When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, I was feeling overwhelmed and helpless reading about it.
In one article I ran across (I can’t find it now, unfortunately) a mother mentioned that there were no good resources she knew of for teaching kids not to touch their faces to avoid getting sick. Well, that seemed like a problem I could take a crack at helping with.
In a week, I put together a free print-and-play game on the subject, appropriately named “DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!” It makes the surprisingly difficult task of not touching your face into a fun, competitive challenge. Hopefully it will give some families out there some help and some laughs in these difficult times of itchy noses that must stay itchy.
If you like your food to be all the colors of the rainbow (even blue- thank you very much George Carlin), you may like these. I made a series of social media ads for my friends at Public Works featuring friendly anthropomorphic cereal flakes. These were made on very tight deadlines, but with a whole lot of creative freedom. Creative lead Chris Henderson generally gave me a theme or loose description to go with, and then he generously trusted me to come up with whatever seemed funny to me. They may not be the best animated things I’ve ever done, but I think I succeeded in making them funny.
Back in 2014, my oldest daughter became obsessed with Pokemon cards. I enjoyed the creativity of the cards, but when we sat down and figured out how to play the game, I found it pretty disappointing… but inspiring! The things that I did not enjoy about that game got me thinking about how a better card-battling game could be designed… and thus SQUIRMISH was born.
After spending a year or so developing, illustrating and testing the game, I initially self-published it using the print-on-demand service The Gamecrafter. I’m more of a maker-of-things than a seller-of-things, though, so I decided I wanted to find a publisher for it. My favorite game publisher, Gamewright, had an open submission policy, so I decided to send a copy of it their way. They were enthusiastic about it, and picked it up to publish in 2018.
Here is the promotional video I made for the game:
As the audience for the game has grown, it has received a number of reviews. Here are a few of them:
“There is a ton of replay ability here… All of the boys, including Dad, are fans of Pokémon and Squirmish has provided a fresh and simple take on card battling games. The variety that is found within the game is really amazing.” – 8 0f 10 Stars at The Dice Have It.
“It’s really fun to play, really funny cards, and really fun to see all the different types of abilities and how you can try to utilize those during each game.” – Landon Squire at How Lou Sees It
“Squirmish is a fun, family-friendly game which surprised me a bit with the depth of play. When I read the rules, I thought that it would be too kiddy-like. While the artistic style and the humorous text on the cards makes it appropriate for kids, the actions on the cards does give the gamer something to work with! … If you’re looking for a game to introduce the concepts of individual card actions and combat, this would be a good choice. It also will be a good filler for gamers looking for a few laughs mixed in with their gaming.” – Dale Yu at opinionatedgamers.com
I recently had a blast illustrating the children’s book I Can Say “Hi!” by Tom Fugleberg. The book is aimed at helping kids with autism find courage in social situations. You can see previews of a few of the illustrations below… click them to see them larger. Keep an eye out for it at a bookstore near you!
I had a number of Flash projects where I had the opportunity to animate illustrations of Target’s canine mascot, Bullseye, for banner ads, rich media and websites… generally under the unforgiving limit of 40 kilobytes or less (unfortunately, I am not aware of who did the charming illustrations these animations were based on). I think I did a pretty good job of breathing life into the cute little corporate shill. You can see many examples below.