Solon, Ohio – Ron Hill says he’s always been a fan of Dr. Seuss, a children’s book author and illustrator known for simple rhyming books for beginning readers.
“I think his drawings have been a huge influence on me since, like elementary school,” said Hill, a cartoonist and illustrator from Solon.
Hill’s latest book honors Dr. Seuss. The title, “One Bird Two Birds Red Bird BluesBird,” was inspired by Dr. Seuss’ 1960 children’s book “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”
“One Bird Two Birds Red Bird BluesBird” features every editorial cartoon that Hill published last year, as well as 26 pages of Hill’s poetry and art that parodies the work of Dr. Seuss.
“I tried to use this story to introduce each section of the book,” he said. “For example, five pages (a parody of Dr. Seuss) on climate change had local implications for it.”
Hill, 60, also mocked the yellow cover of “One Fish Two Red Fish Blue Fish” by creating a similarly designed yellow cover for his book.
“One Bird Two Birds Red Bird BluesBird” is Hill’s fourth compilation of editorial cartoons, all published by Act 3, a media company specializing in corporate communications and book publishing.
The 150-page book was published in March.
A book launch event — both in person and via Zoom — is set for 5-7 p.m. May 24 at Act 3 Studio, located in the Fairhill Partners building at 12200 Fairhill Road in Cleveland.
As was the case in 2020, B.B. BluesBird — a character created by Hill in 2004 — has appeared in every editorial cartoon that Hill published last year in four Northeast Ohio newspapers featuring his work.
As managing partner of Act 3 since 2016, Hill has compiled every editorial animation as of 2020 in his third book “BB BluesBird and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year” published in January 2021 .
He said he continued to feature BB BluesBird – a brave little bird who dreams of becoming a blues musician – in his cartoons because he loves him, and because his readers and editors have responded positively to the character.
“At the end of the day, you have to be happy and enjoy what you are doing,” he said. “That’s why I kept (BB BluesBird) around the corner. And it has continued so far (until this year).”
As in Hill’s previous book, COVID-19 is a prevalent topic in his new collection as well. Other core topics covered include climate change, social justice, and politics.
“Politics – the additional split between the right and the left – played out in a big way, especially after January 6 (rebellion),” he said.
Hill said his wife, Margie, suggested adding pages of new material — a parody of Dr. Seuss’s work — to the editorial cartoons already published.
He said, “We were working on the book (last fall), and I asked Margie, ‘Are you going to write new things? “This is where the idea came from.
“Otherwise, this book would have been far less in terms of number of pages and impact.”
The book also includes an introduction by Mike Polk Jr., a comedian and actor based in Cleveland, and a foreword by Dave Coverley, cartoonist and creator of the solo comedy “Speed Bump,” who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The book’s May 24th launch will also include an art display of 15 of Hill’s paintings by B.B. BluesBird. All Hill books will be available for purchase. There will also be light refreshments, contests and giveaways.
One award will be a newly published compilation of every BB BluesBird web comic that Hill created with local cartoonist and comic book artist Gary Dumm in 2012 and 2013.
Those who cannot attend in person can join via Zoom at 5:45 p.m. The Zoom link will be available on the home page of the Act 3 website, act3creative.com.
A native of Cleveland, Hill was raised in Solon and has lived in the city since 1969. The Solon High School graduate received an associate’s degree in Visual Communication from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Hill and Margie have three sons and three granddaughters.
“One Bird Two Birds Red Bird BluesBird” retails for $19.95 and is available for purchase on the Act 3 website, Amazon, and some local independent bookstores.
Read more from Tchgren Solon Sun.