One of the coolest things about UNBORED, if you ask me, is the fact that we’ve got four two-page comics — “Don’t Wait for Permission!” (about the ethos and practice of Doing It Yourself), “Eureka!!” (celebrating some of the most awesome explorers and discoverers ever), “A History of Videogames,” and “Way, Way Out” (a history of humankind’s exploration, in fiction and reality, of outer space) — by the talented Joe Alterio.
Besides making art (including one painting on a skateboard that I really want to own) and comics, Joe has done illustrations for newspapers, magazines, and videogames. He also founded Robots + Monsters, a really neat nonprofit that raises money for worthy causes by connecting fans of robots and monsters with artists who like to draw robots and monsters. The idea was this: You’d pick three words, choose either “robot” or “monster,” and pay a fee — and a gorgeous drawing based on your words would arrive in the mail a week or two later.
Click here to browse a collection of nearly 600 robot and monster drawings, from the Robots + Monsters project, which is currently on hiatus, by Joe and others. If your grownups dig Joe’s art, tell them about his online store!
My kids and I were early supporters of Robots + Monsters. Here’s one of the drawings that Joe did for us. We chose a robot (words: Karate-chop, human-eyed, puppy-sized) and a monster (words: Karate-chop, orange, horned).
PS: Alert UNBORED readers may notice that we have one cartoon in the “Do It Yourself” section of the YOU chapter, one in the “Getting Around” subsection of the SOCIETY chapter, and two in the ADVENTURE chapter (in the “Play Games” and “Expand Your Horizons” subsections)… but not a single cartoon in the HOME chapter. Why the discrepancy? Because we originally planned to include the “Play Games” subsection in the HOME chapter. (Many games — particularly videogames — are played at home, was our reasoning.) But as we edited the articles in the “Play Games” subsection, we realized that they were mostly on the theme of ADVENTURE rather than the theme of HOME. So we moved the whole subsection, along with Joe’s “History of Videogames” cartoon, to ADVENTURE. That’s why!