Deadly Merchandise

As you'll soon learn from the book version of Deadly Kingdom, the elephant knows more ways to kill a human than any other animal. A bunch of us were sitting around discussing this fact over coffee the other night (yes, I do throw the best parties) when we realized we needed coffee mugs celebrating elephant violence.

My own drawing stinks, so I bribed my eldest son, Parker. He sprang into action and invented Elgar, the Irritable Elephant. His first cartoon has Elgar threatening to squish one's head. That's a fairly uncommon, yet well-attested, method.

Not to be outdone, my younger sons seized Sharpies and went to work. Eleven-year-old Beckett invented Samuel W. Shark, your classic great white "with manga touches." Eight-year-old Griffin asked me if locusts are dangerous. I told him swarms can kill people by eating all the food or even by polluting the air. He came up with the superheroic Locust Lad.

My mother pointed out that T-shirts are better advertising for my book than mugs. After all, you might use a coffee mug in your own home, but once you put on the shirt and leave the house, you're a billboard.

That made sense, but I leave the choice to you. Mugs. Shirts. Other stuff. Just don't spend all your money before you've picked up a copy of the book.


  1. I have read about execution by elephant which, according to Wikipedia, has gone on for thousands of years. I wonder if it was natural talent or if the elephants needed training.

  2. That's a fascinating article. Some of those methods of torture and execution show the human mind at work, but most of them aren't far removed from the elephant's natural ways of dealing with enemies: dismemberment, head-crushing, goring, and so on.

    Here's the Wikipedia article:

  3. And here's the Orwell essay mentioned in the article:


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