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 Toon Gods
The Hound gets all religious...
 
  Quentin Blake - Toon God  
 

   Saluting the scribbling brilliance of the
   former Children's Laureate...

         

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    Fantastic Mr Blake »    Selected works »    Blake on the web
 »
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    Fantastic Mr Blake

    Children's illustrator supremo Quentin Blake has found his work linked indelibly
    with the master children's storyteller, Roald Dahl. Since 1975 his unique scribbled
    characters have been used to illustrate umpteen of Dahl's childrens works and
    anthologies - everything from 'The BFG' to 'The Enormous Crocodile', 'Matilda'
    and beyond, and each collecting numerous awards and selling phenomenal
    copies. Blake's funtastic sketches capture the gleeful energy of Dahl's works.
    And seeing as Dahl is the biggest selling children's author of all-time, one can
    assume that Mr Blake is close to being the most successful children's illustrator
    of all-time too...

    But of course, Blake hasn't just worked for Roald Dahl. He has illustrated close
    to 200 titles, amongst them works by Carroll, Dickens, and Lear as well as writing
    and illustrating so many of his own tales like 'Fantastic Daisy Artichoke', 'Parrots'
    and 'Mr Magnolia'. He has also worked regularly with authors like Michael Rosen,
    Russell Hoban and John Yeoman - indeed his first ever picture book work was
    for Yeoman's 'A Drink Of Water' published in 1960. It was Blake who brought
    Nils-Olof Franzen's Agaton Sax into life in the UK. His illustrations graced the
    Target paperback editions in the 1970's and they also featured on tv, courtesy
    of the adaptations on the BBC's 'Jackanory'. Actually, he was a regular illustrator
    on that long-running series too. He was also responsible for bringing Joan Aiken's
    Mortimer and Arabel books into pictorial life. These fun tales starring a little girl
    and her mischievous raven were later adapted into a BBC series which featured
    puppets based on Blake's designs. Repeats of the show acontinue on CBBC
    today, and the Mortimer books are still being published.

    In 2003 Robert Harrop, the ceramics and models studio released the first
    of an ongoing collection of figurines based on Blake's Roald Dahl drawings.
    A must-buy for Quentin's fans, surely...?

   On the left there is a gem of a booklet,
   from 1991 looking at railway safety.
   It's written by Roald Dahl and brilliantly
   illustrated by Mr Blake. His toons
   depict the end results that arise from
   disobeying railway safety messages.

   Thus we are shown a kid being struck
   by an express train, another young girl
   being dragged along the platform,
   a lad being zapped by an electrified rail
   and even a poor chap losing his head
   when leaning out of a moving train!

   Yep, Dahl and Blake don't pull any
   punches with this guide, and because
   of that it's actually a very effective
   deterrent....
   
       Roald Dahl's Guide To Railway Safety
     In 1988 Quentin Blake was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours List.
     Then, a couple of years ago he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate
     - a title picked by school children themselves, which just shows his enduring
     popularity with his target audience. But he remains equally popular with us
     Big Kids too. Blake has given an extraordinary amount to the world of
     illustration. He regularly contributes to charitable publications, events and
     schemes. In the 1960s he progressed from being a part-time lecturer at the
     RCA to being Head Of Illustration there, juggling his career with his tuition.
     Although he gave up full-time lecturing in 1986 he is still a visiting professor
     today. He has also written two insightful volumes concerning his Children's
     Laureate in whhich he reveals his thoughts and progress through that two
     year appointment and beyond.

     Blake's straw-haired kids, hook-nosed witches and ragged crows appear
     mischievously simple in their construction; gleeful, kinetic creations dropped
     hither and thither on the page. But Blake is keenly versed in aesthetic form
     and placement. There is much method in his mad sketches. Quentin
     Blake's creations have been with us for some forty years now, but although
     the artist himself may be getting on in years, his artwork remains timeless.
     He's simply, childishly brilliant.


