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Nice San Diego Trip


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…

7 thoughts on “Nice San Diego Trip

  1. Even for a rejected cover this is still a great job.

  2. Speaking of both the New Dinosaurs A-Z book and children, I was recently informed that my nephew Dylan received HIS copy of New dinosaurs in time for his 6th birthday, and the family loves it. I knew he would be drowned in just an effluence of big brand corporate product, so I really wanted him to have something unique. The book itself fits the bill, but to have it signed (and I understand you included a little something extra) makes it really special. I had also just got his dad the Conan DVD, so I was able to point him toward some of your film design– which made the whole family appreciate the book even more.
    Anyways, New Dinosaurs is gorgeous– and to make the efforts you did for what was just another on-line order was very generous. I really appreciate it. I hope the folks out there are smart enough to make this a big seller for you.
    As for The Nice cover, I can’t imagine ANY of your work being rejected, regardless of the circumstances. It is, as they say, their loss. That thing haunts me!

  3. Bill;
    While I understand their perspective for rejecting the new cover, it would have been great for the title song previously done, “Azrael”. Very familiar with the Nice, loved Elegy, especially. What a shame, but looking forward to the new cover accepted(?) and the CD. Cannot wait for the two new HCs coming, it’s long overdue, and many don’t know you do more than dinosaurs, wayyyyyyyy overdue, look beautiful! John also told me that they’re taking Petar’s book “Steel Bashaw.” See, every time I recommend something to someone, good things happen. Jean Baptiste Monge I pushed to submit to Spectrum, and bang, Silver Award for Book. I told Petar; because he was looking for another publiser outside of Serbia to publish his book, recommended he inquire of Fleskes, and Underwood, and bang, Fleskes takes him. Maybe I’m good luck????? See you at Monsterpalooza. ed

  4. Dear Mr. Stout,
    I can’t wait to see the alternate DVD cover for the Nice collection. I wonder if you’d be so kind as to let us have a look at the ELP cover too.
    Best Wishes,

  5. Funny, I was looking for something in your book that said it was about dino discoveries in the last 20 years because for some reason I thought that was the case. Guess you shoulda had me proofread.

  6. Hi Aaron,
    As soon as the ELP CD set comes out, I’ll post the cover. I don’t want to spoil any kind of promotion Shout! Factory might have planned.

    Hi Dianne,
    I guess I shoulda!

  7. Nice article , i agree we should fight for a better world.

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