Archive for June, 2010
Welp, I don’t have a new Sabriel piece to show today…I sincerely apologize, I was hoping to keep a better handle on the schedule. Unfortunately this month has been a bit of a rollercoaster, work-wise, health-wise, and inspiration-wise. I’ve been burnt out, but am in the process of regaining my strength and preparing for some teaching and illustrating again! Thanks for your patience everyone, I can’t wait to see all of next month’s pieces!
Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (purchase on Amazon)
Claudia paid no attention, for now they reached what everyone was standing in line to see. A statue of an angel; her arms were folded, and she was looking holy. As Claudia passed by, she thought that that angel was the most beautiful, most graceful little statue she had ever seen; she wanted to stop and stare; she almost did, but the crowd wouldn’t let her.
While wandering the museum on their first full day as secret residents, Claudia and Jamie come across an enormous line in the Hall of the Italian Renaissance. Thousands of people are, for some reason, lining up to see this one little statue of an angel. Claudia becomes obsessed with this statue, but is only able to look at it for a few moments before the insane crowd pushes her along.
The next day Claudia and Jamie obtain a copy of The New York Times (illustrated in my last post!), from which they learn that the statue was recently acquired by the museum from the collection of a Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. People are going nuts over the statue because it is suspected to have been the work of Michelangelo himself (though it has yet to actually be proven)! Upon reading this, Claudia and Jamie make a decision that is to shape the rest of their adventure. They are going to solve the mystery of this little statue.
“When I grow up, I’m going to find a way to know for certain who did a statue.”
This was all Claudia needed. Something that had been smoldering inside her since she first saw the statue, that had been fed by the Times article, now flared into an idea.
“Jamie, let’s do it now. Let’s skip learning everything about everything in the museum. Let’s concentrate on the statue.”
This time last month, I was graduating from college and moving out of an apartment and because of all of that, rushed some really lackluster illustrations. This month, I’m on the cusp of moving again and instead of barreling through this month’s illustrations and giving you a schlocky batch of drawings, I’m going to take a few extra days and give you something worthwhile. Maybe this time next month, when I’m settled in my new apartment I’ll be able to post on time and with gusto! Thank you so so much for your understanding and patience and I’ll be back by the end of the week!
Posted by: Israel Sanchez
Book: Where The Red Fern Grows
“I knew the killing of the ghost coon was out of my control, but I just didn’t want to see him die. I said to Rubin, “Just give me back my two dollars and I’ll go home. I can’t keep you from killing him, but I don’t have to stay and see it.”
Old Dan and Little Ann’s reputation as some of the best hunting dogs in the Ozarks brings the Pritchard brothers to grandpa’s store with the offer of a wager. The brothers know of an old coon that no hunter in the mountains has ever been able to catch. Every time a hunter thinks he has the coon treed, the animal disappears into the night. Billy agrees to a bet with the Pritchards that his dogs can catch the ghost coon.
After a long chase, Billy figures out the animal’s trick and his dogs soon have the animal cornered. Just before he lets Dan and Ann loose on the animal, Billy change his mind and decides to let it live, the long night of hunting has given Billy a new respect for the coon. The Pritchard’s are angered by Billy’s decision and when their own hound dog joins them, a fight between the whole group starts.
Posted by: Lucy Knisley
Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
“Oh, look!” Lily squealed in delight. “Isn’t he cute? Look how tiny he is! And he has funny eyes like yours, Jonas!” Jonas glared at her. He didn’t like it that she had mentioned his eyes. He waited for his father to chastise Lily. But Father was busy unstrapping the carrying basket from the back of his bicycle. Jonas walked over to look.It was the first thing Jonas noticed as he looked at the newchild peering up curiously from the basket. The pale eyes.Almost every citizen in the community had dark eyes. His parents did, and Lily did, and so did all of his group members and friends.”
This chapter opens with the arrival of a “newchild,” Gabriel. Jonas’ father is a caregiver to very young children in the community, who reside at a care facility until they are placed with a family at the annual ceremony. Gabriel is a poor sleeper, so he is allowed to be cared for in Jonas’ home in the hopes that it will improve his health. It’s immediately apparent that Jonas and Gabriel have a connection, as illustrated by their similarly unusual eye shading.
Later, Jonas goes on to ruminate on a memory of a strange occurrence during his recreation period…
Jonas had casually picked up an apple from the basket where the snacks were kept, and had thrown it to his friend. Asher had thrown it back, and they had begun a simple game of catch.
There had been nothing special about it; it was an activity that he had performed countless times: throw, catch; throw, catch. It was effortless for Jonas, and even boring, though Asher enjoyed it, and playing catch was a required activity for Asher because it would improve his hand-eye coordination, which was not up to standards.
But suddenly Jonas had noticed, following the path of the apple through the air with his eyes, that the piece of fruit had– well, this was the part that he couldn’t adequately understand– the apple had changed. Just for an instant. It had changed in mid-air, he remembered. Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. Unchanged. The same size and shape: a perfect sphere. The same nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic.
Finally, I can use a little color in these illustrations! And by a little, I mean, the absolute tiniest bit. More to come, though… See you next month!
“I want something done! Hear me?”