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    Selected works

    What follows are a few of Mr Blake's book credits. Some publishing dates
    may not be entirely accurate, due to regular republishing of titles. The Agaton
    Sax books were originally published in the 1960s. Dates here are for the Target
    paperback versions. The Mortimer books are also proving intriguing. The more
    recent BBC tie-in books actually feature new cover art by Malcolm James
    in the style of Mr Blake. They're very similar. Anyway, no more excuses -
    here are the credits:


    as author and illustrator
    Patrick (1968)
    Band Of Angels (1969)
    Mister Magnolia (1980)

    Quentin Blake's Nursery
    Rhyme Book (1983)

    Miss Armitage On Wheels (1987)
    Mrs Armitage And The Big Wave (1988
)
    Quentin Blake's ABC (1989)
    All Join In (1990)
    Cockatoos (1992)
    Simpkin (1993)
    Clown (1995)

    The Story Of The Dancing Frog (1996)
    The Green Ship (1998)
    Patrick (1998)
    Fantastic Daisy Artichoke (1999)
    
Zagazoo (1999)
    The Laureate's Party (2000)
    Words And Pictures (2000)
    Tell Me A Picture (2001)
    A Sailing Boat In The Sky (2002)
    Loveykins (2002)
    The Laureate's Progress (2002)
    Mrs Armitage, Queen Of
    The Road (2003)


    with John Yeoman:
    A Drink Of Water (1960)
    Beatrice And Vanessa (1974)
    The Puffin Book Of Impossible
    Records (1975)
    The Puffin Annual 2 (1975)
    The Wild Washerwomen (1979)
    You Can't Catch Me (1982)
    The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers (1987)
    Our Village (1988)
    The Do-It-Yourself House
    That Jack Built (1996)
    The Princes Gifts: Magic Folk Tales
    From Around the World (1997)
    Sinbad The Sailor (1998)
    The Heron And The Crane (2000)

    with Michael Rosen:
    You Can't Catch Me! (1982)
    Quick, Let's Get Out Of Here (1985)
    Don't Put Mustard In The Custard (1985)
    Mind Your own Business (1996)
    Wouldn't You like To Know (1996)
    Tea In The Sugar Bowl (1997)
    Under The Bed (2000)
    Spollyollydiddlytiddlyitis: The
    Doctor Book (2001)
Agaton Sax And The Diamond Thieves

Agaton Sax books
by Nils-Olof Franzen:

Agaton Sax And the
Diamond Thieves (1973)
Agaton Sax And The Scotland
Yard Mystery (1973)
Agaton Sax And The Bank-note
Robbers (1973)
Agaton Sax And The
Criminal Doubles (1973)
Agaton Sax And The Colossus Of
Rhodes (1975)
Agaton Sax And The London
Computer Plot (1975)
Agaton Sax And The
Haunted House (1975)
Agaton Sax And The Big Rig (1976)
Agaton Sax And The Max Brothers (1977)
Agaton Sax And Lispington's
Grandfather Clock (1978)
Agaton Sax And The League Of
Silent Exploders (1979)

Arabel & Mortimer books
by Joan Aiken (+ Lizza Aiken):

Arabel's Raven (1974)
Mortimer's Tie (1976)
Mortimer And The Sword Excalibur (1978)
The Spiral Stair (1979)
Mortimer And Arabel (1980)
Mortimer's Cross (1983)
Mortimer Says Nothing (1987)
Mortimer's Portrait On Glass (1990)
The Bread Bin (1990)
The Mystery Of Mister Jones's
Disappearing Taxi (1990)
Mortimer's Mine (1994)
Mayhem In Rumbury (1995)
Arabel And The
Escaped Black Mamba (2002)

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      On the web


      Quentin Blake
      http://www.quentinblake.com/index.htm
      The official site with up-to-date info on Mr Blake and his wonderful
      works, a proper biography and more...

      Scarthin Books
      http://www.scarthinbooks.demon.co.uk/Quentin.html
      Scarthin Books of Cromford present this very useful scrolling
      page interview with the former Childrens Laureate, reflecting on his
      days at Cambridge University...
             
      
Roald Dahl Fans

      http://www.roalddahlfans.com/index.php
      Kristine Howard's fab site is devoted to Roald Dahl and his
      works, and as a consequence features a plethora of Mr Blake's
      book covers from around the world. There's some terrific
      reference material here, with thumbnails leading to larger pics.
      The index page feeds you off in the appropriate directions...

      
Young Writers

      http://www.mystworld.com/youngwriter/authors/blake.html
      A deep link to a Young Writers online interview with Quentin, asking
      questions about his motivation and technique. Only one page, but
      interesting nonetheless. Surprisingly, this is still online, but for how
      much longer? - Check it out whilst you can...

      Chris Beetles Gallery
      http://www.chrisbeetles.com/
      Chris is an official art dealer for Quentin Blake, and he also has
      an extensive list of famous artists on his gallery pages...



                                                                       
 
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© Quentin Blake / Felicity Dahl /Roald Dahl Estate /BBC F2000-2005