Dave Coverly Talks Dogs with KHS

Dave Coverly will be signing copies of his newly released book “Dogs Are People, Too” at Book Bug on June 6th at 2PM.  Meet Dave, and visit with our mascot Nipper.  Don’t forget to bring cat or dog food to donate to the the KHS Emergency Pet Food Bank and be entered into a drawing for Dave Coverly artwork.

Dog Blogs, by Dave Coverly

Dog Blogs, by Dave Coverly

Dog Blog
Guest Blog by Dave Coverly

They smell. They shed. They drool. Sometimes their whining even wakes you up in the middle of the night. But enough about my college roommates – let’s talk about dogs.

Why do we love dogs? They make eye contact. They reciprocate. They love unconditionally. And even when they’re being bad, they WANT to be good. For all these reasons, and more, they make for the perfect subject for cartoons.

I grew up with dogs, and have pretty much had one ever since (even in college when I wasn’t supposed to). Spending that much time around them, I feel like I understand them to a point…but they also remain a mystery. It’s a great combination when writing humor. What motivates my dog? What is she thinking? Why is she barking at that stick? What would she do if she put on a dress and ate at a fancy restaurant? The questions – and possibilities – are endless. It makes my job easy, and explains why I’ve drawn so many cartoons about dogs over the years. Because, you know, who doesn’t want to make a job easier?

The sheer number of dog cartoons I had drawn struck me a couple of years ago when I was putting together an exhibit, and I naturally thought, “Do I need therapy?” But then I had a more rational thought: “Wouldn’t it be fun to collect these in a book?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes, it would be fun! And I’m all for fun!”

That was the easy part. Finding a publisher gullible enough willing to agree to put out a book of dog cartoons was another story. But that’s why I’m writing this, to tell you that story, right? I was already illustrating children’s books written by the brilliant Jim Tobin, which were being published by Macmillan. My editor there, the equally brilliant Christy Ottaviano, is someone I also consider a friend, so I reached out to her for advice. Could she recommend any smaller, boutique publishers who might be worth approaching with my quixotic little project? She gave me some good advice and a short list of publishers, but also asked if she might see my mock book for herself. Before I even had a chance to put together submissions for the small publishers – granted, I’m slow – she had pitched my book to the acquisitions committee at Macmillan, and they had agreed to publish it. Forever indebted doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Christy O. To top it off, she asked their top designer, April Ward, to put the book together, and she did a magnificent job. I found myself wishing the cartoons were funnier so they’d live up to the amazing design. Too late now.

So now Dogs Are People, Too is a thing that exists in the world, much to my surprise. I just hope that readers find some humor on its pages, and that they recognize the author as a fellow lover of dogs. I also hope they pick up after their dogs on their walks, but that’s a topic for another blog…

Many thanks to the KHS, too – not just for agreeing to join me for a fun food drive and book signing at Bookbug on June 6th, but for everything they do for the dogs and cats. Please support them as much as you’re able – they make the world a better, happier, and saner place.

–Dave Coverlyhome_dave_coverly

Dave Coverly Bio excerpts from speedbump.com:

Coverly grew up in Plainwell, Michigan, and began cartooning seriously in 1986 as an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University, where he penned a comic panel called “Freen” for the Eastern Echo. He also studied in England during this time, and returned to EMU to receive his bachelor’s degree in both philosophy and imaginative writing in 1987. He continued his cartooning in graduate school at Indiana University, where his panel in the Indiana Daily Student won numerous national awards; he was graduated from IU with a master’s in creative writing in 1992.

In 1995, and again in 2003, Speed Bump was given the Best Newspaper Panel award by the National Cartoonists Society, an honor for which it was also nominated again in 1997, 2001, and 2002. In 1998, the same organization gave him another award for Best Greeting Cards, which were nominated again in 1999.

In 2009, Coverly was given the prestigious Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest honor awarded by The National Cartoonists Society. More information on the award and its past winners may be found at www.reuben.org.

2009 also saw the release of Coverlyís first major childrenís book, Sue McDonald Had a Book, authored by Jim Tobin, and published by Henry Holt, Inc. His next book, 10 Things You Should Never Do During a Soccer Game, will be published by Holt in 2011.

In addition to his syndicated work, Coverly’s cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, and his cartoons are now regularly featured in Parade Magazine, the most widely read magazine in the world with a circulation of 73 million. He also donates cartoons and artwork to both of PETA’s magazines, Animal Times and Grrr! For Kids. Over the years, his work has been published in hundreds of school textbooks, magazines, newsletters, and a variety of merchandise, including greeting cards and calendars for American Greetings, beer bottle labels for Bellís Brewery, and CD covers for The Bob & Tom Show. His art has been exhibited in Kilkenny Castle in Ireland, been honored with a retrospective gallery show at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and original pieces also hang in the offices of numerous luminaries, including Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.

Coverly works out of an attic studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is married to Chris, and they have two daughters, Alayna and Simone.

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