Breaking News from the Pond ~
Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up,
Meet the Pond Friends and
One Piece At a Time are now available as an E-Book!
LIKE the Pond on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/#!/greenpiecestoons
Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up
E-Book on IPad Kindle App and Kindle- $9.99
Green Pieces Cartoon Studio
September 5, 2011 Release Date
Print - $19.99
Green Pieces Cartoon Studio
January 2011 Release Date
Meet the Pond Friends
E-Book on IPad Kindle App and Kindle- $3.99
Green Pieces Cartoon Studio
June 1, 2012 Release Date
Green Pieces: One Pieces A a Time
E-Book on IPad Kindle App and Kindle- $3.99
Green Pieces Cartoon Studio
June 1, 2012 Release Date
Enjoy Drew’s Article written by the talented David Hurley and his Don’t Eat the Flowers Blog
Tucson Festival of Books
Green Pieces Cartoons Booth 424
Sat., March 10 & Sun., March 11, 2012
University of Arizona Campus, Tucson, AZ
Follow Green Pieces at its BOOTH 424
and at these presentations:
You Too Can Draw: Creating Cartoon Animals
Sat 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Education Building - Room 349
Sustainability: Go Green Issues with Mrs. Green's World
CSPAN Book TV Live Broadcast
Sat 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Koffler - Room 218
Check out Drew's March 10 interview with Mrs. Green's World!
Show: Mrs. Green’s World, a talk radio show about sustainability
Live Streaming: Noon to 1pm Arizona Time every Saturday at
Call-in Number: 855-MGW-TALK (855-649-8255)
Host: Gina Murphy-Darling
About the Host: http://www.mrsgreensworld.com/about/
Cartoons: Laugh a Little, Laugh a Lot
Sat 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
UA Mall Tent
New Possibilities with Cartoons in Books for Kids
Sun 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Education Building - Room 353
Keweenaw Cougar Featured In Comic Strip—January 9
He’s not quite on the A list…but the Keweenaw Cougar is fast becoming a national celebrity.
Captured on multiple trail cameras since his first appearance last fall, the cougar, nicknamed Trekker, has now been spotted in a cartoon series penned by award-winning cartoonist Drew Aquilina.
Aquilina is best known for his Green Pieces cartoon which uses humorous themes to address environmental issues.
The story about our Cougar caught his attention and Aquilina thought he would make a perfect character for a comic strip.
The first cartoon is already penned and Trekker is well on his way to stardom. Aquilina said he could see the cougar’s potential as a cartoon character right away.
You can see the first installment of Green Pieces featuring Trekker on our Keweenaw Report Facebook page and Aquilina’s other cartoons on gocomics.com.
WINNER ~ Comics/Graphic Novel of the Year 2011
2011 London Book Festival ~ annual competition honoring the best of international publishing
WINNER ~ Wildcard Runner Up 2011
2011 New England Book Festival ~ annual competition celebrating the best books of the holiday season
WINNER ~ USA BEST BOOKS 2011 Environment:
Green/Alternative Energy/Conservation Book of the Year
sponsored by USA Book News ~ the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of THE USA “BEST BOOKS 2011” AWARDS on November 1, 2011.
WINNER ~ Comics/Graphic Novel of the Year 2011
2011 Green Book Festival ~ annual competition honoring books that contribute to greater understanding, respect for and positive action on the changing worldwide environment
San Francisco, CA
WINNER ~ Wildcard Book of the Year 2011
2011 Paris Book Festival ~ annual competition honoring international publishing's best and finest
WINNER ~ Comics Runner Up 2011
2011 New York Book Festival ~ annual competition celebrating books deserving recognition from the world's publishing capital
New York, NY
WINNER ~ Wildcard Division ~ Honorable Mention
2011 San Francisco Book Festival ~ annual competition celebrating the best books of the Spring season
San Francisco, CA
Green From the Pond Up FOREWORD by Brian Walker, Hi and Lois ~
"I started working at the Museum of Cartoon Art in 1974, a few months after I graduated from college. On numerous occasions, aspiring cartoonists would bring their work to the Museum, particularly on Sunday afternoons when my father, Mort Walker, was manning the gift counter. I was amazed at how patient Mort was with these young artists. He explained to me that when he was growing up, his father would often take him to the offices of the Kansas City Star. The guys in the art department took the eager kid under their wing and gave him tips on how to improve his drawing. My father was convinced that this encouragement helped him to become a successful cartoonist and felt an obligation to help other young artists in a similar way. This story left a strong impression on me.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, we offered a cartoon course at the Museum and some of our former students went on to pursue successful careers. In the early 1980s, I agreed to give private lessons to a finalist in one of our cartoon contests, Mark Tonra. I took him to meet some of his idols, including Dik Browne, and helped him to produce a short animated film. Mark became a professional magazine cartoonist and eventually sold three different comic strips to three different syndicates. I continued working with young cartoonists in the 1990s, teaching courses in humor writing at Fairfield University in Connecticut and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. This was when Gill Fox introduced me to Drew Aquilina.
