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Bisson and Rucker: “Billy’s Picture Book” 2010

[As of 2020 this 2010 page was obsolete and I’ve updated it. I reissued Terry Bisson’s Billy’s Book in 2020. See the 2020 blog page for new links.]

In our never-ceasing quest to shock and enlighten the world at large, Terry Bisson and I are releasing illustrated print and ebook…see the revised 2020 Billy’s Book page for Terry’s incredible collection of tales, sometimes known as Billy’s Book, but also as Billy’s Picture Book, thanks to some painted illos I created for it.

Billy’s Picture Book contains Terry Bisson’s thirteen off-kilter tales about an eager lad named Billy—including “Billy and the Spacemen,” “Billy and the Ants,” “Billy and the Talking Plant,” and more. The tales are like Zen parables, with an odd, rollicking humor. Rounded out by my surreal painted illustrations, Billy’s Picture Book is the book your inner child needs.

You can still find the original, non-illustrated, out-of-print, highly collectible PS Books edition from resellers.

Geek and ye shall find.

Oh, and the new edition uses Mikado font and not Comic Sans.

6 Responses to “Bisson and Rucker: “Billy’s Picture Book” 2010”

  1. Rudy Says:

    Terry thought it would be nice to use a child-like font for our “kids’ book,” so he hit on the Microsoft Comic San Serif font, which seemed to us to look pretty good.

    But now I’m learning, from two reader comments on boingboing, that Comic Sans is despised by some—see the article about it in Wikipedia. There’s even a whole anti-Comic-Sans site, Ban Comic Sans.

    I nosed aroudn for similar fonts with less baggage, and found a lot of comic-type fonts on-line. I’m almost tempted to change to DaveGibbonsLower, which costs $39 on the Comicbookfonts site. I’m still thinking that one over. Maybe I should just let it be.

    Terry’s not worried about this at all. He’s off camping in the Sierras. He suggests I relax and post the following message (which has to be taken with an understanding of Terry’s Mad Magazine sense of humor).

    To our readers:

    We agree that Comic Sans font is stupid.
    We figured you’d like it because you’re stupid.
    Like us.

    RR & TB

    Thanks for that, Terry.

    In any case, we had 1,300 downloads of the Billy’s Picture Book PDF file on the first day, and 2,700 in the first week, which is good. I do think Terry’s writing and thinking in this book is amazing and Zen-like, which is why I invested the time to spread his mind-memes.

    You have to be smart to get so stupid…

  2. Bill Says:

    Thank you both so much for this! I’m a big fan of both your work and I’ve loved the Billy stories forever–maybe because I’m stupid. Dr. Rucker, your artwork is sublimely surreal! Thank you both again!


    PS: The Sierras are stupid.

  3. chewy Says:

    “You have to be smart to get so stupid…” – (big smile) I agree.

    I chose Comic Sans for the interior of my children’s book too. Prior to self-publishing I had read some discussions from the anti-Comic Sans camp and debated with myself for a little while over my selection. I have the font, it fits the style of my book, it’s easy to read by children and it looks handwritten. Besides… my market is children and their parents… who aren’t really concerned about typefaces.

    (running off to check out the free ebook) Thanks!

  4. Isabel Says:

    This is awesome!!! The paintings are great! I’m downloading the book right now and look forward to reading. I love fairy tales.

  5. Jeff Says:

    I just read the first two stories. Definitely not for kids. I’m getting goosebumps from each story. I’m a little confused about the second story, Billy and the Fairy. Is Billy crazy? Schizo? Help me.

  6. Rudy Says:

    Glad you’re enjoying the stories, Jeff. No, they’re not really for kids, although some slightly older kids probably would enjoy them. Is Billy crazy? No, he’s just a kid with a good imagination who happens to be living in a world created by Terry Bisson, a science-fiction writer who IS crazy. Or at least rather unusual.

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