A kindred spirit
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.