At that time, Drew's cartoons were being published in the Danbury News–Times. Drew visited my class at Fairfield U. and Gill and I encouraged him to continue his career. I always told my students that the most important goal when starting out was to get their drawings published, even if they had to work for free. This is how cartoonists learn to communicate with their readers. In the years since I met him, Drew has continued to draw for publication and build his audience.
Drew's technique is now fully developed. His writing is well-paced and conveys a positive, environmental message. The backgrounds depict a realistic locale and the scenery documents the changing seasons. The main cast, Iggy, Radic, Cabby, and Roc, are charming and believable. The humor is warm and genuine. The strips in this book clearly demonstrate Drew's talents as an artist.
Selling a strip to one of the major syndicates is more difficult than it has ever been, but I think Drew has a good chance to achieve national recognition. In the meantime, he has been honing his craft, waiting for his big break. This book is a major step in that direction. I am flattered that he has asked me to write the foreword and I am pleased that I was able to contribute to his progress. As my father taught me many years ago, helping aspiring cartoonists is the least we can do to return the good fortune we have enjoyed working in this wonderful business. I wish Drew success with Green Pieces and I hope he will help other artists who follow in his footsteps."
The Virtual Scribe by Bonnie Lee
The Brainpan by Randy Ford
Miss Bob Etier, Blog Critics
"Bottom Line: Would I buy Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up? Absolutely, especially as a gift for my environmentally conscious friends.
In some ways reminiscent of Pogo and Sherman’s Lagoon, Green Pieces: Green from the Pond Up, is a book of four-panel comic strips that follows the lives of four pond dwellers, Iggy (a claustrophobic turtle), Radic (an annoying dragonfly), Cabby (a bullfrog who is short on legs but long on brainpower), and Roc (a rogue raccoon).
Coming in at a hefty 197 pages, this spiral-bound collection is entertaining while delivering a message about our wild neighbors (no, not the ones upstairs who party all night; wildlife!). One of my favorite comics in Green Pieces: Green from the Pond Up features two male deer who agree they are in a rut fighting over the same does. Clever wordplay is only one aspect of the humor found within the pages of this humorous book aimed at both adult and younger audiences.
Characters in Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up were born when cartoonist Drew Aquilina was in college and shared a dorm room with a turtle named Iggman (hence, “Iggy”) and three lizards. First published in The Collegian, the UMass student paper, the strip was reborn as Green Pieces and published in three Connecticut newspapers.
Although seemingly inspired by Bambi, Aquilina has created characters that suffer from a variety of neuroses and angst. In addition to the four central characters, possums, pigeons, rabbits, crickets, and a plethora of other species make appearances.
For those who enjoy comic strips, there is a variety of humor types (puns, wordplay, slapstick, ironic, and thought-provoking) that will appeal to a large audience. There is an especially sly series of strips about a group called “P.A.N.I.C., Parents Against Nature in Cartoons” that details a lawsuit the group has filed in an effort to put clothing on the characters. Roc, the raccoon, finds an outfit in a dumpster and shows up at the pond in drag, right down to the nylons. Bettie Page, he ain’t."
San Francisco Book Review, October 2010 - by Jennifer LeBrun
"This book should be in every home and every classroom across America."
