September 7th, 2010

a peek at the desk of viviane schwarz

I've been meaning to post these for awhile... on my birthday few weeks back, I went around visiting people, and one of my stops was Walker Books, to see what writer and illustrator Viviane Schwarz has been getting up to. And she has a new book! There are Cats in This Book is one of my favourite picture books, and now there's a sequel! Here on the right you can see the end papers of There are No Cats in This Book. Beautiful! And also a glimpse of the hamster book, A Place To Call Home, created together with Alexis Deacon, and a Dutch version of the first cats book.

Here's a sneak peek at her comic in progress, The Sleepwalkers. (Honestly, Viv said it was okay to post these!) Here you can see her dummy book and her final artwork (drawn in pencil, then someone at Walker will scan it and she'll colour it digitally). The story's amazing, I can't wait to see this as a completed graphic novel.

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interview by philip reeve!

First: proof that I did, indeed, do a morning sketch today! My outing to Greenwich was actually intended as a brisk walk around the park, but I have this terrible problem where even though I walk and walk, inevitably I get sucked into a bakery where I demolish any benefit I just took from the exercise. It's the same bakery where I showed up the very first day it opened, made a drawing, and they bought prints and hung it on the wall. The drawing's still there, which makes me all proud whenever I walk in.

(Note to the bakers, sorry, if these don't look all that much like you, it's because I was trying very hard not to stare too hard. Even though you probably thought I was being a bit creepy anyway.)

And very exciting news! The marvelous writer and illustrator Philip Reeve just interviewed me for his blog! My studio mate Lauren and I both think Philip's the bee's knees, so the title's very fitting. Read the interview here!

The Solitary Bee and a photo I took of Philip at the Carnegie Greenaway award reception

It's a bit more personal than some of my other interviews. I think that's because I've been thinking so much about my dad recently, with his retirement last week and those thoughts tied in very intriguingly with what I was reading in Philip's books, Fever Crumb and A Web of Air. I have four more Mortal Engines books to look forward to (I've read the two prequels), but on my way back from Greenwich this morning, the shop had sold out. Lauren would lend hers to me but they're stuck in her storage unit, Alex Milway and Faz Choudhury both say they have copies they'll lend me (they're fans, too) but I have to figure out how to get them. Book 1, I'm going to HUNT YOU DOWN!

Philip's also posted a lovely sketch he made of the field across from his house on Dartmoor, and a a scan from a doodle I made on a letter to him! (Ok, my drawing's a bit rough, I didn't think you'd see it. Here's the fancier drawing from the top of the letter.)

Last year, I made a resolution to write more letters, not just type e-mails, and mostly all that came of it was this letter to David Lasky. (Which David e-mailed me recently to say has been put on a comics class reading list for Rutgers University, whoa!) But I love writing and getting letters, I'd be happy just doing that all day.

I'm off to Hampshire tomorrow to hang out with my lovely friend Layn Marlow. We're going to try to figure out how to dazzle everyone at our joint presention to the Federation of Children's Book Groups in Oxford on Nov 6th (details on my events page). We're up with the writers Philip Pullman and Mary Hoffman... but I bet they don't have as many pictures as we do, right?