• Four faces of Darren

    27 February 2021

    One of the things I've often said over the years, when predicting that books will continue to thrive, even though we live in an age when we have so many other forms of entertainment, is that they have a unique selling point which all those other forms lack -- each reader gets to imagine and create the world and characters of a book in their own unique way. If a million people watch a movie or TV show or play a video game, they all see the same things. When a million people read a book, you get a million different and unique visualisations.

     

    As a little illustrative slice of proof, here are four drawings of the character Darren Shan from Cirque Du Freak, no doubt the bravest, smartest, best looking character I've ever created! :-) They're four very cool depictions of the same character, but look at how widely the artists have differed in their interpretation of him. This, for me, is a key reason why books work so well, even in the twenty-first century -- as readers, we get to dance with the authors when we read, and even though the author gets to determine the order of the steps that we'll take, each reader ultimately determines for themselves exactly how that dance will look and play out in their minds.

     

    First up, a Tweeter with the user handle of SpookySkye presents us with a ruby-red Darren, fresh from a feed.

     

     

    The second drawing is by a fan called Missel, who created it for a turnaround art class project, in the style of Owl House (a Disney Channel show).

     

     

    The third is a sketch of Darren with his eye closed, perhaps in his coffin when he faked his death??? By a fan called Sydney.

     

     

    And the fourth, by a fan called Maisie, featuring a wide-eyed, doleful-looking Darren, reminds me of the work of Edward Gorey -- my son Dante loved the Gashlycrumb Tinies a year or so back, which is why I'm familiar with his work.

     

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