Sacramento Book Review, October 2010 - by Jennifer LeBrun
Pat McMahon, TV and Radio Host/Award-winning Broadcaster - “At last, a creature strip that takes the place of Pogo in my life. Yes, I know Green Pieces is all about a pond and not a swamp, but that would make you kind of picky, wouldn’t it? I think the book is terrific.” - Pat McMahon - Talk Show Host, AZ-TV and KTAR and recognized authority on environmentally-aware comic strips.
Brooke Bessesen, Children’s Author - “This book is sure to raise environmental awareness… that is, between laughs. It's charming and clever, fresh and funny. A delightful eco-gem! Still, my litany of happy adjectives cannot prepare a reader for the joy of Green Pieces.” - Brooke Bessesen, Children’s Author, Look Who Lives in the Desert! (Ocean!), Zachary Z. Packrat and His Amazing Collections.
Joe DeVito~Famous Comedian - "Drew Aquilina was going green before going green was cool. If you’ve ever wondered what a naked turtle looks like, Green Pieces is the cartoon series for you." ~ www.joedevito.com
Blogger News Network - "Coming Soon: The World Gets To Meet Drew Aquilina and Green Pieces" - Simon Barrett http://www.bloggernews.net/124816
EducationNews.org - http://www.educationnews.org/michael-f-shaughnessy/95914.html
Enjoy the interview with the author conducted by Dr. Michael F. Shaughnessy, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico
Midwest Book Review - "I was not sure what I would find inside the pages of this book, but I soon found myself reading it from cover to cover. Nature is so much a part of all of us whether we realize it or not. In this tale we are taken into the very heart of nature led by some really zany characters. We have lggman, a turtle, Radic, a dragon fly, and one who loves to drive lggman a little crazy. We also have, Cabby, the bullfrog and, Roc, the raccoon. You will see how each one of these guys interact with nature and each other, and the rest of the pond residents and environment. The cartoons absolutely bring these characters to life and the area as well. My favorite was the "Winter." Here we find Igg and Radic stuck under the frozen pond hibernating, that is until Radic has a phobia attack and lgg must take him to the surface. I loved that tale, it was great.
All in all this is a wonderful book, full of top-notch illustrations and adorable characters that will bring nature and the inhabitants alive to you in a superb way. Very well done and highly recommended." - Shirley Johnson/Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review http://www.midwestbookreview.com
The News-Times, Danbury, CT - "A Pond, a Pencil and a Passion" - Hi everyone. Drew Aquilina earns a living — and a pretty good one, at that — making beautiful parks and gardens come to life with his drawings. But the landscape architect doesn’t stop there with his inspired pencil. Aquilina, a 1985 New Milford High graduate, also uses his drawing talent to make “Iggy” the turtle and other pond creatures come to life in “Green pieces,” his award-winning cartoon strip headed to a bookstore near you. With a launch date set for January 2011, Aquilina is back home this week visiting friends and family, and promoting his book, “Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up.” The animated volume boasts more than 350 of Aquilina’s cartoons, many of which date back to the early 1990s, when “Green pieces” was a regular feature in The News-Times. “I love nature and I love to draw and I love to make people laugh,” Aquilina said Thursday from his hotel room in Farmington. “These were cartoons I wrote back in 1992, 1993, 1994, so it amazes me they’re still kind of relevant and people are enjoying them.” But for a long time — a very long time — Aquilina’s drawings might as well have been cave drawings. The original artwork hibernated underneath his bed in Arizona, where Aquilina lives with his wife, Lisa. “I hadn’t forgotten about them, but in a way I had,” said Aquilina, 43. “Lisa was looking for something under the bed about a couple of years ago and she just pulled them out. She didn’t know what they were at first. “I had shown her the cartoons when we first met, but these were the original (storyboards). She started looking through them and she told me, ‘You have to make a book out of these.’ So that’s where we are today.” To read more about Drew Aquilina and his debut book, check out my “Take on Life” column Friday. Only in the print edition of The News-Times." Brian Koonz, Take On Life, On Life in greater Danbury, CT
BookPleasures.com - "As a reviewer, Green Pieces was a delightful surprise. I was not expecting much from a book of cartoons telling an important ecological story, but it did and held my interest from beginning to end. The cartoons are in a black and white - pen and ink format. I actually feel this was a better choice than color because of the ability to focus more easily on the story and information imparted.
