Drawing the Pictures for The Truth About Cousin Ernie’s Head

The Truth About Cousin Ernie’s Head was my first book, and at the time everything was new to me. I was doing everything for the first time. Originally, I thought I might do all the pictures in black and white. Here’s my first idea of how one of the pictures—the Thanksgiving dinner scene—would go:


I still like this picture a lot. However, after discussing things with my editor, we decided to make some changes. For one thing, we decided that adding color would be a good idea. Also, we changed some of the characters around, including the grandmother, who looks a little bit too much like Pac Man in the picture above. Here’s the revised version. I think she looks a little more human here, don’t you?


Another change I made was to the point of view. In the first picture, we were hovering above the family, watching them argue. In this version we’ve moved down to their level. I tried to make it look like we were sitting at the table with them.