September 2011


Dalek of the Flies

This installment of the Dalek Game is for William Golding’s horrible Lord of the Flies, which has made me feel miserable whenever I see a conch shell. It is also a book which I have an odd wish to illustrate, but I think that is just because someone left a Folio Society catalogue lying around, and I now associate the novel with dreamy illustrations. That, or it’s thanks to Bill Willingham’s Fables, with its charming/horrific take on the character and idea of Colin and equally beautiful nightmarish art.

In other news: I have put up some more sketchbook pages (Brisbane post-floods and pre-winter), and Conflux starts on Friday! I will very likely be uploading sketches from time to time on Facebook (if you know me there) and Twitter (tanaudel). (more…)

This is the tail end of the Brisbane floods sketchbook (the full set is here).

By February life was already returning to normal, superficially, and girls were strolling through Queen Street Mall in maxi-dresses:

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And not so maxi-dresses:

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Session musicians were playing at the Irish Club:

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Boys were shamefacedly carrying bright pink shopping bags:

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I kept trying to draw beer, beards and bodhrans:

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There was jewelry to buy at twilight markets:

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There were free plants to acquire in King George Square, and vintage fashion to buy at Mount Gravatt showgrounds:

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And coffee to drink in cafes attached to bookstores which are now gone:

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Dalek Most Definite

This instalment of The Dalek Game is for Trent Jamieson’s novel Death Most Definite, which was both very enjoyable and rather disconcerting, since it is the first book I have read in which characters are getting shot at in the suburbs through which my train is going as I read it, and in which shadowy corporate entities are based on the same street as my office. It is also drawn as an apology for missing the launch of Roil.

Don't let the Dalek drive the bus!

This instalment of The Dalek Game is for Mo Willem’s wonderful Don’t let the Pigeon drive the bus.

This bus is, of course, one of Brisbane City Council’s blue and yellow buses, en route to Indooroopilly – a line I took with great frequency for the 7 years I lived at the university, because exams lay at one end and cinemas at the other (“What did you do at uni?” “Read a lot of good books, went to a lot of movies, mostly“). In retrospect, however, I should have drawn a CityGlider bus because that little sugar glider with the crash helmet makes me laugh whenever I see it.

Illustration Friday: Mesmerising

Pen and ink with colours and texture added digitally – for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “Mesmerizing”.

This is part of an ongoing project raiding many fairytales and ballads (and, although the project is ahistorical, Racinet’s costume history). Our heroine is in a land with a strange sky and papery stars, and has just met a very persuasive gentleman with eyes like chips of mirror.

Below, I have posted the separate layers, because I quite like the effect of the silhouettes:

Illustration Friday: Mesmerising - process

A Dalek Like Alice

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice, which has nothing to do with Lewis Carroll, but a great deal to do with World War II, Malaysia, Queensland and entrepeneurship, in consequence of which it has always had a place on my parents’ bookcase. I’m sure I would have seen at least the miniseries at some point, but I remember my mother reading it out to us in the evenings, while my father did the dishes and braided leather or smoked his pipe on the steps. I associate the book with hot dusty evenings and the smells of wood and tobacco smokes and mice (so either we read it during a mouse plague or it was stored in the shed at some point).

In other news: I’m now off to the kitchen table to draw new Daleks.

Harry Dalek

This is one of the earlier Daleks I drew for the Dalek Game, and I’m not sure why I used the series title rather than an individual book (I’m not ruling that out as an option just yet!). However, here it is in all its inevitable owlery.

One of the major benefits of the Twilight series is that many people stopped being quite so snarky about Harry Potter. I started reading J K Rowling’s books in… 1999, I think (I remember being delighted to find a copy of the second book in England in February 2000 with a matching cover to my first volume). The books caught hold of many of my favourite things about English children’s novels – the place names, the food, the boarding schools, the irreverent scholarly fun to be had with history and mythology, and the trains.

I did manage to write a research paper on HP (all 3 books at the time, I think) as part of my degree (my lecturers kept trying to get me to write on adult books, but they had all been done). It was titled: “Is Harry Potter evil? The perils of magic in children’s fantasy fiction” and concluded that fantasy was not evil – dangerous, yes, but less so than ‘realistic’ fiction. My mother used that essay to argue with people until I told her she couldn’t criticize people for attacking books they hadn’t read when she was defending HP without reading it, so she read them through the fifth book (she said she had 8 younger siblings and 3 daughters and couldn’t put herself through the angst again).

I had struck a deal with my younger sister that if she went to the medieval fair and read Harry Potter, I would go to a ute show and a B&S ball, but we each stalled on the second half of the bargain.

When the first movie came out, I was still at college. I think we might have worn our academic gowns to the screening but I’m not sure – I do remember that afterwards we went to the UQ boatsheds with chocolate and Baileys and a bucket of candles and sat on the pontoon on the river, watching the CityCats go by.

But my favourite HP memory is that I was able to convince the university to let me spend a whole year reading it and its ilk – Narnia and The Railway Children, Tom Brown’s Schooldays, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Carrie’s War, The Famous Five, The Wind in the Willows, The Secret of Platform 13 (the platform I looked for at King’s Cross before 9 3/4 printed itself into the public consciousness) and at least 50 others. My honours thesis was on “The Role of the Railway in British Children’s Novels”, and I had a wonderful time.

In other news: Here are two trailers for books I have drawings in: A Tale of Two Trailers – the first is for the anthology Winds of Change and the second is for Five Historical Banquets, the instigators of whom let me play around drawing little ornaments for my own amusement.

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