Last year I was very excited (and honoured) to be asked to contribute illustrations to Jurassic London‘s Pandemonium: Stories Of The Smoke, a short story anthology, inspired by Charles Dickens and his legacy and published to celebrate Charles Dickens bicentennial. Edited by those awesome dudes over at Pornokitsch, Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, it is a fascinating and brilliant collection of stories, whereby the authors took on the subject of London and gave it their own mind-boggling, fantastical twists, from the “Past, present and (very far) future” (to quote from the website).
Stories of the Smoke features some of the best up and coming young writers in speculative fiction, including Jonathan Green, Lavie Tidhar, Adam Roberts, Esther Saxey and many more (check the list here).
I must confess, having had my head stuck in comics for many years now, I was completely unfamiliar with modern literary short story-telling, so I grabbed at the chance to work on something wholly different from my usual fare and loved every second of it! I got the chance to draw the Walrus from the Horniman Museum, (how could I pass up that opportunity?!) AND I drew the rotting head of Oliver Cromwell. Good times!
I was well into my stride with using a good old-fashioned dip pen at that point and the editors and I felt it was the natural medium for scribbling the Dickens-esque illustrations that were needed. Scattered throughout this blogpost are all six of my drawings for the book (plus the one for a companion e-book Pandemonium: Fire).
Stories Of The Smoke sold out of it’s hard back run very early on, but has been available for Kindle and Kobo for nearly a year now. By the end of this month, April 2013, you won’t even be able to download it from those places, having come to the end of it’s one year shelf life.
So, if you have an e-reader, then I’d recommend you go download yourself a copy sharpish!
A small portion of the proceeds from Stories of The Smoke is donated to English PEN, who “work to defend and promote free expression, and to remove barriers to literature”, so a cause very worthy of your support.