cats, cupcakes & knitting with vivian schwarz

Yesterday I hopped on my bicycle and popped over to the fabulous independent Review bookshop on Bellenden Road in Peckham for the launch of There are cats in this book by Viviane Schwarz. I already loved Viviane’s work from her comics – picture book hybrid Shark and Lobster, written and drawn by Viviane and digitally coloured by another artist I very much admire, Joel Stewart. Viviane did all the work on this latest cat book, and it is beautiful!! Lots of quirky cut-out pages and flaps and gorgeous drawings with colours that are tastefully textured and bright at the same time. The solid red cover looks almost Russian avant-garde, and the Walker Books designer, Ben Norland, joked that he’d almost gotten away with a cover with nothing on it. I totally love it! Have a look at Viviane’s blog, lots of great stuff there.

David O’Connell modelling book and cupcakes, Vivian Schwarz, Alexis Deacon, Alex Milway

I met up at the launch with Dave O’Connell (tozocomic) and Alex Milway and we ate some of the cat cupcakes Viviane had made and watched her knit a little cat while sitting at one of those old-fashioned wooden school desks. The shop was wonderfully cosy and it was great seeing friends, and then another one of my favourite illustrators, Alexis Deacon walked in, and all was right with the world.

…Except that I wanted to stay longer and couldn’t, because of a zillion pressing deadlines. Argh! In fact, I am a bit worried tonight is going to be an incredibly late-nighter for tomorrow’s Vern and Lettuce deadline. The penciling took a bit longer than usual because my first draft unintentionally had a hugely rude, very adult, double-entendre that I didn’t even notice until it was well underway. I only spotted it while I was showing it to Stuart and he laughed his head off (but not for the reasons that people are supposed to laugh at Vern and Lettuce.) So I had to redo it before even showing it to my editor. Fortunately Will Kirkby (chamonkee) stays up late inking his comics, so we are going to e-mail on the hour to make sure the other hasn’t fallen asleep. It worked last time, fingers crossed.

Review bookshop in Peckham and some of Viviane’s cats in the shop window

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