Back in the studio...

My first completed illustration of 2013. For some reason a Badger feels like the right sort of animal to begin the year with.

This illustration is loosely based on a photo my wife took years ago (back when we used to travel to adventurous destinations) of a small boy in a remote impoverished Ecuadorian village in the Andes called Zumbahua. The boy was happily flying his plastic bag on a string, up and down the street. Probably didn't know kites existed and wouldn't have cared anyway. One of those images that stays with you.


Oh hi, 2013

Happy New Year good people! 2013 has arrived way too early but it's here so I guess we just have to deal with it. It's going to be a huge year and it's important we approach it with utmost caution. So, to counter the the shock of another year gone and in the spirit of tradition (this is a lie), I am proud to present to you your annual chilled out, ease into the year at just the right pace, track by none other than Sonny and The Sunsets featuring a big dose of laid back vocals, cruisy guitar and some crazy drug-hazed flute. You're welcome!

See you soon with some actual news.


I won an award!

At my Sydney Herman and Rosie book launch on the weekend, Markus Zusak presented me with a rather unexpected honour. Can't believe I'd never heard of this award! Amazing!

Here it sits next to a beautiful potted plant that Laura Harris, my publisher at Penguin, presented me. What a nice day I had.

Here's a closer look.

Can't imagine anything topping that! The launch was a lot of fun. Good crowd (85 I'm told) and signed a bunch of books for a ton of good people. Will post up some photos soon.



When review time comes around I am equal parts anxious and intrigued. Obviously I hope that book reviewers will like my book (I would be lying if I said I didn't care) but I am also intrigued to see, sometimes for the first time, an outsiders interpretation of my story. Like a piece of art I suppose, it's interesting to hear what others read into the story and it's layers of narrative. Sometimes I discover things myself that came through the story telling process almost by osmosis, by way of knowing the back story without actually having recorded it in any way. Like the French author and illustrator Hervé Tullet so succinctly describes; 'I don't know everything about the book. To write the book and to read the book are two different things.' I like it when someone really understands what I was trying to do (and I must admit I hate it when they don't!) It's sort of scary when they do - like they have been swimming about in my brain. Either way, you can never get too carried away by them - the good and the bad. They just sort of exist as a general guide. It's the readers at home that I'm most anxious about - those guys tell brutal truths!

Here's one I like from 'The West Australian'.

Here's a review from 'Sydney's Child' (Adelaide/Perth/Brisbane/Melbourne etc.)

One from 'Magpies Magazine'.

And lastly from 'The Canberra Times'. Here Rosie is a goat!

Like The Fantastic Flying Books, Herman and Rosie (Penguin. 32pp. $24.99) has a very American vibe. Set in New York, it is an urban love story which touches the heart and stirs the imagination. Herman and Rosie lead ordinary lives. Herman, a crocodile, lives in a small apartment, works in a call centre, plays the oboe and watches films about the ocean. In the building next door lives Rosie, a goat who works in a restaurant, sings jazz songs, and watches films about the ocean. Will these characters, who are so obviously meant to be together, ever actually meet in this big, bold city?

Gus Gordon, an Australian author-illustrator, has skilfully brought the buzz and sensory overload of New York to life in this soulful tale about overcoming adversity and following your dreams. His multimedia illustrations - which include cartoon-style drawings and collages made from photographs, documents, postcards and newspapers - are visually arresting and highly appealing. Full of rich cultural and musical references, this is a clever and vibrant tale, which, like a catchy jazz riff, lingers in the mind.


Herman and Rosie is being launched. From everywhere.

Herman and Rosie is finally in the book stores next week (Aug 22nd). We have, rather exitedly (and probably far too ambitiously) decided to have a number of book launches all over the country. I am doing speaking tours in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in August and September so we've decided to do a launch at our favourite book stores in each city.

At each event I will be reading Herman and Rosie (which won't take too long I'm guessing) and speaking about the art and inspiration for the book. There will be drinks and signing and I'll probably do some drawing as well (if you're nice.) I also have some pretty cool friends to launch the book in each store. The first launch begins at the very funky Riverbend Books in Brisbane where it is being launched by the especially talented author of 'Dust', Christine Bongers.

The next launch will be in Melbourne at The Little Bookroom which is the world's oldest children's book store (seriously!) The book will be launched by the amazing author/illustrator Leigh Hobbs.

... and in Sydney, Herman and Rosie will be officially launched at the The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft. This is a really amazing specialised children's store - love going there! The book is being launched by Markus Zusak, the incredibly well sold author of 'The Book Thief'. He also happens to be a rather nice guy.

Should be great fun. Love to see you there (and the kids of course) if you happen to be around. Many thanks to Tina Gumnior and the Penguin design team for doing these snappy invites.

See you soon!

GG x