Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers
Walter Moers is a modern German illustrator/author whose novels tell tales from the fictional land of Zamonia. "Fictional lands" are always much more fun and creative than non-fictional ones.
Anyways, my friend Lauren had told me about a new book by this author, whom I had not heard of previously. The novel, The City of Dreaming Books looked infinitely interesting, but since it is new, I decided to order one of his older books for cheapsies. And a week later Rumo arrived at my house and quickly became one of my favorite books. Top three. It's that creative.
It feels a lot like one of the old Grimm's Fairytales, with its fair share of darkness and more than a fair share of violence. The characters are all unique and many are illustrated by the author throughout the book. Moers takes liberties with the page layout sometimes, in very creative ways. He also messes with words themselves, and speech in general, which adds to many characters' personalities. Such as the Dwarf King of the Underworld. He is so insane that he can't speak a sentence without flipping and jumbling words and letters. So, for example, instead of saying "Help me decide what to eat," he would say "Phel em diedec what to tea!" Luckily, his personal attendee was there to repeat what he said in normal-talk, if you didn't feel like deciphering the code.
Anyways, the story is of a Wolperting (basically a cross between a deer and a dog, that can do anything a person can do) named Rumo that is mentored in his "childhood" by a 14-armed shark/grub hybrid. Lots of crazy stuff happens and there is a good bit of fighting and eating. And love, too! And Non-Existent Teenies. Just read it.
About the illustration:
One of the few characters that was not illustrated by the author was General Tick Tock, who was created by a mish-mash of alchemist, engineers and chemists who happened upon the aftermath of a great battle. They used their respective professions to save what was left of the armies. The survivors were part machine, part human, and were dubbed The Copper Killers. General Tick Tock was forged to be their mighty leader, and soon proved his self to be both mighty and completely evil.
He is always searching for more ways to increase his armaments in more creatively deadly ways. And he speaks like this "Hello. [tick] I am General Tick [tock] Tock. Surrender and you will have a [tick] relatively painless end." How fun!
And that is Rumo he's facing. Rumo is holding his talking demonic cheese-knife. Hahaha.
The illustration was done with Micron Pen and colored in Photoshop. The chain-link fence texture was also added to the cape in Photoshop.