Designing Dragons (Part 4 )
So, as I mentioned in my last post, I am waist-deep in my new book project Kenny & The Dragon. It is a retelling of the Kenneth Grahame short story, The Reluctant Dragon, which was found in his book Dream Days published back in 1898.
This is one of my favorite dragon stories that I remember as a child. The surprise here is that the dragon is hardly the fierce, fire-breathing variety – he’s more a poet and a pacifist. There is also a slight humor in both the original version and my retelling, so I wanted his design to reflect that, yet still be an interesting and unusual creature.
My first attempt was very closely based on Ernest Shepard’s design in the original version. I quickly abandoned it and moved along feeling there was nothing more I could add…
I came close to this birdlike beaky version (remember those Pern dragons?) which I felt looked intelligent enough to speak, read and write, but wasn’t quite warm enough for the mood of the text that I had written.
This turtle-inspired version was more on the right track…but I still wasn’t quite there yet.