After collectively rebelling against Nurse Ratched’s ward policy, Chief Bromden states, “There’s no more fog any place.”
It seems that the men have a renewed sense of confidence and look to McMurphy for guidance. However, it’s not too long until McMurphy steps down from his role as their leader. He decides to back down after talking to the lifeguard at the swimming pool. They were discussing the difference between being committed in the hospital and jail. The lifeguard tells McMurphy, “You’re sentenced in a jail, and you got a date ahead of you when you know you’re gonna be turned loose.” This is when he realizes that his actions against Nurse Ratched could possibly keep him in the hospital indefinitely.
That afternoon, the patients are having a meeting with the Big Nurse and the patient, Cheswick, brings up an issue with cigarette policy. He demands for something to be done about the rationing of cigarettes. “I ain’t no little kid to have cigarettes kept from me like cookies!” he says. Cheswick looks towards McMurphy for approval and leadership but McMurphy turns the other way. Cheswick begins to flip-out and spends the night in the Disturbed ward.
The next morning, the men are heading toward the pool and Cheswick is there. He stops and tells McMurphy that he understands why he didn’t stand up for him. He proceeds to dive into the water and intentionally drowns himself by getting his fingers stuck in the grate at the bottom of the pool.
After their meeting in the forest the will o’ the wisp, the rock biter and the other creatures resume their journey to the Ivory tower. Where they find countless other beings from every corner of Fantastica. Everywhere the Nothing is consuming the land, and ominously the childlike empress herself has fallen ill.
She has chosen a champion to find a cure for herself and Fantastica, someone who will have to undertake the Great searching. She has given him her sign, a golden necklace of two snakes biting each other’s tails, called AURYN.
The hero she has chosen is the boy Atreyu.
So here we have Atreyu on his little horse Artax. He’s still at the beginning of his quest and he’s now reached the glass towers of Eribo. I wanted to show something of Fantastica before the Nothing swallows all of it. Though the little creatures in the bottom left have been displaced by it already.
As you can see I’ve decided on a slightly different style after the somewhat improvised drawing last month. The colours I’ve chosen are the colours the book is printed in: red and blue.
So I’ve changed the first one accordingly, I hope you still like it.
Posted by: Andrea Kalfas
Book: Tarzan of the Apes
Tarzan’s grief and anger were unbounded. He roared out his hideous challenge time and again. He beat upon his great chest with his clenched fists, and then he fell upon the body of Kala and sobbed out the pitiful sorrowing of his lonely heart. To lose the only creature in all his world who ever had manifested love and affection for him was the greatest tragedy he had ever known.
While Tarzan is down at the beach spending time in his parent’s cabin, he hears a commotion in the direction of his tribe and rushes back to them. Kala has been killed by Kulonga, the first man since Tarzan to set foot in the ape’s part of the jungle, who shoots her with a poisoned arrow while hunting for his tribe. Tarzan tracks the man down and discovers his village…of cannibals! He kills Kulonga by literally hanging him from the tree tops before the terrified faces of the villagers, while staying completely hidden, and begins a long series of haunting tricks on the village that will, eventually, come back to haunt him later.
For this one, I decided to keep it simple. Hope you like it!
Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Posted by: John Martz
Something a little different this month. I wanted to do a simple spot illustration of the Starship Heart of Gold. Now, if you’re familiar with the story you’ll recognize that what I’ve drawn bears little resemblance to the ship described in the book:
…a huge starship, one hundred and fifty meters long, shaped like a sleek running shoe, perfectly white, and mindbogglingly beautiful.
It seems to me that all spaceships look like, in some way, sleek running shoes. I wanted to have a little fun with the design of the Heart of Gold, and as I had been collecting images of vans and RVs, it also seemed to me that the Heart of Gold would look just as mindbogglingly beautiful if it resembled a retro camper van.
After all, with the Infinite Improbability Drive at its heart, it seems all too likely (or rather, unlikely) that the most impressive starship in the galaxy would (or, in this case, would not) look exactly like a retro camper van. So the very improbability that the ship would look quite the opposite of how it is described in the book makes my interpretation all the more plausible. I think.
In a post on my personal blog, I have shared the rough sketch for this illustration and some of the photos I used as reference. Of course, this sort of artistic license comes with a price; after finishing the illustration I had the horrible realization that a spaceship that looks like an RV, had already been done, and that I had just ripped off Spaceballs.
“That is really amazing,” [Zaphod] said. “That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I’d like to steal it.”
Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (purchase on Amazon)
Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very little way forwards each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.
Sticking to a lesser known scene this month, but one of my favorites (even though it was a bit of a pain as a kid playing Alice in Wonderland on my Commodore 64!)– it seems like a good spot to rest on the ridiculousness of Wonderland and a little girl having fun in a potentially dangerous situation. This giant puppy obviously means no threat, but being a giant (or Alice being so little) she could easily get crushed. Still, this is part of what Wonderland is all about– there’s threats of violence, mad people, and tangled logic about, and while often it’s perplexing to our little heroine, she takes it in great stride and always seems to have fun while exploring her topsy turvy environment.
Thanks again for your patience on the posting schedule! I do hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait!