Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick is the author of the 2008 Caldecott Medal-winning novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and the new novel, Wonderstruck.

From his Q & A with Sue Corbett at Publishers Weekly:

Hugo Cabret was a thick book, but you’ve outdone yourself with Wonderstruck. Will we need wheelbarrows for your next work?

I guess Wonderstruck does make Hugo look slimmer. There are 100 more drawings. But I think the size may have maxed out with Wonderstruck. I actually do feel bad, especially about kids lugging these books around.

A hundred more illustrations! Did you do them in the same miniature style as Hugo?

The illustrations are the same size as they were for Hugo Cabret – one-quarter the size of what you see in the finished book. In Hugo, that was a function of the ending – they were the size of a picture the automaton could draw so at the end you would learn that the whole book had been drawn by the automaton, but I liked the technique. When you enlarge them it loosens everything up, as opposed to the artwork of somebody like Chris Van Allsburg who paints these huge illustrations and then has them shrunk down to fit in a book. That has the effect of really concentrating his artwork and it’s glorious. This does the opposite, but I like what that does for my drawings.

Tell us about Sean Murtha, who you credit in the acknowledgments as having planted the seed for Wonderstruck.

In the early 1990s, Sean was a colleague of mine at Eeyore’s on the Upper West Side. He left to work at the Museum of Natural History, painting dioramas and building displays. He invited me to visit his workshop, which I did. Going to the museum and entering doors marked “Do not enter,” or “Employees Only,” was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue