Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair will come out this autumn, and I'm working like mad on it right now! You may remember my very first published collaboration with Philip Reeve, a comic strip that I wrote, he drew, and I coloured for The Phoenix Comic (Issue 44). It featured these two friendly alien repairmen:
And it was set on an amazing planet that was ALL funfair! A dream come true.
When I was little, I LOVED playing with LEGO and trying to build the most exciting funfairs I could think of. But I was always a bit disappointed with the results, I could never capture the funfair in my mind, it was supposed to be WAY better than that. I thought that growing up was how I'd acquire all the skills that would equip me to making a proper awesome funfair. But even though my dad was a top engineer, I never quite managed to master the maths and physics I'd need to build funfairs. ...But now I can DRAW them. I can build funfairs in people's MINDS, ha ha. Here's Emily. She's a bit like LEGO-kid me, but she looks very much like my studio mate, Elissa Elwick.
Inspired by our original comic, Jinks and O'Hare are very much supposed to be the main characters in this book, fixing the rides that go wrong on Funfair Moon. But Emily lives in the Lost Property office and she's rather ambitious. So we'll see what happens with her.... Here are a couple work-in-progress drawings:
The way I've been working is to draw thumbnails with pencil, working to Philip's text. (Philip came to London and helped me draw these). Then our designer, Jo Cameron, figures out how they can fit with the text, and we fiddle them around a bit. Then I draw them with pencil in more detail, and use my light box to trace over them with an old-fashioned dip pen and ink. I'll scan them into the computer, colour them in Photoshop, and they'll be ready to send back for Jo to put into the book! Now I'd better get back to the drawing...
Be sure to catch up with our other books before this one comes out! :)
PS Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair isn't a comic, it's the same format as the last three books. But if you love family-friendly comics, do have a look at what The Phoenix Comic is coming out with, it's brilliant stuff! You can either subscribe to the weekly magazine or buy their awesome compiled comic books. (Their Star Cat by James Turner won the top UK comic prize this year, the Young People's Comic Award.) Absolute essential books for any library.