Crook, Line, and Sinker

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

First, I would like to point out that I was under the impression that everyone voluntarily read and loved The Thief of Always in junior high. I am slowly learning that this is not the case. Thus, proving my theory that you do, in fact, learn something new every day. Second, I must give credit to Burton for the punny title of this sketch. Many thanks, Burton!

Harvey Swick is a typical angst-ridden ten-year-old that has unfair parents and doesn't like school and can't ever have anything he wants ever. So, given the opportunity to go to a magical house that will give him just that, he jumps at the chance. He finds that if he imagines something he wants, it eventually appears in the house. The day is divided into all four seasons with spring in the morning and ending with winter at night. Halloween and Christmas are celebrated every night and he does whatever he likes during the day- every day.

Harvey meets a girl named Lulu who has lived in the house the longest out of all the children there. She is mysterious and sad, even though it appears she has everything she's ever wanted. When Harvey drops a toy arc filled with little wooden animals into the spooky lake behind the house, Lulu retrieves some of the pieces for him (from the bottom of the black lake). At this point, Harvey begins to realize that something fishy is going on at the magical house...

Doctor Doctor

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Here's the aforementioned Part 2 of the DJ&MH illustrations. Dr. Jekyll is all sophistication on the surface, and to his friends. On the inside, however, he has been leading a double life. While he is mostly an upstanding citizen, a part craves to be immoral and indulge in guilt, shady pleasure, and debauchery.

It is mentioned in the story that Jekyll had been leading a secret life to explore some of this hidden displeasure. So when he started stumbling upon some chemical concoction that was able to bring out the duality of man, to separate it physically for some time, he became excited.

At first he reveled in the notion of becoming Edward Hyde, a figure of anti-morals. As he started losing control of Hyde, and sensing the wildness and hatred swell, he became fearful and panicked. Who wouldn't, really?

About the illustration:
For some reason I drew Jekyll as being rather young, even though he isn't really. I guess it was his giddiness to experiment with the potion that made me skew towards a more energetic, youthful appearance. Or maybe I wasn't thinking when I drew it...

This booksketch was done with inkwash, a little Micron pen and made to be a duotone in Photoshop.

Two Hydes To Every Story

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

This was my first time reading DJ&MH, and I'm really surprised about how distorted the image of Edward Hyde has become. From the many, many imaginings and re-imaginings of the story through the years, from plays to cartoons to movies, Hyde has taken on a larger-than-life, more-brutal-than-a-chainsaw kind of image. Remember seeing Jekyll clutch his chest and fall behind a chair only to emerge as a monstrous brute with crazy hair, glaring eyes, and an imposing figure.

I remember seeing that! And I was rather surprised to find out that Hyde was actually smaller in stature than Jekyll! He was shorter, littler, but very stolid. The reasoning behind this was brilliant. You see, when Jekyll drank that concoction of his, it allowed his repressed immoral side to take control of his body's steering wheel, for lack of a better term. Since Jekyll had only recently started dabbling in those "earthly pleasures" and, well, displeasures, this "Hyde" part of his persona was rather like a newborn, or smaller in proportion to the rest of Jekyll's "good-natured" self. So this is why Hyde's physical representation was smaller.

Of course, he isn't just smaller and more imposing. He's described as having "some sort of hidden deformation that makes you instantly loath his being, as if he weren't human, or were pure evil. As if he doesn't have a conscience..." I'm just paraphrasing that, but it's the gist of a bunch of eye witnesses testimonies. Since eyes are the "windows to the soul," I just made my illustration have black, shadowed eyes.

One spine-tingling moment towards the end of the novel was the reveal that Hyde had actually grown between one span of transformations. Eeeep!

About the illustration:

Following my recent stylistic trend (well, except for my last one), this booksketch was done in watercolor and Micron pen. Edward Hyde is looking smugly at the key to the rear entrance to Jekyll's house, which is through the old, unused lab/dissecting room.

The Lover Bearing Gifts

"The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira
and Her Heartless Grandmother"

Gabriel García Márquez

Her life was a tale of sadness
until she met Ulises.
A young man
bearing gifts of oranges —
the most beautiful oranges
with diamonds hidden inside.
He waits outside her tent
where her grandmother has
imprisoned her.
An owl's call
is her sign
to escape into his waiting arms.

I Love The 80s

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

It's about time I did an illustration from American Psycho. I'd say it ranks in my top five novels. It's a rather brilliant, if extremely shocking satire on the materialism and disparity of New York upper class in the 1980s.

Our psycho, Patrick Bateman is doing pretty well for himself as an investor on Wall Street. Living a rather high life, with an expensive apartment and extravagant lifestyle, Bateman describes to us his daily routines. These routines show us how shallow the environment is: drugs, sex, lies, etc. No one can remember anyone's name, even their "friends." Everything is disconnected from everything else, and people just focus on themselves and their credit cards.

But that's not the entirety of it. Bateman is also a serial killer. He knows it; he factors it into his schedule. He detachedly leads the reader through some very intense, very graphic scenarios. As the novel progresses, his cravings increase and so does the danger of being discovered. But in such a calamitous and uncaring society, who will take the time to stop a killer? Probably no one, as long as their is money left to spend.

This novel was adapted into a movie, starring Christian Bale. It's about a third as shocking as the book, maybe even a fourth, but still gets across the same effect. You have to love that scene near the end with Bateman frantically leaving a voicemail.

"Tonight I, uh, I just had to kill a LOT of people..."

This illustration was done with Micron Pen and a dab of red watercolor.