Sunday 31 March 2013

Varjak Paw Around The World #3


In Germany, Varjak Paw is called Titus Tatz!  I'm not quite sure how they got from 'Varjak' to 'Titus', but apparently 'tatz' means 'paws' in German, so I think that's a pretty good translation!

The German edition of Varjak Paw uses the back cover as the front.  I was very excited to see this, as the back cover was always one of my favourite images, and it's nice that they gave it so much prominence.  Their back cover is a bit less exciting - just text on a simple background - but I do love that amber colour:

The interiors are the same as in the UK edition, with all of Dave McKean's art and layouts.  The same is true in The Outlaw Varjak Paw - or 'Jagd Auf Titus Tatz', as it's known in Germany.

Unfortunately my command of the German language isn't great, but I'm told this means something like 'The Hunt For Varjak Paw', so again, that sounds like a good translation to me!

Are there any German-speaking readers looking at this blog right now?  If so, I'd love to hear from you - tell me what you think of the translation, and how the books are seen in Germany...

Friday 22 March 2013

New Post on DFB Storyblog

I've just made a new post on the DFB Storyblog, my publisher's website.  All the DFB authors & illustrators were asked to respond to Eleanor Updale's new book The Last Minute, which is about a massive disaster - so I wrote about the idea of the apocalypse, which is one of the themes of my new book Phoenix (coming in August!)  Here's an image I used - the remnants of a supernova:

Click here to read the full post!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

School Visit: Bancroft's Prep School

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the pupils & staff of Bancroft's Prep School, who I had the great pleasure of visiting last week - and an extra-huge thanks to author & head teacher extraordinaire Joe Layburn, who organised my visit brilliantly!

It's always amazing for me to meet Varjak Paw fans - but it's especially amazing when they give me such a warm welcome, and ask me such great questions!  I really enjoyed meeting you all, and I hope you will enjoy reading Phoenix, when it comes out in August!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Varjak Paw Around The World #2


The Japanese edition of Varjak Paw is one of my favourites, right up there with the Russian one.  Although it doesn't use any of Dave McKean's brilliant art, I love the look the Japanese publishers created for it.  Here's the front cover of the first book:

And here's the back cover:

Unlike the Russian edition, which has different covers but keeps Dave McKean's artwork for the interiors, the Japanese edition has its own custom-drawn artwork & layouts, unique to this edition.  Here's an example - I think this is a scene where Varjak meets the Scratch Sisters:

And here's a dream sequence, which uses the same strategy that Dave did, placing the dream images behind the text, but using the soft charcoal pencil look that the Japanese edition uses throughout:

The cover of The Outlaw Varjak Paw looks pretty similar to the first book at first glance - but look closer and you'll notice lots of small, subtle differences - especially the reflections in Varjak's eye (click on the image to see it large!)

In the first book, you can see the palm trees of Mesopotamia reflected in his eye. But in this one, I'm pretty that it's Sally Bones... and she also appears on the back cover, looking rather terrifying, as she does in the Russian edition.

So what do people think?  Did the Japanese publishers do a good job?

Friday 8 March 2013

World Book Week 2013

What a great World Book Week that was!  Here's a huge thank you to the all the hundreds of children & teachers I met in the last few days - at St. Paul's Primary School in Cambridge, Highlees Community Primary School in Peterborough, and Beatrix Potter School in Earlsfield.

It was amazing to meet so many Varjak Paw fans, and to sign so many books!  Thanks to you all for making me feel so welcome, and for saying such nice things about my work...  I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of Phoenix when it comes out in August!

Sunday 3 March 2013

Varjak Paw Around The World

#1: Russia

One of the nicest things about publishing a book is watching it travel the world.  Varjak Paw has been translated into many languages; there are many different editions around the world.  One reader recently left me a link to pictures from the Russian edition (thanks, Ivan!), so I decided to do a series of posts about all these editions.

I'm going to start with the Russian one, but I'm interested to hear from Varjak fans in all countries.  Please write in and tell me - how does Varjak look in your country?  Are the publishers doing a good job with it?!  Authors generally don't get any say in how their work appears in translation, so it's very interesting for me to hear people's thoughts.

Here's the Russian front cover of Varjak Paw:

And here's the back cover:

I have to say, I think these covers are amazing.  Of course, I love Dave McKean's original covers, and I'm glad the Russian editions use his art inside the books, but it's great to see another take on it.  I think they did a good job with the sequel, too - here's the Russian front cover of The Outlaw Varjak Paw:

And here's the back, with an extraordinary image of Sally Bones:

What do my readers think?  Have the publishers done a good job?