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The Alphabet of Manliness

All About the Bestselling Book by Maddox and my Humble Contributions to It!

Back in 2005, Maddox briefly ran an announcement on his website, The Best Page in the Universe:  He was putting together a book, and he needed an illustrator.  Anyone interested could send in two try-out drawings...  One of a lumberjack and a bull together, and one of somebody being punched in the face.  He was leaving the instructions as open-ended as he could, since he wanted to see if the prospective illustrators had the right idea about his sense of humor.

I instantly understood two thing:  1!  There were going to be a hell of a lot of people who could draw a hell of a lot better than me fighting like hell to get the gig.  And 2:  If I had any chance at all, I had to squeeze a lot of inventiveness into this thing.  I'd have to distil Maddox's sense of humor into its purest essence.  And I'd have to have that punching picture involve either a woman or a baby.

Woman, baby, woman, baby...  The debate raged in my mind for maybe minutes.

Then, inspiration struck.

Then, it struck again, with a lumberjack/bull picture that not only ended up in the final book, but which Maddox wrote an extra bit around.

Anyway, Maddox really liked the pics, and he ended up settling on seven or so illustrators to cover the book.  (Lucky for me, that, since I am certainly not the best draughtsman among them.  Probably not even in the top half!)

Maddox himself was wonderful to work with:  Very appreciative and very kind.  And very generous!  I mean, it would be one thing for him to have sent us a little extra cash had the reviewers raved about how the illustrations simply MADE the book.  But no one did.  I think the best we got was "the illustrations didn't detract too much from Maddox's hilarious writing."  Despite that, he still sent each of us a hundred dollars via gift certificates on Amazon.com for Christmas.  He truly, truly did not REMOTELY have to do anything like that.

The Alphabet of Manliness is still in print, available at Amazon.com and your finer bookstores everywhere.  Maddox tried to get his publisher to run one of his illustrators' pieces as the British cover, or the paperback version, but they seem set on their in-house cover artists.  Here was my attempt.  Colors by my wife, Selah.

Oh, and this and this aren't really anything to do with Maddox's book, except that it was a bizarrely militaristic real-life children's alphabet given to me as a gift, years ago.  Thought you might enjoy. 

 

 

 

The Man From WTF?
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The Glory H.O.L.E.S.
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Warbooks:  Post-9/11 Mini-Comic Fun!
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The Alphabet of Manliness
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Dormitory Glory
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Bashful Bryan's Skittish Sketchbook
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The 24 Hour Comic Adventures of F. France Jericho
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Thou Good and Faithful Cerebite

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Links
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Etta Raven's Homepage
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