22 September 2010

The Graphic Canon - Candide by Voltaire

I while ago I was asked by Russ Kick if I would be able to contribute illustrations to The Graphic Canon: The Definitive Anthology of the World's Great Literature as Comics and Visuals. The book is being published by Seven Stories Press, a respected independent press specialising in literature and politics.

Russ was looking for a sequential adaptation or one or more full-page stand-alone illustrations for several literary works including poetry, novels and plays... many I'd never even heard of! With that in mind I needed a bit of guidance and Russ decided that my style would lend a really interesting dimension to Candide by Voltaire.

I didn't have much free time to invest in actually sitting down and reading the book but luckily I found LibriVox - acoustical liberation of books in the public domain. So, I just downloaded the mp3s and enjoyed Ted Delorme reading it to me. In fact, I feel as though I've struck up a bit of a personal friendship with Ted having listened to his relaxing voice over the course of several weeks.

In the end I did a piece on the syphilis passage from Chapter Four and a scene from Chapter Five; A Tempest, a Shipwreck, an Earthquake...
Since Voltaire wrote Candide in 1759 I wanted to do something on old paper with gothic lettering. I tried staining some white paper with tea but this didn't work out very well so I ended up drawing everything on brown envelopes.

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