The Commuter Challenge

3 June 2007

The June 2007 Challenge

by CC @ 00:51

For this month, create one or more pages from an alphabet book. There are many different kinds of alphabet books, and you are encouraged to look inside a few on or a local bookstore for ideas. The most traditional type is to illustrate each letter with a single object, such as an animal, flower, or food. Other alphabet books tell a story, along the lines of the traditional “A was an apple pie”. Still others are meant to be read by adults instead of children. Your page (or pages) can contain images, text, poetry, or all of the above, or maybe something else entirely.

The Results

Sam Bleckley

Ryan Finholm

Brian Raiter


  1. I want to note right here that Sam was the only one who actually got his entries scanned and submitted to me by the deadline. Ryan and I both encountered serious delays in getting our stuff digitized, and technically should have been marked as being late.

    That aside, this was a great month for the CC. I flat-out adore Sam’s pages. I really want him to finish the rest of the alphabet. If he did I would bind it and put it on my bookshelf. And Ryan doing punctuation marks instead of letters was inspired, and appeals to my geeky heart. I would also love for him to finish the full set of punctuation marks (at least all the ones on a US keyboard). I would then give copies to all the children I know.

    My entry feels kind of boring by comparison, since it’s just a standard alphabet rhyme. The reason I didn’t do something more interesting is that I had an actual three-year-old in mind as the recipient. That also helped provide the impetus to finish the full set. As is typical for me, I spent most of the month working on the poem, making minor changes and improvements, and then churned out the drawings in the last two-three days. I don’t know why I have such a mental block about drawing. After I finished the easy ones, I had to start using models to draw things such as zebras and trombones, as well as some of the poses, so I did google image searches and wound up sitting in front of the computer to draw. Those drawings almost invariably turned out much better-looking. If I hadn’t been in such a rush I would have gone back and drawn all of them that way.

    I drew each image on a piece of small notepad paper, on the theory that I would get less tensed up if it just felt like I was casually sketching. The small size also meant that I was more likely to keep the proportions similar between drawings, something I often screw up. After I scanned them, I used GIMP to remove the blue lines and center the drawings. (I also scanned handwritten captions, but I didn’t want to delay my entry any more than it was, so for the Challenge I just quickly typed these up.)

    by breadbox — 13 February 2008 @ 13:41

  2. Sam’s submissions were really inspired, and I’ll second that call for him to complete the alphabet. The drawings and lettering are really impressive (which bodes well for his illuminated page submission for February). The subject matter is eerie and effective; you see the apple and the banana initially, then read Arson and Buzzard and take in the whole picture. Extraordinary, in every sense of the word.

    Brian’s submission is completely charming. I’m particularly fond of H – the text and drawing combo is funny and right on the mark. And T is a great drawing, too. But it’s all good.

    Mine were submitted late due to technical problems, and as photos of the pages instead of scans. I really should just buy a new scanner. I never considered completing a whole punctuation/symbol set. I just wanted to have it be an odd pun with the title (obviously cartoon word balloon symbolism for curse words). Maybe I should think about it, though.

    by RyanF — 14 February 2008 @ 01:10