A new cover! This one is for the Utz Books edition of Diana Wynne Jones’ novel The Spellcoats (part of the Dalemark Quartet).
The style is to match that of my previous cover for Utz Books’ The Power of Three (which in turn was to match the style of other Utz covers for Jones’s books). The process post for that is here: The Power of Three.
Gili Bar Hillel (of Utz Books) gave a fascinating presentation at the Bristol conference about the process of translating Jones’ novels — you can read that in the published conference proceedings (more information in this post: Howl’s Moving Contracts).
Last year I went to the Diana Wynne Jones: Bristol 2019 conference in, obviously, Bristol, and had a wonderful time. Fannish academic conventions(? academic-ish fan conventions?) are wonderful fun, and we made new friends whose tastes we already approved of, and after the convention was over several of us tramped all over, and danced the witchy dance at Clifton Suspension Bridge, and rode a carousel, and tried to find the 21st-century equivalent of Janine’s boutique (some of these references are to Deep Secret which had a formative effect on my career).
Also, although I was between degrees, I gave a paper on:
“Contracts and Calcifer, or “In Which A Contract Is Concluded Before Witnesses”: the Transactional Structure of Howl’s Moving Castle.”
No regrets were had.
And the conference ebook is now available, for £10 : The Proceedings of the Diana Wynne Jones Conference, Bristol 2019.
Table of Contents
- Diana Wynne Jones Conference E-book – Introduction
- 1. Everything I learned about running a convention I learned from Deep Secret
- The Pleasures and Challenges (Expected and Unexpected) of Teaching Diana Wynne Jones in the College Classroom
- 2. Teaching Fire and Hemlock and Charmed Life
- 3. “Not One Hobbit Have I Seen!”: Generic Conventions and Teaching Diana Wynne Jones’ Work
- 4. Teaching Howl’s Moving Castle
- 5. Diana Wynne Jones’ Stories for Young Readers: “How Do Young Readers Like Them?”
- Families and How to Survive Them
- 6. The Tough Guide to Growing Up: Diana Wynne Jones’ Lessons on Coming of Age
- 7. Family in the Works of Diana Wynne Jones
- 8. Step-parents in The Ogre Downstairs and Howl’s Moving Castle
- 9. Diana Wynne Jones and Cats
- Wiles and Wisdom
- 10. Mini, Millie, Magid: Unconventional Women in the Works of Diana Wynne Jones
- 11. “Drowning in Bleach”: Guilt and Shame in Diana Wynne Jones
- Under the Influence
- 12. What Did They Teach Her in Those Schools? Or “Damn It! I’m Turning into C.S. Lewis”: Diana Wynne Jones and C.S. Lewis
- 13. Where She Got It From: Diana Wynne Jones, Other Towns, and Piers Plowman
- 14. Invisible and Visible Influence: Diana Wynne Jones, E. Nesbit, and Children Who Are Not Seen
- 15. Keynote: Living a Charmed Life
- Concealment and Revelation
- 16. “Do We Know Each Other?”: Hidden Identities, Referential Characters, and Narrative Possibilities in Diana Wynne Jones’ Hexwood
- 17. Concealment and Revelation: Reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Magic through Western Esoteric Traditions
- 18. Buried Alive: The Arthur/Merlin Motif in the Novels of Diana Wynne Jones
- Built Environments
- 19. Contracts and Calcifer, or “In Which A Contract Is Concluded Before Witnesses”: the Transactional Structure of Howl’s Moving Castle
- 20. Jones and Quantum Foam
- 21. Making Sense of Settings: How Sensory Description Builds Dalemark
- 22. Diana Wynne Jones’ Contemporary Medievalism
- Into the Woods
- 23. Ideologies of Power in Hexwood
- 24. Fractured Humanity/Fragments of Humanity in Hexwood
- 25. Time in Diana Wynne Jones
- 26. There’s Nothing Magic About Words: Translating Diana Wynne Jones into Hebrew
- Wizarding Worlds
- 27. “So Would You Mind Telling Me Where I Am? It’s a Stately Home of Some Kind, Isn’t It?” (Charmed Life)
