I am currently at work illustrating the next Jeffrey Bones mystery book, written by David A. Adler.
I like doing these books. Davd Adler has a wonderful, dry sense of humor that still comes through very nicely even though these are simpler texts for younger readers. This humor is especially enjoyable when the story has Jeffrey and his grandfather together.
Right now I am working on Bones book number 7 which takes the pair to an amusement park with a very scary rollercoaster.
SO what am I doing? I am looking at every picture of old roller coasters that I can find so I can to get myself into the amusement park mood and so I can create my own version of a traditional wild ride.
This is pure pleasure for me. I am finding great images online that really bring me back. My happiest memories as a child are those that I have from days spent at amusement parks of yesteryear, many of which are no longer in existence.
Like Olympic Park in New Jersey. I can still see that park and those rides in my mind's eye as though it were yesterday. That was my first roller coaster ride, my first Caterpillar, Wild Mouse, penny arcade, and so on. I also went to Asbury Park, Seaside Heights, Coney Island (though I NEVER, EVER got to go into Steeplechase Park before it closed!), Point Pleasant and several others.
But there is even more fun I am having. I am safely riding coasters again! Here is a great site I came upon, where you can actually take a ride on a roller coaster, courtesy of the magic of video and one brave soul who sat in the front and held a camera. Here is the wild ride I "took" this morning:
After I rode on few more coasters, I looked for nice Merry Go Round videos. This is the prettiest one I found, that also had the wonderful old band organ music:
Then, you can actually ride it:
Of course, I HAD to go on the WHIP (the Whip was right near the roller coaster at Olympic Park). Here is a nice video that starts out with a few historical shots, then turns in to a modern ride on an old attraction:
Then a ride on the Cyclone! There were lots of Cyclone videos, but this one most made me feel like I was really riding on it:
If you continue a search on You Tube there are wonderful amusement park videos to be seen. I saw a few from the 1940's of Coney Island that I will have to go back and watch again another day. This one in particular looked wonderful as well as this one.
Now, back to to work...after I am less dizzy from all that make believe coaster riding!