? Simply wedge this book beneath that leg and watch those wobbly problems melt away like fat in some kind of Ron Popeil gadget. Or, open the book and set it in front of the short leg. Now you can't see it! Problem solved.

-Tailing someone and need something inconspicuous to hide behind? Look no further than this giant, lavishly-illustrated children's book. Suspects will never suspect!

But that's just silly. You're going to love this book, right? (He asked with a desperate look in his twitching eyes while he grabbed your lapels and the sheen of flop sweat began to form on his forehead.)



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just about.

Almost there. Getting there, anyway. But there's no new information that I haven't already shared. So instead of the usual gum-flapping, how about this page instead:

I'll let you know more when there's more to know.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

In Brief


Short post this week. I mean, not that anyone could possibly get tired of these wordy, meandering updates wherein I reveal yet again that the book is not done. (Spoiler alert: The book isn't done.) I imagine these are about as entertaining as a cover of a Human League song played on Harpsichord and Bagpipe. And, after this much time, probably as welcome in your inbox as a phishing scam.

Dear Persons,

I am a represent of large totally-not-fake bank in other country. We haves book for your reading pleasure and financial good, but book is stuck in bureaucratic problems. Please wire all the moneys to ensure the transfer of valuable book to your hands.


Dr. President Trustworthy

Seems legit, right?

Anyhoo, progress report: Editing page 20 at the moment. Editing will completed by the August 1st printing deadline. The arrangements have been made with the printing company. The second Kickstarter campaign will be sometime in July (or early August at the latest). Right now, I'm focusing solely on the edits and I'll move on the business of the Kickstarter campaign when they're done, like an OCD kid who eats all the chicken, then all the potatoes, then all the vegetables. There will be no mixing or variance in the order of things, he said rocking back and forth in his chair.

That's alls I gots. Lots of work in front of me, but we're getting there. And in the not too distant future, Saturday will actually be available. Not a ton of copies, but good-quality. And a decade's worth of work.

In the meantime, here's one of the panels I edited recently: