Some serious Spiderwicky goodness arrived in my mailbox this week. Check out these gems:
These are just AWESOME guys (and gals)! Keep’em comin…
This ran in today’s Publisher’s Weekly:
A Tasty Promotion for Spiderwick
By Karen Raugust — Publishers Weekly, 1/17/2008
Simon and Schuster has partnered with General Mills for a 10 million-box, five-brand cereal promotion tied to the Spiderwick Chronicles. Running from January 1 to March 1, the promotion’s timing is tied to the Spiderwick film being released in February. But its focus is entirely on the books. In fact, when the two companies started talking about the partnership, the film was optioned but didn’t have a green light, so it wasn’t a factor in the deal, according to Laura Ferguson, S&S director of premiums, CDP and corporate sales.
Specially marked boxes of Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s Puffs, Cookie Crisps and Honey Nut Cheerios will include one of three collectible books based on the second title in the Spiderwick series, The Seeing Stone. The three will be evenly distributed among the 10 million boxes, with each store receiving some of each title. The cover is visible through a clear window in each box.
Each book features a third of the original story with a special introduction and conclusion, followed by a brand-new prequel story and illustrations created by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black in conjunction with GM and S&S. The new material, which comprises about 10 to 15 of the 64 pages in each book, is available only through the GM promotion.
This project has taken almost 2 years to complete. But, having VERY fond memories of getting a cool prize in a cereal box as a kid, I do think it was worth it. Holly and I created “Lost Chapters” (with new art) for the Spiderwick universe.
One lost chapter is about Thimbletack becoming a boggart, another is how the troll’s bridge was destroyed, and the last one was how Hogsqueal (or Hoggy, as I call him) was captured by the goblins.
Hopefully, if you are already a fan of the books, you’ll enjoy these little sidetracks. The cool thing is that the boxes have a window showing you what book is inside, so you won’t have to eat your weight in Lucky Charms only to find a duplicate prize…man, I hated when that happened as a kid.
Angela came across a writing contest, “The Ultimate Fantasy Fan”, that was being run by Spiderwick studio Paramount Pictures and Harry Potter fan club, Mugglenet. The winner of which will be able to interview folks attending the Los Angeles premiere! A 13-year old gal, Amanda, won and here is her killer essay.
I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to have created a world which has inspired so many young (and old) imaginations. I feel so honored to be part of this fantastic culture; yet, I usually work at home with only my public events (like book-signings) to receive the praise from fans. So seeing others exhibit their creativity, like in this clever essay, truly touches me and, in turn, inspires me to create more.
Rock on Amanda! I’ll be looking for you on the red carpet and in bookstores in the future.
Boy, they’ve come a long way since Atari’s Adventure, and Legend of Zelda! Here are some screen-shots of the Spiderwick video game which will have more characters and settings than what is in the movie, check out these Xbox shots:
…and here are some from the Playstation:
(*btw, the platform system links take you to pages with many more shots)
The game designers were up on set when Holly and I were there and we were able to brainstorm a bit and offer some ideas. I know you will be able to play Jared, Simon, Mallory and Thimbletack! SO COOL! Can’t wait to fence as Mal on the Wii!
7 year-old Jake is a big Spiderwick fan and sent us this killer drawing of a goblin running through the woods!
What’s awesome in this piece is his sense of background AND perspective. I’ve seen college student work that don’t tackle this sort of thing – only focusing on the character design and missing the environment to house it. So KUDOS to you Jake! Keep on drawin!
Happy New Years!
I hope everyone has had a great holiday season so far. I just wanted to post a New Year’s message to all of my fans, friends and fam out there who made 2007 such a memorable year for me.
I have so many things to be thankful for: My best friend and wife, Angela, gave us a beautiful little girl in May and our lives have been much more richer (and hectic) forever since. My other child, The Spiderwick books, that I’ve created with Holly have been more successful than I ever could have imagined. The first sequel book, The Nixie’s Song, came out this fall and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list! Say wha!?
And, of course, I am terribly excited about the upcoming film. This is the stuff of dreams-come-true for me. Whether the movie is received well by critics, or does great opening weekend, I can tell you that I absolutely enjoyed it and that it upheld the spirit of the stories, and the visual world that I created – you can’t ask for much more than that.
2008 should be an exciting year with the film, video game, toys, Happy Meals, etc, releasing in February. There should be lots of Spiderwicky-goodness out there for even the most die-hard fans. And we’ll be releasing the second book in the sequel, A Giant Problem, in September.
Before that, I will be debuting my first solo middle-grade novel, Kenny & The Dragon, in August. The 200-page illustrated book is a retelling of The Reluctant Dragon, and I am so anxious to hear what readers think. I am really happy with how it is shaping up (as of this writing, I am almost done with it.)
There will be book tours, both in the US and UK, and a BIG announcement from yours truly on a new project that is aimed for readers a little older than the Spiderwick crowd. So stay tuned, and THANK YOU for allowing me to do what I do for a living.
All the best to you and your family (especially the troops overseas) from our family,
-Tony, Ang & Sophia
I think it would be erroneous to say that only books, and illustrators of books, were the primary influence on my artistic style.
I was in a very music-loving household growing up a child in the 1970′s and 80′s. My parents had quite an LP (Long-Playing record) collection, as did I. Many a night, I would sit with the headphones on listening to my favorite bands and artists while I poured over the lyrics and oft-times surreal album cover artwork. Sometimes, the lyrics came in the form of a booklet – and even that would be illustrated.
Bear in mind that this was in the days before CDs. Record albums were 12″ in diameter and so the packaging was large, thin, sometimes textured with printing effects (like embossing, lamination, etc) and the lyrics books (if they were illustrated) were almost like…a picture book for the listener. Of course, The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from 1967 exemplifies this type of visual packaging best.
…as does The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesty’s Request.
These spawned a plethora of lushly illustrated albums in the 70′s by such artists as Cat Stevens, Yes, Pink Floyd, and my favorite from that decade: Elton John.
In fact, Elton’s autobiographical 1975 album Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy is still a fixture in my studio today. The pseudo-symbolic-Bosch-like world, depicting the hurdles of the music industry and the price of fame, was magnificently rendered by British illustrator Alan Aldridge. It is no surprise to me that Alan also illustrated many children books of the day, as there is a children’s-book-like quality to his rendering style despite the subject matter.
As we all know, compact discs are now the norm for packaging today’s music (yet I wonder for how much longer). Though the visual real estate has receded from the 12″ album sleeve to the 4+” of a jewel case, there are still some wonderful examples of great packaging. Maroon Five’s debut album, Songs About Jane, comes to mind…
…as does Keane’s Under the Iron Sea, both of which utilize a simpler, more graphic style, which I think suits the package size better.
I can’t think of any of my artist-buddies who haven’t dreamed of rendering an album cover for their favorite band. I even toyed with the idea of contacting Elton John when I heard he was recording a sequel to Captain Fantastic – instead, I held out hope that perhaps he would return to Alan to work his magic, but alas it didn’t happen.
But I did get to design the cover for the band Roi and the Secret People. This actually holds some significance as the lead singer, Mike Roy, has been my friend for many years. He even introduced me to a funny, young gal named Angela way back in 1995…
PS – Okay, so I have never prompted for replies before, but I know I didn’t mention a lot of awesome album covers (80′s bands had some great ones like Journey and Asia). So what is your fav album cover?