Friday, May 11, 2012

Billie Templar's War.

This is a book which set off a lot of different things. Commissioned by Dominica at Random House, it's one of my favourite covers ever and is about a little girl whose soldier Dad she desperately wants to bring home in time for the annual three-legged race. So she writes to the Queen to ask her to send him home from the front.

First of all the 'Queen and Country' element of it needed to be prominent. So I came up with the idea of the flag, of course. But the flag is made up of all the elements of the story - elephants, marching bands, shoes, classic post box, sceptre and crown... here are some early versions of the cover, partly inspired by governmental WW2 posters:

As usual the one I was drawn to least got picked (to quote Bill Hicks I can prove this rule on an Etch-A-Sketch - it happens every time!) and my drawings of the soldier's boot and pink Converse was replaced with a photo, but it works and I'm pleased with the resulting hardback. The pink lettering I threw in at the last minute as I like to balance out what can sometimes be rather a lot of 'swirly whirly' with some rude brush action. They went for it, which pleased me.

This is Billie:
Ahh, nice:
The flag incidentally was re-drawn and re-employed later in December for my birthday party invites, saying 'I Love Chips' because I had my party at a massive chip shop in Leicester called Grimsby Fisheries. If you've not been, and you're in the area, there really is no excuse - fishes the size of battered whales and chip mountains arising from lakes of beans. That's all I'm saying. This in turn was noticed by a few people who asked if it was available as a print, which it now is!

But more on that later.
Meantime, if you want to buy a copy of Billie Templar's War, I'd suggest ordering it from your nearest bookshop. And I don't mean the virtual one that starts with an A and has the same name as the massive forests...again, more on that very subject to come.


I was recently interviewed by Random House for their blog, please click the link to have a read:


e.f. bartlam said...

The second one is my favorite...they're all sharps though.

rich said...

Great illustration work.

Sarah J Coleman said...



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