Saturday, May 9, 2020

Cold Spring Days and Picture Book Ways

It is mid-May, and far more blustery and cold than is normal. But then, this year is far from the usual isn’t it?

I have a picture book on my desk right now. It’s the third (and I think final) Julia book. Who makes a trilogy of picture books? When I made the first Julia book I never would have thought I’d find myself writing a third. But I like Julia and and the very odd world she lives in. Here’s a picture of my desk:

Every project is different. I want to stress that. But, I have found that a good working method for picture books, because of their compressed and very confined parameters, is to print all the page spreads (nineteen spreads for two signatures with pasted-down ends) and lay them out on my desk in such a way that I can see the entire book at a glance. I can switch things out, move things around. I can, in the better moments, hold the whole book in my mind in the space of a moment.

Picture books are deceptive. Like a good magic trick you want your book to come off looking effortless and breezy and simple. But at the same time you want to pack as much story as you possibly can into a scant 36 pages. It’s infuriating. And wonderful.

In other news—here is one more illustration of the Fox and the Minstrel:

This one was a commission. I can’t seem to get enough of these two. I think about Renyard so much these days.

Finally, here’s a tiny comic about football. I got a lot of good out of sports (particularly wresting, gymnastics, and pole vaulting) but in those very early days of football I mostly remember not having much of an idea of what was going on.