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i met shaun tan!

Oh my goodness, I got to meet Shaun Tan! I only got the invitation that morning, and I dived into the packed, sweaty Illustration Cupboard to see one of my picture book heroes. Hooray! And he is so, so lovely. I wish I could take him away and spend a whole day making comics with him. Dang, 'cause so does everyone else.



He drew in a couple of my books and I gave him one of my comics and we talked for a bit, but I was painfully aware that he'd been on the tour circuit for awhile and had probably had similar conversations with thousands of people. But he still managed that thing where, when he talks to you, you feel like you're the only person in the room. Really nice guy. My review of the event will appear soon on the Write Away website. He's just launched a gorgeous book called Tales from Outer Suburbia and you can read my review of his book The Arrival here.

Shirley Hughes came along, she's great for getting out to lots of these kinds of events:


I was very glad to see Viviane Schwarz and Alexis Deacon walk in. Here they are, and Alexis's rather weird toe shoes:

I didn't get the greatest photos last night because I was very shy about shoving a flash into people's faces. (Sorry about the closed eyes shot, Viv!)

I also talked with the amazing writer and illustrator Helen Ward (who wrote Varmints). She had a bad injury to her hand, when her dog got in an accident; she ran to help him and the dog was so terrified he bit through one of her fingers and she almost lost it. Fortunately it was her left hand, not her drawing hand, and she's had lots of surgery and reconstruction, but it all sounded pretty scary. And her dog died, boo. :-( Hand injuries are so scary in this job. My hand got car-doored a few months ago when I was on my bike and I was fine, but it freaked me out very badly.

Here's someone I thought was Tony Ross, but I'm thinking maybe I confused him with someone else. Help, who is the guy on the left? Anyway, he's perching on the stairway next to Tony West and John Bittles, from the Lion & Unicorn bookshop.



Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
denji
May. 29th, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)
AAAAUURGGHHHHH

i can't beleive you got to meet mr.shaun tann..... ;0000; very lucky! does he like your stuff?! I hope so!! =D


that is all, he sure is a genius!! I love 'the arrival' i just think it's a perfect example of silent comic story telling =)

this illustration cuboard sounds fantastic! xD is your work up there as well? (sorry for all the curious questions) i'm glad you had such a great time =)

jabberworks
May. 30th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Nope, my work's not there, I'm not big-shot enough yet. ;-)
ext_138579
May. 29th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
Ha ha, I look happy... that's because I got an elderflower drink! :D
jabberworks
May. 30th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Mmmm. I keep meaning to learn how to make elderflower cordial. There's loads of it growing in Burgess Park and I'm sure I could nick some.
glummdead
May. 29th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
That looks like it was good times!

I so want a pair of toe shoes.
xiann
May. 29th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
I've seen those shoes before! I kinda want some too. They're called Five Finger Shoes (although they really should be toe shoes) ...
http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/
jabberworks
May. 30th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
They are really a bit strange looking! I think I will leave them to you guys! ;-)
bandersnatch_02
May. 29th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
SHIRLEY HUGHES!!!

[falls over]
jabberworks
May. 30th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
That lady really gets out and about! I've seen her at lots of things now, she even came to our DFC launch!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 2nd, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
Hi Sarah,
That looks like a great night. Shaun was over in Dublin two weeks ago as part of a conference, it was so great to hear him talking about his work. I am a huge fan too. lots of Irish Illustrators met up with him for a coffee morning. He was lovely guy and really interested in the little illustration community in Ireland. I think he is like all of us spends too much time on his own! By the way meant to tell you before that my kids loved Lettuce and Vern!
niamhsharkey
Jun. 2nd, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
sorry I didn't sign in...
The last anon message is from me, Niamh Sharkey! In case you though it was from some random Irish Illustrator!
jabberworks
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry I didn't sign in...
Hi, Niamh!

That's awesome you got to hang out with Shaun! I really, really wanted to, and he kind of looked like he would have liked to have gone and talked comics and made drawings, but the booksigning queue was *massive*, darn darn darn.

Hey, it wasn't so long ago since I was going bright red meeting you at the same venue! I got totally flustered, heh heh. Probably because when I was first learning how to draw, a lot of my stuff looked awfully like I was copying you, I really loved the rhythm of your characters. 'The Gigantic Turnip' was the first book my husband bought for me because he saw it in a shop window and instantly knew I'd love it. (That doesn't hardly ever happen!)

Really glad your kids liked Vern and Lettuce! I am sure they'll be back...
(Anonymous)
Jul. 14th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
We meet Shaun Tan too
Hi Sarah,

Its John Bittles from the Lion & Unicorn Bookshop. It was great to meet you that night. The guy beside me in the picture is actually Tony West who is the manager of the shop. We're loving 'You Can't Eat a Princess here in the shop!
jabberworks
Jul. 14th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: We meet Shaun Tan too
Hey, thanks, John! I knew I had him wrongly pegged. ;) Great to hear you like 'You Can't Eat a Princess!', thanks for the feedback!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 25th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
vibram five finger
i can't beleive you got to meet mr.shaun tann..... ;0000; very lucky! does he like your stuff?! I hope so!! =D that is all, he sure is a genius!! I love 'the arrival' i just think it's a perfect example of silent comic story telling =) this illustration cuboard sounds fantastic! xD is your work up there as well? (sorry for all the curious questions) i'm glad you had such a great time =)
jabberworks
Feb. 25th, 2011 07:03 am (UTC)
Re: vibram five finger
Yes, he's brilliant! Glad you know his work, too. I don't know if he likes my stuff, I slipped him one of my comics, but I don't know if he read it. Lovely guy.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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