Kevin is taking over the blog today, because I can’t be trusted not to giggle through the whole thing. MY dirty little secret (that ain’t so secret, as it turns out) is that I love a good toot! joke. OR a joke that has anything to do with the region that produces toots! That scene in Blazing Saddles… the one with the cowboys having a dinner of beans? The height of cinema in my opinion. So, Kevin explains, so I don’t break a rib laughing. So, Kev: Tell us about the zebra-camel and the long tailed rabbits…
After Emilie and I had a pretty clear understanding of what each of us wanted from the project I set out to storyboard the pages. Not really having any idea if this was standard procedure for most illustrators, it seemed smart to give Emilie a rough idea of the pages so she could scribble down observations and notes while I filled in details. It worked out that way, more or less.
We’d both decided that the scenes where Murphy gets his act together were pretty cut and dried, but a few shots of our explorer, well, exploring were called for. I attempted to reflect that Murphy was in an almost familiar landscape, so that the animals he encountered would be familiar but slightly weird to show that he was maybe on another planet but still unthreatening to our little readers. I also tried out a little humor, and for that my guiding stars were my nephew Nathan and my niece Katie.
Suffice it to say that high brow humor doesn’t necessarily set the table upon a roar in that company. So when I placed the perspective on one animal from shall we say, the rear quarter, it was as much to enable me to keep Murphy’s face in the frame as anything else. I sold it to Em by adding that kids find such things funny. Apparently writers do as well….