Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goni Montes and the Cat Who Walked (and Jack!)

A while back an editor came to me with a short manuscript about a cat living in feudal Japan, Kij Johnson's The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles. It’s a very sweet Zen-like little story. Problem was, it didn’t fit into any format that was feasible for us to publish in print —too long to be a picture book, too short to be a novel, too expensive to print color illustrations as a graphic novel, etc.

The project was set aside for while until Patrick Nielsen Hayden picked it up for Tor.com. Without format constraints or printing costs we were able to buy the story and hire an artist to create nine full-color chapter drawings.

A friend of a friend had pointed out Goni Montes to me a few months back. I immediately fell in love with his work and thought he would be good match for the project. If I remember correctly I asked him to think of it in terms of a Japanese-print-Cliare-Wendling-Miyazaki kinda thing rolled up into his own style. He either had the good sense to ignore me or processed it all beautifully — whichever he did, he did a great job. Great line, beutiful color, and a particularly nice use of negative space.

That aside, the real reason to check out the story is, of course, because it stars Jack!...Ok, maybe not "stars" some much as "has a cameo with"...ok, really it's just a walk on roll...but still, is any amount a Jack to be passed up. I thought not.

Check out the full story and all the illustartions here. As usual, there is an audio version of the story if you want to take a look at teh drawings and then get back to work while listening.


V Fish said...

Lovely - the colors are so warm and soft

theatremom said...

This is lovely, Irene. Exactly the kind of thing a mother/grmother would like to give to a child. There must be a way to get it in hard print.