Award-winning writer, graphic artist, designer, and educator.
Okay, so what about me?
I am an entertainer of some kind, I suppose, but my tools are words and images, sometimes both. Is there a name for that? Digital humorist? Sit-down comedian?
Whatever you call it, I believe that the way to learn and live and know is through the fun portal in the brain, which is just to the left of the Chasm of Irony, by the way.
On the writing side, I am the author of 9 mystery novels, 5 interactive mysteries, 3 books of illustrated fiction, and 5 non-fiction essay collections, including essays on the lighter side of technology that first appeared in Newsweek and in The New York Times. My writing has won a bunch of awards over the years.
I am also the writer and designer of 30 mystery jigsaw puzzles – a unique combination of mystery short story and jigsaw game – with more than a million fans.
On the art side, I am a cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator, and graphic artist. My work has appeared in Harper’s, Utne Reader, the Daily News, The New York Times, and many other magazines, books, and publications.
I was an Art Director at an ad agency for many years and then an interactive and game designer creating scores of card, board, and digital games for a variety of companies, including a bestselling mystery game called Master Criminals! My graphic puzzles appeared regularly in Games Magazine for a decade.
The graphic art also includes videos (check out my Youtube channel with over 9 million hits), interactive books, and digital art.
Along the way, I have also been a teacher of art, design, and visual communication. I started in the New York City public schools, then went to Kean University in New Jersey where I served as the Janet Estabrook Rogers Professor of Visual and Performing Arts. I was the founding director there of The Design Center, working with students to produce exhibitions, publications, and unique products which also won many awards including a Sappi Ideas That Matter grant for the Talk-Chart - a visual communications device for patients - now used in hundreds of hospitals across the country.
My work with students has been featured in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, and many other news outlets.
Finally, I make presentations at conferences, educational institutions, and museums on the topics of visual literacy, understanding images, creativity, and design.
Overall, I love making things that entertain, and also enlighten, inform, and amuse. Books, essays, cartoons, lectures, videos...the format does not matter. The making does. I would think of all this as a kind of amuser l’esprit – amusements for the mind and eye – except that I am pretty sure that I made that phrase up.
But enough about me…what are you up to?