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Monday, October 17, 2011

Wonderstruck Again

Listening to Brian Selznick read from the first pages of Wonderstruck last night (and watching the ASL interpreter sign Brian's words), I was wonderstruck again by the amazing book he created. He spoke about wanting the reader's brain to be quiet during the stretches of illustrations, to stop that inner voice that readers bring to the text. Certainly the auditorium filled with people was silent. Like me, everyone was amazed by the images and touched by the words.

I always love to know the stories behind a story (or in the case of Wonderstruck, that would be three stories: the story in words, the story in illustrations, and the story the combination of the two make). Brian provided so many details to help me understand his working process. He begins by writing a basic outline in present tense. Then he works on only the words (which he says are the most difficult for him). Then he works on only the illustrations (first creating sketches -1/4 the size of the trim size, then thumbnails, then tiny dummies of each of those thumbnails in each illustration sequence). He was able to walk (wearing special booties) in the NYC model in the Queens Museum of Art to take photographs from which to draw it. He located photographs from 1927 of the American Museum of Natural History and drew illustrations to correspond to those. I left the auditorium mesmerized - and dreamed about the wolves on Gunflint Lake during the night.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you made it to this presentation. I have heard so many good things about WONDERSTRUCK - I'm looking forward to reading it.

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