Now that the weather is starting to get better after what has been a pretty hard, I suddenly find the urge to return to the beach and complete my Golden Plaice book. My intention is to try and screen print every page but if this is not realistic in the time frame I have then at least to finish a few pages to the highest possible standard. I shall also endeavor to complete my Hummingbirds book and it has been suggested that I try to to get it Risograph printed so that it isn’t completely outshone by the screen prints.
It has been good to come back to The Golden plaice after a long break and with fresh eyes. Obviously having had the project assessed at the end of unit 2 it is important to look at the feedback that I received then and try to work on those areas. Issues that came up were that the writing had not been as worked through as the pictures and needed some tweaking, it was suggested that the book was a bit small (which was fine because I printed it smaller intentionally to save money) and that some of the pop ups could be better resolved or more complicated. So let’s start with the story. Here is the complete text, I have already tweaked a few things so I have put the changes in bold with the previous text in brackets.
The Golden Plaice
A salty old bunch from a rock pool around here,
went for a jaunt (walk) on the tide (cusp) of the year,
they put on some hats and packed some supplies,
smart Prawn was their leader – fussy but wise.
Prawn told them of wonders fantastic and rare,
where food was abundant, no worries or cares,
There they would find a sole full of grace,
His awesome magnificence King Golden Plaice!
( The King was electric and massive in size,
and he had lots of minions he called his ‘small fries’)
They waved goodbye to the winkles and went on their way,
In single file they strolled, swam, crept and sashayed,
‘What clement weather !’ the fussy Prawn said.
Who could have foretold the troubles ahead?
Cans and bottles and rocks and weed,
The party traversed at a moderate speed,
But trouble has a way of finding the brave
and before very long the trip was waylaid.
Peter the Pipefish couldn’t help but explore,
He looked in one hole then he looked in one more,
Long and thin Peter – we called him ‘Pip’
Had few expectations in an Octopus’ grip!
Have you ever heard of the oldest trick in the book?
The fishes that fishes with a line and a hook?
Poor little Blennie she must not have known.
She was promptly swallowed by a ravenous stone!
Four fat salmon came into view,
looking for something, faces askew,
salmon like posh things to eat and to drink,
quality goods for a life in the pink.
Prawn cried “Hurry Up! if you dawdle you’re dead!
Lets exit these shallows and try deep water instead”
So the crevacious crew went right out to sea,
What a terrible idea that would turn out to be.
The enveloping blue became deeper and dark,
Along came a huge day dreaming shark,
A fish so enormous it swallowed the skies,
failed to even notice poor Lobsters demise!
All of a sudden no warning at all,
The party was swept into a giant bait ball,
Fastidious Prawn put up his umbrella,
So Janet the Gannet ate some other fella!
Poor Mr.Squid he dawdled just slightly,
A Bottlenosed dolphin gave him a good bite-y!
Casual Shrimp in his flowery wellies,
Was offered a place in the most distinguished of bellies.
Mustachio’d crab and his strawberry friend,
stuck firmly together right up to the end!
“alas” said Prawn in his particular way,
“Come on lets go, there’s no time to delay!”
But up came a whale and swallowed them all,
Only Prawn was left, not one morsel more.
‘Ohhhh’ wailed Prawn ‘what shall I do now?’
He fiddled his feet and wiped sweat from his brow.
Impeccable Prawn could take it no more,
He turned upside down and sank up to the floor.
He crawled into a ball (covered his eyes) and welcomed the night,
But was loudly awakened by a numinous (luminous) light.
Prawn lifted his gaze (eyes) and to his great surprize,
He found himself staring into two golden eyes.
At last Prawn had arrived at the golden place to be,
He entered his kingdom and was forever after happy.
Its hard to separate the text from the pictures in this case because the pop ups are such an integral part of the story that it is quite hard to read it like this. I have sent the text to all my tutors but so far only Catrin and my parents have given me any feedback. Catrin was very positive and said I should go ahead with how it is. One feedback I had from Mat originally was that the part with the salmon felt a bit out of place, I think this is because the text runs over two pages and most of the other pages do not do this. I shall try to juggle the text better.
I began by looking at the first spread. This page opens up completely to double in size, the background is a drawing of a rock pool drawn from my extensive rock pool photographs.
One of the problems with this page is that people did not realise that it actually popped open and would move onto the next page with seeing it! I thought a good way to stop this would be to make holes in the flaps so that it is possible to look in without opening.
The next photo shows it open. It’s not a great photo but I have added several elements to the original pop up. These bit are mainly adornments of weed. My next step was to do proper drawings for these extras, which are shown in the next image. Once again these images are drawn from my source photographs. By making holes in the flaps I did seriously compromise the amount of space for text so I have actually started to create a whole new page to go before this one. I always wanted to have a page where you are introduced to the characters so I have started to design it. This involves some new drawings of all the adventurers. I wanted the characters to have a Victorian feel to them in keeping with Nonsense history or if not Victorian then at least from some time ago. Obviously I had already designed Prawn but this is a more detailed version for the start.When drawing a new prawn, using one of my original drawings from life as a starting point I found a few images for inspiration. Casual Prawn is a bit more relaxed and stylish but still I would say from an upper class society, I imagine him rowing for Oxford or something.
I have also decided to change the fonts that I am using and to make the text easily readable and less stylistic. I would still like it to have a ‘Victorian newspaper’ or print style to it. Ideally I would letter press it but I think that would be unrealistic with everything else I have to get done. I have found a free font at Fontsquirrel.com called HVD Bodedo which has many of the features I am looking for. Also my friend Ruth who is a bit of a font enthusiast has sent me some lovely fonts from her Grandmothers book of Victorian display alphabets.