What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Ed Young and Barbara DaCosta

h1 July 28th, 2017 by jules

“‘Shh! There he is,’ the captain whispered.
‘Row quiet. … Row fast. … Hold steady now—‘”

(Click to enlarge spread)


This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a picture book import from New Zealand. That is here. Woof. Woof.

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Last week, I wrote here about Barbara Dacosta and Ed Young’s Mighty Moby (Little, Brown, August 2017). I’ve got a bit of art from the book today, as well as some preliminary images and a few words (below) from Barbara about the book’s creation.



Here’s what Barbara had to say about the above three preliminary images:

Mighty Moby, like all books, had its own mysterious evolution — from sea monster to Moby Dick story with an added twist. Ed first created the story line in pictures, and I was brought in later to add words. So it was a process “backwards” from typical picture-book making, in which an author writes a story and the publisher brings in an artist to create illustrations for that story.

These early sketches were in pencil, charcoal, and paper, respectively on paper about the size of business cards.

These studies gave Ed a chance to work on points of view, color and texture, emphasis, and pacing. When I began writing, after reading through Moby Dick, I made small dummies from copies of Ed’s art studies, so I could play with the flow of the words and see how the words would interact with the art and page turns. In the end, I realized that both Ed and I had used collage techniques, inadvertently following the same path that Herman Melville had followed in creating Moby Dick, as he drew from many sources and styles of writing.


There’s more information here about the creation of this book.


Another final illustration from the book
(Click to enlarge)



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MIGHTY MOBY. Text copyright © 2017 by Barbara DaCosta. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Ed Young and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, New York.

2 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Ed Young and Barbara DaCosta”

  1. […] images from Mighty Moby and some notes about how it was created, at Julie Danielson’s Seven Impossible Things for Breakfast blog on picture books. This blog has a fabulous archive of picture book art and interviews by […]

  2. How interesting to be let in on the process, to realize that there can be many stages to the creation of the final illustration, that it is not simply made all at once.

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