The Haunted Lunchbox or... when good foodstuffs go BAD!
With a little nod to Wagon Wheels (which even as a kid I thought were foul) & Um Bongo, which according to legend they drink in the DRC - except this doesn't rhyme / scan in quite the way it did in the slightly naive / racist '80s commercials!
I'm thinking this would be a great book title, I just haven't come up with the story yet, so here's the cover while you wait...
Having thoroughly enjoyed worked with author (& all round good egg) Peter Millet on his Boy Zero series for Faber & Faber a few years back I recently illustrated the cover for his latest book 'Johnny Danger - DIY Spy' published by Penguin.
It's billed as 'A hilarious, action-packed tale featuring a pair of evil number twos, a madman, exploding bogey bombs, discount ninjas and a man-eating piranha called Bob.' - what's NOT to like?
It's only available in Australia at the moment but hopefully a UK deal will follow - otherwise you'll just have to buy this edition & read it upside down in the UK.
Here's a couple of the original preliminary character sketches (we lost the Blofeld cat & the water pistol & gained a banana in the process!)
I've been pleased to illustrate a special edition of Diary of Dennis the Menace written by the very funny Steven Butler especially for World Book Day (or World Menace Day as Dennis has decided to rebrand it!)
A few weeks ago I also took part in a Puffin Virtually Live event where the audience got two Stevens for the price of one, (myself & Mr Butler!) tips on dressing up as Dennis for school on World Book Day itself & I explain how to draw your very own Gnasher! Lots of fun!
Here's a sneak preview of Dennis' Blobzilla costume I drew for World Book (I mean Menace) Day...
Had great fun this afternoon drawing for the Puffin Virtually Live event for the publication of the new Diary of Dennis the Menace book at Sadlers Wells with charming Dennis the Menace author Steven Butler & former Blur Peter presenter the lovely Helen Skelton. (ok, it's very childish of me but that's BLUE PETER! So cool!)
I got to demonstrate to the audience the fine art of drawing Dennis' best friend, the one and only Gnasher with some great audience results too! (might be out of a job if I'm not careful!) Here's a couple I managed to get photos of.
Somebody out there is OUT-MENACING THE PRANKMASTER GENERAL! Dennis the Menace has to use all his super secret agent detective skills to find this Bash Street Bandit & prove to everybody that he's the most menacing menace of all Beanotown!
The 4th book in the Diary of Dennis the Menace series 'Bash Street Bandit!' written by Steven Butler & illustrated by me is out today (Thursday 5th February)
There's some detective work...
I'm currently in the middle of drawing the inside illustrations for this for this but here's a sneak peek at the cover for the next Diary of Dennis the Menace book 'Bash Street Bandit!' written by Steven Butler & published by Puffin Books & will be in the shops in February 2015!
Diary of Dennis the Menace 3 - Rollercoaster Riot written by Steven Butler & scribbled all over by me is published today by Puffin books!
All aboard THE VOMIT COMET! Guess what fellow menaces - The World's Biggest Rollercoaster is opening in Beanoland this summer! I just need to win an easy-peasy competition to be the first Bash Street School student to ride it - and I might have to trick a few Softies as well . . .
As usual this has been a riot to draw (see what I did there?) & am looking forward to the next book immensely - KEEP MENACING KIDS!
'Silly Name for a Monster' written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by me is out today published by Scholastic. 'Once upon a time if you wanted to be a hero, you had to have a proper, hero-sounding name. And if you wanted to be a big scary monster, it was no good unless your name was big and scary too. But when all the proper-sounding heroes can't defeat the most menacing monster in the kingdom, the king offers his whole kingdom to whoever can beat it. Could Stinkpot succeed? Even with such a silly name?' It's got scary monsters, heroes, donkeys, knights in pink frilly knickers & INCREDIBLY SILLY NAMES! I think you should go out & buy it! You can order it from here or preferably get your best pair of pink frilly knickers on pop into your local bookshop & get it there!
I just received a copy of 'Silly Name for a Monster' by the very funny Timothy Knapman which I illustrated earlier in the year.
The fact that I laughed out loud when I first received the text was definitely a good start & I thoroughly enjoyed illustrating this. It's a hilarious book with a big scary monster, some cowardly knights & a little boy called Stinkpot. Can he succeed in defeating a monster with such a silly name?
I'm not going to tell you that. You'll have to wait until August 7th until it's actually released so there!
The second Diary of Dennis the Menace 'Beanotown Battle' written by Stephen Butler, illustrated by me & published by Puffin books is out now. In this one the boring Mayor has entered Beanotown in a flower comptetition, & you know what flowers attract? SOFTIES!
Dennis & Gnasher have to think of a brilliant emergency menacing plan to save Beanotown from the softy invasion! (warning some of these images may contain SPOILERS!)
In this book I got a chance to draw some of Dennis's friends who might look vaguely familiar & as with the previous book I've been thoroughly enjoying getting to reinterpret some iconic Beano characters again. Stephen Butler's writing is nicely funny & anarchic & great fun to illustrate & again a big nod to Mandy Norman the designer because the books look great!
You can order the book online but why not pop over to your nearest PROPER BOOKSHOP & buy it from there because that's a lot more fun than being hunched over a computer any day!
Some time in early May last year I was contacted by my agent to say that Puffin were looking for someone to give a 'new illustrative approach' to Dennis the Menace for a series of books written by award winning children's author of 'The Wrong Pong' Steven Butler.
I paused from sipping a large gold flecked martini on my yacht, waved away a palm frond bearing serving girl & thought '...hmmm, draw one of my childhood heroes...HELL YEAH!'
*montage of furious scribbling, various life events, getting an invite to the Beano 75th birthday party, uplifting music etc.*
...& so, the first book, The Diary Of Dennis The Menace is published today, it's very funny, keeping the right level of mischief & chaos (you bumfaces you!) nicely designed by Mandy Norman, & the pictures ain't too shabby either.
Has been an extremely enjoyable job, I dearly wish my mum was still around so I could proudly present her with a copy.
Here's a few of the pictures (I got to draw a few other old favourites too! : )
Steve May is an animation director & freelance illustrator based in London (UK). He was born in sunny Hastings & spent his childhood drawing lots of things & discovering interesting ways of injuring himself.
He still draws lots but injures himself less regularly these days.