Award-winning writer, graphic artist, designer, and educator.
Okay, so what about me?
I am an entertainer of some kind, I suppose, but my tools are words and images, sometimes both. Is there a name for that? Digital humorist? Sit-down comedian?
Whatever you call it, I believe that the way to learn and live and know is through the fun portal in the brain, which is just to the left of the Chasm
of Irony, by the way.
On the writing side, I am the author of 12 mystery novels, 6 interactive mysteries,4 books of illustrated fiction, and 12 books of non-fiction. My writing has appeared in Newsweek and in The New York Times...and won a bunch of awards over the years.
I am also the writer and designer of 30 mystery jigsaw puzzles – a unique combination of mystery short story and jigsaw game – with more than a million fans.
On the art side, I am a cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator, and graphic artist. My work has appeared in Harper’s, Utne Reader, the Daily News, The New York Times, and many other magazines, books, and publications.
I have worked as an advertising art director and as an interactive and game designer creating dozens of card, board, and digital games for a variety of companies. My graphic puzzles appeared regularly in Games Magazine for a decade and I have had 20 books published in this area, plus three collections of cartoons.
My graphic art also includes videos (check out my Youtube channel with over 9 million hits) and prints and paintings.
Along the way, I have also been a teacher of art, design, and visual communications. During a long career at Kean University in New Jersey, I served as the Janet Estabrook Rogers Professor of Visual and Performing Arts. I was the founding director there of The Design Center, working with students to create exhibitions, publications, and unique products which also won many awards including a Sappi Ideas That Matter grant for the Talk-Chart - a visual communications device for patients - now used in hundreds of hospitals across the country.
My work with students has been featured in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, and many other news outlets.
Finally, I have made scores of presentations at conferences, educational institutions, and museums on the topics of visual literacy, understanding images, creativity, and design.
Overall, I love making things that entertain but also enlighten, inform, and amuse. Books, essays, cartoons, lectures, videos...the format does not matter. The making does. I would think of all this as a kind of amuser l’esprit – amusements for the mind and eye – except that I am pretty sure that I made that phrase up.
But enough about me…what are you up to?