Awkward alphabets, made-up magick words and more bad rhymes...

A-Z books are easy to write, right? I wasn't sure so I thought I'd have a crack at it and today's picture book effort was an exercise in trying to do produce some alphabet text. It turns out that coming up with an A-Z of anything is incredibly hard. The letter 'Q' has a lot to answer for...

Part of the challenge was also making it firmly family-friendly after yesterday's notorious Casanova Croissant misadventures. A-Z books also strike me as being pretty dull unless they've got fantastic artwork and excellent wordsmithery going on so I decided to get all poetic on the project and fell back on my old friend the rhyming couplet. The issue then is the theme: what category or concept can I grab and give the illustrated alphabet rundown treatment?

It was going well with 'Alphabet Anatomy' until you start to release that "Y is for Yellow Marrow" and "Z is for the Zygomatic Bones" are tenuous and just not catchy. There are also great big gaps under certain letters for 'The Alphabet of Ghosts' and 'The A-Z of Japanese Folklore' and 'The A-Z of Cussing' ("Y is for Yarbles") would not sit well with sensitive parents. Dissuaded, I just said "yarbles to this! I'm gonna make up my own words!"

Consequently, eager to err on the supernatural side, I've conjured up "The Alphabet of Magick Words". Just because I've made up these words doesn't mean they aren't real and do work and actually confer magick abilities on the practitioner. Regardless, kids could probably have fun with this reading out silly sentences aloud and looking at glorious images that illustrate the incantations. Here's a sample of the sort of daft shenanigans this piece sends out...

O is for...  oramafuzico ... where a duster pixie comes and cleans.
P is for... pomopulsarafu ... saucy skies as it’s raining baked beans.

Ludicrous but, hey, I like writing ludicrous stuff. An alphabet book was a nice thing to try but, having given it a go, I don't think I'll come back. From here I'll try and break with the rhyming couplet structure again and pursue prose that flows more freely (because I want to ensure that my brand of corn isn't always tinned). I'm looking forward to tomorrow's typing, liberated from artificial limits (i.e. a sentence for every letter of the alphabet).

If anyone does want some silly magick phrases that might just actually enable you to read minds or stream milk from your nose just get in touch...


  1. OK I am super sold on this one, it sounds so much fun (also party in the crypt, that sounds awesome bells as well). I'm totally shotgunning illo rights right here (no I'm not, I don't have time right now).

    Anyway, eventually I want to help draw this!

    Also, Jamie Smart did an A-Z of swearing - http://www.bohdate.com/monkey_comic_a.html

  2. Ha! Thanks Chris. Now thanks to Jamie Smart I know that "xylophone" is a legitimate insult I can lob at people.

    Seriously though, when you feel you've got time, you're the kind of man with skills I'd love to see do stuff with my stuff...