August 19, 2007
I've been wanting to show this to everybody for a long time, like a little kid with a barely-contained secret, ever since I got the preliminary sketches. A few months ago, I commissioned Debbie Ridpath Ohi to do an illustration (as part of her Little Nightmares series) for the book site. I received the finished piece today.
(Go check it out in context. I redesigned the book site, and I'm a lot happier with this new look, which seems warmer and more appropriate to the book and its subject. Also check out the new endorsement I received from Neal "Alternadad" Pollack, over on the Press page. Okay, pimpage over...)
I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted, but what Debbie came up with far exceeded my expectations. Even all the way back in her initial rough sketch, she had Schuyler down perfectly. In her final version, she managed to capture exactly the tone that I hope comes across in the book itself. The illustration has humor and pathos; it's a little dark but full of Schuyler's tough girl spirit.
The monster seems to me to appear both friendly and just a touch menacing, an ever-present companion who nevertheless has a healthy respect for the monster slayer in pink Chucks.
And Schuyler? She looks entirely unconcerned and ever so slightly amused, ready to play with the monster or kick its ass, depending on the need. Either way, she's content with the outcome.
Thank you, Debbie.