Monday, December 21, 2015

Laff Libs

Laff Libs, RA Lafferty
Laff Libs by Anthony R. Rhodes

How impishly giddy would it feel to buy a book of Mad Libs that both mimicked and illustrated the complexity and style of a couple dozen great authors?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ghost in the Corn Crib

RA Lafferty, Ghost in the Corn Crib

“And be careful you don’t let go of it till after you’re dead.”
‐‐Ghost in the Corn Crib

This particular illustration for RA Lafferty's story Ghost in the Corn Crib had some rough starts for me. After several aborted tries, I ended up using a tiny 1-inch sketch scanned at high resolution and worked out the details in the computer.

It's the first illustration I would not send my grandmother. My mother, always proud to show off my work, raised a few eyebrows with it at her workplace.

But I'll stand by it, as the physics in the picture work the same as they do in the story (intimidating ghost and all).

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lafferty in the Green Room

R.A. Lafferty, In the Greenroom

This illustration, at some point, had text on the wall behind the character that read "Dare to Know Your Heroes." It was to be an exclamatory charge into battle against preconceived expectations, and my answer to the old adage to the opposite.

"Never meet your heroes" is a good warning for avoiding disappointment. But it recommends we hide in our sunny, honeysuckle worlds and that our heroes be larger than life. It is not a path to acceptance or any other real understanding of an individual. We are human, through and through, and even the best of us are good, at best, in spite of ourselves.

Just as I finished the illustration a discussion spilled into the Lafferty Facebook group with some expressing concern that Ray's drunken exploits at conventions would stain, overshadow, or otherwise take away from his literary works.

I understand their concern, but disagree. In fact, with convention tales as eccentric as any of his short stories, I think it only makes reading Lafferty more interesting, endearing, and complex.

Nevertheless, I struck the text from the illustration. Partly because I was still introducing myself to the group. But mostly because the lettering itself started to feel too heavy handed.

That said, please do dare to know your heroes.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Narrow Valley

RA Lafferty, Narrow Valley
“I didn’t mean to lie, I forgot about that thing,” Clarence Little‐Saddle said.

‐‐Narrow Valley, R. A. Lafferty

The idea for this illustration came in the half-thought before sleep. In that drudgery of sense Half-self Anthony nodded, "Yep. That's a keeper."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Seven Day Terror

Seven Day Terror, RA Lafferty

“You’d better try it on something else. Dishes cost money.”
‐‐Seven Day Terror

Illustration of a class IV Disappearer, plucked straight from the hands of the child who crafted it after seven straight days of terror.