Archive for August, 2010
“I often crouched down and watched with bated breath as a scrap of paper or a leaf writhed and changed its shape within the flames. The bonfire reminded me of when I had seen my father’s bones at the crematorium, and as the sight had not alarmed me, I began to think about his bones every time we burned the leaves, rerunning the memory over and over again in my mine until my father’s bones gradually became divorced from other memories and simply remained a close and familiar thought.”
My name is Kris Mukai and I’m an illustrator and comic artist living in Brooklyn, NY. You can view more of my work on my blog (http://hellokbear.blogspot.com) or my flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/krismukai/)
New week, which means we’ll try and share some Short Reports with you. This one comes from the inimitable Vicki Nerino, and it’s an excellent way to start this week off don’t you think?
(click to enlarge!)
…So I went to the next neighbor’s house.
This neighbor was the First Little Pig’s brother.
He was a little smarter, but not much.
He had built his house of sticks.
I rang the bell on the stick house.
I called “Mr. Pig, Mr. Pig, are you in?”
He yelled back, “Go away wolf. You can’t come in. I’m shaving the hairs on my chinny chin chin.”
I had just grabbed the doorknob when I felt abother sneeze coming on.
I huffed. And I snuffed. And I tried to cover my mouth, but I sneezed a great sneeze…
I chose this scene because, well, who doesn’t want to draw a pig skin getting blown clean off its body? But really.. I have a bad habit of drawings things just sort of standing there, characters and objects and whatnot. I wanted to challenge myself by catching a dramatic scene in the middle of it’s climax, and I did just that, and boy oh boy, I’m pretty happy about it.
I was sort of dumb and didn’t take web format into consideration with this one and made it an extremely long landscape, but I feel like it really needed to be in order to capture the strong movement of the scene. With that, please feel free to click and enlarge, there’s a lot of fur and bone and pig bits to see!
This was my absolute favourite book as a kid. It was just the right amount of classic, a little bit of twisted, and super packed with sarcasm, so as anyone who knows me or my work just a little bit, you could imagine that I would have latched onto this book immediately. Actually, I had forgotten all about this book for years until I was moseying around at a book store and I saw it sitting on one of the display tables. I nearly pooped myself when I saw it again.
It was sort of tough choosing a book, because all of the ones I loved as a kid are all beautifully illustrated, and I sort of wanted to choose something that had a clean slate, something with next to nothing to pull from but the dialogue. Finally, after much consideration, I just said “EFF IT” and went with my absolute favourite book ever, which was illustrated by the stupendous Lane Smith. I think i did an okay job taking Lane’s influence, putting my own spin on it, and making it my own.
And I just like drawing pigs.
I grew up in Thunder Bay where I spent the first half of my life amongst trees and moose and bears and things, so I’ve seen my fair share of wildlife and poop. My dad used to wrestle me to the ground and fart on me and I would giggle. My uncle used to record Ren and Stimpy episodes onto a VHS tape, and whenever I would visit, he would sit me down in front of the TV and play that tape for hours on end. I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I loved it.
All of these things might give you an idea as to why I am the way I am, and why I love drawing terrible, stinky, inappropriate, ugly, wrinkled things so much.
Unfortunately today Kali is unable to post her monthly piece, apologies! Still, there’s plenty of art to be had so let’s do another Short Report. This one comes from Sam Bradley, visiting a scene from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
(click to enlarge)
My illustration depicts a scene from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. I chose a scene from the second chapter, entitled “The New Friend”. Here we see Nobody Owens, our young protagonist, leading his new friend Scarlett Amber Perkins through the old graveyard he calls home, and into a mausoleum. The illustration itself is 8×11″, painted with watercolor on 140lb cold press paper, with photoshop touch-ups.
Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (purchase on Amazon
Jamie stood on the toilet seat waiting. He leaned his head against the wall of the booth and braced himself for what would happen next. The guard would come in and make a quick check of his station. Jamie still felt a ping during that short inspection; that was the only part that still wasn’t quite routine, and that’s why he braced himself. Then the lights would be turned out. Jamie would wait twelve minutes (lag time, Claudia called it) and emerge from hiding.
Except the guard didn’t come, and Jamie couldn’t relax until after he felt that final ping. And the lights stayed on, stayed on. Jamie checked his watch ten times within five minutes; he shook his arm and held the watch up to his ear. It was ticking slower than his heart and much more softly. What was wrong? They had caught Claudia! Now they would look for him! He’d pretend he didn’t speak English. He wouldn’t answer any questions.
Jamie and Claudia hide in the museum bathrooms every night when the guards are closing up the museum for the night. On this particular night, something was awry! Eventually two guards come into the very bathroom Jamie is hiding in…
He heard the voices of two men talking over the sound of water running in the sink.
“Yeah. Two feet of marble. What do you figure it weighs?”
“I dunno. Whatever it weighs, it has to be handled delicate. Like it was a real angel.”
“C’mon. They probably have the new pedestal ready. We can start.”
They were moving Angel. The angel statue that was possibly the work of Michelangelo! The angel statue that Jamie and Claudia had become obsessed with!
Later Jamie and Claudia manage to examine the angel statue’s former pedestal. Upon close inspection, they make a discovery! A discovery that they decide to anonymously tell the museum about via a letter that they type up on a typewriter outside of a typewriter store on Fifth Avenue.
Hello! Israel’s informed me he’s a little behind on his newest piece for Where the Red Fern Grows, so today we’ll drop in with another Short Report, this time visiting another well-loved Roald Dahl book with Marika McCoola. Enjoy!
I love the dark quirkiness of Dahl’s stories. His characters are at once ridiculous and so detailed that they must actually exist. Last year I worked on a series of illustrations for Edward Lear’s limericks, which share a strange sensibility with Dahl’s work. I enjoyed working with Lear’s texts and found myself thinking about Dahl as I worked. Wanting to work with a longer piece than one of Dahl’s poems, and fondly remembering Matilda, I decided to pick it up again. The dark, very British humor and ridiculous events tend to make me grin with glee and I can’t help but love characters who are enamored of books….
Chapter 1: The Reader of Books
‘Did you know,’ Mrs Phelps said, ‘that public libraries like this allow you to borrow books and take them home?’
‘I didn’t know that,’ Matilda said. ‘Could I do it?’
‘Of course,’ Mrs Phelps said. ‘When you have chosen the book you want, bring it to me so I can make a note of it and it’s yours for two weeks. You can take more than one if you wish.’
Chapter 2: The Ghost
‘I’m fed up with your reading anyway. Go and find yourself something useful to do.’ With frightening suddenness he [Mr Wormwood] now began ripping the pages out of the book in handfuls and throwing them in the waste-paper basket.
Matilda froze in horror. The father kept going. There seemed little doubt that the man felt some kind of jealousy. How dare she, he seemed to be saying with each rip of a page, how dare she enjoy reading books when he couldn’t? How dare she?
‘That’s a library book! Matilda cried. ‘It doesn’t belong to me! I have to return it to Mrs. Phelps!’
There are many books in this world I do not agree with and hope no one ever reads, but the idea of directing violence toward a book is unthinkable, as it rends not just thoughts, but, in the case of fiction, entire worlds. Though we as readers already dislike Mr. Wormwood, this scene establishes Matilda’s father as a truly horrid man and enables us to laugh at him later when Matilda exacts her devious revenge.
Marika McCoola holds a BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art and currently manages the children’s section of the Odyssey Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley (a magical place where authors and illustrators seem to grow on trees). She once hoped to limit her book collection but finds that every time she turns around the stacks have multiplied. Marika will begin her MFA in writing and illustrating for children at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in the fall. You can see more of Marika’s work on her website, www.marikamccoola.com, and her blog, http://mmccoola.blogspot.com, and read her book reviews on http://readingofquality.blogspot.com.
