Known for his spontaneous, high-energy
visual style, Bob Staake's humorous illustrations and
cartoons appear in everything from magazines to books, animation
to greeting cards, advertising to newspapers, cereal boxes to
His clients have included
Time Inc, McDonald's, American Express, Sony, United Airlines,
Nickelodeon, Sports Illustrated For Kids, Ralston Purina, Hallmark
Cards, Kenner Toys, The Washington Post, AT&T, Sega, TWA,
Dr.Pepper, The Chicago Tribune, Good Humor, Warner Books, Kellogg's,
Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting, The Wall Street Journal,
Netscape, Forbes, Simon and Schuster, The Ren and Stimpy Show,
MAD, Children's Television Workshop, Blockbuster Video, Disney,
Anheuser-Busch, Doubleday, Klutz Press, Hershey's, Target Stores,
Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Fleishman-Hillard,
DMBB, and countless others.
He has authored and/or
illustrated over 30 books, including Headlines (written
by Jay Leno, illustrated by Staake), The Complete Book Of
Caricature and The Complete Book Of Humorous Art (both
authored by Staake).The recipient of numerous awards, Staake
recently won the National Cartoonist Society's coveted 'Reuben
Division Award' as Best Cartoonist in the category of Newspaper
Staake has appeared on
Good Morning America, Sally Jessy Raphael, Entertainment Tonight,
The Family Channel, National Public Radio, CNN, and has been
interviewed by TIME, People, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles
Times, USA Today, and other national publications.
Staake is the founder
of PlanetCartoonist.com. He resides and works in Chatham, Massachusetts.
Click here to enter Bob's web site
The Hello Robots Interview Author
and Illustrator Bob Staake:
Blink and Zinc, Blip and Zip were visiting Cape Cod this summer, and they
thought they would stop by to say hello to their creator, children's
book illustrator/author Bob Staake.
Luckily, it was a sunny day in Massachusetts, so the robots didn't
have to worry about getting caught in a thunderstorm (remember
what happened to the robots when the lightning and rain came
down in Hello Robots?)
They all sat under the big Hawthorne
tree in Mr. Staake's backyard and ate a lovely lunch of chocolate
tarts, raspberry tea and metal bolts.
It's been a long time since we last saw you, Mr. Staake.
Staake: Please don't call me 'Mr. Staake', Blink.
My friends call me 'Bob', though you four are the ONLY friends
I have who are made entirely of metal.
Well then, 'Bob' ... how have you been?
I've been fantastic. I worked hard during this cold winter on
Cape Cod creating the four of you, but I have to say it never
really felt like 'work'. You guys were originally made by me
on an Apple computer using a program called Photoshop. I don't
think I've ever had more fun creating any characters for a children's
book. In fact, this was the first book I produced completely
in Chatham, Massachusetts.
So, Bob ... Am I your favorite Hello Robot?
I can't pick a favorite, Zinc. ALL four of you have personality traits that
are the same as mine. I love to cook like Blink, and enjoy
building and repairing things like you, Zinc. It seems
like I'm always puttering around the yard and garden like Blip,
and when you work at home like I do, it seems like I'm always
cleaning something up -- just like Zip. I'm a little
like all of you, and you're all a little like me.
What came first with Hello Robots: The story or the pictures?
The story. I sat down and wanted to create a children's picture
book built around the concept of a family of robots that all
had to work together to accomplish things and to solve problems.
Writing the story took maybe a couple days, but illustrating
the entire book required about a solid month of work.
Did anybody else help you on the book?
Well, creating a children's book is always a group effort, and
I'm so lucky to work with so many wonderful people at Viking,
the folks who published Hello Robots. Regina Hayes
(my publisher) was the one who agreed to publish Hello
Robots in the first place, Joy Peskin (my editor)
supported me throughout the entire process of completing the
book, Denise Cronin (my art director) gave me the freedom
to make the artwork in the book big, bright and colorful.
