Harts Pass No. 182

Hope that everyone had an excellent Christmas and that you're enjoying at least a little down time over the next several days :) For those of you looking forward to a Harts Pass Comics collection, this will be the final strip of 2013 and will close the book in fine and spirited form. Cheers and Happy New Year!


Harts Pass No. 181

Ah, Christmas in Flordia! The whale tourism -- and potentially HUGE holiday meal might be the only things to get me there. No offense Floridians, this cartoonist (and his wolverine cast) are just simply too fond of winter.


Thank You!

Thank you one and all for helping to make Welcome to Harts Pass a reality! More details to come on shipping, rewards, etc. With much GRRRattitude! - Erik


22 Kickstarter Hours to Go!

The "Welcome to Harts Pass" Kickstarter is one day shy of completion and, like Thor and Martin sledding above, I am celebrating! Thank you all VERY much for the incredible support for this little book. A busy next week or so with Christmas, but I can't wait to start the presses rolling and to keep the gifts of books and other wolverine schwag a'flowin' well into the New Year.

At %114 funded I am currently researching an upgrade in paper quality from nice to even nicer! and anything else that I can do to make this book as GRRReat as it possibly can be. Stay tuned for updates on printing and processing in the near future. Thank you all so much and Happy Holidays!
PS And for those of you at the ENDANGERED SPECIES original art level and above, the following "Nordic Thor" and "Backcountry Tho" are in the ballpark of what to expect :) These two have graced this site this blog before, but new creations will pounce at any moment. I'll take suggestions for content in a survey for backers next week. Cheers and thanks again!


Harts Pass No. 180

A great talk in our little valley last week by Wolverine Way author, Doug Chadwick. GRRR! And thanks VERY MUCH to all of you who supported the Welcome to Harts Pass Kickstarter campaign. Still 5 days left, but the project is funded and there will be a book!


Sketches 12.7.13

Doing fine on the sketching front, but need to do some scanning and posting! Here is my sketch for the day -- a fine a chilly Sunday afternoon.


Harts Pass No. 179

Nothing normal about Thankgiving for the wolverine. Stuff it while you can, Thor. The next meal might be hard to find!


Sketches 12.3.13

In another lifetime, I design functional but AWESOME outwear -- well, mostly hats -- for kids and their young-at-heart parents. Sketches like this one today keep track of the inventory :)


Sketches for Life!

I try to draw something every day. I succeed... and fail, at honoring that commitment, but I know that its worth it - even in its smallest doodle form - and the notebooks scattered across my studio are proof of progress in one form or another :)

I love it as well when the sketches subconsciously take on a diary-like recording of my days as evidenced above:

11.17 -- About to launch my Harts Pass Kickstarter and feeling a little shy/uncertain about the effort...
11.23 -- Wowed by the response and uplifted by the support of friends, family, and the community at large.
12.2 -- Totally stoked by the ride and ready to crush the last two weeks of the campaign!


Indie's First! at Trail's End Bookstore

In honor of Small Business Saturday, I'll be taking a cue from Sherman Alexie and will send several hours (11-2) today as a volunteer bookseller at my local independent here in Winthrop, WA. I'll be sticking close to home in the children's section, but there are SO MANY great books to recommend and I look forward to seeing you there!


Harts Pass No. 178

Out for a morning run on Saturday and it was COLD! I warmed up eventually, but something about the start made me wish that I was a mouse, or a bird... or somewhere closer to eight years old :)


Harts Pass No. 177

Nothing against the iPad -- but I think its true that a wolverine would find one a little dull -- even if it did work with claws! On a separate, albeit slightly ironic note, a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has been using their iPad/smartphone/laptop/desktop technologies to help fund the HARTS PASS KICKSTARTER!


The Harts Pass Kickstarter!


Hey Harts Pass fans,


After LOTS of planning I've finally pulled together my Kickstarter Campaign and hope to self-publish a comprehensive collection - 3 YEARS! - of Harts Pass Comics. HOORAY!

I released a smaller version through lulu.com several years ago, but this is the real deal. 100+ pages and 170+ comics in a larger (9" x 7") high-quality perfect-bound softcover book. And for those of you familiar with the "Team Harts Pass" performance tees, or the GRRR! GEAR polar fleece hats from last winter, check out the rewards tiers to soothe your savage beast.

This won't be my last update/announcement about this, but thanks in advance for supporting it at any level that you can :)


Harts Pass No. 176

My crutch tendency with these comics is to get all introspective and melancholy. Apologies people, I may not be inherently funny -- but I do stand firmly behind my occasional sentimental drift. Enjoy as always!

Harts Pass No. 175

I forgot to post this last week, so you're about to get two doses of Harts Pass in a row. Number 175 and 176 coming at you in close succession... Hold on to your seats!


Harts Pass No. 174

After another week of pure and utter chaos, we're back on task here at Harts Pass Comics. Proud as she is of the LBHS Mountain Lions recent League Championship performance, Kit can't help but wonder what a team of wolverines might accomplish if given the chance :)


"I'm Thinking of an Animal..." A new video series by the AMAZING Billy Kelly!

