Marilyn Hafner, "The Goblin", from Jack Prelutsky, "It's Halloween!"
I made this marker and ink drawing (it's a tiny thing, maybe 5" high) while I was living in Rome. My friend Emily and I had taken a day trip to Viterbo, where we encountered this 12th-century church with an altarpiece with Jesus. Jesus was oddly perched on the altar, as if he were sitting in a tree. I may have cracked a joke about it, but the gears started whirring.
It reminded me of a poem called "The Goblin" by Jack Prelutsky, from his book "It's Halloween!" Read below, it's delightful and evocative.
There's a goblin as green as a goblin can be.
Who is sitting outside and is waiting for me.
When he knocked on my door and said softly,
I answered, "No thank you, now please, go away!"
But the goblin as green as a goblin can be
Is still sitting outside and is waiting for me.
In this poem, a spectacled, pale green goblin perches on the tree branch outside of a kid's window at nighttime. It was a picture brought to life by the delightful Marylin Hafner. Her drawings are the very essence of Halloween to me. It always gave my brother Chris the creeps, but he loved it, too.
I had a green marker and a red marker on hand (pitiful, but when you pack for a year out of two suitcases, this is what happens) and I began conceiving of the picture. I imagine Chris as a child, peering out into a green-sky night. Instead of the goblin, it's that weird Jesus from the altar, only with green skin. Of course, our toy Godzilla, complete with ejectable fist, stands on the windowsill. It's one of my odder pictures, but I love the weirdness of it.