I heard that when Hello Robots was first printed, my teeth were
green. Is that true?
Yes it is, Zip. We received what are called "proofs"
from the printer in Hong Kong and we were all shocked to see
that your teeth weren't yellow, but a weird shade of green. You
looked as if you had been eating a lime popsicle for 96 hours
straight. If it hadn't been for Jim Hoover (my assistant
art director), that problem wouldn't have been fixed. Jim is
a really great art director, but he's apparently just as good
of a dental hygienist.
Hey, there's something I always wanted to ask you: Why did you
make us all different colors?
That's easy, Zinc. I wanted to make sure that your colors matched
your specific talents. I made Blink red because
that's the color of heat from a stove. I made you
blue because you're sort of a 'blue collar' working class robot.
Blip was made green like the plants and grass that
he cares for, and Zip is yellow -- just like the clean and fresh scent
of a lemon.
That's good to know. I thought you made me yellow for another
I think you should do an entire picture book based on me. You
know, like 'Blink Overcooks The Meatloaf'
or 'Blink And The Kitchen Grease Fire Incident'.
Don't tempt me, Blink.
Your yard is absolutely spectacular, Bob. Who cuts your lawn?
We have a caretaker named Ed. Hey, could we get back to this
Important question, Bob: In Hello Robots, you see me using all
sorts of tools -- from drills to hammers, saws to screwdrivers.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what's the ONE tool
you wouldn't want to be without?
That's easy. A Swiss Army Knife.
What new books are you working on?
I'm actually working on four at the same time, Blink
-- and one is a contemporary version of the classic 19th century
German morality fables, Der Struwwelpeter.
Okay, guys. Time to get back to work. I'm sure you robots have
plenty of stuff to do. See you in the next Hello Robots
Zinc: Really?! They're coming out with a second
Hello Robots book?
Not unless you guys get out there and sell the first book!
+ Order other Bob Staake books. click
+ See how Hello Robots was created. click here
+ Book Reviewers amd
Media Sources. click
+ Download a hi-res illustration
for reprint/web. click
+ Link to HelloRobots.com with these web-ready
+ Learn more about Bob
+ Request info on subsidiary rights and
for Hello Robots. click
+ Schedule a talk/presentation by the author/illustrator.
- Hello, Robots
- by Bob
Fall 2004 by Viking Children's Books
- 32 Pages 10"x10"
- Full Color
- ISBN 0670059056
- BUY it Now
high-energy picture book goes a long way on a little plot, thanks
to a clean graphic style, a staccato rhyming text, and a surefire
kid-pleaser of a subject. Young robot fans will thrill to this
simple tale, and the strong rhythm of the text makes it an ideal
candidate for storytimes".
- - School
computer-enhanced artwork that features crisp geometric shapes
and Technicolor hues -- thoughtfully designed, right down to
the diamond-encrusted endpapers."
- - Booklist
charming rhyme ... chock-full of funny visual details with a
thumping rhythm that make this an excellent read-aloud."
- - Kirkus
Staake's bold, graphic art style is perfectly suited to the futuristic
subjects of his clever, humorous story."
- - Amazon.com
Staake's modern, crisp illustrations ... practically jump off
- - Publisher's
illustrations (are) a stylistic collision of Russian constructivism
and pop art that explode with energy playing off of basic geometric
shapes and angles and swimming in saturated colors."
- - Publishers
- + Order
other books by Bob Staake
to Hello Robots -- a 2004 nominee for the Society of
Illustrators prestigious 'Original
celebrating the fine art of children's book illustration!.
our Fun + Games area!
Hello Robots was created as a children's book!
|From the writing of the story to the sketching
of the pages, from the creation of color artwork to
the printing of the pages, the process of creating a picture
book is complex. Go behind the scenes of Hello Robots
to see how the book came to be! Click here
|So, you think you really know the Hello Robots?
Then test your robo-knowledge and take our ten question quiz!
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