Maysville artist hopes to spread the magic of his hometown
MAYSVILLE-- (WDKY)-- Even though Sean McHugh has lived in Florida for the past 18 years, it's not surprising to see him with a sketchpad on a wall in downtown Maysville.
"People walk by and think I'm drawing historical structures and stuff," he said. "No, I'm drawing cartoons and witches, bats and pumpkins-- anything magical and fun."
It's something McHugh did from the time he was nine years old, when this city's brick-covered streets were his whole world. In a city this old, incorporated in 1787, there is a lot to stoke the imagination.
"This place is so haunted . There's a haunted hospital, a haunted theater, a haunted mansion right over here," he said looking around Sutton Street.
McHugh has found a way to combine his love of Halloween and cartooning. He has collaborated with his niece, Katie Parker. She writes the words, he provides the illustrations for a series of children's books called "Broomsticks," about young witches who use their powers for good. He says the comic strip "Peanuts" and favorite childhood TV show "Bewitched" provided the inspiration.
"I always wanted to marry Elizabeth Montgomery and be Charles Shulz."
McHugh now has his dream job as a caricature artist at Walt Disney World, but he's back in his hometown often. This week he's there to promote a new Broomsticks book-- "Once Upon A Maysville Moon"-- the first one that's a full-color picture book.
He calls this latest work a love letter to Maysville. When you walk through downtown, you'll pass many of the places pictured in the book.Sean and Katie even found the perfect place for a Halloween book signing-- a pioneer graveyard behind a museum.
The venue like the book: fascinating not frightening.
"I have nothing against the horror stuff, but I always went for the cute stuff-- Jack o' Lanterns, the great pumpkin , 'Bewitched' ... anything that's fun and magical."
Even a young fan, 9-year-old Amaya Hankinson, can see the value such a book could have for tourism.
"Maybe some people will read it and they'll show their friends out of the country, then they'll come and visit Maysville," she said.
This authors will likely conjure up more adventures for their young witches.
"Yes, if this one goes well, we. already have some things on the back burner," Parker said.
Small towns do have a charm about thew. A native of this one hopes to put a few more people under its spell. with his "magic" markers.
McHugh said "I feel like I'm a little kid again, but a little kid who gets to have book signings."
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