I just returned from a two day trip to the San Diego Natural History Museum. I had an incredible time; the Museum staff, particularly director Mick Hager, have been so consistently supportive of me and my work. Believe me, this is highly unusual for a museum.
I try to reciprocate.
I taught a large group of kids how to draw dinosaurs on Thursday evening (a huge success; for the first time in my experience, parents and grandparents were drawing right along side of the kids!). The signing I did after the dino drawing lesson was terrific: it went non-stop until the museum closed. The book shop had a beautiful display devoted to my books. A lot of grandparents bought the New Dinosaurs A to Z book for their grandkids.
I gave a personal tour of the murals to the museum’s major donors Friday morning, then to the hard working (but enthusiastic) museum docents in the afternoon. I greeted the American Museum of Natural History personnel on Friday, too (they just installed a new exhibition, Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, at SDNHM, hence the appropriateness of my appearances there).
I felt like a total dope, though, when I noticed that nowhere on the front cover of Dinosaur Discoveries does it mention that these are all the most important dinosaur discoveries from the last twenty years, a very important selling point for the book. Aaargh! Next edition…?
I also did a HUGELY long interview with Robert Pincus, the wonderful arts editor of San Diego’s biggest newspaper, the Union Tribune. Robert and I seemed to really hit it off; we spent over an hour and a half together.
All in all, a very successful trip.
About the picture illustrating this entry…
This is the rejected cover for a new CD collection of rare material by one of my favorite 1960’s bands, The Nice. If you don’t recognize that group’s name, there’s a good chance you still might know the keyboard player’s name: Keith Emerson (later of Emerson Lake & Palmer, for whom I’ve also just drawn a cover). Personally, although I like both bands, I prefer The Nice over ELP; their music was more poppy and psychedelic than ELP’s, plus it had a great sense of humor running through many of the songs. While Carl Palmer is undeniably a brilliantly skilled drummer, personally I find Brian Davison’s drumming for The Nice much more sympathetic to and supportive of his band’s music. Sadly, Brian passed away April 15, 2008.
Oh, yes: I said “rejected”! The cover depicts Azrael, the Angel of Death, the subject of a couple of Nice recordings. It was considered in poor taste to depict Azrael on the cover so soon after Brian’s death, so I drew a new cover based upon a song, “Flower King of Flies”, from their first LP. Wait until you see that one! Coming out soon from Shout! Factory…