Musician, designer, and troubadour extraordinaire, Billy Kelly, has graced these humble pages before...
But as the most excellent designer of my first book -- now moved on to fancier things like rock bands and animation -- I like to check out what he's up to now and again. And so behold! A new series of 1min videos soon to air on a PBS station near you. Totally hooked! Sweet work Billy!


Harts Pass No. 173

'Tis the season for football fans and hunters. This one's for you :)


Author's Ahoy!

Liberty Bell Mountain is a excellent autumnal blur at around 6pm this eve as I finally hit the road for the 2013 Humbolt County Author Festival. This biennial gig is simply wonderful, and I look forward to meeting/sharing stories with all of the kids at Dow's Prairie and Coastal Grove Elementary schools -- not to mention the incredible staff and host of volunteers that make this all happen every two years! See you soon :)


Harts Pass No. 172

The spirit of Congressional cooperation is contagious!


The Illustrator's Exhibit at the Washington State Convention Center

Check it out! One of my favorite illustrations from Totem Tale is on display at the Washington State Convention Center Oct 10 to January (something) 2014. Schools and eastern WA folks, with the work of 67 illustrators on display, you should definitely add this to your list of "big city" things to do over the coming holiday visits to Seattle and beyond!


Harts Pass No. 171

And comics are educational too!


Harts Pass No. 170

Simple confirmation that growing up is hard! Well intended parental efforts aside, its pretty much a muddled mess of misinformation and misdirection... But don't worry kids, someday down the road the tables will be turned :)

The Literary Cannon!

Dear Mr. Brooks, 
I know this isn't anywhere near the grandeur of accomplishments you've earned before, but I think that if I was an author-illustrator I'd want to know these little things too! 
I'm a senior at Northfield High School in Northfield, Minnesota, and I'm a part of the AP World Literature class. We were discussing the literary cannon, and as a part of this we were given the task of creating our literary cannon of ten children's books. It was extremely difficult, and the "oldies" made it on of course- Good Night Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Giving Tree, etc., but so did The Practically Perfect Pajamas! I brought that book in in an attempt to make it on the list, and my classmates quickly supported the idea. When my grade was in kindergarten you visited our school, so the great majority of my peers all have a signed copy, meaning we all grew up with Percy and his pajamas! We're just a small town in Minnesota, but I thought you ought to know that your work has had a lasting influence on us! 
Thanks for all you do,  

Last week I received this email -- which is pretty much the best kind of "accomplishment" that an author/illustrator like myself can achieve :) And while I don't necessarily aspire to be included in the official "cannon" of any sort, it is truly great for anyone to hear that their work is appreciated -- and to know that a picture book about a pajama-wearing polar bear shared at a school visit nearly 13 years ago is still on the shelf - and in the mindset of a high school senior :)

Thank you so much Sasha and go Northfield Raiders!


Harts Pass No. 169

One hundred sixty nine of these. Really? And so it goes :) I really enjoy doing these almost wordless ones where the expression and a few minor seasonal or setting details fill things in. And then there's the occasional diversions into poetry... in this case, a nod to mix of calm and storm that have been driving my dog and (I would imagine) the local fauna a little mad.


Harts Pass No. 168

Although posts in this network do go viral, its a whole different thing I'm pretty sure.


Harts Pass No. 167

Tired. Lots to do. Could use an extra hand or more time in the week... Hey!


Harts Pass No. 166

Nothing say funny like scientific taxonomy humor! And there IS a plan afoot to reintroduce 80 Canadian fishers to the Cascades -- Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Parks -- just in case your concerned about the factual origins of said "humor" :)


Harts Pass No. 165

After a week off from the strip I am back in action and ready to rumble! Unfortunately, this also means that summer break is near its end...



Harts Pass No. 164

I've been sitting on this idea for a while now... but its so true. Sometimes hiking is hard :)
[ But don't tell that to your kids! ]


The 2013 Mazama Festival of Books!

No stage-time participation for me at the Festival this year, but I did get to design the poster :) It's a fantastic roster all around, and there are even MORE authors for your 2013 listening pleasure. On the "younger" book side, YA author Dia Calhoun and picture book illustrator/paper artist Nikki McClure take the stage on Sunday morning. For a complete schedule and for ALL of the relevant details, check out the 2013 Mazama Festival of Books at the new Methow Arts website.


Harts Pass No. 163

It's still a little unclear to me, but in response to Governor Inslee's recent ATV safety legislation -- which requires registration, helmets, and a 16 year old age-limit for drivers -- I believe that the Okanogan County Commissioners tried to grandfather in a whole mess of county roads that would therefore circumvent the 35 mph speed limit clause. While new legislation would otherwise have these roads off-limits to ATV use the 11th hour petition by the commission somehow makes them legal...

While I'm NOT really sure that this will alter the character of Methow Valley roads and towns, it DOES smack of really poor politicking by the County Commissioners. Both Winthrop and Twisp recently denied petitions from a county ATV club to allow ATVs on city streets -- and yet mere days and weeks later the Commissioners have crafted and implemented a end-around to both city council decisions. For a relatively conservative group that would seem to support "get the government out of my life" ideals -- they have all but ignored the idea of local control -- and ought to have stayed out of it.

