Monday, 18 August 2014

Octopuppy Brazil

Following news of French language editions of The Octopuppy in my last post, I'm delighted to say the book will soon be appearing in Brazil, in a new Portuguese edition.

It'll be published in paperback by Casa Cultural Saber E Ler Livraria Ltda, Brazil.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Le Octopuppy

I'm delighted to announce that The Octopuppy will shortly be published in French language editions.

The book will be published in hardback by Éditions Père Fouettard. All the readers in France who have asked me when they'll be able to get hold of a copy of The Octopuppy won't have too much longer to wait!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lost Octopuppies found!

I've been sent some fantastic Octopuppy-inspired drawings this week, made by the hugely talented kids at Grahamvale Primary School, Shepparton, Australia. Thank you to them for all their brilliant Octopuppy ideas, I'm delighted they've enjoyed the book so much. And a big thank you to Ella, their teacher. Ella writes:

Hi Martin,

My prep class (6 year olds) have been so excited to be reading The Octopuppy this week. They literally cheer every time I get it out to read to them. They have loved every minute of our reading lessons this week. 

I have attached some pictures of the "Lost" posters that they made. We hung them up around the school before turning them into a classroom display. The kids had to create a poster to help find Jarvis by picking something that he could do that a 'normal' puppy couldn't. It was a great activity. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the amazing learning that has happened through the use of your hilarious book.

Kind regards,

Ella Bicknell
Prep Teacher
Grahamvale Primary School

All the lost Jarvises ...

"Here are some of the drawings the kids did this morning when they were asked to create a new animal by joining the names of two animals together to create a combination animal – like the Octopuppy. They had a lot of fun!"

Monday, 14 July 2014

Party time!

Here are some scribblings done while I was working on the party scene from near the end of The Octopuppy book.

The cop and the burly burglar from earlier in the story, now cuffed and having a nice time.

Also reappearing, the fisherman provides the phat sounds, while the fishmonger does his party piece.

Jarvis and Edgar puttin' on the Ritz, Blue Skies style in their dual Fred Astaire glory.

Here's the full picture pencilled out, with the first daubs of colour.

And the finished scene, with spotlight and mirrorball effect. Of course, no party would be any good without a slap-up spread featuring a mound of mashed potatoes with sausages stuck in it.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Octopuppy - The Movie

Oops! It's been a while since I posted. My apologies. I've been mad-crazy-busy on my next picture book (news about that soon), as well as lots of other rather exciting goings-on; all of which has conspired to prevent me from doing stuff like updating the Octoblog, and from finishing this - a little Octopuppy video:

It hasn't really got beyond a rough edit test stage, but I thought I'd post it anyway. It's a very basic affair just using Windows Movie Maker, so quite primitive. Plus it's my first go at editing together stills in this way. But it's a jaunty tune, and allows you to see a bit more artwork from the book, so I thought I'd share.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

La GiOCTOnda

Here's Jarvis the Octopuppy as the Mona Lisa, now in colour!

And a reminder of the original sketch, which I did at one of my drawing demos in Bologna last week.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Star-fished lovers

Following the Mona Lisa post yesterday, here's another of the sketches I did as part of my live demos at Bologna last week. Attempting another Italian theme, I drew Edgar & Jarvis as Romeo & Juliet.

I inked these sketches and gave them away at the event. I'm thinking I'll do new versions in colour, just for fun. Watch this space and I'll post 'em up.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Mona Lisa at Bologna

Here's one of the sketches I did at the Bologna book fair last week. I thought something Italian would be appropriate, so I did Jarvis the Octopuppy as the Mona Lisa.

Enigmatic! I'll post another of the sketches tomorrow.

The show went really well, with lots of interest in The Octopuppy.

My appearances at the exhibition were a little nerve racking to begin with, as I'm long out of practice at performing live drawing demos. But visitors' reactions to all the Jarvis characters I had on display were so positive and encouraging, I really started to enjoy myself! I don't normally get to see the reactions of an audience and it was a delight to watch how entertained people were by the drawings. I hope the many folk who went away with prints and posters enjoy their goodies.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bologna Children's Book Fair

I'll be at the Bologna Children's Book Fair this week, doing a spot of doodling at the Hello! from Australia Exhibition stand on Tuesday and Wednesday. That's Hall 26 Stand B80, if you're in the vicinity and are curious to see what kind of shaky drawing skills I'll demonstrate in public. 

