A kindred spirit

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - The Mun­dane Ghost, Pasatiempo.

It may be near­ing Hal­loween, but the Mun­dane Ghost has more press­ing mat­ters on his mind than scar­ing trick-or-treaters — he’s got socks to match, bills to pay, and dirty dishes to do. Jef­frey Sch­weitzer is the il­lus­tra­tor and au­thor of The Mun­dane Ghost (Bindle­stick Books), a hard-bound tale for chil­dren and adults. He con­ceived of the hum­drum haunt over a beer with his girl­friend. “We just found it re­ally funny,” he told Pasatiempo. “I tend to be drawn to­ward con­tra­dic­tions. Ghosts are sup­posed to be scary, and they’re not sup­posed to be do­ing ev­ery­day things.” The book is avail­able at the au­thor’s Bindle­stick Stu­dio (616½ Canyon Road, Unit A) or on­line at www.jef­freyschweitzer.com. On the cover is Sch­weitzer’s de­tail il­lus­tra­tion of the Mun­dane Ghost feed­ing pi­geons in the park.

now, the char­ac­ters that artist Jef­frey Sch­weitzer has given life to in his art books, paint­ings, and il­lus­tra­tions could fill a small board­ing­house: the Drifter, the Ec­cen­tric Gen­tle­man, the Wiz­ard, and a love-struck young man pin­ing for the moon. Sch­weitzer’s char­ac­ters are drawn from the same cloth as Every­man. He en­vi­sions them in open-ended nar­ra­tive sit­u­a­tions that lend their tales a sto­ry­book feel, re­plete with rhyming cou­plets. His lat­est cre­ation, the Mun­dane Ghost, is a specter of a kind that wears a sheet with holes for eyes, a ghost who’s not so fright­en­ing, and who, at best, might be able to muster a friendly “Boo!” Per­haps the ghost could de­vote more time to be­ing ter­ri­fy­ing if he didn’t have so many press­ing tasks to ac­com­plish. “The Mun­dane Ghost doesn’t do the scary things you’re used to,” Sch­weitzer’s nar­ra­tive poem reads, “Be­cause he sim­ply has too many dirty dishes to do.”

Sch­weitzer’s new book, is a hard­bound tale for chil­dren and adults told through a se­ries of 10 pen-and-ink il­lus­tra­tions that cover the hum­drum events in the “life” of a char­ac­ter who isn’t so dif­fer­ent than you or me (mi­nus a pulse). His daily ac­tiv­i­ties are run-of-the-mill. He hangs his ghostly sheets on the clothes­line to dry, mows the grass in the ceme­tery, pays his bills on­line, and waits in the queue at the Depart­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles. Sch­weitzer got the idea over a beer with his girl­friend.

“We just found it re­ally funny,” he told “I just started writ­ing down all of the things the Mun­dane Ghost could be do­ing. I tend to be drawn to­ward con­tra­dic­tions. Ghosts are sup­posed to be scary, and they’re not sup­posed to be do­ing ev­ery­day things.” Sch­weitzer pro­duced dozens of im­ages of the ghost but pared them down for the book. “I had a real hard time edit­ing it down, ac­tu­ally,” he said.

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