Harts Pass No. 131

Happy holidays from Harts Pass Comics! The strip's a little different this week as it moved right on up to the newspaper masthead. With 12-16 inches of snow 'round the valley last week and the lights finally lit o're the Methow Valley News, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Harts Pass No. 130

If predicted weekend snows come true, then the sledding (or non-sledding, sliding) can begin in earnest!


Who Has These Feet? in today's Seattle Times

Librarian Stephanie Dunnewind has a nice things to say about Who Has This Tail? and 6 other locally connected books in today's Seattle Times:

7 books for kids with Northwest connections | Books | The Seattle Times

"A peacock is an easy one, but young readers might have a harder time answering “Who Has This Tail?” (Henry Holt, 40 pp., ages 2-4) as they look at the ends of other creatures in the newest picture book offering by author Laura Hulbert and illustrator Erik Brooks, who lives in Winthrop. Brooks shows a tail — some bushy, some scaly — against a white background, and then the whole animal in its habitat on the next page. A simple sentence explains how the tail is used, but the highlight is the detailed illustrations."

Ad 'em all to your Holiday shopping list and support your local bookstore!

Seasonal Sleepdog Calendars for Sale!

After a great weekend of GRRR! Gear, and Sleepdog Calendar Sales at Winthrop's "Reason for the Season" Christmas Bazaar, I wanted to set up and option for online sales.

Stay tuned for the GRRR! Gear option, but for $12 plus some minor tax and shipping charges you can get your limited edition "Seasonal Sleepdog Calendar" right here!

PS Orders placed by 12/18 will be guaranteed by Christmas or your money back :) I am happy to gift wrap, address with a "Seasonal Sleepdog" gift tag, and ship directly to a recipient with a proper address provided at the Paypal site.

To learn more about the Sleepdog Project and to see all 44 (and counting) of the Sleepdogs created to date, visit www.sleepdogstudios.com. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!


Harts Pass No. 129

Wild times in Winthrop last Saturday night as the Atomic Bombshells rocked the Barn. Through the Harts Pass "lens" America's Burlesque revival gets a little more kid friendly :)


Harts Pass No. 128

Slow it down and savor the season...


Happy Thanksgiving from Harts Pass!

 A day late with this, but now that you've indulged in your Black Friday binge you can sit back and remember what Thanksgiving is really all about... Thankfulness, friends, and Football! Much Thanks to the entire Methow Valley for being such an excellent place to call home, and three cheers to Kent Woodruff (not pictured here) for logging at least a down or three in his 51st annual Turkey Bowl :)


Polar Opposites: #3,935 on Amazon Rankings!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

I'm definitely not one to really follow these things -- especially with a book that is now two years old. Fleeting as it might be however, ( I mean I probably just happened by at the exact minute that it sold 3 copies in close proximity - or something like that - it is kind of cool to see such a relatively low number next to one of my books. 

Not to MENTION being in the low 20's for children's Bird books. Go Zina!  -- And tiny, mostly black - with a little bit of white, older, near sighted, right-handed, neat and tidy penguins around the world :)

Overdue: Harts Pass No. 125 & 126

Patience is a virtue. Or so it used to be. Thanks for practicing your "old school" values and waiting a while for me to post last week's strip. No. 126 is pretty much right on time! And while we're at it, THREE CHEERS and a big THANK YOU to the good folks at Les Schwab and other such tire places who are prepping us non-wolverine types for safe winter driving. Patience is a virtue...


Poster Design: The Tortoise vs the Hare

I've been having a lot of fun doing poster design for Methow Arts of late. The Missoula Children's Theatre is coming to town Nov. 12-17 and this Tortoise vs the Hare poster is one of my favorites so far -- probably because I got to illustrate it as well :)

If you've got kids in the Methow be sure to note the audition date of Monday, Nov. 12 at 12:30pm. It's a whirlwind week of casting, rehearsals, and performances, but it's an amazing production every year. If you're just checking in from afar, enjoy the poster!


A Harts Pass Happy Halloween!

In honor of Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken -- who is currently visiting with 3-5th graders throughout Okanogan County, hosting an open mike night at the Salmon Creek Coffee Co. on Thursday night, and giving a public performance at the Merc Playhouse on Friday, Nov. 2nd -- this week's strip waxes a wee bit poetical 'ore the creative potential of Halloween :)


Harts Pass No. 123 and the First Snow!

A touch of snow on the valley floor, and winter has arrived in the North Cascades!


Harts Pass No. 122

When you need them most, silent partners hear you loud and clear :)


Serenity Sleepdog

Still painting Sleepdogs :) Here's one of the latest...


Bear with Me...

Construction traffic between Winthrop and Twisp? While away the minutes by finger painting on the iPad!



The Methow Song

I talk about this in every school visit, but as a writer and artist your "sense of place" is a powerful inspiration. One's home is an important touchstone to so many other things - be it fascinatingly rare and endangered wildlife, dramatic mountain vistas, or even just the simple everyday friendships and daily interactions that humanize us all. The places we know help us tell stories!

Liberty Bell High School seniors, Duncan Hanron and Damen Martin do a pretty sweet job of putting their own little spin on the Methow Valley -- a place that I too call home and appreciate very much.

Great work guys!


Harts Pass No. 120

The wolf "recovery" in eastern Washington hit another large snag last week with the complete and total elimination of the Stevens County Wedge Pack. Thor and Melanie pay some tribute here and hope for better days.

Who Has These Books?

Who Has This Tail? comes out October 16th, and I just received my author copies in yesterday's mail. The book looks great, and once again the design team at Holt did a wonderful job of making sure that my watercolors stayed true to their vibrant and radiant selves -- not always an easy thing to do!

