7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #605: Featuring Ethan Aldridge

h1 September 23rd, 2018 by jules

(Click to enlarge)


I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot of Ethan Aldridge’s graphic novel Estranged (Harper, August 2018), because should you find a copy to read yourself, I don’t want to have ruined the plot for you. Regular 7-Imp readers may remember that Ethan’s artwork was featured here at 7-Imp when he was but a student. (EXCITING! to see his debut book be released.)

This is a fantasy adventure story, filled with an underground realm, dragons, witches, fairies, and much more. It’s the story of Edmund Carter, who is a changeling swapped for a human child as an infant, his family unaware he has fae powers. In the fae world below lives a human, whom everyone calls merely the Childe. His only friend is a wax golem, named Whick. After a sorceress named Hawthorne attempts to steal the throne, the Childe heads to the human world above him in search of his changeling, who is the real heir. Thus begins a dangerous journey for the child and his changeling — and Edmund’s sister, Alexis — who have to quickly get to know one another, as well as learn to work together to right both worlds.

Briskly paced and vividly imagined, this compelling changeling narrative in 15 chapters with small, detailed panels on each spread is captivating, and fantasy fans will be especially enamored. (I certainly hope a sequel follows.) The book’s watercolors are exquisite; this is intricate, thoughtful world-building. The boys’ struggles with identity and familial belonging will resonate with children.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve some final pages, pages in progress, and sketchbook work from the book. I thank Ethan for visiting 7-Imp again and sharing. (And you can also see more here online.)




Preliminary images, etc.
(Click first two to enlarge)




Some final art
(Click each to enlarge)


Ethan: “This photo was taken at the HarperCollins offices and shows most (not all) of
the original pages from the book. (It took up three full conference rooms!)”

(Click to enlarge)


ESTRANGED. Copyright © 2018 by Ethan M. Aldridge. Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of Ethan Aldridge.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Fall is here!

2) The poem Little Willow shared on Friday …

3) … which reminds me of this poem I saw last week.

4) Lunchbox letters.

5) New album from Villagers. (And the last song is called “Ada.” My twelve-year-old gets inordinately excited to hear her name in songs.)

6) My trip to beautiful East Tennessee last weekend.

7) It is very exciting to see Ethan’s book. I still remember him emailing me out of the blue in 2012 — and being wow’ed by his artwork (AND pleasant manners AND bowtie).

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #605: Featuring Ethan Aldridge”

  1. Hooray, Ethan. Jules, I bet its very exciting to share debut books of the illustrator students you showcase here.

    Jules, i love the idea of lunchbox lettters. Does eastern Tennessee have fall colors?
    My kicks:
    1. Writing critique group.
    2. Looking through my poems.
    3. Walking
    4. Fall’s paintbrush on the leaves.
    5. The Wife with Glenn Close.
    6. Lunches with friends.
    7. Writing.
    Have a terrific week.

  2. Good morning, Imps!

    Congratulations on your debut, Ethan! That looks very cool.

    Jules: Isn’t that a neat poem? Happy autumn!

    Jone: Enjoy the writing and the sharing!

    My kicks from the past week:

    1) Steady
    2) Soothing
    3) Snippet
    4) Sight
    5) Sentiment
    6) Seen
    7) Songs

  3. No Fall colors quite yet in TN, Jone. …. Love your writing-filled week.

    LW: I like your very sibilant kicks.

  4. Jules: *insert high-five and smiling non-lethal snake imagery*

  5. Love these illustrations and this story so much. In some ways it reminded me a little bit of Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (which sent me down a wormhole of interwebs searching for her books.)

    Jules – hooray for Fall, and poetry that brings you to your knees (that second poem. my god), and songs with your name in them.

    Jone – yay for walking, lunches with friends and writing. I’ll have to add that movie to my queue.

    LW – really loved the poem, and kicks 1,2, 6 & 7 this week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Having a kickass team for a very intense trial. Makes all the difference.
    2) Having a network of friends to care for Miss Daisy when when I have to be gone for work. Knowing she is cared for & loved is just a gift.
    3) Moderating an awesome work conference with legal superstars last Saturday – major law nerd geeking out occurred.
    4) Getting to catch up with an old friend I had not seen in 11 years, who was also the standout speaker at the conference.
    5) Showing the gorgeous Oregon Coast to my friend, then having time for an awesome dinner with the beautiful Portland skyline as the backdrop.
    6) Daisy smiling when I came home after being gone. Nothing better than coming home to that unconditional love.
    7) Almost finished reading “Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home” by Mikael Lindnord. The human/dog bond is so awesome.
    7.5) Watching Ocean’s 8 for some much needed girl power vibes this week.

    Have a great week y’all! Happy Fall!

  6. Rachel, that is a GOOD week. Rewarding work. Friends. DAISY. Beautiful vistas. Thanks for the reminder about Ocean’s 8. It is on my list!

    Have a good week, you all!

  7. […] Author Information Ethan Aldridge’s Webpage. Twitter. Instagram.  Ethan Aldridge on Creating Estranged. Featuring Ethan Aldridge. […]

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