- 28. Walled Gardens, Lonely Attics and Public Schools: the Romance, the Canon and Constructions of Englishness in the Chrestomanci Series
- 29. It Takes a Wizard: Exploring the Role of Wizards within their Communities in Howl’s Moving Castle, Frogkisser! and The Evil Wizard Smallbone
- 30. The Wizard of a Thousand Faces: Pinning Down the Trickster Wizard in The Howl Trilogy
- Power and the Corporations
- 31. A Remedy, or, the Meaning of the Goon’s Small Head
- 32. “Want Television!”: the “Drama of Screens” in Archer’s Goon (BBC, 1992)
- 33. “We Need to Make the Place Pay Somehow”: Magical Universities and Money in Year of the Griffin
- Nationality and Borders
- 34. Deconstructing Dalemark: an Alternate History of Northern Europe
- 35. Bounds, Homes and Riding away: An Exploration of Border Representation and National Identity within the Novels of Diana Wynne Jones
- 36. In Short, the Map is Useless: Cartography and Maps in Diana Wynne Jones’ Books and Stories
- 37. Diana: My Sister’s Imagination
- Primary Bibliography: Works by Diana Wynne Jones
- The Contributors
- Kickstarter supporters
- Index of Chapters Discussing Jones’ Books
- Poems, by Diana Wynne Jones.
The Illustration Friday topic this week was “electronic”, and since I’ve been regretting my (unavoidable) inability to enter the Folio Society illustration competition, my thoughts were on Diana Wynne Jones’s books, and the unexpected co-appearances of magic and more contemporary technologies.
So here is a Howl, of Howl’s Moving Castle, as loosely suggested by a scene that is in the book, but not the movie!
And here is the original piece, with my hand for scale.
This instalment of the Dalek Game is another Diana Wynne Jones Dalek! This time it is for the very splendid Howl’s Moving Castle, because a remote-controlled Dalek is the sort of thing Howl (book-Howl, not movie-Howl) would bring home, and this is how Sophie would react if not given time to adjust.
Please note the distinction between book-Howl and movie-Howl. I adore the Studio Ghibli movie. It is gorgeous, rich, odd, unexpected, breathtaking, enchanting, hysterical – all the things the book is, but in very different ways. Characters change sides, ages and genders, old ones disappear, new ones appear, the Castle grows legs and the fire demon becomes adorable (I’m okay with that).
The movie amps up the war themes and advances the technology but loses the John Donne riddles. It catches Sophie’s strength but not her power. And it perfectly renders the troubled, vain, flamboyant Howl, but leaves out the drunk, soccer-playing, fast-driving, computer-savvy side of his character.
I love this book very much, and it is almost time to watch a course of Welsh movies and find someone to read it to again.
After the sketchcrawl and the moleskine exchange, a quick and simple scratchboard illustration this week!
Sophy Hatter, putting Howl’s blue-and-silver suit back together again, after she cut it into little triangles to make a patchwork skirt, after it was stained but before it grew out of control. I was tracking down extracts of the book online (I’ve no idea who has my copy) and I’d forgotten how that suit is all through the book, right from Howl’s first appearance. And I remembered how much I liked it and how much I need to Read It Again Right Now (the movie is wonderful, but only really bears a resemblance to the plot of the book for the first half hour).
Seen in person, this is a very small illustration: 5.5cmx5.5cm (just over two inches square). The colour version (below) is about life-size, but you can see that larger on Flickr if you click on it.
I’m not sure about the black circle background yet. It is an effect I generally like (especially in chapter headers) but am still experimenting with. I think it might work better with an ink drawing or with at least a cleaner background. I’d like to do a more frenetic version of this picture as well – this is rather calm.