Stories in Boxes

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A few days ago I went to Oxford to discuss a new project with David Fickling. David has been a phenomenal driving force in British children’s books for many a year, publishing Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Horrible Histories, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and much more. Back in the early nineties, he kick-started my career in book illustration, so when David calls, I come a-running.

Mr Fickling also publishes The Phoenix, and is passionate about telling stories through the medium of comics. If you’ve not seen it, the graphic novel Mezolith is worth looking at – it’s a great example.

The idea is to develop some stories with Conrad Mason, the writer of Demon’s Watch and Goblin’s Gift (out this month – see cover in previous entry!) which is quite an exciting prospect for me as I’ve been itching to do this sort of thing for ages. My first professional job was illustrating a Future Shock for 2000AD when I was 17 (written by some guy called Neil Gaiman – wonder what became of him?) but after the work fizzled out I drifted way from the genre. I’ve made a few attempts to get back into it, but my efforts have come to nowt, until now.

So at the moment I’m doing a lot of doodling; trying out ideas and styles – playtime, basically.

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3 Replies to “Stories in Boxes”

  1. i love doodles, and yet sometimes i’m caught wondering why the doodle has so much more “life” in it than a finished drawing? hmmm.

    1. This is a constant problem, especially with inking line drawings. It’s like you pin the image down a bit too much – pencil keeps the edge fuzzy and lets the viewer’s brain fill in the gaps…
      But if I try and keep an image loose, it just looks unfinished and hurried to me.

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