To help celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death The Guardian published my 'How to make a dip pen' in XI acts. It appears in the Children's book section on their site and adds to their burgeoning 'How to' range which is always worth checking out each week to see what's new.
These "How to's" are usually linked to exciting new children's books, and these quill based inkings of mine are linked to the marvelous new story by Tony Bradman 'The Boy and the Globe'. You can see some of the illustrations from the book and photo's of Tony and me on tour (I'm even wearing my favourite dress) in this blog.Published by Barrington Stoke'The Boy and the Globe'is a corking read celebrating Shakespeare's London, his life and his playwriting woes and all told through the adventures of an orphan, Toby, who gets embroiled in pickpocketing, meets Shakespeare and ends up inspiring him. It really is a terrific read and a great introduction to Shakespeare's world for readers ages 7-10. I was chuffed to be asked to work with Tony on this.
At the back of the book are 'Funne Activities for Boyes and Girls' including a make your own 'players', to add to the fun you can download and make your own globe and there's a mini Tempest script too. To encourage such behaviour this blog by Barrington stoke even includes a little vid of me scratching away.
Here are the first Guardian acts up until the interval, you can see the whole 'How to' on the Guardian site here. They even sell the book at a discount if you were to be conceivably interested in such things.
I was in my inky element with these 'How to' illustrations, which included dedicated research of spilling my ink everywhere. I hope you enjoy the inky mess, at least as much as I enjoyed myself when I made it, and that you get a chance to get inky yourself!
I'm delighted to say I have illustrated 'The Boy and the Globe', it's written by the dashing bard that is Tony Bradman and published by the lovely folk at Barrington Stoke.
The Bookseller wrote "This entertaining novel, for readers aged seven to nine, features drawings throughout by Tom Morgan-Jones which have a touch of Ronald Searle about them: it also includes a section of 'Funne Activities for Boyes and Girls'. Perfect for reluctant readers and youngsters new to Shakespeare."
Whilst the author Philip Ardagh has since thoughtfully 'corrected' the bookseller and has written "...features drawing throughout by Tom Morgan-Jones which have a touch of Ronald Mcdonald about them…". I have to say that I'm happy that either have anything to say about this new book. And can't decide which comments I prefer.
A great way to celebrate the release of our book was a visit to Stratford Literary Festival. They invited myself, Tony the author, and Mairi, the top cheese at Barrington Stoke, along to the festival. We were chuffed. Not only was this a chance to wear a new dress (for me) it was also a chance for us all to share our love of Shakespeare with Stratford and Moreton Morrell Primary schools.
I live illustrated Tony's talk and then went on to do live draw alongs, encouraging the pupils to flex their own marvellous pencil skills. Pupils at both schools voted to draw an angry Shakespeare. Who doesn't like a villain after all? It was moving to see a sea of Shakespeare faces looking back at us at the end of each session - and due to the childrens excellent skills a little terrifying too.
I had a ball at Stratford in my dress and I'd like to thank Stratford Literary Festival, all the teachers and all the pupils. Also special thanks to Mairi at Barrington Stoke for making it such fun, and very importantly for the choice of my dress. And of course not forgetting Tony, he was a pro, a gent, and he did write the book after all.
Barrington Stoke have also produced a "Make a Globe and stage the Tempest" with Boy & the Globe puppets, downloadables. If this intrigues you, have a look and give it a pop by downloading it here:
And one last thanks, I'd like to big up the clever designer Julie-ann at Barrington Stoke, she did a great job on the whole book. I particularly liked the endpapers she created from my inkings. So for those of you that love an end paper, and in this case you'd be mad not to, here are the lovely endpapers…
Tom 'Nibs' Morgan-Jones dip pen inker of ink, inker thinker, illustrator & cartoonist
The Unlikely Outlaws, written by Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones and published by Barrington Stoke has just been released.
Here the brilliantly bearded Philip talks about the release of this book.
"The Unlikely Outlaws, illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones is an interesting book for me. It's made up of three books: two previously published and one about to be published, all about The Green Men of Gressingham and all illustrated by Mike Phillips. The Green Men of Gressingham are a bit like Robin Hood's merry men, except that they wear brown -- the Green Men that is -- because it's cheaper and hides the dirt better. And their boss is a lady called Robyn-in-the-Hat. With me so far? Good.
Anyway, I was well used to Mike's interpretation of the characters. Then along came Tom who made them all his own. Of course, Big Jim had to look big and Friendly had to look friendly and the evil Marshal Guppy had to look evil, but Tom's style is very different to Mike's, so The Unlikely Outlaws has a very different feel to it. It's loose and crazy and zingy and zappy and all those other terms which are useless unless you've got the Tom Morgan-Jones illustrations in front of you but, if you DO have them in front of you, you'll know exactly what I mean.
Tom's fab pics add to the pace and comedy of some very silly adventures indeed. What a pleasure doing business with him."
Jane Eccles tackles some tricky customers, and comes out on top.
I have set myself a challenge. In between jobs and whenever I get the urge I am sitting at my desk with a piece of Bristol board and drawing the animals which I've never attempted or been asked to draw before, using only black ink and grey ProMarker. Here are the results so far:
How unlucky can a young lad get? By having a toilet of doom and some evil underpants! FMI illustrator Donough O' Malley shows us some of his artwork for the re-editions of the hugely popular and funny Jiggy McCue series by Michael Lawrence.
Every young lad can get the notion that the world is against him, and sometimes they can be right. Especially if you are Jiggy and his friends who have all sorts of mishaps fall upon them. From body swapping shenanigans to evil y-fronts with a mind of their own, Jiggy has a lot on his plate.
The Toilet of Doom and The Killer Underpants were re-released last month by Orchard books, and they were great fun to illustrate. Getting to use a loose and scratchy ink line, the scenarios were wide and varied with the only stipulation that the reader never gets to see Jiggy's face.
The series of books, created by Michael Lawrence, has been phenomenally successful with these two just the latest version in reprints. I had previously worked on a book for Michael with Barrington Stoke, so I knew his style of writing, which I love. Imaginative and just a little bit bonkers. Just what I like.
I'm hoping to see more of Jiggy in the future, not just because they are great stories(check out the reviews) but are really fun to work on!