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14 Nov 2013

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin, is a book that I worked on earlier in the year for Tamarind Books.

Its a series of short fairy tales reminiscent of the Brothers Grim, but with a modern day european cultural take on it. So with the ethos of Tamerind books in mind, I set about (after Jamila had written most of it) creating characters from ethnic minorities that would hopefully reflect how the diversity of modern europe has changed since the creation of all our classic fairytales.

The idea was to do this, but do this in a subtle way, so it would hopefully fit in with other classical fairytales and not be overstated . The overall the world in which these characters inhabited would be the same as someone like Cinderalla (for example) would have, even characters in the supporting cast would be very similar to what they would have been in Cinderalla. But the main characters, the heroes & the heroines of the book would be from the ethnic minorities that make up a big part of modern day europe.

And I think with the help of designers Dominica Clements, Clair Lansley and editor Kirsten Armstrong we came up with something cool at the end!

You can pick up the book from lots of different places, here is one of them.

p.s. we also had a fun talk last thursday in coventry about this, (and an amazing steak dinner!) so thanks for everyone who put that on and thanks for everyone who attended, even more thanks to the people that asked me questions, and most thanks to the person who nominated me fro the Kate Greenaway Medal!)

The Phoenix Comic!

I have recently been working for the UK's best children's comic (imo), called 'The Phoenix'.
It is available in selected bookstores around the UK, you can subscribe AND it is also available for your iPad!
Some of its writers and illustrators include Neil Cameron, Sarah Mcintyre, Dave Shelton & Lorenzo Etherington and now Me …and many, many more (sorry not to mention)!

My part so far in the Phoenix has been to create a centre spread (every now and then) called the HUNTERS DESK, written by Tom Fickling.

The premise behind it is that we are the character of a Monster Hunter, who in each featured spread, is preparing to go and hunt rare and GIANT monsters!
You are given hints and clues into his life as well as his GIANT monster prey, which should help you piece together how he's going to hunt the creature, what gadgets he uses and his suspicions about the powers that be!

Hopefully, in the not so distant future, we should be able to bring the reader a comic strip of The Monster Hunter during his Hunts! Will keep you posted ;)

Mission Telemark Paperback

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Above is the cover, for the re-released or newly released Paperback of Mission Telemark by Amanda Mitchison published by Walker Books.

The story is set in War torn europe during the second world war, and follows a group of 4 children trained by the british secret service to infiltrate a facility in Norway, which is being used by the Nazi's to develop their nuclear program. They have been chosen because of their particular skills and take on hard and cold journey across Norway's Hardanger, arriving at their destination to take on the Nazis and help save the Allies!!

This (the hardback) was the first book I worked on after I came out of university, so is good to see it come out again. The original had pencil sketches plus ink drawings (image below) from me, but the cover was done by someone else. It had always been a bit of a shame from my end that I didn't work on the original cover, so was great to be asked to the do the illustration for the paperback version!
And I'm really happy with how it came out in the end, especially happy with how it looks in the flesh, a matt finish with spot gloss on the font. The design was done by Jack Noel, you can check out his stuff here.

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

You can pick up a copy from here.