Jim Harris Talks About Illustrating…
Jack and the Giant
A Very Fractured Fairy Tale
Jack and the Giant is the first book I wrote AND illustrated (as opposed to just doing the illustrations for a story someone else wrote.)
It took a loooooong time.
Mostly the reason it took so long was that I kept coming up with ideas that the editors thought would get the book thrown off the shelves…
“When Jack heard the Giant coming he got out of the kitchen in a hurry. Besides, there was a giant mother changing a giant baby’s diaper on the next table and causing a giant odor. Peee Yewwww!”
(The editors thought that might offend babies.)
And I liked this pretty well….
“We’ll have to sell our last valuable possession, said Jack’s ma.
“Oh, no! Not my bubblegum collection!” wailed Jack.
(The editors thought that was just plain silly.)
Oh, well, in the end, I put my foot down and said they had to include a whole bunch of my silly jokes, and they put their foot down and said it had to be held together with something resembling English grammar. And that's what we did.
Here’s what one girl I know said about it…
Well, with a compliment like that, it’s hard to stay humble. But yeah, I have to agree… in Jack and the Giant, the jokes are the main thing. (I assure you no one has ever complimented me on the good grammar. Ever.)
This spot illustration is from the part of the story where Jack’s Ma, (Mrs. Annie Okey-Dokey,) tosses out the magic beans. At the time I illustrated this I lived in Colorado, on the side of a magnificent mountain, where you could see for hundreds of miles out into the desert. (And you could see a lot of jackrabbits.) To me they were living symbols of the great Southwest.
Later, we moved to New Zealand… and guess what… I now live on a farm between two magnificent mountain ranges and we are overrun with…. jackrabbits.
So maybe jackrabbits are just symbols of wild open spaces wherever you are!
Anyway, if you’re in the mood for a silly book, check out Jack and the Giant. I hope it gives you a bushel of hee-haws!
Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved