December 12, 2006

I’ve been rather quiet on this blog over the last few weeks but now I can tell you why. DC/Vertigo, besides re-issuing the hardcover edition of Stardust (with loads of new material), will also be producing a number of pieces of supplemental merchandise, among them a sculpture both designed and executed by myself. Ever since completing the art for the initial edition of the book way back in 1998, I’ve ’seen’ this sculpt in my head and now, after a few long weeks, its resting on my front desk in 3-D form.

I began with this sketch which I ran past Georg Brewer over at DC, who has certainly helped make this idea a reality. I wanted to partialy recreate the by now iconic image used on the current trade paperback of Stardust; Evaine crouching by a dark pool of water surrounded by various fairy creatures.

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A cicular sheet of cobalt blue glass becomes my pool and the entire piece rests on a base of mahogany (or something that looks very like it).

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For my working material here I’m using sculpy. Yes, the very same stuff that kids use in school. Mold it into the shape you want and then just bake it in your kitchen oven to harden it up. Here I decided that the sculpy would prove too soft to construct the entire figure at once so I sculpted the base with its tree, roots, grasses and the lower half of her figure and then fired that.

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After firing the base, Georg and I discussed the practicality of producing a useable mold from what I’d done and decided that I’d underscord too much so I filled in where necessary with additional mosses and a more solidified mass of ivy and then began to add her upper torso. No features or hands yet!

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Here I’ve very carefully (some might say tediously) worked up her hands, facial features, loose strands of hair and various costume details.

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A view from the other side and a close up of her face (below).
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Before proceeding to add the various fairy inhabitants of the piece I baked it once more. Less chance of distorting or damaging all the little details that I’d already worked up that way.

All along I’d been planning to place a fiddler in the bowl of the tree, a dancing imp over on her left side and a wee fairy piper on her right. I finished the piper but as I worked on multiple versions of the other two small figures something kept bothering me. I woke one morning with a fresh mind and a clear vision that these two figures were creating far too much visual ‘noise’ for the rather serene mood of the piece. So out they went and two foxes came to join in the fun.

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The combination of the wee piper, perched in the tree behind Evaine and the two visiting foxes somehow made the whole piece complete and satisfying, at least for me.

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Now, my part is done. So I will very carefully pack the sculpture up and ship it off to James Shoop who will be casting the piece and his wife who will be painting it. And, in July of next year, comic shops everywhere will have the finished sculpture available for sale (that is IF you guys get busy asking for it).

As I mentioned above there will be more Stardust product available through Diamond Distributer’s January Preview catalog (the one currently in comic book shops right now!): 2 posters (with new painted images by myself), a lovely boxed set of notecards featuring 5 seperate images from the book, 2 sets of sculpted busts (Evaine & Lilum/Tristran & Primus by artist Sam Greenwell) and, of course, that new hardcover edition of the book itself.

***Also I was just alerted to the fact that the new hardcover edition of Stardust has been selected as one of their ‘Buyer’s Picks’ by Ingram one of the nation’s largest distributers of books to independent book stores.  Hooray for us!
Enjoy!

Charles

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December 7, 2006

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I thought that I’d let you know that this Sunday (12/10/06) I’ll be signing books at Abingdon Virginia’s new, independent bookseller (and coffee/tea shop) Zazzy’Z from 1 until 4 pm. This is part of our Downtown Merchant’s holiday celebrations with shops open and specials flying all the way up and down Abingdon’s Main Street. If you can’t make it and want to phone in a book order for my signature here’s their phone number 276-698-3333. Copies of many of my books will be on hand as well as a limited supply of several out of print editions. There’s absolutely no limit to my signatures.

See you all there!

Charles

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