Here's a media release, and here's the catalogue featuring all the books that have been selected to appear in this year's rights exhibition, including The Octopuppy.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Octopuppy in the USA!

The latest exciting news is that The Octopuppy is due to be released in the USA.

The book will be published early next year in jacketed hardback and paperback editions, from Scholastic Inc. USA.
This is great news ahead of the Bologna Children's Book Fair next week. More news about the fair in a bit!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day (UK)

In celebration of World Book Day in the UK, here's a reminder of what you can do with your £1 book tokens.

All being well The Octopuppy will be a title you can use your tokens to buy next time, when it receives its UK release. By the by, here's a lovely review it received recently on Goodreads:

"My 3yr old LOVES this book and requests it time and again! On every read you notice something new in the illustrations and the witty text never fails to reminds me of Oliver Jeffers' books in terms of style, but funnier. A brilliant bedtime book which is treasured in our household and is the subject of much imaginary play in the day too."

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Glamorous Cover Shoot #3

"Right it's time for your close-up, Jarvis baby. OK good... no - terrible! Closer. Yes, good. Oi, no chewing gum! Get rid of it. Not on my floor. Right, tentacle up... no, not that one, the other one, the fifth one yes! No try it with the sixth. That's it, grabbing the letter. Grab it! Fast as you can. Hold it. Yes. No. Start again, rethink it. WAKE UP! Yes, verry tasty. I like it. Smile. Smile! What? OK just stare. Stare! This side, this side. OK Reg, print that. I'm off to really scrutinise some shrubs."

Another rough test for an unused cover idea. Previous ones here, here and here!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Down the tubes

A closer look at the drawing for the spread on pages 23 & 24 of The Octopuppy, as mentioned in the previous post. This spread is proving to be a favourite with lots of readers. It's the bit in the story where Edgar receives the help of the creatures living in the sewer pipes under his house.

Here's the first rough sketch I did, as it appeared as part of the storyboard. This was during the early stages of planning the book.

Drawn at a much larger scale, here's the tidier and more detailed line drawing, before adding colour.

I've put in some flat colours at this stage.

More colours and textures added, nearly finished.

The final artwork, with blank word balloons ready for the text to be added separately.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Laughing Gravy

This double page spread in which we get a cutaway of the sewer pipes is proving to be a favourite among readers. Edgar weeps into the toilet (which had been the exit route taken earlier by Jarvis) and his sniffling plea is heard and passed on among the community of helpful aquatic creatures living in the pipes. There's a lot of interesting stuff buried under Edgar's house, including an unexploded SC 1800 Satan. I'm rather fond of the thuggish escaped con who's busy tunnelling with his spoon in the bottom left.

Not that it directly related to drawing this scene, but something that I had in the back of my mind while working on it, was a sequence from Busy Bodies, the 1933 Laurel & Hardy film. It's the bit towards the end in which Oliver is dragged into the internal workings of the sawmill. 

Laurel & Hardy's short films were regularly to be found in the BBC tv schedules in the UK when I was a kid, so I saw many of them repeatedly, and details of their routines became lodged deep in my subconscious and formed the foundation for my appreciation of comedy. My favourites from that era remain The Marx Brothers, and more about their influence, especially Harpo, on Jarvis and The Octopuppy, another time. Anyway, you can watch Busy Bodies in full here - that's a good idea!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

There on they're way their

Winners have been drawn in the exciting Goodreads Octopuppy giveaway. Three lucky recipients were plucked from the 1,700 entries. Copies of The Octopuppy book are now on their way to the prize-winners in: California, USA; East Java, Indonesia; and... Lincolnshire, UK! I hope each winner enjoys the book.

And so! Here we are in a new year, and there's plenty going on. My posts on here have been a tad sporadic of late, mainly because I'm busy wrestling with my next book, like Johnny Weissmuller throttling a rubber crocodile. More on that as soon as I can reveal stuff.

In the meantime there's still loads of Octopuppy material I'd like to share with you on here, but to keep these goodies coming it's likely I'll be limited to a weekly post. It could be any day of the week at any time of the day or night... but that's how I like to keep you guessing, creeping out from behind the curtains to quietly bludgeon you with a kumquat in a sock, when you least expect it.  So keep 'em peeled, right?