Friday, February 5, 2010

Pistols! Treason! Murder!: The Illustrations

Above is a slide show of selected illustrations from my first book, Pistols! Treason! Murder! These illustrations were a late addition to the manuscript. They were created by Dan Hallett, in a rush at the end of 2005, concurrently with my final edits on the text. At this point, our collaboration was still rather haphazard, and my instructions to Dan consisted primarily of scribbled notes and doodles on the backs of hundreds of pages photocopied from early modern source books.

Dan and I had first met in Cambridge in 2001, and we had worked together there to create four sample comic strip pages as an experiment. Subsequently, I had moved to Australia and Dan had moved to Spain, so when my editor at Melbourne University Press, Elisa Berg, asked if we could add more illustrations like the sample pages, I said yes, without actually being sure what that would entail.

In the event, Dan and I were able to renew our collaboration entirely by e-mail, and in a much more effective way than before, resulting not only in a new set of illustrations, all in the style of seventeenth-century woodcuts, but subsequently in an even more ambitious project: that is, our illuminated novel, Five Wounds (on which, more anon).

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