Well Read

Dive into fascinating books by Maverick authors

Snot Goblins book cover


David DeGrand (’03 BFA) has always been drawn to the sillier side of art. In fact, he first began finding his footing as an artist in his fifth-grade art class after drawing a comic strip as part of an assignment.

Before long, DeGrand had filled up notebooks and sketchbooks with what he calls his “weird ideas and silly art,” saying, “I just fell in love with it.”

Over the years, DeGrand’s style evolved along with his interests, but his discovery of MAD Magazine, The Simpsons, and The Ren and Stimpy Show dramatically changed the way he drew. His unique style has led to some amazing opportunities, from writing and drawing for comic books like SpongeBob SquarePants, The Simpsons, and Garfield to contributing to MAD Magazine and designing the animated series Death Hacks for Augenblick Studios. He also illustrated The World of Weird Animals, a book series by Jess Keating.

DeGrand says that UTA has been a big part of his career successes.

“I chose UTA because I really fell in love with the art program, and I felt it would help me become a more well-rounded artist by not only teaching me fundamentals, but also exposing me to different media and forms of art,” he says. “All of my professors were instrumental in helping me to improve my art while also helping me learn to approach making art in different ways.”

While on campus, DeGrand was also an illustrator for The Shorthorn, UTA’s award-winning student-run newspaper. He said that experience was invaluable to his development as an artist, as it taught him what to do and what not to do when communicating complex ideas in an easy-to-digest way.

“I learned a lot by working in that environment and having to come up with how to visually represent tons of different ideas,” he says. “The main thing I carry with me today from my time at UTA is to not be afraid to go with your gut instinct creatively and not to overthink an idea. That has served me well as a professional illustrator.”

DeGrand’s newest work is in the graphic novel Snot Goblins and Other Tasteless Tales, by Rob Kutner. The early praise is already glowing. From “Weird Al” Yankovic: “I have not read this book, but based on the cover alone, I’m just going to go ahead and predict that it will be crowned the next Great American Novel, on par with Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby.”


Winning With The Friend Within book cover
Winning with the Friend Within: A Nurse’s Journey of Hope and Five Essentials to Help Heal a Hurting World
By Monica R. Pierre (’08 MSN)

In Winning with the Friend Within, Monica R. Pierre shares her personal and professional journey while inviting readers to take their own journeys of self-discovery.

Taking Away the Keys book cover
Taking Away the Keys: A Momoir
By Lane Morris Buckman (’08 BA, English), Critical Languages and International Studies (Russian) student

Part how-to and part personal narrative, Taking Away the Keys is a book for caregivers of loved ones with dementia.

Digital Feudalism book cover
Digital Feudalism: Creators, Credit, Consumption, and Capitalism
By David Arditi, associate professor of sociology

David Arditi explores the shifting nature of global capitalism in Digital Feudalism, looking beyond consumption to examine how labor and debt also play into the changing economic system.

A Secret Among the Blacks book cover
A Secret Among the Blacks: Slave Resistance Before the Haitian Revolution
By John D. Garrigus, professor of history

In his new book, John D. Garrigus investigates the roots of the only successful slave uprising in the modern world. Through archival discoveries and creative interpretation, he explores the histories of two dozen Black men and women and their communities who waged decades of resistance against environmental and political threats that would shape the eventual 1791 revolt in Haiti.

Construction Analytics book cover
Construction Analytics: Forecasting and Investment Valuation
By Mohsen Shahandashti, associate professor of civil engineering, and students Bahram Abediniangerabi, Ehsan Zahed, and Sooin Kim

Addressing chronic problems in the construction industry, Construction Analytics covers time series basics, models and forecasting approaches, investment valuation, and how to apply such concepts to solve construction engineering problems.

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