I’m sorry everyone, but I just wasn’t able to get an illustration done this time. I’ll be back next month to pick up where I left off with the story, Billy recovers from Rubin’s death and the dogs are entered into the biggest hunting contest in the state. See you then!
“I hate Mrs. Harding, Mack; why don’t you call me Vera?”
The drawing above is based on a very short scene from the book. Dale Harding’s wife, Vera, visits the ward. While the patients are spending some time in the hospital’s library, all heads turn as Vera enters the room and blows a kiss to one of the orderlies. Harding invites McMurphy over to meet her. As Harding tells his wife about McMurphy, he gets very excited, starts to flail his hands around in a very flamboyant way. Vera and McMurphy are watching his hands when he quickly realizes what he is doing and quickly hides them between his legs. Vera asks for a cigarette and when Harding doesn’t have one to give, she begins to belittle him. She comments, “Oh Dale, you never do have enough, do you?”
She eventually gets one from McMurphy and continues to insinuate how Dale is a homosexual. She leaves and Harding asks McMurphy for an analysis of his wife. McMurphy, fed up with how Vera treated Harding, flips out and demands for everyone to leave him alone. He yells, “I’ve got worries of my own without getting hooked with yours [...] Alla you! Quit bugging me, goddammit!“
He later apologizes for yelling at everyone and explains that he’s having a bad week.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy!
Last time we saw him Atreyu was on his way to see the Southern Oracle to find out if she knows the cure for the Childlike Empress. She tells him, after he passes through the magic gates and comes face to face with Bastian in the mirror gate, that only a child from the real world can cure the Empress by giving her a new name, and thus restoring Fantasia.
When Atreyu returns from his visit with her, a visit that is cut short when the nothing swallows the temple Uyulala resides and silences her voice that was also her entire corporeal body, he sets out with Falcor to find the border of Fantasia and beyond it: the real world.
Finally here’s Falcor the luck dragon, he’s probably the most iconic character from the book and the films. Though why they decided he had to look like that in the films I’ll never understand.
This drawing was sort of inevitable therefore, one can’t not decide to draw the Neverending Story and not have Atreyu riding Falcor. Not quite sure if this is exactly what it should have been, but here you go!
Book: Tarzan of the Apes
Posted by: Andrea Kalfas
Picking it up to examine it, Clayton gave a cry of astonishment, for the ring bore the crest of the house of Greystoke.
As they were preparing the skeleton of the man for burial, Cayton discovered a massive ring which had evidently encircled the man’s finger at the time of his death, for one of the slender bones of the hand still lay within the golden bauble.
After, they’re marooned on Tarzan’s beach, Jane Porter and William Cecil Clayton (who happens to be Tarzan’s cousin), discover how the late Greystokes, Tarzan’s parents, met their end.
“…here,” he replied gravely, “is the great ring of the house of Greystoke which has been lost since my uncle, John Clayton, the former Lord Greystoke, disappeared, presumably lost at sea”
“But how do you account for these things being here in this savage African jungle?” exclaimed the girl.
“There is but one way to account for it, Miss Porter,” said Clayton. “The late Lord Greystoke was not drowned. He died here in this cabin and this poor thing upon the floor is all that is mortal of him.”
There’s no description in any of the Tarzan books of the crest of Greystoke so…..I made it up! Hope it looks acceptable!
Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Posted by: John Martz
I’m away from home so much this month, it’s another quickie from me this time. But, it’s one that allows me to introduce my next series of illustrations.
Having exhausted all I wanted to do with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I’m moving on to another favourite childhood book: Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
So here is its bookplate.
And Grandpa Joe said, “You mean to say I’ve never told you about Mr. Willy Wonka and his factory?”
“Never,” answered little Charlie.
“Good heavens above! I don’t know what’s the matter with me!”
It’s not much, but hopefully it whets your appetite for when I dive head-first into the book.