Honoring Dan’s Papers Cover Artist: Mickey Paraskevas

Dan's Papers cover by Mickey Paraskevas (Detail)
Dan's Papers cover by Mickey Paraskevas (Detail)

This week’s cover artist is none other than Mickey Paraskevas. Well-known for the television cartoon Maggie and the Ferocious Beast as well as Dan’s Papers‘ “Junior Kroll” and “Green Monkeys,” the artist has also co-authored and illustrated a number of children’s books. This week’s cover is painted in a different style than many of Paraskevas’ covers—one that’s more revealing of his hand. With an important reminder of gratitude, the artist lets us in on what this cover, and this coming season, is all about.

Thanksgiving does seem to mark the beginning of the holiday season. I love the narrative quality of this cover—is there a special story behind this one? Where is Arthur Bruno Farms?

This cover pays tribute to my late father-in-law, Arthur Bruno, who was a potato farmer. It’s a celebration of past memories and making new ones. We’ve all lost people we cherish who we like to remember around the holidays.

Thanksgiving for me is a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have now: family, friends and, yes, our dogs. All of nature and what we had in our lives in the past. The cover also reflects the joy of preparing for Christmas, a festive time celebrating with family and friends and the anticipation of the new year to come.

From the tractor in the background, to that little red cardinal atop the tree branch to the bored look on the German Shepherd’s face, there’s a lot of detail in this one, and yet it’s balanced by the vastly white sky.

Wren, the German Shepherd, isn’t bored. He’s just too busy chewing on the Christmas Lights. And of course Lili is in there. She’s the Fairy Princess of Westies, right by the box of Christmas lights.

What did you use to paint/draw this one?

I painted this for our house where it will hang all year since we all love Christmas year round. For the technical artists out there, it’s painted in acrylic on 100 percent rag board. I also use something called cell vinyl to paint with. It’s like acrylic but it’s got a flatter, chalky consistency to it. The original is 23 by 29 inches.

How many Dan’s Papers holiday covers have you done? The last was on Halloween. (see it here)

I always say this—I can’t remember how many holiday covers I’ve done over the years. There are quite a few. I remember one that I painted of the clock tower that stood in the old FAO Schwartz store on 57th Street. There was another favorite that was an illustration from the book my mother wrote, A Very Kroll Christmas. Those were all real paintings.

The last cover I designed and painted for Dan’s on Halloween, was done on the computer. I like to paint the old-fashioned way but sometimes the computer offers other possibilities. I’ve done a few on the computer for Dan’s Papers. All the “Green Monkey” comics are now drawn on the computer. It just saves a ton of time.

You can also catch up on all the new episodes of Lili and Derek online over at liliandderek.com. It’s a fun strip that I write with my wife. If you have a dog or a cat, we’re sure the comic will appeal to you.

That sounds like a great idea. This time of year calls for a little extra lightheartedness. I just chuckled over the “I have a pocketbook for every day of the month” one. It’s a nice mix of male/female and
dog/cat humor.

Wait till you see the Christmas cover.

Dan's Papers cover by Mickey Paraskevas
Dan’s Papers cover by Mickey Paraskevas

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