The Man Behind the Festival of Books Dinosaur Logo

The illustration crowning this weekend’s LA Times Festival of Books doubles as a jolly green homecoming for USC alum Bob Staake. And who better to paper the in-between years than a reporter for The Daily Trojan?

Staake, who drew cartoons as a non-student for the Trojan for two years before landing a USC scholarship, tells Alexis Driggs that the above illustration came from his unused pile:

Not every image he sketches ends up in a book, such as the image of a dinosaur on the Empire State Building reading a book that he recently re-designed as a dinosaur on top of a stack of books to promote the Festival of Books. Staake said one of his publishers, Random House, asked him to design art for the festival, but there was no question for him that the dinosaur was the right fit.

“The tradition of the whole show is just amazing and then I thought, ‘I’ve got this one image that I think is really perfect,’” he said. “To help out the Los Angeles Times and USC and publishing in any sort of small way, I’d give it up all day long. I’m honored that they would go ahead and have me do this.”

Staake will be at the event this weekend to speak on a panel and sign copies of his latest children’s book at the LA Times booth. It will mark the first time he has been back on campus since moving away to the east coast. Draw on!