Daleks of the Frost

Daleks of the Frost

Today’s instalment of the Dalek Game is for Kim Wilkins’ Giants of the Frost, which Aimee will rave about at you on demand (“all that Northerness!”) and for certain friends who are involved in a tag-team NaNoWriMo short story assault on the Norse mythology.

In other news: There is no frost in Brisbane, other than on the artichoke which remains unet.  I am working on Christmas illustrations, odd dogs, wedding invitations, long involved fairytale cycles and cooking, the fruits of some of which may in time become evident.

Civil Dalek in Queensland

Civil Dalek in Queensland

So… in a parallel reality in which I am a lawyer I changed jobs at the beginning of this year, and now sit in an office surrounded by textbooks – it was daunting at first, and I thought I would be expected to know all of them, until closer investigation proved most of them to be very out of date and slightly dusty. 1994 texts on computer crime are particularly entertaining. This instalment of the Dalek Game, however, is for that literary giant, Civil Procedure in Queensland.

It is also for Queensland Rail’s current train etiquette campaign, (I have not yet found the name of the original illustrator) , and particularly for John and Mary (which resolved possible issues in relation to gender roles by breaking Mary’s leg).

In other news: I drew a clockwork tiger for Illustration Friday, and an illustration for Angela Slatter’s short story doctor, and for Angela Slatter and Lisa Hannett’s Lair of the Evil Drs Brain. NaNoWriMo progresses apace and has acquired, at this late stage of the ongoing story, a dog named Lastly.

Oh, and there’s a new blog header for November:

November blog header

Dalek in Wonderland

Dalek in Wonderland

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and is not the first Alice Dalek (that would be A Dalek like Alice). To my mind, this explains a great deal about Wonderland – although I haven’t worked out yet whether the Doctor’s analogue would be the white rabbit or the Cheshire cat. I suppose it depends on which Doctor. For all my love for Rory, I can’t help casting him as Bill the Lizard (I am also quite fond of Bill).

In other news: I have put up a post about the cover art for Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze. I once (on occasional visits to relatives with television reception) saw and loved a show very like this one: Candle Cove (and I think those common cryptic half-memories are why that piece is so strong – I adore stories with odd, erratic television shows, like Kelly Link’s “Magic for Beginners”).

Dalek’s Thesaurus

Dalek's Thesaurus

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for that great and thrilling literary classic Roget’s Thesaurus. It is also an excellent argument for buying a small dalek for perspective in future drawings.

I was raised on books about words. They never moved from the kitchen catch-all, even when my father conducted his periodic lightning raid on the schoolwork and embroidery patterns and the specimens which collected in the interesting-things-basket. The Macquarie Dictionary sat with the Webster (my mother is American), the Hobson-Jobson, a few interlinear texts, Roget’s, a dictionary of quotations, a concordance and the rainfall register.

My father would stop mid-book to look up peculiar words – in the middle of conversations he still sends visitors off to verify a word’s origin. We played Tennis-Elbow-Foot on long car trips (there were no short ones) and Dictionary by lamplight during black-outs (although my father defined most words as “a rare Latvian squirrel). We read linguistic texts (last time I was home I started reading An Old English Grammar and the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language to my father, as a break from Australian war history and Pride and Prejudice).

And the main influence all this has had on me is that I am prepared to argue until you are blue in the face that Roget’s “meaning clusters” are a far more efficient and effective format than any alphabetical dictionary, and also cooler, and that dictionaries these days are cheapened by not having an appendix with diagrams of standard cuts of meat.

Also, “decimate” probably doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

Here is a fun party game: grab your rhyming dictionary, pick two sections at random and use them to write a limerick.

In other news: I saw and sketched the Queen with Deb on Monday. NaNoWriMo starts next week – I am under strict instructions to complete my current story OR ELSE, so if there is no word from me after November, ask Aimee what she did to me.

Preludes and Daleks

Preludes and Daleks

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Mike Dringenberg, Sam Kieth and Malcolm Jones III. I don’t recall any grand pianos in it but am willing to be corrected. Teresa Nielsen Hayden did a wonderful reread of the first issue on Tor.com here: Re-reading Sandman: Issue #1, “The Sleep of the Just”.

While I was at work yesterday, the Dalek Game and #dalekbooks seem to have taken on a separate existence. Thank you to those who have posted and commented and followed – I am working back through my inbox!

