Cranky Ladies of History!

Cranky Ladies

I have been scribbling some practice historical cranky ladies, because the Cranky Ladies of History anthology is fully funded, which means I am illustrating it! But there are still three days left to pledge to help meet the stretch goals for the anthology and make sure you get your copy (and some extras).

Authors who have pitched or accepted invitations to contribute include:

  • Aidan Doyle
  • Alexis Larkin
  • Amanda Pillar
  • Angela Slatter
  • Ann Martin
  • Barbara Robson
  • Danica Green
  • David McDonald
  • David W. Landrum
  • Deborah Biancotti
  • Dirk Flinthart
  • Eugie Foster
  • Faith Mudge
  • Foz Meadows
  • Garth Nix
  • Havva Murat
  • Jane Yolen
  • Johanna Qualmann
  • Joyce Chng
  • Juliet Marillier
  • Justina Robson
  • Kaaron Warren
  • Kaia Landelius
  • Karen Healey
  • Kate Eltham
  • Kirstyn McDermott
  • Laura Lam
  • Lauren Beukes
  • Lisa Hannett
  • Liz Argall
  • Liz Barr
  • Liz Myles
  • Lyn Battersby
  • Nisi Shawl
  • Octavia Cade
  • Pat Cadigan
  • Rachel Swirsky
  • Rob Shearman
  • Sandra McDonald
  • Stephanie Lai
  • Sue Bursztynski
  • Sylvia Kelso
  • Thoraiya Dyer
  • Timmi Du Champ

Illustration Friday: Red

Illustration Friday: Red


For all my love of Little Red Riding Hood, the myriad analyses of its meanings and origins, the fun that can be had reimagining and reinterpreting it, my favourite explanation for the emergence of the story remains that in which it is a fireside tale, meant to frighten the hearer when the teller shouts, “And it gobbled her all up!”

Incidentally, Charles Dickens loved Little Red Riding Hood as well, and it can be quite entertaining to trace the themes of the fairytale through the wonderfully twisted plot of Our Mutual Friend.

Cover art and illustrations: The Bread We Eat in Dreams – part 2

Part One of the process posts for Catherynne M Valente’s collection The Bread We Eat in Dreams  (from Subterranean Press) is here. If you click on the pictures, most should have an option to see a larger version.

Sketchbook - first page

The many-talented Trudi Canavan once gave me several accordion-fold sketchbooks. I used one of them when I started reading through this collection, keeping a note of images for the stories, and those I’d like to use for the cover.

Sketchbook - Bread We Eat in Dreams

At the end, with a list of imagery, I made several thumbnail sketches for the cover. I still like that tiger with the human face.

Cover Sketches - Bread We Eat in Dreams

We went with the most scribbly design. I drew a key, to make sure I caught everything.

Cover Key - Bread We Eat In Dreams

I then pencilled and inked the cover (india ink, crow quill nib) on a piece of A1 drawing paper. I had to get it scanned at Officeworks, before adding colour on the computer – just a few shades of blue, and a scan of the blank, aged endpapers of an old book for texture.

Here is a (simplified) overview of the cover process:

Cover Process for The Bread We Eat in Dreams

Next – the internal illustrations!

TOC for Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales has revealed Yuko Shimizu’s cover art and process for the forthcoming Candlewick anthology, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales.

Yuko Shimizu - cover for Monstrous Affections

Yuko Shimizu – cover for Monstrous Affections

The table of contents is as follows (I think the Joshua Lewis title is now one of my favourite titles-which-could-exist-alone-as-stories, on a par with Charles de Lint’s “The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep”).

 This anthology is a follow-up to  Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories and my contribution is, again, a comic (written and illustrated by me).
I’ve gone for a looser style with this one, a style I’m more comfortable and happier with (quite apart from everything I’ve learned  since the first time around!). For a sneak peak here is the original title (subsequently rearranged) from the first page:
Small Wild Magic
And by way of comparison, here is Gwen from “Finishing School” (planning how to get her own way) on the left, and Marilyn from “A Small Wild Magic” (objecting to not getting her own way) on the right.
Gwen vs Marilyn

Illustration Friday: Voice

Illustration Friday: Voice

Who – who?

An attempt to emulate, digitally, some mid-century illustration styles.

In other news: There’s a family wedding on this weekend and we had a 2000km road trip from Adelaide to Brisbane at the end of last week in preparation, so… not a whole lot else is going on at the moment! But several new projects are brewing or being sketched, and I have a Plan of Attack on a too-small whiteboard.

Cover Art: The Bread We Eat in Dreams – part 1

Catherynne M. Valente’s collection The Bread We Eat in Dreams is published! Beautiful, velvety, three-dimensional and smelling of ink. I really like the finish Subterranean Press uses for their dust jackets.

The Bread We Eat in Dreams

I’ve loved Valente’s work for years and it was a delight to be asked by Subterranean to illustrate this collection. There is an immense variety here – poems, stories, lists, far-futures, travelling rooms, unexpected facts, fallout and fairytales, blood and bone and apples (the author’s comments on the stories are here on Subterranean’s website). If I had to pick one favourite, it would be “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, for a little while” a prequel to (utterly enchanting) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I read this when I was only two chapters into the novel, however, which created a perfect tension of suspense/devastation on finishing both. But images from so many of the stories linger with me.

Proposed illustration for The Girl Who Ruled...

Proposed illustration for The Girl Who Ruled…

The jacket is another full wrap-around design, with references in it to all the stories and poems, which is a game I like to play when I have the chance to read a whole collection before illustrating (and the art director lets me!).

Cover Art for The Bread We Eat in Dreams

If you click on the image, you should be able to see a much larger version, however here are a couple of my favourite details:

Details of Cover Art for The Bread We Eat in Dreams

I will follow up with another post on the process, and the internal illustrations. Watch this space…

Edit: Part two of the cover process is now up.