Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ready for the Holidays? Get this gift for the art teacher in your life for only $19.99

As of today, there is now a black and white version of Gesso Squad The Graphic Novel Volume One: 1,000 Star Demons and a Rain God for purchase on Click here to buy it off

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Offer valid until December 14, 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ink and Paint

The Gesso Squad Graphic Novel Volume One: 1,000 Star Demons and a Rain God has arrived and is available on It should arrive on over the next few weeks. Visit the official YouTube Channel.

25% off any Gesso Squad books:
Coupon Code: BUYMYBOOK305
Coupon expires December 14, 2011
$50 Max Savings

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Giant Stone Heads

The Olmec Collassal heads where omitted from the Pre-Columbian art unit in the first novel. Not that I didn't want to include them, but since they weight is so heavey ( in the tons ) they would surely bring down the alien pirate ship. References to South American art are made throughout the novel.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book 1 FAQ's Revisited

I often get a question regarding Lyra's impending foreclosure situation in chapter 1. Since she can play so many instruments, why doesn't she just put on a one person concert? As opposed to making ceramics to sell? Answer: Lyra understands what her personally limitations are. She's not physically capable of playing multiple instruments at the same time and wouldn't dare to ask her fellow bandmates to assist her with this. It's not so much an issue of pride, she doesn't want to be a burden to anyone. She also would prefer to rely on her other skills...such as hand build ceramics. 

More FAQs to come...stay tuned...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Videos and the some...

The Gesso Squad book videos are underway. So far I have been able to create two and they are now available to view online on both the website: and on the Facebook Page:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book Videos

Gesso Squad now has their own channel on Youtube. Visit:

More videos to come...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Costumes and Fireworks

Lyra Newton, a character from my Gesso Squad series, has a birthday on July 4. I did not randomly choose this for her, as I did with the other characters. On July 4, 2008 I finalized her overal design and costume.  As the fireworks played on the television behind me, I drew the final touches. Earlier versions of her featured a skirt instead of pants.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Special Edition

Book reviews give insight into the true nature of a manuscript. They also offer room from improvement. My first book received an overall positive review from the U.S. Review of Books.
The full review is here:

In a few weeks, a special edition of the first gesso book will be available on ( Already on as of  this weekend.)

This Special Edition features a character guide, chapter recaps and a preview of the second book.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shopping with magents

A few months ago I contacted the book buyer a AC Moore to see if they could sell my book in some of their stores. Since it has art related content, I figured it would have a place among the other books being sold there. It would also be a good excuse to do book signings, if I chose to go that route...

So we'll just have to wait and see...

I have a webinar next Tuesday on how  to market on a budget.  My car door magnets attact attention, especially when I am getting gas or stuck in traffic.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Does Facebook Advertising really work? I'll find out the answer to this question later on this week...I mailed out my book to be reviewed by the U.S. Review of Books. I should be receiving the review in three weeks.  I never thought gathering data could be much fun. I've been using Google Analytics to track the site traffic.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bumber stickers and then some

Last week, my car door magnet and bumper stickers came in and greeted me when I arrived home.  It's interesting to see people's reactions at my car...they certainly makes the drab light blue metal look a little more exciting...

I find out the results of the Self Published Book Awards in October. In the meantime, the first script for the graphic novel episodes 1 - 4 is underway...

Friday, April 8, 2011


About a week ago, I was let go from the local community college where I was working as a graphic designer. I was responsible for doing the newspaper layout for their student publication using Adobe InDesign.  Their reason for letting me go was because I was gone for two and a half weeks while on recovery after having had brain surgery. During that time, they needed to start another issue and hire someone else in my place. I wasn't at all surpised to hear this at the time. In a way, it worked out, I as I didn't have time to devote to the layout due to my recovery and working four other jobs. When I returned home from the "dismisal meeting", I opened my mailbox. My eyes widened as I pulled the little blue and green postcard from the metal locked box. Writer's Digest, a organization dedicated to helping writers, write better was having their annual self published book competition. The deadline was April 15, 2011. As I clasped the postcard in my hand, I remembered I recieved the same postcard for their competition last year in 2010. At that time, I was still writing my book and couldn't enter...until now.

