Anna Smudge character sketches

Posted on May 25th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz,Interviews by MAC
It’s time for some more art by Glenn “Twinkle Toes” Fabry!


Back when we were discussing what the characters in Anna Smudge actually looked like, Glenn did some preliminary sketches for a bunch of folks. Check out his initial sketches and my comments below. And check out this interview Glenn had with Wizard Magazine about working on Anna Smudge.


Donny "the Meatball" Fratelli


A is a little rotund. Donny is a humongous giant of a man, and he devours chocolate cannolis like there’s no tomorrow, but he’s no Jabba the Hutt. And in C he’s just a little too ape-like and dumb. Not nearly scary enough. After all, this man steals candy from children and makes small infants cry! The B version that Glenn drew of Donny is perfect. Exactly how I had always pictured him in my head!

Mrs. Summer

Mrs. Summer

Man, when Glenn faxed these sketches over I could not stop laughing! We ended up going with version C. A was a little too bird-like, and B was just plain creepy.


The Naked Seaweed Man

Naked Seaweed Man


I went with A. You see, NSM used to be a very handsome and successful man before his crazy seaweed, rhyming days. So, I still wanted you to be able to see a glimmer of the guy he used to be through all of that foliage. And let me tell you, many of my girlfriends thanked me for making that decision, and really want to know who Glenn’s model was for the final drawing.


Jacob Pierce



This was the first sketch of Jacob, and after staring at it for a good five minutes, I lost my appetite for the rest of the day. It was absolutely disgusting. It was perfect. Only thing is Jacob doesn’t have curly hair, and he’s a thin kid. So, Glenn kept the gross factor intact, put Jacob on a strict diet, and stuck some hair relaxer on his head.


Banana Talk!

I'm going bananas!

Okay nothing grosses me out more than a mushy brown banana on top of my cereal. I only like to eat bananas when they are nice and ripe. Maybe it’s because I have vivid memories of having to take this disgusting medicine when I was younger, and it was thick, yellow, and supposed to be banana flavored. Yuck!!

And while we’re on the topic of bananas… I was interviewed by a big gorilla at the New York Comic Con. Well, I was actually interviewed by two very nice ladies, and there just happened to be a hairy gorilla standing next to us. Go figure!

I’m 4 minutes 36 seconds in. But the guy talking before that is Neal Adams, who is pretty much the best Batman artist ever. Check out Gorillawire TV.



Anna Smudge sold out at the New York Comic Con!!

I have had the great of pleasure of working with two incredible comic book artist icons. Glenn Fabry is doing all of the interior illustrations for The Professionals. And Greg Horn is doing the covers. And they are both the coolest guys. You would think that artists of their caliber would walk around with a ten person entourage and insist that someone accompany them to the bathroom. But these guys are so humble and down-to-earth.

A media frenzy!

Check out some NYCC photos. It was three days of total nuttiness. We had a great booth with five-foot-tall posters and an endless supply of donuts. It was wonderful to have our entire creative team there at once. Glenn flew in from the UK, Greg from Florida, and our brilliant book designer Greg Collins from Queens.

Glenn & I getting interviewed

Glenn Fabry and I getting interviewed by the press at the same time.

Me and a young fan, Julianna

Me and Julianna.

Hi Greg Horn!

Greg Horn had his own booth, and a massive crowd surrounding it the whole time. But he managed to meet up with Glenn and I for interviews, and occasionally popped by the Anna Smudge booth to chat.

Check out an interview Glenn, Greg, and I had with Newsarama in a glass room overlooking the Comic Con!

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Also here’s a podcast Glenn and I did with Peter Jaffe from Comixology.

Comixology interview with Glenn Fabry & MAC



Evolution of a Cover

Posted on April 16th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz,Interviews by MAC




Wanna see how the cover of Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink came to fruition?


Well, up top is the crummy sketch I sent to cover artist Greg Horn when I was first trying to describe to him what I had in mind. The second is the  much more awesome sketch that Greg sent back to me. Greg’s a very famous artist in the comic book industry. Every time I got sketches from him in my inbox it was like Christmas!


Check out Greg’s interview with Wizard Magazine about the revision process the Anna Smudge cover went through.




New York Post write up!