Prints: Several people have asked about buying prints. I would love to be able to sell them, but want to do the right thing, so I have written to the BBC and Arts Law to find out what that is. If I get a positive answer, I will not stay silent.

And in other news: Kinds of Blue, an anthology of comics by my friends (I did the art for two) has been launched and is available to buy online! The YA steampunk anthology Steampunk! (with my first comic “Finishing School”) is available online and in stores – I will post a bit more about this soon. Friends and I went to see Monstrous Regiment at the Arts Theatre yesterday – their Pratchett play is an annual tradition, and this year’s Sergeant Jackrum is worth the price of entry alone. Today I am staying in and drawing Daleks.

Where the Wild Daleks Are

Where the Wild Daleks Are

This instalment of The Dalek Game is for Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. I wanted to like the film, but couldn’t. It was very beautiful and atmospheric, and probably a very good film – but it didn’t have any of the brief wild joy and sturdy comfort of the original story, and I couldn’t watch it and forgive that loss (which was, I think, what the film may have been about). Hook came closer to the flight/adventure/return, and sometimes Labyrinth gets a little of it – but really, Labyrinth is best paired with Sendak’s Outside Over There, which in turn has more of the distant eeriness of the Wild Things film.

My favourite Sendak story, however, is still-and-always One was Johnny, for easily-frustrated little Johnny who “lived by himself and LIKED IT LIKE THAT!”

In other news: Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #52 is out, with a story and two illustrations by me (and some by other people) – I talked about them and the process here. And now I must run and eat popcorn and toast marshmallows and draw.

I, Dalek

I, Dalek

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Robert Graves’ I, Claudius. Most of my exposure to Graves’ writing is his poetry, but I remember my parents reading out extracts of Goodbye to All That (my father was rereading it when I was studying Remarque‘s All Quiet on the Western Front and The Road Back), and the description of walking past a German restaurant and hearing “intense sounds of eating” coming from inside. Mostly I wanted to draw a Dalek in a toga (having recently had cause to illustrate an “asparagus dressed Italian style” for the limited edition Conflux cookbook).

The Dalek at Pooh Corner

The Dalek at Pooh Corner

This part of the Dalek Game is for A. A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, and for E. H. Shephard’s original illustrations (again – I’m a Shephard fan). I can never quite see my beloved characters through the Disney images.

I have a beautiful small hardcover set, in plain cloth binding, of four Pooh books from my grandmother. My favourite part is the opening image of the (stuffed) Winnie being carried by Christopher Robin down the stairs – bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, and thinking that there must be a better way to go down stairs if only he could stop bumping long enough to think of one (true of so much of life). If you haven’t read any other Milne, I also recommend “Once on a Time”, which is a very odd book, and contains Advice to Poets and Strictures on Romance and Gladstone Bags.

There is also an area of land in Brisbane which the army referred to as Pooh Corner. My mother thought that was charming until my father explained there were sewage works in the vicinity.

Current theories: Having seen “The Wedding of River Song”, the current theory in my house is that this season has been the all-time most elaborate set-up ever for a knock-knock joke. Aimee has pre-emptively titled the episode in which all will be revealed, “Awkward Silence Falls”. The back-up theory is that Rory is a Time Lord (although no-one will work this out until his last regeneration) and that the Doctor is a re-evolved Dalek. But I prefer the first.

More Dalek Game: Look at what Trinlayk did – Wee Free Daleks.

Other news: I have put up my sketches, cartoons and evil duck drawings from Conflux 7, and will post some illustration and book cover process posts soon.

A Dalek called Paddington

A Dalek called Paddington

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Michael Bond’s A Bear called Paddington. A number of illustrators have drawn Paddington Brown over the years, but my Paddington has always been the one of Peggy Fortnum’s original illustrations.

In other news: I am back from my holiday and will put up more non-Dalek pictures and posts soon, but in the meantime, Steampunk! comes out on Tuesday the 11th, and I have my contributor copies! I may have danced a little bit.

The Kalahari Typing School for Daleks

The Kalahari Typing School for Daleks

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith, whose books I enjoy, but whose titles I love.

In other news: There will be other news soon! I have been wandering around Canberra, learning to cope with sunlight again post-Conflux, drawing cockatoos and old motorbikes, admiring militant pacmen drawn by my nephews, and being introduced to Costco.