The story begins by introducing us to the four main characters that inhabit the pond, Iggy (the cautious clever turtle) Radic (pesky but lovable dragonfly) Cabby (a genetically altered bullfrog) and Roc (the intuitive neighborhood raccoon).
We travel with these characters through the seasons of the year, learning where they live, how they live and how each one adjusts to the environment they are given. The author cleverly weaves humor and important factual information into his seasonal stories. We learn the common predators of the grey squirrel, that T-Rex lived during the Cretaceous period and that raccoons hunt for garbage at night while sleeping during the day.
The print is large enough for younger children to read easily, however, some of the language and concepts are more suited to children eight and up. There are many sound words used throughout the book which for many reluctant readers will peak their interest. This would make a great non-textbook approach for teachers in a tutorial situation or reading facilitators in an academic setting.
I would highly recommend Green Pieces as a fun cartoon book laced with scientific information on habitats, animals and the seasonal challenges they experience." Eileen Hanley, BookPleasures.com
Simply Stacie - "This collection of cartoons is something special. Covering environmental issues and the day to day life of animals living at a pond. There is a claustrophobic turtle named Iggy, a party loving raccoon named Roc, Cabby the mutant genius bullfrog and an annoying dragonfly named Radic. Together they interact with other wildlife and try to survive the damage that humans wreak on their habitat. My eight-year-old son was reading this book and asked if he could put a bookmark in it so he wouldn’t lose his place. Loved it!" Stacie, Nova Scotia, Canada
William D. Mast, Picture the World - “As a photographer, I capture 'in the moment views' of nature. Looking inside, Drew's Green From the Pond Up creates a "humanized" image of nature's creatures. His cartoons give insightful, yet colorful, characterizations as vivid as those pictured on film. BRAVO! You 'Drew' me into your world!" - William D. Mast, Renowned Travel Photographer, Mesa, AZ 480-854-1825
Aisle B, PK Reeves - "Drew Aquilina has gathered together some of his best cartoons in this collection. I would have to say that the animal world is well represented and not limited to just the characters named above. We encounter the gamut: birds, trees, bats, horses, deer, cats, dogs, etc. ~ all cleverly done with a comical portrayal of life in the animal burbs.
Some of my favourites contained signs that people don’t often encounter when seeing a deer cross and absolutely loved the commercial showcasing the “are you losing your antlers due to poor diet or stress” (excerpt Green Pieces- Green from the Pond Up, page 133).
The cartoon's simplicity is its winning factor. Its humour will be enjoyed by young adults and their parents. Kids will enjoy it for the drawings but the parents will enjoy the humour as representative of our times in this banal world. I have to endorse the bats most ... ."
http://aisleb.tumblr.com/post/798540703/green-pieces-green-from-the-pond-up Review will also be posted on Goodreads, Amazon.ca.
Journey of a Bookseller - "Do you like cartoons? How about laughing out loud? This book will make you do that. This collection of cartoons is published by Five Star Publications (thanks for the review copy) and is suitable for both young adults and adults. His cartoon characters are cute, quite human in their responses, and quite silly sometimes. The basic underlying theme is to stress environmental protection and show you how even the smallest ecological change can affect the animals in the pond.
Iggy (Iggman) the turtle who is happy with the simple life, Radic the dragonfly who is radical, Cabby the frog whose DNA changed while he a tadpole and now he's super smart (and a bit unhinged), and Roc the raccoon. I have to admit Roc is my favorite character. He's big bad boy who steals his food just like real raccoons do and he's always in trouble. The messages are subtle and mixed with enough humor it's fun to read the cartoons. Who knows what the mixed up group from the pond will do next?" - Jo Ann Hakola, Journey of a Bookseller
TheZenofMotherhood Blogspot - "The cartoons are clever, eco-themed, educational, and slightly edgy."
