Last Thursday LBB had the pleasure of attending an event with not just one, but two of our favourite illustrators/authors: Chris Riddell and Tony DiTerlizzi.
The event focused very much around their childhood. Tony grew up in Florida (the Mickey Mouse badge he was sporting on his blazer surely an ironic nod to his roots?). Spiderwick Chronicles started as a field guide that he made when he was 12. His formative and early adult years were shaped by an obsession with Dungeon and Dragons - something that comes across strongly in his latest book, The Search for Wondla.
Riddell’s childhood was spent drawing pictures of decapitated knights during his father’s church sermons. He was promoting Muddle Earth Too, which he described as a chance for him and Paul Stewart to let their hair down: “well I say let our hair down, mine’s thinning and Paul’s bald.” He joked that Muddle Earth was less of a collaborative effort, more him “imprisoning” Paul Stewart and making him write stuff he wanted to draw.
We were also treated to live drawing demonstrations - we could only gawp at Riddell’s ability to conjure up book worthy illustrations in a matter of minutes. On the other side of the room, DiTerlizzi’s depiction of himself as a young boy replete with a Luke Skywalker barnet bore an uncanny resemblance to Elton John.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was that we managed to get our trembling mitts on not just one but three of Chris Riddell’s sketchbooks. Ooh we bet you’re jealous now…