Keen followers may remember that last year I did the cover and twenty-odd interior illustrations for Can't Be Arsed by industry-funny man Richard Wilson (not the I-don't-believe-it one, another one). Some of you may even have been given it for Christmas- lots of people were. It was a best-seller, in fact.
Everyone is keen to follow up the success for Christmas 2009 by reuniting the humour-book dream team that is me and Mr Wilson, and so I've just finished a big load of illustrations for the follow up, Don't Even Think About It. It's a spoofulous take-off of the nostalgic guides to having an old-fashioned childhood you get, by spying on your neighbours, say, or whittling your own bow and arrow out of someone else's bigger bow and arrow. It's as funny as Can't Be Arsed (which is funny) and I'm really pleased to be involved again.
I'll put up more including the cover nearer the "pub date", which is some time in September (this is a teaser, as they say), but here's a sample of the score of black and white interior illustrations.
The Can't Be Arsed illustrations that were least successful were the ones that didn't take into account the page layout, and ignored the fact that they wouldn't bleed off the page. This time I really I tried to bear in mind the layout and the way the type would flow with the illustrations. This one is probably the best one for that: a split illustration of the perils of outdoor swimming with space between for the text to fill. Now I just have to have faith that the designers don't decide to put the swimmer on page 8 and the octopus on page 124, upside down. (The first person to spot the subtle reference to Can't Be Arsed wins 8 blog points.)
And here's a process breakdown for a fight over a Monopoly game. The whole thing is done on my fancy magic tablet these days, you know.
Click on this one for an animation:
Or just look at this and imagine it moving:
In the end it came out like this:
In more book based news, I'm pleased to report my own title, Love Letters, is doing fairly well and is even up for another print run very soon. Hey, why not buy your pop a copy for Fathers Day this Sunday? Maybe it'll prompt that birds-and-the-bees chat you never had, but this time with rabbits and dogging.