Thebrainpan.wordpress.com - “It’s wonderful. Nicely done. I’m enjoying the cartoon strip. What fun and how timely. I can see your loving hand. Keep it up.” - Randy Ford, Playwright
Musings of a Book Addict - "This is a book that I can't wait to share with students and recommend to all of my adult friends. I look forward reading more by this author. I would recommend you check out his [web]site." - Sandra Stiles
A Moment with Mystee - "Very fresh and fun with characters you'll just have to love. A must read for all ages."
A Blog of Books - "Green Pieces is a delightful romp in another world. Well, to be exact it is a pond, not another world. I have always like comics geared towards adults that were a mix of easy sass, with a deeper meaning thrown in. This book reminded me of some of my favorites, Tom Tomorrow, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. The four main inhabitants of the wetland find some new some new and humorous adventure every day." http://ablogofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/07/green-pieces-green-from-pond-up.html
Mom's Not All - Rayna
The Book Worm - “This book is a great way to educate the public, especially children, about the importance of protecting nature rather than harming it. I would definitely recommend parents to buy this book for their children and teachers to buy it for their classrooms.”
Turning Back the Clock - “I found this collection of cartoons quite amusing. The author does a wonderful job of introducing each character and highlighting their unique personalities ... Some of the strips had me laughing out loud, hilarious ... This was a great way to pass the time, curled up in a chair with a cup of coffee."
Carol's Notebook - "Led by a claustrophobic turtle named Iggman, the action picks up once humans leave the scene. Iggy and his friends including an annoying dragonfly, Radic, an omnipotent techno-bullfrog, Cabby, and a rogue raccoon, Roc, give us an entertaining perspective on nature. While for me the cartoons were not laugh-out loud funny, I may be in the minority, and I certainly see the value of the collection. It’s a fun way of increasing awareness about the environment, of teaching kids, and adults, to respect nature, seeing the world from the viewpoint of these quirky characters. Laughing and learning are a great combo. And the strips are amusing. I especially loved Iggy; he and his shell manage to get into all kinds of situations." http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/green-pieces-by-drew-aquilina/
I received my advance review copy from the author and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate. Carol
TCM Reviews - "Green Pieces was described as a book that depicts life at a pond through typical pond inhabitants. In this case, the four main characters are Igg (a turtle), Radic (a dragonfly), Cabby (a frog), and Roc (a raccoon). These anthropomorphic creatures, according to the description, were to convey a Green message that was humorous, and suitable for children. The main characters are indeed endearing, and live in (or around) a pond. The cartoon strips indeed have a green slant, and a sense of humor runs throughout the book.Human impact on the environment (both positive and negative) are caricatured leaving the reader both smiling and questioning our treatment of the environment. In addition to human impact on the environment, there are other strips that focus on other topics such as outer space exploration, aliens, mating (and male-female relationships), time travel, and cancer research. Some cartoon strips also take a jab at truly human preoccupations (through anthropomorphic animal agents). These include combating hair loss, cable TV programming, scandals, family law, obesity, and interracial (cross-species) relations.Aesop’s fables, Jack and Jill, and Thanksgiving all make special appearances as well. The book is divided into four parts, each dedicated to a season. Each part contains several comic strips with its disparate topics and characters. It would be nice if each “story” had a title, and the layout would clearly separate the various stories. The cartoon strips were not in color, however as this was a review copy, I assume the final publication would be in color. The primary audience is adults, while some strips may be suitable for children. The book does have a humorous streak throughout all the comic strips. While some topics on nature are illustrated, other topics are also thrown into the mix."
Just a Mom, Reading to my Kids - "This cartoon compilation is by Drew Aquilina, and it is VERY funny! I received an advanced review copy in the mail and was very pleased with the complete package: character descriptions, publishing information and contacts, even an order form. The characters are funny. The cartoons are entertaining. And you even learn a little bit about nature in the process of reading it. When I read the synopsis and the description of each character I kept thinking that this book would be boring, because it’s all about being green and keeping nature safe. Well, that’s true, it was about all of that, but it was also very funny. I like to describe it as a Calvin and Hobbes type cartoon book, that doesn’t follow the same story the whole time, but keeps you intrigued enough to continue reading. I have a few reservations about this book. It has a little bit of crude humor. Nothing very bad, but I wouldn’t suggest it for kids. Come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t suggest it for kids anyway, maybe ages 10 and up? Anyway, it’s a fun book and I think you should keep your eyes open for it!"
