November 22, 2009

Greg Call: Illustrator/Humble Guy


So there I was at a party for our instate colleges' rivalry football game (Montana State Bobcats vs. University of Montana Grizzlies). The party was spread out over three houses and at one point I was standing in the kitchen of one house chatting with a friend. Being a librarian (and mother of boys) I often get asked for book ideas for boys. This friend wanted some higher level book ideas for her fifth grade son. I started talking up Peter and the Starcatchers, one of my absolute favorite novels. She holds up her finger, reaches over and pulls this guy into our conversation. Then she says, "this is the guy that illustrated that book." My jaw hit the floor. He was a bit confused not knowing what we were talking about so she clarifies to him that we are talking about Peter and the Starcatchers. And he kind of goes, "oh yeah," with a shrug like it's no big deal. His name is Greg Call and he has lived in my tiny town for the past 13 years, and I had no clue. Further, he has used several kids I know as models on some of his covers! And he talks about Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson as buddies.

We had a great discussion. I asked him if authors and illustrators/cover artists meet. He says they really don't but that he knows Dave and Ridley because they such control over their products. I got to ask my biggest question, one that I have always wondered of cover artists, does he read the books? He said he does because often the publisher wants specific things from the story on the cover. We chatted about the general state of children's and young adult books and he told me about the most recent cover he did. He also does album and computer game covers. My jaw just kept dropping and dropping. I told them in no uncertain terms that I would be visiting his studio. He said come over anytime!

This is the thing that kills me...his kids go to one of the schools in our district. I just have to know if the librarian at the school has a clue that he is an illustrtator (and if so, why didn't she share that info with any of us). And my future goal will be to get him to use one of my sons as a model on a cover...I think I am going to become a stalker!

1 comment:

  1. That is soooooo cool! I'd be all over that too. I love hearing about how covers came to be, and looking at the different ones books have had.

    BTW the latest book he did looks like an awesome books.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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