cheltenham, morris, and i got to see my first vern and lettuce book!
I submitted this coloured mockup version of the Cheltenham BookIt! illustration, and just heard back from festival co-ordinator Nicola Tuxworth that she really likes it. Whew! I always forget how long it takes to colour these images, this one is 45 layers in Photoshop, even though I’m sure other people could do it with a whole lot less layers. (You can also see the earlier penciled version and inked version.)
And SO exciting, it doesn’t launch until Sept 30th, but I got to see the first advance copies of the real live Vern and Lettuce book! This means so much to me, this book is totally my baby! It’s the first book I’ve both written and illustrated myself, and the book that most clearly does what I want it to do, even though it was my first real foray into comics. I know the characters so well that I sometimes get a bit carried away talking about them, going well beyond the book; because for me, they don’t stop with the book at all, it’s like they’re real characters and they’re still doing loads of other things behind the scenes. I really love these guys.
My publisher, David Fickling, presented the first copy of Vern and Lettuce to me at a talk we gave together on Thursday night for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators about the makings of our first picture book together, Morris the Mankiest Monster. David surprised everyone by selling three advance copies of Vern and Lettuce to the first three people who could nab them, I totally wasn’t expecting that! So there are a few copies floating around somewhere.
You can always count on David to give a rousing and dramatic performance. Here’s a video that Candy Gourlay (author of Tall Story) caught of the two of us reading Morris the Mankiest Monster (Thanks, Candy!):
Here’s the back cover of Vern and Lettuce:
And one more amazing thing! Go look at the wonderful photos taken by my studio mate, Lauren O’Farrell, of all the tiny people knitted and sewed for the Science Museum’s Stitch Yourself exhibition. Here’s the Stitch London blog post! (Can you spot mine? Yeah, apologies again to all the people who were wondering why I didn’t give myself any arms. …I mostly draw by banging my head against the desk, hehe.)