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Equinox, Bright And Sunny

I intend to get out and enjoy it.

  • Last night I noticed a tweet from everybody’s favorite, Kate Beaton that lead to a story that is both fabulous news and deeply disappointing at the same time. Barnes & Noble, at their SF/Fantasy blog, honored the 80th anniversary of The Hobbit‘s publication by recounting the story of hour Maurice Sendak almost got the gig to illustrate an edition 50 years ago. Great story, terrible that we never got that and they used that as a jumping off point to imagine how seven legendary artists¹ would also make great partners with Tolkien’s work.

    The seven chosen are Paul Pope, Mary Blair, Dr Suess, Al Hirschfeld, Edward Gorey, Mo Willems … and Kate Beaton.

    This is amazing company to be in, and I can’t say that it isn’t entirely earned. Each of the seven is immediately, uniquely identifiable, each suits their chosen material perfectly, and each would bring a wonderful spin to Bilbo’s adventures. That’s the good part.

    The bad part? Four of the seven — Blair, Suess, Hirschfeld, and Gorey — are dead, and so it’s entirely appropriate for B&N to contract with an artist to do work in their style. But Pope, Willems, and Beaton are all very much alive, and to have somebody else ape their style when they’re around is weak tea.

    Grant Lindahl’s got a pretty good handle on Beaton’s style (I particularly like the spider, which looks like the offspring of Shelob and Fat Pony), but you know who’s got an even better handle on Beaton’s style? Same applies to Willems and Pope.

    Maybe she was busy. Maybe the amount they had in the budget was too little to interrupt her current work. But her tweet reads to me like she wasn’t asked, which is weak tea. To paraphrase a character that every reader of the SF/Fantasy blog should be familiar with, OK, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?

  • Updated Kickstarter numbers for the Girls With Slingshots omnibus, Yuko Ota’s off-hand comics, and Howard Tayler²’s thirteenth (!) Schlock Mercenary collection, according to the Fleen Funding Formula, Mark II, and the McDonald Ratio:
    • GWS Omni: US$276K to US$410K (FFFmk2, unchanged since Wednesday); US$357K (McDR, up from US$347K)
    • Offhand: US$36K to US$54K (FFFmk2, up from US$25K to US$37K); US$51K (McDR, up from US$30K)
    • Schlock 13: US$90K to US$136K (FFFmk2, up from US$84K to US$126K); US$120K (McDR, up from US$99K)

    This time next month, we’ll know how they all worked out.

Spam of the day:
¹ Legendary is their word choice; in fact, the title of the post. Also, by Tolkien’s numerology, this would make the artists equivalent to the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone. Granted, most artists do end up hunched over their drawing boards and don’t always get out into the sun.

² Evil Twin, etc.

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