Super cool and exciting: A new book! From me!

When Patti was pregnant, so was I. Pregnant with a book that turned our endless nine months+ into 250+ pages of memoir. I have been working on Peanut in various forms ever since, if you can believe it. It’s tried being a regular book, a graphic novel, and an online serial. And now, finally, here it is a readable form you can carry around with you and read until your are fully entertained and edified.

Back then, I was terribly interested in the experience of becoming a father and I just couldn’t find much that was practical that had been written about it. After the book was written, I came to realize that it was tricky to fill this void in the bookstore in the standard way. Because books need to be shelved in particular sections at your local Barnes & Noble or even on Amazon, no one knew quite where to put my book. It was sort of  a memoir (back in the days before memoirs were routinely bestsellers) but more specific. And it wasn’t really appropriate for the pregnancy section because it was about a man’s experience. Anyway, it got kicked around by a bunch of publishers and finally got punted into the weeds.

I always felt that was  a shame as I really liked it; I think it’s by far the funniest book I’ve written and re-reading it as I have been recently, it cracked me up over and again. I think it’s also very insightful, about what it means to be  a parent and yet remain the child of one’s parents and grandparents.

It’s also a shame because it helps to explain an awful lot about me, about the family forces that shape my view of the world and the uniques experience I had as a kid. Slowly but surely, the most important events in my life, good and bad, are becoming books — Everyday Matters; my new book on Patti’s death; and this, the prequel, Peanut.

Anyway, I have had it with trying to flog the book in the traditional way. But I really do want people to read it. So I have decided to have a number of copies printed up to see if you, the people who have supported my work for years, might be interested in reading it and maybe helping me birth it in some form. It’s a little paperback, decent quality with one of my paintings on the cover. It doesn’t contain any drawings or even the word ‘drawing’ but if you like the way I write and share my perspective on the world, you might find it entertaining. And if you’ve ever been a parent or a child, I think it’ll be right up your alley.

The book is available now —and you might want to act now. This may sound like a hucksterish pitch (though it’s 100% true, I swear) but the printer just told me they will be raising the price by a dollar in the next 48 hours. I think the book is worth that additional dollar but, if that gives you pause, please order it today or tomorrow (May 18th). Or wait till the weekend and spring for the extra buck. Your call. Or, better yet, get in under the deadline and order yourself a dozen or so copies and sell them to the neighbors for an additional 50 cents and pocket the difference. I won’t tell.

Order PEANUT here

If you get it, let me know what you think. And how you think we can collectively make it into a bestseller that will transform parenting as we know it. I welcome your collaboration and critique.

Thanks to everyone who supports my book and has ordered the book so far. If this experiment is successful, I will publish more books in this sort of immediate, hand made way in the future. 

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers

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An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers is my newest book, a collection of illustrated journals from 50 different artists. It’s 272 pages of four-color inspiration at an amazing price! Buy Now From Amazon

Me Time

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My grandfather died last winter at 98 so I’m not even half his age yet. Maybe I’m only approaching the midpoint of my life, or maybe I’ll have massive heart attack and keel over at my desk this afternoon. There’s no telling.
Regardless, I know each day and hour are precious. But it’s hard to keep the relentless tsunami of stuff, or responsibilities, of things I want to do, from swiftly wiping each day off the board before I can even wipe the sleep out of my eyes. Life moves quickly and the further along the road I get, the faster the pages fly off the calendar.
Knowing this, trying to hold it on my mind, can help me to prioritize. But it’s still tough to keep the world at bay and to decided how to spend my time well. Often I lie in bed and think, damn, when am I going to get to read all those books I want to read or spend more time drawing with Jack or more time cooking dinner with Patti. When am I going to get to live in Micronesia or the South of France or in that little house in the meadow? When will I get to spend two hours a day at the gym or four hours a day doing oil paintings or six hours a day reading Proust? When will I learn Italian? Learn to drive a motorcycle? Defend my heavyweight boxing title?
I’m not filled with regret because I somehow feel I will get to do these things. I’m just not sure how or when. Perhaps my appetite is just larger than my calendar. Fortunately I am often insomniac so I get to spend 3 to 4 a.m. thinking about stuff I didn’t fit in during the day (most of it actually just anxious nonsense).
Anyway, this consideration of my gallon of ambition and my pint glass of life set me on the way to a new project. It’s something I’ve mulled over for a while and finally out into action. It’s an effort to really think about the things I wished I could have fit into a day and then an attempt to fit one of them into the next day.
I have just completed a project called ‘Me Time’, which is an attempt to find an opportunity to pursue the many things, small and large, that my normal waking hours just don’t allow for.
I created a record of this process, in words and watercolors, had it printed up in a cute, square format, and I must say I like it a lot.
This summer, I published “Bad to the Bone“, my first book with blurb.com, and I was pretty pleased with the results. The printing quality was great and by squeezing my markup I could offer it to for a pretty reasonable price. The book itself was a collection of drawings and paintings of dogs I’d done earlier in the year, combined with some slight doggerel, a noble but ultimately experimental effort.
‘Me Time’ is pretty different. It’s also a small and affordable book,but it was conceived as much more of a book than its predecessor. It’s tightly designed, carefully written and profusely illustrated. I also think that, as a lifestyle experiment, it was illuminating. I think that it might give readers a few ideas about how to make more of their own time, and add depth and richness to their lives. If not, well, it has a few good jokes and a couple of nice paintings.

