The Next Book!

Chatting with Prue Batten a few days ago, she reminded me of a short story she’d sent me almost a year ago that I completely forgotten. I went back and re-read it, and was, as always, enchanted. It’s from the fantasy world of her first four books, and the story was so like many dreams I’ve had that she might have pulled it right out of my brain. The most striking things about the Eirie books, for me, is their watercolor quality and the use of the same qualities I loved designing costumes: the use of color, texture, and light to create a world that is fully alive to all five senses (and in some of her characters, six).

I started to think about the descriptions of the clothing and people in the story,and my mind went into costume designer overdrive. This, to me looks like Eirie:

Russian, 18th century

Russian, 18th century

Russian, 18th century

Russian, 18th century

Isn’t that wild? And there was once a time and place where people dressed like that!! My mind is spinning – more later . . .oh, by the way, the story is called “The Orchard of Chance”.

Floor Globes

I was starting to make a few pocket globes, when I came upon this picture:

. . .and in a spirit of “I could make that!”, I tried making something similar. Here’s my second attempt (don’t ask about the first):

Floor Globe

Floor Globe

Floor Globe

Floor Globe

Floor Globe

Floor Globe

 

Still a bit lumpen,  but I have ideas for others. Next, a matched terrestrial-and-celestial!

Building Things

I feel so liberated by the publication of ‘Three Rats At Sea’ that I’m making a lot of non-book stuff:

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci's Illustrations for Luca Pacioli's De Divina Proportione

Leonardo da Vinci’s Illustrations for Luca Pacioli’s De Divina Proportione

. . .and the beginning of a collection of the works of Sherlock Holmes and his circle (including Watson’s ‘The Giant Rat of Sumatra’ and Moran’s ‘Heavy Game in the Western Himalayas’)

Holmes Book Stand

Holmes Book Stand

It looks a bit like a picnic table now, but it’ll get fancier. At least I got all the (blank) books done,which takes all the time.

And getting all my papers together for the tax accountant! Ow!

Three Rats Have Landed!

If I do say so myself, I’m very pleased. At least, that it’s finished. Naw, I really like it.

Front

Front

Spine

Spine

Title Page

Title Page

Source and Result

Source and Result

Rescued By Mermaids

Rescued By Mermaids

For the rest, go look: Three Rats At Sea

Three Rats At Sea Judged ‘Not Adorable Enough”, Back To Drawing Board, Says Sweet

I just finished the first complete run-through of “Three Rats At Sea” (its real final title). I’m bloodied but only slightly bowed. The only one that didn’t work at all was the final pop-up, and I spent an hour or two re-engineering it, and although I’ve had to give up my more ambitious idea, I still have something that I’ll like.

The book will be:

– the front matter (endpapers using some leftover whales and mermaids), title page, front credits, etc.

– the illuminated manuscript (either bound in or removable, I haven’t decided. I’ll always go with a manipulatable (as the arithmetic teachers say)).

– the pop-ups

– the back matter (back credits, thanks, more endpapers with the same mermaids and whales doing something different).

. . . . which doesn’t seem to be enough. I’m always comparing this to “At The Flea Circus”, which was stuffed with little treats. This one won’t be as adorable as ATFC, but then, nothing could.

No pictures today, every damn scrap of paper and cardstock went straight into the wastepaper basket. Gahhh.

 

 

Journey’s End (I Wish)

If I can make this work, it’ll be the greatestbest ending for “Rats At Sea”:

West . . .

West . . .

To Middle . . .

To Middle . . .

To East!

To East!

The ship and the sun both go the same general direction, but on different tracks! And I have to simplify the crowd – too much cutting- out.

The Kraken! The Kraken!

And of course this one went down as smooth as silk:

The Final Result

The Final Result

One

One

Two

Two

Three

Three

Although a minor point, the book doesn’t actually show how the rats escape the sea monster. I think I’ll leave that as an exercise for the student.

One more to go. The Rats Come Home!

Stalking The Volcano

Step by step. . . . Step by step . . .

The pattern

The pattern

This is attempt #12, I think.

Parts Cut Out

Parts Cut Out

It all seems so hopeful at this stage.

Step #1 - The Riser

Step #1 – The Riser

I could have stopped there, but no.

Step #3 - The Platform

Step #2 – The Platform

Another layer of smoke, this one goes up and forward.

Step #4 - The Floater

Step #3 – The Floater

Yet another layer of smoke, and the ship, attached to the riser.

Step #4 - The Frame

Step #4 – The Frame

Amazingly, the clouds of smoke all cleared the frame edge.

Another View

Another View

I think this is it. My main niggle is that the clouds of smoke elevate enough. In a few attempts, they soared above the top line, which is completely magical, but difficult to reproduce. Consistency is the hobgoblin of pop-ups, as Emerson once said.

Pat’s Home-made Imposition

Two people within the last two days have asked me how I manage the imposition for my books. (This link shows how the pros do it. You can rent of buy programs to do this for you, but this is the method I figured out for myself when I was starting out, and was too cheap to pay price.) I’ve put together some basic instructions (which assume you have Photoshop or Gimp or some similar program):

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 1

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 1

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 2

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 2

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 3

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 3

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 4

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 4

Go crazy!

Refinement

I’ve reached the half-way mark! I’ve (sort-of) finished the first four of eight scenes. I make myself crazy by starting work on the next scene before I’m done with previous one, and so get mixed up. But here’s the latest iteration of ‘The Rats Are Rescued by Mermaids’. Keep in mind these are prelims, and I haven’t been very precise in my cutting:

Rescued by Mermaids

Rescued by Mermaids

More Rescued Rats

More Rescued Rats

I re-cast the mermaids – the book needed more tits.