Browse Entries:
All Posts

Spiderwick Chronicles: The Completely Fantastical Edition

September 18, 2009

I am home for a spell before Holly and I head back out next week to continue our “Farewell Tour” of the Spiderwick series. A BIG thanks to everyone who came out and made the west coast events so memorable.

While on the road, and to our delight, we spied The Completely Fantastical Edition in stores which is something, frankly, I’ve been holding out on sharing with you all. (Though I did post many of the cover explorations earlier this year).


For this bind-up of the original five Spiderwick books, I took a collector’s approach. This is an approach you may be quite familiar with. Especially if you are a movie/dvd collector (like myself)…or even a graphic novel reader – e.g., when they take all the issues of a comic and bind them up into one book (also like myself – really, I am just a collector, period.).

That said, we packaged this book towards a little older reader than what the five original books were aimed at. After all, this title is close to 600 pages long(!) Yup, you read that right. But the original story itself stops around page 500 – so what did we add to this book to make it the “2-disc special edition/bind up graphic novel”?

For one thing, we pulled out all of the spot art and cameos. This helped the story flow better, and kept the original 5 titles still special. However, sometimes we’d have one of the books end on a left page with a blank right page. In that case, I went in and digitally drew on the existing spot art to make them full-pagers. Below are a couple of favs:

This is the phooka talking to the kids in book 3…


…and here is the dwarven king, the Korting, revealing an entombed Mallory in book 4.


After you finish the story proper, you then get a 30+ page sketchbook sampling some of the developmental work that went into creating the Spiderwick world. Any fans of my old gaming sketchbooks will quickly recognize the design and casual commentary I added here and there to make this section (hopefully) enlightening. Here are some page spreads:


0512…in fact, that ink drawing of the troll was never used in the final book. It is printed in this edition for the first time (along with some other deleted illustrations).

What follows is a section of “Lost Chapters” which Holly wrote to add little “sideways stories” on Thimbletack, Hogsqueal and the River Troll. If you collected the 3 General Mills “Spoonfuls of Stories” last year, then you’ll have read these tales before.

The finale is one many comic book readers will know and love – but (I think) this has yet to be done in a children’s bind-up collection: an all-star gallery of contemporary illustrators doing their take on the world of Spiderwick! The list of complete contributors includes:

Peter Brown

Eleanor Davis

Timothy Basil Ering

Scott M. Fischer

Gris Grimly

James Gurney

Scott Gustafson

Michael Hague

Jarrett Krosoczka

Loren Long

Peter McCarty

LeUyen Pham

Dan Santat

Eric Wight

Mo Willems

Dan Yaccarino

and Mark Zug.

Below are a few jpegs from this AMAZING gallery:


So there it is, a lot of thought (and work) went into this on my part, and I am proud to unveil it to you all. If you get a chance to nab a copy, be sure to bring it to our additional booksignings as we finish up our tour. I’ll seeya there!

Back to main news page

Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.