If you’d like to check out the book and maybe order yourself a copy or two (I think it might make a nice, modest year-end gift for friends, at least that’s how I plan to use it), click the preview link on the box below.

If you order a copy, I’d love to know what you think and, whether I should continue with this sort of experiment.

How I found an ext…
By Danny Gregory

Bad to the Bone

coverMaybe it’s because of my initials, but when I was little, I was determined to become a vet when I grew up. In fact, I got my first job at the age of 11, working for a vet at the local dog pound. It was only when I was in high school, and proved abysmal at Chemistry, that I realized I’d have to take another career path.
At any rate, I have always loved dogs. The dogs I loved the most weren’t the Lassies and the Benjis, the dogs that rushed to the rescue and did tricks and were cute and cuddly. No, my favorites were the ones that got into trouble, that showed character and individuality, the dogs that are bad.
For the past few months, I have been concentrating on drawing bad dogs of all types. And, inspired by Ogden Nash and Edward Gorey, I’ve been moved to write some little poems about dreadful pooches.
All of which leads me to the surprise part.

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I love my new publisher and can’t wait for An Illustrated Life to come out this Fall. In fact, I am so impatient for a new book that I decided to print up a limited edition book on my own, collecting about forty pages of those bad dog drawings and painted ripped from my sketchbooks.
This little book is only a limited edition. It’s four-color and I am really happy with the quality of the printing. I think it really captures the intensity of the watercolors I’ve been doing. Some of the drawings are done with a Rapidograph but most were drawn with a dip pen and they have a good energy that captures the mischief nature of their subjects. There’s a lot of experimentation with the quality of the line and the way I’m using color. It’s a bit of a departure for me, an intense exploration of a single topic but the folks who’ve seen it so far think it’s pretty funny and beautiful.
So, as part of this publishing experiment, I’ve decided to share this little book, Bad to the Bone, with my readers. I’m selling it more or less at (a super-low) cost, because I’m interested to see if this is a good way to make and share books. If you like it and want me to make more books of this sort, let me know and I’d be willing to give it a go.

CLICK TO ORDER: Bad to the Bone
Drawings & doggerel
By Danny O. Gregory

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I am really pleased with this book. I hope you’ll like it too.

Everyday Matters – now in Korean!


This afternoon, Patti called me at work to tell me, “It’s here!”. And when I got home, there, sure enough, it was. We immediately started drawing parallels. Jack reminded me that Homer Simpson had found a box of Japanese soap in the dump with a strange Japanese version of himself on the label that he discovered was a major animated character. We talked about Bizarro Superman and, even more bizarre and àpropos, Bizarro Seinfeld.
But nothing was as odd as seeing my book Everyday Matters translated into Korean. Not just translated but painstakingly reproduced in Korean. The calligraphy, the rubber stamps, everything was done absolutely perfectly. It is such an unusual feeling to stand in my living room, loking over the journal pages I made right here, and to now see them in this other skin, one made on the other side of the planet and yet so in tune. I don’t know if I can fully explain the oddness of it all.

The wonderful translator, Suh Dongsoo, wrote to me several weeks ago:

I haven’t met you, but I feel like I am familiar with you.
Maybe that’s because I spent several months reading your book, and trying to feel like you, writing your sentences in Korean.

I really enjoyed translating your book. I was deeply moved by your book.
Right before I started translating your book, I had a very unhappy experience myself.
Maybe it wasn’t such a big disaster for other people, but I was very shocked by that experience, and was living with an empty heart, thinking how should I live from now on, everyday, every minute.
And then I met your book, and I felt so attached to the book.
I believe translating the book was something very important in my life.
I can’t forget one afternoon when I had to cry leaning over my computer translating a sentence.
I want to thank you for giving me the chance to translate this book.
Thank you very much.

How wonderful, and how lucky I am.

The book is apparently doing very well and is about to go into its second printing. And for those of you waiting for the 2nd printing of the book in English, I understand it will be ready in a just a few weeks.

Odder still, as readers of this blog may appreciate, was my discovery of this site, whose contents I don’t understand at all, apparently about my book.
I used Google to tranlate part of it and came up with the following:

Love hero unit of be picture lost chance ni that ley ring (Danny Gregory) It was born from Great Britain and when to 12 flesh moving in New York the State of Israel back and and until, the blood chu bug, Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia and Republic of Pakistan, it came and went enough. phu lin su then It studies a political science from the college, nothing after the that el the printed style of writing it eats and and it does not live to be in agony, about 20 it worked from year between advertisement industry. 1995 year wife phay the mote in subway accident the lower half of body after becomes disabled, it draws the picture, it started.

What a weird trip we’re on.