Welcome to Small Saves “Behind the Mask” Newszine.This week I’d like to showcase the Small Saves books.
The first book, “Goalie on Vacation”, was published in 2014. It features many of the earlier Small Saves cartoons, including some that appeared on NHL.com in 2001, and Goalies’ World Magazine throughout it’s run. I’ll never forget getting the first “proof sample” in the mail! I was so happy with the way it came out. From the glossy cover to the full-color pages inside.
With much more cartoons in my collection, I put out the second book, “Renegade Goaltender.” To see my body of work professionally presented in book form was truly wonderful. I had more cartoons, but not yet enough for a third book, so “Where’s My Defense?” had to wait until I met my cartoon quota.
Around this time, I had an idea for a Small Saves Storybook. Years earlier, I had written a small ode to goaltending called “The Goaltenders’ Union.” My mom always called it “The Creed.” So, when I adapted it to storybook form, I combined the titles and “The Goaltenders’ Creed” was born. I’m so very proud of this book. I can so very easily see it as a half-hour TV special. See, in this story, Small Saves is having a rough game. When it’s over, he stays behind in the locker room long after his teammates have left. A fog from the ice surface calls to him and he makes his way out into the now-darkened arena. Skating around in silence, he exclaims that “Nobody knows what it’s like to be a goaltender. From out of the darkness comes a reply… Goaltenders from days gone by appear out of the fog to help the little goalie understand his journey as a netminder. Although it is a children’s book, the story, I feel, is quite powerful. It’s not your typical formatted story. I also make sure that my character, although a cartoon, stays within the rules of reality.
With this format properly heeded, the next two storybooks, “When the Game Calls”, and The Day the Dinosaurs Played Hockey” followed. Each book means something very special to me. “When the Game Calls” touches upon our passion to be on the ice to play hockey. There is such a special feeling when you gear up and jump onto the ice. In this story, I capture the essence of being on the ice simply for the love of the game. There is no last-second come from behind big win or winning a title. It’s the love of hockey stripped down to its heart and soul.
“The Day the Dinosaurs Played Hockey” is a combination of my love for hockey… and dinosaurs! Keeping reality in check, Small Saves is visited by the prehistoric animals while in the twilight of sleep. It’s a wonderful story of that I feel could also very easily be made into a half-hour TV special.
So, just how do I get Small Saves from my pages onto the screen? I must be honest, I just don’t know. I can read aloud the books (accompanied by the drawings) on YouTube in hopes someone sees them.
While writing my books (and having so much fun illustrating them), the next collection of Small Saves cartoons were stockpiling to where I came out with his fourth cartoon collection book, “SAVE!” This book has all the latest cartoons and I have some of my personal favorites in there.
So, if you haven’t had a chance to see his books, Please come by to his website at www.smallsaves.com and check under our “Books” section to get the one(s) you like.
This year I have two more storybooks that I will write, and hopefully one will be in print by Fall. The next cartoon collection book is about a year away, but I already have about 8 pages worth.
I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read Small Saves’ cartoons. Knowing he put a smile on your face means so much to me. When I see him painted on a mask or drawn in a notebook, or just mentioned confirms the feeling that I am heading in the right direction. Dreams are not easy to pursue, but if you love something enough, there is never a second guess. That’s how I feel about Small saves ever since I drew him for the first time in 1991.
Jay (and Small Saves!)