I grew up watching the classic monster movies; Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Dracula on late nights with my father in New York. Ultimately as I became older I read the original literature and folklore. Once I had kids of my own and followed the tradition I had of watching the same movies with my dad, I also realized there weren’t many picture books telling these stories in a way I envisioned. My thoughts were to create a picture book series re-telling the origins of these monsters in a fun, friendly, not too scary of a way for kids yet staying somewhat true to the source material. After all these original stories involve grave robbing, biting humans and blood-sucking so it would be a bit of a challenge. I wanted to go further and include an auditory aspect to the books so kids could role play being the monsters or parents could as they read:
“RAAH! RAAH! STOMP! STOMP!” – ( Frankenstein’s Monster )
“ARF! ARF! AWOOOOO! ” – ( Werewolf )
“HISSSSS! MUWHAHAHA!” – ( Count Dracula )
What I ended up with were introductory stories for kids depicting the origins and a day in the life of these monsters.
Stories that can be read at bedtime and anytime. Stories that spark a creature to life . . . and spark a child’s imagination!
( page samples and manuscripts below )
Countertop Display for 6.25″ x 6.25″ books – Packed in half dozen
Below are sample spreads for the Werewolf and Dracula books I started along with manuscripts…
Perhaps under my own imprint, Cruikshank & Wallace Publishing
Why the name of Cruikshank & Wallace?
My publishing imprint is a dedication to John Wallace Skinner. A WWII veteran who helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp and one of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever known. I met Mr. Skinner right after college in a beautiful turn of the century industrial building in the heart of downtown Cleveland, where I landed my first design job in the early 90s. His resume included being the director of the Salvador Dali Museum when it was first in Cleveland in the 1970s, Director of the Cleveland Aquarium, a window display designer for the Halle building, the owner of a book and print shop below the studio I worked in.
After one visit we became lifelong friends, in which he became a major influence in my appreciation for the craft of books, printing and the famous political cartoonist George Cruikshank. The birdcage and fleeing bird represent what reading books mean to me and I think most people…the ability to escape from our realities to wherever our imagination or knowledge takes us.