“What if you could create a book that was not only a journey in words, but also a journey for the eyes.”
For my latest novel, The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown, I wanted the pictures to not only illustrate the story, but also feed the imagination of the reader, take them into the story and involve them. Thinking back to my childhood, I enjoyed regular comics, but the ones I loved most of all were those that had additional things happening on the page, other than the story.
Working closely with the illustrator, Dylan Gibson, we took each chapter one at a time, breaking down ideas for illustrations and colour scenes that would feed the readers imagination. In the end we had too many illustrations and had to cut quite a lot for the final book, but the important ones were always going to be the colour full page scenes. These are the ones readers can glance at to supplement the story, or study to find the extra information and additional jokes that are added in the background that the main characters are oblivious to.
These are the sort of pictures that I loved as a child that would make me get my pens out and copy.
In this article I want to share with you some of my favourite pictures from the book, to whet your appetite!
Top of my list is this great image taken inside Professor Brown’s crazy lab. (top left)
Our detective, Lawrence Pinkley, has broken into Professor Brown’s secret lab during the night (hence the balaclava) to investigate the scene of his disappearance.
I love the variety of items you can see inside the room, including a head, eyeballs, pickled onions, hands, feet and a bum! Don’t forget to have a look at Professor Brown’s ‘To do’ list for some pretty funky ideas.
Another one I love is this retro film poster (left). It is used to represent an imaginary dystopian scene where pumpkins take over the world and cows have no control over their excessively toxic farts!
The final image I would like to show you (bottom left) is a sketch that we haven’t used in the book, but it shows a nice selection of some of the characters in the book.
In the center is Lawrence Pinkley, then clockwise from the top right of the image:
Miss Russet Brown, Professor Brown’s beautiful daughter who hires Pinkley to investigate her fathers disappearance,
Shadwell, one of the hired hitmen,
Angus Pacarlicoff, a Russian reporter who works for the Whitby Gazette with dubious connections with the Russian mafia,
2 creepy looking pumpkins,
Rodney Tangle, Professor Brown’s lab assistant with an unhealthy interest in dressing up,
Spike, the second hired hitman who has a particular liking for chocolate,
Vicky, the waitress at the local coffee bar with a soft spot for Pinkley.
Aimed at middle grade and teens, perfect target audience for the illustrations. Working on this project with Dylan is only the beginning; we have many more ideas for the future. The style of writing and illustrations set our book apart from the other reading material for young adults creating an individual brand image that is easily recognisable to readers.
Available from Amazon in:
Limited Edition Artwork Also Available.
5 images have been taken from the book and are available as a set for fans to collect. Strictly limited to 50 sets. Size A4. Delivery to the UK and US
£15 per set + £5 postage