In a simultaneous debut of sorts, the Scholastic Book Club copies of Who Has These Feet? are also primed and ready to go. Stay tuned to your local book fair and check it out alongside the over-sized erasers, and Justin Bieber posters :)


Harts Pass No. 119

Unstructured time is INCREDIBLY valuable... 


New School Visit Brochures!

Hi all. I've been meaning to do this for a LONG time, but I've finally produced a brand new handout on my school visits and book orders. It's ready just in time for the South Sound Reading Foundation's Books by the Bay event, so please stop by and say hello if you are planning to attend. 

Otherwise, I'll start the mailing process soon and/or you can always download the info by dragging and dropping the brochure images that you find here. Give a call anytime if you'd like to talk more specifically about scheduling a visit. I would love to hear from you.

Happy fall!


Harts Pass no. 118

It's NOT been very fall-like over the last few days... hot and smokey rather. Here's to a change in the weather that sticks!


Harts Pass No. 117

OK. So between the day that I drew this and the day of this post, we've gone from wintery feeling nights to smoke-filled, warmer-than-normal afternoons... It was timely when it hit the page (and it's still kind of chilly at night if I actually wanted to open my smoke deterring windows). I swear!

Books by the Bay 2012

Thursday, September 27 from 5-7pm

Join the South Sound Reading Foundation  for a magical evening with award winning authors, including regional best-selling author Jim Lynch.

Mr. Lynch will read from his new book, Truth Like the Sun. Other authors and illustrators include: Judy Bentley, author of Hiking Washington’s History, Erik Brooks winner of the 2011 Washington State Book Award, Newberry Honor Winner Margaret Chodos, writer and publisher Robin Cruise Parents' Choice, Washington State Governor's Writers, and Best Multicultural Award winning author Ken Mochizuki, and critically acclaimed award winning illustrator, Julianne Paschkis  Books will be available for signature and sale.

Also, meet local leaders committed to literacy, listen to live local music, enjoy appetizers and refreshments, and browse the over fifty unique literacy silent auction items including a ticket package to the Seattle Symphony. It’s a great opportunity for early Christmas shopping!  

Where: Olympia Country and Golf Club, 3636 Country Club Road, Olympia, WA  98502

Each year the South Sound Reading Foundation invites you to participate in their literacy celebration to support their mission; ensuring all children are read with and, or are reading 20 minutes a day.  Reading just 20 minutes a day promotes the healthy brain development, family bonding and school readiness all children need to read and succeed.

The reading foundation does this important work by educating and reminding children, youth and families about the importance of reading though community awareness campaigns and family education programming and by distributing free books so that every family, every child has the tools they need to read and succeed.

The reading foundation distributes over 50,000 books each year and with each book they share the important reading message.The funds raised at Books by the Bay will enable the reading foundation to continue its important literacy work. Please show your support by

attending this very special event.

To order tickets call: 360-412-4499 or email:readt2me@nthurston.k12.wa.us
For more information visit: readingfoundation.org/southsound


The Sleepdog Show's Virtual Gallery!

I'll add to this throughout the fall, but everything is live and ready to go. Enjoy!

Harts Pass No. 116: Back to School!


The Sleepdog Show!

Sunday, September 2nd. Today. In just three hours even!
Visit www.sleepdogstudios.com for the virtual version later next week.


Harts Pass No. 115

Summer road trip explorations into Idaho... Check out the signage on your next visit the Gem State and see for yourself! The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area IS excellent wolverine habitat however.


Harts Pass No. 114

Melanie is relaxed and I was on vacation. A great trip to another mountainous and wild place, but its always great to get home!


Harts Pass No. 113

Running in the woods last week -- in the heat of the day no less -- I was frankly shocked to cross paths with so many rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks (even a black bear) etc. at various trail junctures. Apparently, the summer "crush" of traffic extends beyond downtown Winthrop!


Harts Pass No. 112

Mega-commercialism and the Olympics. Hand-in-hand since 1984 -- or at least that's when I'm led to believe that somebody REALLY started cashing in :) When you might be crossing a line by displaying the Olympic rings (freshly made no less) in your bakery window or other such grass roots celebratory efforts, then things have probably gone too far.

And please stop showing the professional athlete "Olympic Dream" commercials. THAT is never the story here people!


Harts Pass No. 111 - The Olympiad Edition!

With no television reception, and limited online viewing access, the critters at Harts Pass are a bit disgruntled over their capacity to follow The Games of the 30th Olympiad. Thor considered a border hop north to Canada, but Kit and other young animal friends have taken the Olympic Spirit and run with it... Bring 'em on!


Harts Pass No. 110

Last week's Harts Pass, plus a couple of the final images from Arts Fest! Just a little touch-up work on these to bring the back the black line after MANY hands, brushes, and puddles of house paint!


Harts Pass No. 108 & 109

HOT days in the North Cascades last week, and that (plus a 4 day backpacking venture) be my excuse for posting No. 108 a little late. Methow Valley News subscribers had their weekly dose of HP right on time -- with plenty of newsprint to spare for fans and paper sun hats!


Mazama Festival of Books Update!

Mazama's first annual Mazama Book Festival continues to make news with recent mentions in The Seattle Times, Publisher's Weekly, and the LA Times.

On Sunday, August 19th I'll be sitting down with veteran public radio host Katherine Lanpher to talk children's books and book illustration in this fabulous mountain setting that I call home.

Methow Arts has the most current schedule and I will post additional news as I have it as well. Until then, happy summer!


Heroes of the Methow!

If you missed the fun at Arts Fest...

 ...here are some pint-sized coloring book pages for your downloading pleasure: