The goal all along for Terrible Yellow Eyes was pretty straightforward; celebrate the book with pictures and invite (basically) everyone I would like to hang out and draw with to contribute.
But there was always a second goal, an alternate reason just sitting there, one that I never really mentioned (except to the contributing artists) but one that was supremely important to me : Mr. Sendak's 81st birthday.
When I began to seriously consider putting together something like Terrible Yellow Eyes I went to my friends over at Flight. These people are wonderful storytellers and staggering artists -- masters of visual and written communication, but not only that, they are also wonderfully kind. Kazu Kibuishi, a great friend and incredibly generous person, was the one who first invited me to contribute to Flight (Walters, Flight 6, this July!) and I'll take every chance I get to thank him again for that opportunity. But even more than that, Kazu offered a way to make my secondary goal a reality. His creative director also happened to have art directed Mr. Sendak before and knew him well and Kazu offered to pass the project on to him whenever I felt it was ready. June 10 was the day. As I understand it, the AD has indeed passed the site on. All I hope is that it might bring a smile to Mr. Sendak's face.
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Well, it has been a shining week for Wild Things, but does that mean the Terrible Yellow Eyes is over? Far from it. I can't be certain how long the project will go on but I'll continue to update every Friday so long as I am still receiving great work to post. There are several more amazing people still working on their contributions and I hope you'll check over today, I think we've got some of my most favorite contributions of the whole project (and that's saying something!)
The project will change some, however. My role will shift from contributor/curator to strictly curator. I've got many more projects to move on to and the San Diego Comic-Con is looming. There's much to prepare for that event (anyone going to be there too?)
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My goal all along for TYE was to honor the book, and express my love for it in pictures because I just couldn't do it with words, no matter how hard I tried. I've been humbled by the response of so many incredibly hard working, gifted artists. I think I can also say I've made a few new friends along the way.
Putting together Terrible Yellow Eyes has been the fulfillment of a years long desire to do something more than just enjoy Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak has influenced me and countless others so profoundly, so completely altering us and the face of what a children's book is and what the medium can be, it seems the only thing we could have ever done was to just celebrate it.
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I got to meet Mr. Sendak once, briefly, in NYC a couple years ago and got to tell him thank you; now, together, we can all show him thank you.