Monday, January 25, 2010

Original Art for Sale - Act Fast


Help out a worthy cause and own an original piece of art in the process.

On August 22, 2009 Matthew Hodge, the 17-year-old son of former Disney story artist and Big Idea productions director Tim Hodge, was in a serious auto accident. A train struck his car at 50mph as he was crossing the tracks. While Matt suffered neither broken bones nor any internal organ damage, he did receive severe head trauma causing him to remain in a state of coma today. Matt is a high school senior, a straight A student, and a drummer in his state championship marching band.

Being self-employed, the Hodge family has short term medical insurance that will not fully cover all of their bills. Additionally, with the care they are giving Matt, full-time work is not possible for Tim right now. This loving family is relying on their faith and the love of family and friends for their survival. This is a tragic accident that will forever affect their lives as the road to recovery for Matt may be a long one.

In an effort to help the Hodge family, the National Cartoonists Society Foundation is getting involved by hosting a fund-raising auction to be held on eBay. The NCSF is a fully licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that not only helps fund educational endeavors for cartooning, but is there to help cartoonists in dire circumstances like the Hodges.

To keep up with Matthew's condition, go to

Friday, January 15, 2010


NOVAK, Matt. The Everything Machine. illus. by author. unpaged. Roaring Brook/A Neal Porter Bk. 2009. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-268-4. LC number unavailable.

K-Gr 2–Novak’s colorful cartoons and dynamic storytelling show that life on the planet Quirk has become a bit dull as the Everything Machine completes all of the inhabitants’ daily tasks. It cooks, mows the lawn, and even colors the baby’s pictures until it breaks, and the residents panic as they learn from the little green repairman that it will take months to fix. Looking a little like humans, the Quirkians have wild hairdos with red cherries growing straight up, and the friendly repairman from planet Bing Bong may have four eel-like arms and an oversize head but his backward baseball cap and large round glasses make him charming and approachable. Novak uses word balloons and animated comic-book panels to show the Quirkians’ struggling to do their chores. When the machine is repaired, they have learned more than how to garden and cook; they actually enjoy doing for themselves and create a park around the Everything Machine, which now lets the people of Quirk do everything but the hardest job of all–back-scratching. The “quirky” illustrations and deadpan narration may be a little peculiar but that is exactly what will draw young readers in and keep them visiting.–Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY