It begins with a house.
Posted by: John Martz
Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (purchase on Amazon)
…the Thursday morning sun was bright and clear as it shone on Arthur Dent’s house for what was to be the last time.
Once I had decided to interpret The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I knew that this scene would be my first illustration. Whenever I even think about the story, it’s these first small chapters that enter my thoughts. It’s the opening scene in the text adventure game version, as well, which I never had the patience to conquer, and always found myself, in the role of Arthur Dent, dead before ever leaving the house.
I’ve always loved the parallels between the large, yellow bulldozers intent to demolish Arthur’s house and the large, yellow Vogon ships, which would do the same to the entire planet. The layout for this illustration drew itself.
I can remember being twelve years old, and reading this paragraph for the first time:
The great ships hung motionless in the sky, over every nation on Earth. Motionless they hung, huge, heavy, steady in the sky, a blasphemy against nature. Many people went straight into shock as their minds tried to encompass what they were looking at. The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.
I must have re-read that last sentence at least ten times. What an odd, but wonderful analogy, I thought. It was one of those moments that seems exclusive to childhood — that feeling of having discovered something special that could become my very own. I felt a connection between myself and the words, and something in that sentence ignited in me an appreciation for looking at things with a slightly skewed perspective. I was soon to learn that Douglas Adams was a master at this in the way he blurred the lines between nonsense and clarity.
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