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News: I'm appearing on a graphic novel panel with Paul Gravett on Oct 10th, 6-7pm at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, aimed at children and adults, along with Garen Ewing and John Dunning. Do come along!
(Does anyone know if John has a website? All I can find is this link to his collaboration with Mardou. Oh, and Paul Gravett's website has been revamped, have a look!)

I had a great time yesterday, speaking on a UK Literary Association panel hosted by Write Away's Nikki Gamble at the old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, with two brilliant people who make children's books: Czech writer and illustrator Petr Horáček and London-based Liverpuddlian David Roberts, who's one of my favourite illustrators working today. Have you seen the book of horror stories he did with Chris Priestley, Tales of Terror from the Black Ship? It's one of the best things I've read lately, really gripping stories, with wonderfully atmostpheric line drawings, inspired by the likes of Edward Gorey and Gustav Doré. Nikki asked us questions about our influences, and Petr and I were able to talk about our mutual love of Kveta Pačovska's work. Two other illustrators we mentioned were Eric Carle (a big influence on Petr) and Errol Le Cain. (We can't quite figure out why Le Cain's work is so hard to find in Britain. David and I were both besotted with it when we were kids.)

After the panel, the organiser David Reedy said he'd had people come up to him and tell him it was the best illustrator panel they'd ever heard, which was great to hear. Nikki asked some great questions, David was hysterically funny, and Petr made us all jealous with the photos of his attic studio and printmaking specimens. I'd picked up some books for David and Petr in a fab Anchorage book store (Title Wave Books) that I thought they'd like: The Red Shoes illustrated by Sun Young Yoo for David, and Circle Dogs, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino for Petr.

David was waiting around to meet his partner in Greenwich to celebrate their five-year anniversary, so I nabbed him for a drink at the Greenwich Union, which made me squiffy with happiness. Then Stuart decided he'd meet me there for dinner, and it sounded like a great plan, but Alaska jet-lag hit me just as I was ordering my food and I almost did a face-plant in my curry. I think David's dinner must've been a whole lot more romantic, I could barely make it home.

Just before I left for the States, I did a workshop on making little books with Nikki at the Institute of Education (near the British Museum). I displayed some of the little books I'd made in the past, and included some by other people who've used interesting bookbinding techniques, such as Asia Alfasi and Oliver Lamden.

I was very impressed by the books one participant brought along, but I wrote down her name on a slip of paper and I can't find it anywhere, argh! I am on the hunt for this creator's name, I'll get in touch with Nikki and post it. I remember chiding her for not putting her name anywhere on the book. Note: If you make a book, please, please put your name on the front cover! It's very important!

And that's Nikki, the woman who makes all things happen!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
David Roberts
He's one of my favorite illustrators too. I love Tyrannosaurus Drip
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: David Roberts
Cool! I think Little Red and Tales of Horror from the Black Ship are my favourites so far, but I love a lot about Iggy Peck, Architect, and his latest work with Julia Donaldson, The Troll gives my favourites a run for their money.
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Re: David Roberts
Someone gave me a link to artwork from Little Red and I refuse to look at it! I'm currently doing a spread for a collaborative fairy tale book and my spread is Red Riding Hood. Too scared it will influence me!
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Re: David Roberts
It might very well do that! There are so many brilliant things about those illos.
Jul. 11th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
8D yaaay, I should be back in cheltenham that time of year - hopefully I can get to the panel. (unless it clashes with BICS T__________T )
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
Yay! I think BICS is happening Oct 4-5, so hopefully that won't stop you. :-)
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, its at the beginning of the month. :D

oh and I really liked the drawings of the houses you posted the other day. they were really interesting
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
no problem ^______^
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, Wendy did some super bookbinding on that one! :-)

I don't actually have any notes from the talk, I just showed them some of the handmade books in my collection. Then I gave them a worksheet showing them how to do some character and story development (so their kids would have something to make a book about), then gave them some simple bookbinding techniques. The easiest one is that one with a piece of A3 paper folded into eight and slit down the middle, so it turns into a book with covers and three spreads. I was trying to keep things pretty simple so they could do it easily with schoolchildren and limited supplies, but I think they really wanted to muck in with hardcore bookbinding materials. So I'll have a think and maybe expand it a bit next time.

Do you do combined workshops with Wendy? The two of you have so many complementary skills for this sort of thing.
Jul. 12th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
thx 4 teh linkz
Thanks for this super-mega-post. I look forward to checking out all these artists when I have some extra time. It's like a whole new world for me to discover.

Also: Did anyone record your panel??
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: thx 4 teh linkz
Thanks, David! Hmm, I don't think anyone recorded the talk, at least not officially.
Jul. 13th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
Wee! busy girl, and yay for Nikki ^__^
Jul. 16th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
I spotted this post on Google Reader a few days ago, on the same day someone else posted something about Errol Le Cain. I can't remember what the link was now, but it was some of his animation work.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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