Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How misinformation is spread.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Friday, November 08, 2013

Ask a stupid question...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Took the Halloween costume out for a spin the other night.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The perfect evening.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One more from vacation I just got around to drawing. Now I'm out of material and ready to go on vacation again.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I thought I'd been fired from drawing princesses for our daughter after being told I "wasn't doing them correctly". I'm happy to say I've been given another chance.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

this morning's princess drawing was heavily art directed.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mia asked me to draw a Disney Princess, I was happy to oblige her. I see a new project on the horizon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

here's one I heard about at the playground yesterday, it basically illustrates the difference between boys and girls.
more from summer vacation, this was in Washington Square Park in NYC.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I will eventually get back to the making of the stop motion trailer, but we just got back from vacation on the East Coast and I have to get some of these off my chest.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And in an interlude from the "Making of" posts on the stop motion trailer....
Right now I'm listening to "The Secret Garden" on Audiobook. For a Victorian girly book about frolicking in the garden amongst the roses and listening to the robins sing, it has one of the most over the top brutal and hysterical openings ever. Frances Hodgson Burnett really didn't pull any punches on the description of Mary Lennox, "the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen". In case you haven't read (or listened to it) she's so disliked by everyone around her, that she's left behind in a village in India when there's a cholera epidemic.

Making of the Stop Motion trailer installment 3:
Now that the materials have been decided on here you can see Robin drawing out the plans for making the final puppet. Part of the planning is how to rig it so it doesn't fall over and deciding which parts need to move and how to make that happen. One special consideration for the rigging is that his body is made out of a stick and there's not much for him to balance on or to hide the rigging materials behind.
 You can see on the paper she's devising the rigging method, it will consist of a little tube glued to his back that a rod will fit in to and his arms will be made from a bendable wire held to the rig. We decided since Lollipop's character is somewhat vacant we could get away with him having a fixed expression and just his eyes and arms moving.
 Here is the beginning of the final lollipop head made from red plexiglass and cut by hand into the oval shape on a bandsaw.
 Edges ground down and ready for assembly.
 The joy of moving towards a finished lollipop puppet is overwhelming.
 Finished puppet! His mouth is a piece of wire glued in a permanent smile, his eyes and pupils are made out of paper lightly glued down and easy to reposition for animation.
Here's a close up of the rigging and arms...
and a detail of the back. This will be partially visible when on camera and will have to be removed digitally after the animation is done. He's ready to animate!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

 Making of the Stop Motion trailer installment 2:

After making the storyboard and editing it to music and sound in Final Cut the fun really began. I got to go into Screen Novelties' studio in Echo Park and begin watching and helping with the puppet making. Before I even walked in the front door I saw this leaning up against the wall outside, you know if you're laughing at a mop by the dumpster before you even get started that you're going to have a good day.

The first thing i got to do was make a reference sculpture of Mr. Caper out of clay. Since building the actual puppet for animation is so specialized, giving it all the rigging, moveable parts and sewing little clothes etc. that I'm not qualified for,  my job was to make a model of Mr. Caper how I'd like to see him so they could use it as a guide when building the animation puppet. I hadn't touched clay (except Playdough with our daughter) for probably 20 years or more, but it was a lot of fun and I think it came out pretty well. I did accidentally make him about 30% larger than he should have been relative the the Lollipop puppet, which just goes to show another nuance of puppet building that I'm not skilled at.
The next step was a materials test that Robin did on how to make a Lollipop puppet. If you think about it, which i never had, it seems like an easy enough task,  just "build a Lollipop puppet" but out of what and how? This is was my first inkling into the myriad of obstacles and challenges to making a stop motion piece. Everything has to be fabricated out of existing and obtainable materials that have the right color, surface, thickness, weight, texture, opacity, sheen, strength etc. etc. and can be manipulated into a shape you want and rigged to stand up and move around. Obviously everyone at Screen Novelties is an expert at this but particularly Robin who does most of the puppet fabrication. After a couple of small tests like this Robin ingeniously came up with the perfect formula for something that looked so much like a lollipop it took a lot of restraint not to lick it. It's 2 layers of red plexiglass glued together, cut into a circle by hand on a bandsaw with the edges rounded off and polished. the stick is made of a metal dowel rod wrapped in white tape. This was all just to figure out what to make it out of, next comes the making of the puppet which will have moveable arms and eyes added to it and a wire bracket added to the back to hold it up.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm having a new giveaway called "Who Wants to be in a Children's Book?"
Win a chance to have you or your child be painted into my next book, just join my Facebook Page to see the rules and enter.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here's the first part of the "making of" process, well after the initial part of asking Seamus, Mark & Chris from Screen Novelties if they would make the trailer and then getting over the shock and disbelief when they said they would. We started off with a storyboard which I drew. You can see here it's a bit longer than the trailer ended up being and this is even a much edited version from what i first had in mind.The goal was to make it 30 seconds long which came from Simon & Schuster, they (and other publishers) have indicated that 30 seconds is the ideal length for a book trailer, it's what places like Amazon and other outlets they have for it prefer. I do think in general shorter is better, but i found 30 seconds to be a bit too short, i think 40 or 45 would have been perfect. Of course that would have been significantly more work and as you'll see by the end of the "making of" it was a pretty major undertaking as it was and we barely got it done before the book came out anyway, so all's well that end's well.
A big part of the process at this stage was editing the board in Final Cut with sound to it and editing stuff out to get close to the time we wanted, also before even starting the board or conception of what the trailer might be i talked to Seamus, Mark and Chris about what would be possible in terms of the number of shots, puppets and sets they could build.

