Lines that Wiggle
Ever feel the urge to start a riot? I do, every time I attend a Comic Book Convention. There is something about getting pushed for the 100th time by a grown adult dressed in a Star Wars costume that can make a girl want to snap. Not that I am promoting violence, but I think it would be funny seeing Wonder Woman body slam Yoda. A sense of humour is important when attending a Comic Con. Keep reading…
On a more manageable scale, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is worth attending; it’s less about the franchises and more about artistic passion. It’s a great supporter of indie comic artists and a perfect place to discover new talent.
I discovered a little gem at last year’s TCAF: Lines that Wiggle, written by Candace Whitman and illustrated by Steve Wilson. It was an odd place to find a picture book, but Wilson, who works in television animation design, moonlights as a comic artist, as well as an illustrator – did I mention he was super talented?
Lines that Wiggle is a rhyming story about lines: “lines that tickle, lines that sprout, bugs have lines that stick right out” – very simple. With a bold red monster and glittery blue title on the cover, the book looks like visual candy. Every page is packed with really brilliant colours, animals and more quirky monsters. I think little readers will enjoy tracing the embossed glittery blue line as it makes its journey through the book, taking on different forms like a spider web, an Egyptian mummy, a rainbow and much more.
Hats off to the printer also; they did an amazing job at reproducing the colours and creating the embossed glittery blue line.
Lines that Wiggle, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author Candace Whitman
Candace Whitman was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She studied art history at Yale University and earned her masters in art education from New York University. Whitman’s fascination with children’s book came about while she was teaching art to kids. Besides being a children’s book author, she is also an accomplished illustrator. Currently, she is in the midst of pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary.
I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.
“What inspired me to write Lines?
Once an art teacher, always an art teacher. I wanted to help open kids to the way art is all around them in its very basic elements — lines, colors, shapes. I began by noticing all the things in nature that are essentially lines, and when Blue Apple looked at the manuscript, they suggested I branch out from just natural objects to include other types of objects as well. My main hope is that with this book kids will find lines fun and exciting, and be able to recognize all the lines in the world around them. Steve Wilson’s illustrations are terrific and give the lines the kind of life and character I had in mind.
On the difference between the process of writing and illustrating: For me, there is a pretty big difference. I am not a natural born storyteller and so it takes me a bit more time than others to come up with a good idea for a book, and it can be a little anxiety producing waiting for all the little ideas along the way you need to help you solve problems in manuscript. Somehow I get in more of a flow when I write in a poetry format, and so much of my writing is in rhyme or is lyrical. Doing art, especially in collage, is a freer process for me. You can experiment a lot with collage and test your ideas easily before settling on the one that works best. Of course, when doing art for another author, you do have some restrictions from the text. But I seem to not mind having that framework – it stretches me in good ways.”
– Candace Whitman –
To find out more about Candace Whitman, please visit her website: www.candacewhitman.com
Illustrator Steve Wilson
Though I had the privilege of meeting Steve Wilson at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, I don’t know much about him. Googling his name resulted in very little information. If anyone out there has any info, please share.
To see more of Steve Wilson’s artwork, please visit his website: www.stevewilson.ca
Publisher Blue Apple Books; Library Binding edition (March 4, 2009)