Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Belated Festive Greeting From England (not the UK - What's United About It?) What's 'United About Anything Anyway?'

Hi my little festive chums (we have 'festive' cheer here nowadays in preference to the apparently potentially offensive Chr----- nomenclature... note to self: New year's resolution - not to get upset by 'man-dresses', the upside down bramble-beard shaved headed look and the PC brigade that kowtow to them).

Talking of the latter, PicasaWeb chose Chr--------- day to inform me that they are permanently removing all of my albums and shutting down my account as 'despite previous notifications' and 'further complaint' I had neglected to remove offensive material from my albums. Well Pollocks to em: last time I was 'notified' it was to say they had removed the aforementioned 'offensive material' from my albums, and lo and behold certain 'material' – notably the artwork of Thorn / Hobbs – had been removed. Thus I took no further action, believing all else to have passed and survived their scrutiny.

Fear not, though, for as the case of some with some of the other material they have removed in the past I shall resurrect these folders, albums and files in their entirety as I did with the work of Hobs / Thorn – keep watching the sidebar for new links / demise of the old Picasaweb links.

When you come to think of it, what could have been so offensive about the covers of old magazines that once sat on newsagent shelves let alone women's workwear catalogs that once occupied the mainstream in any case. I guess what I am saying is: why delete such innocuous material in the first place? Or is it the truth that no one ever bothers to check and any allegation will do?. More likely it is the usual fear that someone - anyone, no matter how minority their point of view – shall be 'offended': well should we kowtow to every nutter on the planet – or embrace freedom?

Now as for the belated Christmas (oh no! I've said it) greeting: I neglected to take an USB cable with me to the hotel – and the wireless link cost money. So what can I say: I'm having a beer or two today on the proceeds of that saving!!!

On another lay: here are a couple of early renditions of the cover for the new volume – along with the first two for comparison –

though I doubt I'll use either in their present form as I'd like to keep to the series theme a little more and also for legal reasons (both are for artwork layout guidance only). Comments / criticisms are, as always, are welcomed.


Orage said...

"I doubt I'll use either in their present form"
Pity! I very much like the blueish one, very sinister.
As you said the new volume included the two girls we know, the title might be "A tale of two...." (two what? No idea for the time being)

Anonymous said...

Like the cover but see if darkening the figures would help. The two figures look ghostly as you can see the bars through the women giving the impression of a ghost story. Overall, it gives a sinister feel to the story.


Anonymous said...

I like it very much - it certainly makes me even more excited, waiting to read it!

Anonymous said...

With the figures more distinct and in the foreground it would be better to dress the girl in a skirt with the straitjacket. That way it would look more like the girl was being transported by an escorted to the foreboding mansion by a nurse or nanny.

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for all the feedback, folks and a belated happy and prosperous New Year to all. I've a fairly good excuse for the 'belated' part - hopefully I'll get to say more about that in a blog post a little later.

The 'sinister' comment has been repeated several times in emails I have received and was the intention. Giving any impression of being a ghost story was of course not something planned and I'll have to do something about that (there has been enough misunderstanding over the nature of the first two books, of which more will be said in my next blog post proper).

The point about the girl being in a skirt is an interesting one. And a useful one from several angles, as my collaborator in the 'States' - who provided the majority of the components making up the basic imagery - will understand. I can say no more about that for all sorts of reasons, except to say that I will experiment with 'Photoshopping' something suitable on to the figure and see how that turns out - keep an eye out on the blog.

Before I forget: Thanks 'Orage' for that title suggestion - I'm still a little at a loss but 'A Tale of Two...Somethings' has set me thinking.

Madmonkey said...

I think the problem with the cover as it currently appears is the gate, it is much too large and makes it hard to see the building behind it. When I first looked at it I didn't even see the building, I thought it was a grove of trees behind the gate. For the institution to be intimidating it needs to loom large in the frame and not be dwarfed by some gate. I would pull the figures back, make the gate about 50% smaller and make the building at least 50% larger.

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for the advice, 'Madmonkey'. I hope to do a little experimenting later in the week and I'll try out some ideas based around changing the perspective and view as you have suggested and hopefully post up the results at some point for further feedback.