Monday, April 22, 2013

So here's something very exciting I've been working on for a while and have been waiting to share and it's finally time. It's the stop motion book trailer for THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER! Made by the incredible and super talented guys at SCREEN NOVELTIES with a lot of extra help by Joe Schmidt (and i mean really a lot of extra help by Joe Schmidt which I'll go into later when i do the "making of" posts). I've been dying to work with Screen Novelties ever since I first met them a really, really long time ago. 
I've been such a huge fan of everything they've done, when they agreed to make this trailer for me I really felt like I won the lottery. I love this thing so much and loved the whole process of making it, it's one of my very favorite things I've ever worked on in a long list of favorite things I've worked on. I'll be doing some behind the scenes "making of" posts to show how long and involved the process was. Thank you Screen Novelties, you are the best!!!
The video i could imbed here is a little small, to see it larger and in more glory go here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Q: Where can you go to see Molly Ringwold, Carol Burnett, Jon Klassen, Lemony Snicket, Oliver Jeffers and many more of your favorite personalities reading books?
A: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 20th at USC.
Q: Will Dan be there reading his new book THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER on stage and chucking Caper Flavored Lollipops into the audience?

If you're not doing anything on Saturday come to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC and watch me read my new book THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER. I will almost certainly forget what i was going to say on stage and pit out my shirt. Don't miss it!

Monday, April 01, 2013

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. People who work out in playgrounds when children are trying to play there are a little weird.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


One cranky caper is about to learn that being salty might be just as good as being sweet. Having adults love his acidic taste is not enough for Mr. Caper. He wants more. He wants the children of the world to love him—just as much as they love the sweet, saccharine Lollipop.
And thus a plot is hatched: Caper-flavored lollipops are dispatched throughout the world...and everything goes horribly wrong. Will Mr. Caper find a way to repair the havoc he’s wreaked by over-reaching? Maybe, if Lollipop helps save the day!

For a chance to win a free signed copy of the book and a chance to taste the Caper Flavored Lollipops that almost destroyed the world, head on over to my Facebook Page to enter.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ya, I think we made a pretty good impression at the preschool interview yesterday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I just posted the first Giveaway on my Children's Book Facebook Page. Head on over and join the page if you'd like a chance to win a signed copy of "The Great Lollipop Caper" plus some extra treats.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013

When you're old... you fall apart.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pretend reading is so much better than real reading. No book could be this good.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I've been hooked on this National Geographic show called "Locked Up Abroad". It chronicles people who one way or another got sucked into the life of smuggling drugs internationally, got caught, and served time in foreign prisons. After watching 3 seasons I've learned a few things about that process. Here for your benefit is a PSA which may save you some unnecessary trouble in case you are ever tempted.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

For anyone who's interested I just started a Facebook Author Page called  Dan Krall Children's Books where I'll be posting all kinds of updates, behind the scenes looks, promotions and giveaways in the coming weeks and beyond. I've been working on some stuff I think is pretty exciting to promote "The Great Lollipop Caper" which comes out May 7th. So please head on over there and "like" it, if you're into that kind of thing. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's a little alarming how well she understands my day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mia was so looking forward to being all grown up when she turned 3.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If anyone feels the need for any mentorin' I think there are just a few days left to apply
at Motivarti.org

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We don't watch a lot of sports in our house.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A cartoon about the creative process from today's talk about Children's Publishing at Gallery Nucleus.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2 upcoming opportunities to hear me flap my gums about drawing.

Opportunity #1: I'll be doing a workshop on Children's Books at Gallery Nucleus on Jan. 20th with James Burks and Dan Santat.

Opportunity #2: I'll be mentoring this semester with the Motivarti Mentorship Program. Click the link to apply.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Our angry neighbor came and yelled at us because our tree trimmer dropped a branch against his house. Don't mess with me, i will totally draw a picture of you!