Dillweed’s Revenge at Nationale

I’m extra proud of this recent book collaboration with Florence Parry Heide and excited to be showing some of the original illustrations from it at Nationale in September.  Here are the details:

CARSON ELLIS
Dillweed’s Revenge

September 8 – October 3, 2010
Opening Reception Friday, September 10th, 6 pm – 8 pm
Artist’s talk and book signing Sunday, September 19th, 6 pm

at NATIONALE
811 E. Burnside
Portland, OR
www.thenewnationale.com

And a bit about the book:

Florence wrote Dillweed’s Revenge in the seventies with help from her daughter, Roxanne, brother, David, and his wife, Jeanne.  It tells the tale of a boy, Dillweed, and the revenge he exacts, with the aid of magical runes and his pet and only friend, Skorped, on his negligent parents and two cruel servants charged with his care.  It’s totally dark, as picture books go, but also sardonic and charming as Florence’s books tend to be.

Originally it was written for Edward Gorey to illustrate (he illustrated her Treehorn Trilogy which I loved as a kid) but controversy over Dillweed‘s grim ending (and reputedly Gorey’s refusal to work on the book if the ending was changed) caused the project to be shelved.  Enter my terrific agent, Steve Malk, who resurrected the manuscript a few years ago and managed to sell it to Harcourt as is.

This was an especially fun book to work on. The illustrations were done in ink and gouache, a new medium for me.  And at the suggestion of Dillweed‘s editor, Sam McFerrin, I hand-lettered every stitch of writing in the book, down to the numbers on the barcode.  I’m happy to say it was recently awarded a silver medal by The Society of Illustrators, my first illustration award.  Like I said, I’m extra proud of it.  I’ll be talking more about the book – and about book illustration in general – at Nationale on September 19th.

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