Posted on April 5th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Book Reviews,Buzzzzzz by MAC

This was a very exciting day. Don’t get me wrong, every time Anna gets a mention it’s thrilling. Except, of course, when the mention is bad, which is when I go buy an abnormally large bag of Reese’s Pieces, and eat them one-by-one in fetal position on my sofa while listening to

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?


But it was especially exciting to get a write-up in my hometown newspaper. My hometown being New York City. The New York Post named Anna Smudge one of five books to read now that Harry Potter is over, and compared Anna to Nancy Drew! Check it out here…





Wow, Anna has some pretty large shoes to fill. I hope that she’s up to the task, ties her shoelaces right, and doesn’t trip too much.




Lauren Storm reviewed Anna!

Posted on April 4th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Book Reviews,Buzzzzzz,Photos by MAC


Lauren Storm is a terrific actress who was on the Popular TV show, Flight 29 Down, and in the Disney film, The Game Plan. Now Lauren’s starring in the Fox feature film, I Love You, Beth Cooper, alongside Hayden Panettiere from Heroes. The film is being directed by Chris Columbus, one of my all-time favorites, who wrote Goonies! For those of you who don’t know, I named Donny “the Meatball” Fratelli after the Fratellis in Goonies. Yes, that is just how much I love that film. Check out Lauren’s review of Anna Smudge below-


“Anna Smudge is an eleven year old Manhattan rich kid, who would gladly trade her wealth for a relationship with her always-unavailable parents. She feels ugly, clumsy and invisible, and dreads awakening each school day morning. Her hours at school are filled with endless teasing and feelings of inadequacy. As slow as she moves, her adept driver always manages to get her to school on time. How this unlikely character ends up as a leader and heroine skillfully unfolds in this lively throwback to the spirit of the old “Nancy Drew” series."

"One day at school, her dreaded nemesis, Jacob Pierce, tells a lie that gets Anna sent to the new guidance counselor. The result is that Anna gains not only a new friend, but also the confidence and determination to solve a murder mystery. Along the way she comes to realize that every person has certain gifts. She is great at giving practical advice. The title of professional shrink, and minor celebrity reputation, soon follow. With her motley crew of geniuses, the formerly invisible Anna takes to the streets of New York City. This heartfelt tale is well written and satisfying. I highly recommend it.”

–Lauren Storm




Anna Smudge has won a Top Choice Award at Flamingnet!

Posted on April 2nd, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Book Reviews,Buzzzzzz by MAC




Anna won a Top Choice Award from the popular review site, Flamingnet. The reviewer called the book, “One of the best mysteries I have ever read,” and gave it a nine out of ten. It’s pizza party time!


Check it out!

Anna Smudge at Flamingnet



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Allen Alvarado: Professional Actor

Posted on March 6th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Book Reviews,Buzzzzzz,Photos by MAC

Allen Alvarado


So, you probably don’t know who Mr. Who is…or perhaps you do. But the real question is, do you know who Allen Alvarado is? He’s an extremely talented young actor who was a series regular on the popular TV show Flight 29 Down. And he recently finished filming the movie Lower Learning, starring Eva Longoria and Jason Biggs.


Allen read Anna Smudge and had some pretty cool things to say. Thanks, Allen! You are without a doubt a Professional.


“This book is a mystery masterpiece. It has a great build-up and a shocking ending. ‘Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink’ puts you in the middle of all of the action. I loved it so much, I was heartbroken when it ended.”

— Allen Alvarado




It’s raining shrinks!

Posted on March 5th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz by MAC



Who knew that therapy would become such a rage? The Associated Press featured Anna Smudge in an article about the popularity of shrinks in entertainment alongside HBO’s In Therapy, The Sopranos, Frasier, and the movie Charlie Bartlett. It was picked up by the New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, Washington Post, LA Times, Fox News, ABC News, and a zillion other places.


Art by Greg Horn.

Layout by Gregory "Gee Willakers" Collins.




Anna’s a cover girl

Posted on March 1st, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Buzzzzzz,Writing Advice by MAC


No, she’s not on the cover of a fashion magazine. Anna’s featured alongside a few other books on the cover of Publishers Weekly, a popular trade magazine that folks in the publishing industry read. If you want to be a Professional Book Editor or a Professional Agent or a Professional Writer, then I recommend you start reading PW on the double.


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