At least the 18th annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival will be music to our ears!


Harts Pass No. 162

Three (plus) years in and I'm still pretty much a novice cartoonist. Its such a compact medium -- but I'm still in awe of its ability to hold its own when unfolding a plot, a joke, or a play on words. My own ever-changing efforts could certainly benefit from more time spent writing or an extra experiment with expressions or compositions, but its I hope that you enjoy it for chuckle or two nonetheless!


Gator Sketches!

I'm finally getting close on a new ms revision. Gators Galore! Hey, that sounds like a title -- but not for this particular book, actually... Cheers to summer color :)


Harts Pass No. 161

A forest fire about 45 miles from home meant that electricity for the entire upper valley was off for about 12 hours on Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. A definite reality of living off the beaten path... and Thor really does think he's funny!


Sketches: Jazz Night at Twisp River Suites

I'm not necessarily sayin' that Harvey rocks the 'bone like a skinny mountain goat, or that D. Wolfe (in the house), jams the bass like a soulful beaver, but Suites proprietor "Rat Pack" Marver can definitely belt it out, and not-pictured Weidig kept things cool and breezy on on the guitar. A quick little sketch from a fine little evening. Keep an ear to the ground for future events in the lounge at the Suites. The music alone was worth it and there was food!


A new review for Who Has This Tail?

A new review of Who Has This Tail? From the "Reading Chair" review section of Young Children: The Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. - July 2013

In this guessing game, the author presents readers with a picture of an animal tail and asks, "Who has this tail?" Children will have fun examining all the hind-side extremities and quessing whose it could be. Turning the page reveals the answer, with a picture of the full animal and a description of how the tail is used. In these small science lessons, animals use their tails for balance, warning enemies, pushing and steering through water, flicking flies, stinging prey, and attracting a mate.

Hulbert has thoughtfully curated the array of animals. Appearances range from the plain-looking horse and gerbil tails, to the geometrically striking scorpion and shark tails, to the flamboyant peacock tail. Brooks captures little-known details, such as the fleshy underside of the spider monkey's tail that helps it grasp tree branches. Brooks's use of negative space (blank white space in the background) on pages that showcase tails adds drama to the guessing game. This excellent companion to Who Has These Feet? is a good reminder for young scientists to ask about the purpose and use of what they find in nature.


Harts Pass No. 160

When you get right down to it, with SO many things happening -- summer is exhausting! A quiet night or two in a tent sound pretty good.


Harts Pass No. 159 - Happy 4th of July!

Wishing I had more time for the indulgence of a good summer action movie -- and closer proximity to a theater, it suddenly occurred to me that super heroes and super cool animals kind of inspired each other in some sort of endless loop... I'll get to The Wolverine SOME time this summer. I promise.

Happy 4th of July!

Children's Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, selects SEA STAR WISHES!

Recently appointed Children's Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, has selected Sea Star Wishes (Sasquatch Books, April 2013) as his book of the month for July :)

Some nice news for this fine little book and you can read a short interview that Mr. Nesbitt conducted with author Eric Ode over at Poetry For Kids.org.

Happy Summer Reading!


Harts Pass No. 158

Thor took full advantage of the Super Moon last weekend, and pumped up his ego... for the inevitable sarcastic jibe from Melanie. Summer is officially here as well, and its supposed to get HOT in the North Cascades. Stay cool!


Harts Pass No. 157: Summer Reading!

Summer Reading is off and running... *ON THE SOAP BOX* And, as per usual, it's more than just sitting kids down with a book of their own. ENGAGE with those readers people!!! Ask questions. Be curious. Read out loud. Do voices. Be silly. Read side-by-side even... The book is just the beginning! *EXIT SOAP BOX* Enjoy :)


Sea Star Wishes: A Seattle Times Summer Kids Book

SEA STAR WISHES was in today's Seattle Times! Thanks to author Eric Ode for the head's up and to librarian Stephanie Dunnewind for the nice review :)

Summer kids books | Books | The Seattle Times


Harts Pass No. 156

School's out in the Methow Valley! One more school visit for me and then it's on to Summer Reading :)


Happy Graduation Week from Harts Pass!

Happy Graduation Week Class of 2013! The newspaper/print edition did not run my footnote regarding Voltaire's Candide. If you thought it was a little odd to have an asterisk leading you nowhere, now you know why --- not that it really does much to explain things anyway :)


Harts Pass No. 154

Memorial Day (observed) by our fine furry friends at Harts Pass...


Harts Pass No. 153

While I'm not 100% certain that wolverines get mistaken for "baby bears" in the wild, readers do sometimes confuse them in the comic. I'll take full responsibility for that based on inferior caricature -- and then just keep hammering you all with bold-faced lettering to draw attention when necessary. Cheers!


Seventies Sleepdog!

A brand new Sleepdog for the disco-themed Little Star Montessori School Auction. TONIGHT. 5PM @ The Winthrop Barn. Groovy!