Today, I mailed out a copy of Gesso Squad & The Stone of the Sun in the mail to them with the entry form and fee. I figured, what do I have to loose? My book will be exposed internationally, and I could even win something...maybe the book fairy will be in my favor....we'll see...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Contests and then some...

Today, I as I looked at Michael Baisden's website, my eyes widened at the advertisment which flashed in the right hand corner of my screen. (Michael Baisden is a motivational speaker and author who has a talk show on Kiss FM.)
I learned that Michael has a book club.
Coincidence? I think not.
I clicked on the submission page and filled out my information and entered the 4x6 paperback version of Gesso Squad & The Stone of the Sun. Who knows? Maybe he'll read it and feature my book as his book of the month.
Anything is possible.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gesso Squad has traveled overseas!

The storyboard process begins next week. In the meantime: I googled my book today and saw that Gesso Squad & the Stone of the Sun is now available on!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm in the process of developing the first chapter of Gesso Squad & The Stone of the Sun into a graphic novel. Hopefully, by the end of the day, I will have a rough layout of the first chapter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Drawings in Color

I've decided after not too much deliberation, to start the graphic novel version of Gesso Squad. Since I'm off for the next two weeks, I will have time to start the first four chapters. Pendants & Tzitzmimes parts one through four, will be the first issue. I might decided to pair off two chapters as one issue with two separate episodes, depending on the length of the chapter.

I expect the first issue to be done before the end of the year, if not sooner...In the meantime, the postcard campaign for the first novel begins...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Round 2

Over the last week, I've begun plotting out the remainder of the saga of Gesso. The Book 2 chapter summaries are done and all that is left is to iron out the second half, maybe even move around some chapters.  One thing still lingers on my mind as I read over my chapter summaries: Should I combine both halves of part 2 into one book, making it a total of 24 chapters? Or should I stick to the original plan of making them separate books? Both seem like reasonable solutions. Originally with part 2 I wanted to keep them as separate entities just because so much happens during each half, I didn't want the reader to have a severe information overload. If I were to combine both parts the title would need to be changed. But if I keep them separated, I wouldn't need to change the titles.

Since the books will be sold primarily online, it would be fun to organize book signings at AC Moore Arts & Crafts...more on that later....vjb

Thursday, January 13, 2011


For the last 15 years, I've written stories about my cartoon characters.  I wanted to create a Young Adult series of books which there was educational content associated with it. Originally, I had thought of doing something with a diverse group of super heroes but didn't know what would make them differetn from every other super heroe group seen in comic books and television. When I first concieved the Gesso Squad series I was still in graduate school, hunched over a computer screen while typing up a art lesson plan.  When the lightbulb appeared above my head in the library, my characters danced around inside my head in a parade of colors.

The name of the group Gesso Squad sort of arrived in the same manner as the concept for the series, this time, it didn't happen in a library. My sketchbook sat in my lap as I drew the original five characters.  As I wrote out possible group names, I went through a list of 26. I read the list again and read each name while looking at my characters. I ended up doing this twice until I landed on #16 which was Gesso Squad. It seemed to fit their individual personalities and retained an element of art terminology which I felt was vital to the series.

At the time I began writing out lesson plans for each chapter I decided early on to research artists & scientists whom I had no previous knowledge of.  This ruled out what I cosidered to be artists most people already know about: Jacob Lawrence, Michaelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera.  I do take time to mention Paul Gaugin, the post impressionist painter, in Chapter 11. 

As part of my own teaching philosopy, I feel it is important to mention the artists mentioned above, but to also include all the others from various regions of the world.  In addition to teaching interdisciplinary subjects in a fun way which the students can relate to the work being presented. If they are able to make a connection to the work in anyway, they, I believe retain the information much longer.  Gesso Squad & The Stone of the Sun is the first in three books which discuss various artists, scientists and cultures from around the world.

The first chapter is available to read here:  The rest of the book will be out in February 2011.