Literary influences

Do you remember the first book that really grabbed you? The one that fell apart in your hands from constant rereading and spring-boarded you off into your career as an obsessive lifetime reader? (I’m assuming you’re a reader here, because I most certainly am and who would visit my blog if they’re not like me at least a little? Right?)

Well, mine was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. I have no idea why my mom decided to bring it home from the library for me that day. To the best of my knowledge, she’s never read it herself (though she can feel free to contradict me if I’m wrong, or fill in the story if she remembers) and it certainly wasn’t a new release in 1992 when I was 7.

But whatever the reason, there it was. And that story, of a young and talented wizard whose life and career nearly end at the hands of his own hubris, really got to me. I remember carrying around laminated bookmarks I’d made myself, painstakingly copying out the poem and runes from the front of the book. I hunted down the trilogy, the copies with my favorite cover art of course (these ones), and still have them on my shelf to this day.

Yet for some reason, I think this might be the first illustration I’ve ever done of Ged.

Ged and Hoeg

(Bigger, better view here)


8 thoughts on “Literary influences

  1. Three words: Wrinkle in Time. I begged my fourth grade teacher to read it, and being my favorite teacher, she changed the entire reading schedule of the class to accomodate me. I was positively enthralled. Two years later I read A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I still revisit them every few years and just let them wash over me. <3

    And holy hell, why haven't I drawn anything from them?! D:

    • Oh! That series is *so* good. I picked up ‘Wind in the Door’ first, because of the fish-shrimp creatures and cherabim on the cover. X) But I adore children’s authors who mix science fiction and fantasy and steadfastly refuse to be condescending to their audiences. I actually just forced Evan to read ‘Wrinkle’ for the first time, since he’d missed it somehow.
      Kinda excited about the graphic novel…

      It must be a thing: artists afraid to draw images of their favorite childhood books? I just asked Evan, and he says the same thing about his.

      Whatever, ‘Wrinkle in Time’ illustrations from you could only be the best ever.

  2. Three words: Wrinkle in Time. I spied the book on a shelf, and begged my fourth grade, and favorite teacher, Mrs Dickinson, to let the class read it. She basically derailed the entire reading schedule of the class to let me have my wish. Two years later I read A Wind in the Door ( actually my favorite in the series) and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Periodically I reread them all and just let it all sink in again. It’s wonderful they’re all so timeless. <3

    And holy hell, why haven't I drawn anything from them?! D:

  3. Oz. The original 14 Baum books.
    But I tried and tried and TRIED to draw those things, and to live up to Neill’s standard. I was four, so I failed, but it got me hooked on daydreams, art, and fiction! So they ruined my life as a productive citizen, basically. ;P Still lots of fun, though.

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