Mr. Fooster

To Mr. Fooster, it's the small things that count. He heads out the door one Tuesday morning with an old bottle of bubble soap in his pocket and no particular destination, and wanders around asking questions of the world around him: "How come we never see baby pigeons?" "Who figured out how to eat artichokes?"

Foosterinterna.jpgThe 112-page hardcover book Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim brings us along this casual explorer's whimsical journey, with its eleven chapters of prose by author, musician and producer Tom Corwin, and fifty-four illustrations by graphic designer and illustrator Craig Frazier.

Craig Frazier's Mr. Fooster was brought to life on the pages of Moleskine cahiers. Craig is a firm believer that "ideas don't always come when you call them, so you have to be able to grab them when they arrive and jot them down." He considers his notebooks "external hard drives" thanks to the comfort they provide. "If I can get a sketch or thought onto paper, I breathe a sigh of relief that it didn't get away."

Craig started sketching Mr. Fooster in October 2005, shortly after Tom Corwin shared the initial draft of the text with him. When Flying Dolphin Press/Doubleday bought the book in December 2006, Craig got started on his self-imposed assignment of 52-plus pen-and-ink drawings. He used Moleskine pocket journals for his 'planning' sketches and notes, and the extra-large cahiers for the final drawings. The final illustrations, he notes, "required a completely different mindset to create. They required a certain solitude that transported me to the places within the drawings. It's a mesmerizing space when it happens. I created many of the illustrations in a cottage we own on the California coast. The surroundings in many of the drawings are derived from its tranquil and unique landscape."

Corwin and Frazier's visual novel was published in June 2008. At the book's release party, writers, reviewers, journalists and artists each received a pocket-sized plain cahier in kraft, with a black foil-stamp of Mr. Fooster blowing a soap bubble. The graphic was, of course, created by Craig Frazier, and resembles that of the actual novel's own cover.