Words from the Tampa Bookworm - “These environmental cartoons are perfect to teach school children about respecting the environment. While for me the cartoons were not laugh-out-loud funny, I certainly see the value of the collection. It’s a fun way of increasing awareness about the environment, of teaching kids, and adults, to respect nature. I especially loved Iggy the turtle; he and his shell manage to get into all kinds of situations.” - Laura Chamberlain, Tampa Bookworm
Tubac Villager - “In Green Pieces, cartoonist, Drew Aquilina transports readers to the rich ecosystem of his mind, welcoming us to the Pond where his cast of animal characters interact in a world ruled by the seasons. Aquilina's whimsical and clever cartoon strips are entertaining and thoughtful with creative illustrations that will help bring you out of your shell with a smile.” - Joseph Birkett, Publisher/Editor - Tubac Villager
Becky Reyes, Singer/songwriter - "Spring, summer, fall or winter, life at the pond is full of fun, facts and mischief. Green Pieces reminds us, often with hilarious results, that we share this world, and would be wise to keep it Green from the Pond Up." - Rio Rico, Arizona http://www.beckyreyes.com/home.html
Smart Book Reviews - "A compilation of cartoons, these strips are organized in such a fashion that they actually tell a story and have some sort of order. The four parts of the book--spring, summer, fall, and winter--make it easy for the book to be read in sections. The main characters are a turtle, dragonfly, frog, and raccoon. However, other animals appear [like rabbits, deer, squirrels, and birds]. Every now and then, hard science facts will appear to teach the reader something about nature. Other bits of information are more subtle (like hibernation and predator / prey interactions). While cute and adorable, some things that buyers should know before giving this to children are as follows: smoking depicted by animal, animals pecking on the lips, and evolution mentioned. All in all, this series is facetious." Teresa Konopka
Thoughts from Educators and Authors nationwide:
"Drew can draw. He has also accomplished the unlikely and made ecological commentary likeable. His collection of pond parables touch lightly and yet still makes waves. Dive into 'Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up' and you will come out smiling."
- Gary Isaacson, Author, "Game Over" 2007 / "Crude Customs" July 2010
"Green Pieces is a beautifully rendered book of cartoons featuring four delightful anthropomorphic characters and their experiences through the four seasons in a wetlands environment. Light humor and luscious cartoon drawings combine with serious environmental concerns and solid lessons about nature. This is by far the most entertaining and instructive cartoon book I’ve ever encountered and, as such, is a ‘must have’ for children of all ages, school libraries and ‘young at heart’ adults.”
- Dr. Jana S. Eaton, Educator, Artist and Author of numerous academic publications, Green Valley, AZ
"This book is an easy avenue that allows me to take adventures “FROM THE POND” into my classroom. Teaching my special needs students an awareness of ecology and an attentiveness to the environment is always a challenge. The characters in this book are relatable to both young and old and the situations are springboards to discussion. Even my non-readers want to look and learn from the adventures of Iggy, Radic, Cabby and Roc."
- Elyse Blum, Exceptional Education Teacher, Hialeah High School, Hialeah, Florida
“Wit and whimsy can lead to wisdom or at least awareness. In “Green Pieces,” Drew Aquilina skillfully uses cartoon humor to parody human foibles and tweak consciousness of nature and our environment.”
- Marge Hanley, Retired Writer/Educator, The Indianapolis News, Green Valley, AZ
“This collection of cartoons is a must for young and old. Iggy (the turtle with the claustrophobic problem) and his friends are delightful characters who inspire, inform and elate. Their 'human' problems will resonate with all readers. Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up is an outstanding compilation as witnessed by the uniqueness of the animal creatures and the situations in which they find themselves involved. I love to imagine myself as part of the Pond friends and would enjoy their many antics first hand. I am confident parents and children alike will agree."
- Theresa Eberhard Asch, Educator, Danbury, CT