Monday, September 24, 2012


I was looking at some of my stats and realized that I hadn’t been blogging nearly as much as I had last year.  In truth, I’ve been very busy with writing, drawing and visiting schools.  I thought I’d do one big post to talk about Fangbone.

Books #1 and #2 came out in January, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Book #1 tells the story of how Fangbone comes to our world, and makes friends with Bill, and how he deals with the day-to-day life of a third grader.  Fangbone is determined to build his own army, and at the same time, he is taught the ways of “Bean Ball” and helps his class out in a pinch. 

Book#2 is about a mysterious egg that arrives from Fangbone’s world with instruction for hatching.  Bill, Fangbone, and all of the other kids in their class join in to take care of the egg, in hopes that it’s a dragon.  The class is also preparing for an “Extinction Pageant,” and their entry, The Dodo Bird, doesn’t quite make the grade.

Book#3 came out in August, and features Bill having a curse put upon him.  The curse ensures his doom at the hands of a giant beast called “The Crusha.”  Fangbone and Bill are also preparing their entry in the school’s “Invention Convention,” and hatch a plan to trick the monster, and get a good grade on their invention at the same time.

I designed Fangbone! for boys, and especially boys who hate to read.  I knew I had done my job when I started getting letters like this… “Then this week he came home with Fangbone. Well, my son was so excited to read, and I was so interested we read it together. Thank you for getting my son to read a book. The librarian is new and I found out she is starting a graphic novel section.  I think she found and saved Fangbone for my son!”

Below are some reviews from around the web...

Currently, there are plans for more Fangbone!  but I can’t talk about them until contracts are signed.  So there will be more, but he just might be showing up in a different way.

I hope you take the time to read some of these reviews, and hopefully seek out a copy Fangbone! to read.  It’s available through all major chains, independent, and online stores!



"I would definitely invite Michael back to our school.  He was appealing to all grade levels K-5.  The way in which he kept students attention with interaction and participation, as well as his motivational presentations, was absolutely exhilarating!"

David Hamilton

Turnpike Elementary School
Troy, NY

Astronaut #14

While cleaning my studio I found this piece of marbled paper I made with some students during grad school.  I couldn't let it go to waste.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Kids on Earth

For a long time, I've wanted to do a book that would be about the last kids on earth.  It would be a sorta kinda like a cross between "The Road Warrior" and "Lord of the Flies."  But the kids would be clever, like "The Little Rascals," or even "The Magic School Bus" kids. And, it would have to be funny.  But that's where I keep hitting a wall.  How do I get rid of most of the people on earth, but still keep the laughs. It's not like I can just have some sort of vague apocalypse, and follow it with a rim shot just to keep people chuckling.

So right now, this "Last kids on Earth" thing is just a  notion.  Hopefully, the notion will  turn into an idea.  Then the idea will launch the story.  However, it is my firm belief that ideas have to catch you while you are working.  They won't come while sitting around, and they certainly won't come while sitting around trying to come up with an idea.

So, in the meantime, I draw.  I just get a sense of how this would look and feel.  I like some of these little warriors.  They look as if they could take on the world. And they may have to.  I don't know yet...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rock and Roll Mummies!

This is a spread from my next book "Icky Ricky," which comes out next year from Random House.  The boys have made themselves into toilet paper mummies, and then they start playing air guitar, which turns them into rock and roll mummies.  Of course.  The book goes back and forth between using word balloons, and traditional blocks of text.