Dec 10, 2011

Suspendering My Disbelief.

I've been reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader  (C.S. Lewis) for a few days .. well actually I have been reading it for the last few nights. 

Specifically, very late at night.

You know that time of night when, tucked away  in bed, you tend to fall asleep with a book suspended by one stiff arm above your face. Regardless of whether your eyes are open or closed, the book hangs like an executioner's axe, threatening to fall and dent your nose or, at the very least, give you a bloody set of lips, should you release your grip for a moment.

It all goes to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is a dangerous thing to be a reader of books.

I can only thank my lucky stars (read: Bank Manager) that I cannot afford an e-reader - because I fall asleep while reading so often that my nose, already bent like the beak of  the South Australian Yellow Breasted Nosy Noodletwit (genus: eripydies), would have been plastered all over my face by now.

Still, back to the subject at hand, what ever that was... 

..... ah yes, C.S. Lewis. 

The greatest thing about The Voyage of The Dawn Treader is its first paragraph. As a 'hook', as an entre, as a 'warmer-upperer', as a piquant sorbet, this paragraph is without equal. 

For example, the first line is: 

"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."

Unfortunately C.S. Lewis must have had an apocolypitic attack of epiliopithy after he wrote the first paragraph, because, without so much as a deeply bated breath, the book soon sinks into the depths of of authorial narrative intervention. (eg: Dear reader, you should not worry yourselves about Eustace, our erstwhile hero, because he is nought but a scoundrel who never changes his socks, even on Sundays.

Lewis's clumsy interventions are clumsy enough to make us certain that he (Lewis)  is clumsy keen for his  readers not to be hung up by their clumsy suspenders of disbelief.

And the fact that it is written for twelve-year-olds is no excuse for these lapses.

Mind  you, I am older than 12 and I am still reading it, suspenders or not.

So, the cover of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the genesis for this image. 

It's also a bow, not only to the cover of Shaun Tan's book The Arrival, but to the techniques of my wonderful artist friends Janne and Mita.

Oh, I almost forgot: this Illustration is for IF's prompt "Separated", a word that I have only recently learnt to misspell. Thank you for looking. 

One more thing. Do you need a good laugh? Check out Penspaper Studio. :). Elizabeth has a great sense of humour. 


  1. Interesting post...and art. As for sepereate, er, I mean seperate,, easy to misspell ;)

  2. Hey! You´re making my art better I am! Stop it! You trying to put me out of business?!!?
    I love your ships, the colors, the mist, the maps, the birds, the poor man with quite a long swim ahead of him...

  3. Let me tell you, I am so agitated right now. Watching that man bob up and down in the water (how he manages to keep on his bowler hat is downright amazing!) with the life ring --which is initially just within reach but out of his sight -- float farther away and around him makes me very tense and nervous! This is a book I should very much like to read. Reading tends to put me to sleep too, but I don't think that would be the case here.

    I love all the different treatments you've given this. The mist with the blues and greens is beautiful. Oooh, and the tilt of the ocean! Brilliant. I also fancy the sepia toned one. Looks like the sun has some mysterious sanskrit writing in it.

    I do hope someone rescues him. Otherwise, this will be a very short book.

  4. It is unsettling to see poor Bernie bob around in those rough seas. Luckily there is land visible not too far away. Maybe he'll meet Tom Hanks there.
    I really like all 5 versions, 3 and 4 remind me of a weathered ship's log.
    I have nodded out while holding a book over my face like a lame-o more times than I care to admit. Paper backs are not too bad, it's the 500 page hard cover that tends to leave a mark.

  5. Oh, what happens here?
    Yesterday I left my comment in the previous post because in this was not allowed! :O
    You are laughing at me? :D

  6. The proper way to read a book is to cuddle the dog and prop the book against her back. Blankies and pillows are very helpful too.

    I love, love, love the colors atmospheric effects in these. Gorgeous!

  7. Superb work, Andrew! I'm astounded at how you create such amazing atmosphere in your work. You have a great ability to draw us in..each of the images are beautifully illustrated and designed/composed so well. It's fabulous to see your homages to Mr. Tan, Mita, and Janne. Fabulous, fabulous - I must get back to my work now, but goodness, it's great to take a gander at this! : )

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  9. i just had to come back.
    i'm sorry i didn't mean to talk about my own problem at someone else's blog.
    thats not polite.


    i am emailing you something.

  10. "Hope your day is great and full of sweet smelling flowers".
    This desire is good, and appreciated, thanks
    You know I lived almost 1000 meters above sea level here in the mountains, spring is full of beautiful wild flowers
    which, in addition to soften our hearts, makes me spend too much time doing nothing, just looking at the flowers!

  11. So you must have had comments turned off when you first posted this or I would have commented already. Or maybe blogger is unhappy with me again ;) I love the atmospheric and antique effects on these. Love them :)

  12. love this post... love the mann blowing trought the sea water.. with bowler hat...

  13. WOW!! That poor man must be freezing. Hope he wore his long johns-- oh, right, that probably wouldn't have helped.

  14. Oh dear. Did that man just walk the plank? I hope he doesn't turn into foam... Heh. Or is that in a totally different book? :))

    Brilliant executions, by the way, I love the old rustic look on each one. Bet you did them all with your eyes closed and a book dangerously dangling in one hand!

    Anyway, so sorry for being so terrible at visiting lately. I have my hands full everyday (literally!). I'm even typing this with a baby in one arm and a basketful of laundry on my head....

    Take care, my friend. :)

  15. Admirable ce petit homme avec son chapeau melon!!! Même dans les pires circonstances il reste un personnage très distingué!... Moi, à sa place, j'aurais perdu mon chapeau et mes lunettes!!
    Une très jolie publication.
    Je te souhaite de joyeuses fêtes...
    Gros bisous

  16. Hello!
    Don't mean to sound as if I'm going overboard, but I absolutely love each "separate" illustration as you've created them with this vintage effect!
    Enjoyed visiting your friends' blogs, too- Pure visual treats, sans occupational injuries!
    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! :o)

  17. Finally catching up with your latest, thanks for the chuckle - and now I have to go find MY copy of Dawn Treader. (also loved the bather image. and the belt story. Blogblather is the best. Have a great new year)

  18. I love the aged look of the pages. And the map drawings on them, too.


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