As you can see from the illustration to the side (borrowed from his excellent blog), Dan Santat is a whimsical illustrator. I am all about the cartoon animators whose style is just plain fun, and Santat delivers on that score, absolutely. He’s also a writer/creator in his own right for both television and print.
I first came across his work when the Disney Channel debuted their new series The Replacements this past September. My kids assured me that Todd and Riley (the show’s featured siblings) were “so funny,” and I had to agree. If you haven’t seen the show yet (and why haven’t you?), here’s a brief synopsis:
The Replacements follows the adventures of two siblings named Todd and Riley. One day while cleaning up their orphanage (as it defines in the theme song), they find a comic book with an ad by a company named Fleemco. The ad states that for only $1.98 any person will get access to ‘the replacements,’ people that replace current adults in the life of whomever needs or wants it. Todd and Riley get new parents from Fleemco. Their father is Dick Daring, a world famous stuntman, and their mother is Agent K, a British super-spy.
Naturally, I was pleased to read yesterday that The Replacements has been approved for a second season, and the news prompted me to go visit Santat’s aforementioned blog and realize that this is a very busy man. How have I previously missed all of the neat stuff he’s working on? Where have I been? (Answer: Possibly raising my children and working, but that’s neither here nor there.)
In addition to writing and illustrating Guild of Genuises—a lauded title that I will be adding to our library as soon as possible—he’s been illustrating The Secret Life of Walter Kitty and the Otto Undercover series of books by Rhea Perlman. (Yeah. That Rhea Perlman.)
I’m just so delighted to have found his quirky style outside of the television, and suspect my kids and I will soon be Guild and Otto devotees.
Go on, check out Dan Santat. I dare you to watch or read his work and not feel cheerful.