Joan Rivers was known for her sharp tongue, but how does she stack up against Oderus Urungus? (Hat tip: @tedikuma on Twitter! Luckily, the Internet…

Joan Rivers is gone today, and Dave Brokie aka Oderus Urungus left us on March 23 of this year…also, one of my close friends was found dead this morning…

This friend of mine, we’d drifted apart a little bit, still kept loosely in touch, but I hadn’t *really* talked with him in a long fucking time. 

He was one of the last, true blue earnest tough country motherfuckers out in my hometown, he lived on a dirt road and raised wolves and carried a shotgun, and god damnit he was one of the truest and most sincere human beings I’ve ever met. We had a LOT of differences politically, but fuckin’ a, we had a lot of formative years together, and he was just a fuckin’ country desert rat if I ever saw one. FYI I’m from the desert…I myself am I desert rat, if you wanna get real real…I feel like a part of my heart has collapsed…

Life is intense, y’all…

5

When The Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop is officially available today! Written by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by myself, this children’s book follows the life of DJ Kool Herc and the birth of hip-hop culture. This is my first children’s book so it’s exciting for me to see the product in its final form. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, you can find it at various retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also find more information about the book on MacMillan’s website.

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Here’s a second Photoshop time-lapse I created last night. Pretty happy with how it turned out. This is the finished piece. More to come!

So yesterday I got a call from the American Library Association letting me know that I won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for my book "When The Beat Was Born". I was half-asleep when they called, so I didn’t really know what was going on. But it seems like a big deal! I’m very excited, and apparently I’ll be going to Vegas for the award ceremony in June… Crazy. I’m hoping this leads to more work, as childrens’ books are very much something I’d like to pursue. But yeah, this all feels pretty surreal…

CNN: And the Newbery, Caldecott award winners are…

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Over the past weekend I travelled out to Las Vegas to attend the American Library Association Conference to receive the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent award for my illustration work in "When The Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc & the Creation of Hip Hop"… That’s a mouthful.

Either way, it was a great experience. I met a lot of great people including authors, illustrators and publishers. Meeting fellow award winners Kadir Nelson, Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nikki Grimes, Rita Williams-Garcia and Bryan Collier were highlights. I had a chance to sit on a panel with them which was a very new experience for me considering how little public speaking I’ve done in the past.

As you can see in this video filmed by my uncle, I also gave an acceptance speech; something I was nervous about for the entire previous week. But once I was up, I think it went fairly well. I even got some laughs!

I also had a chance to sit down with my publisher and talk about some new books ideas which will hopefully be materializing soon. I also got to meet some employees of the publisher of my new project, "Lil Shaq", which will be done sometime next year.

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