Today on the picture book writing trail I've ended up creating a character that I like and who makes me think "hey, I could have adventures with this fella". I've then totally undermined the idea by writing a really short illustrated story with the thought "this character should be in another tale in a different medium" running through my mind.
No matter though because if this manuscript were to be properly realised as a picture book by the right artist in the right fashion it would be beautiful. Today's piece of work is titled "Fox Curioso and the Mysterious Case of Marie Schlapstique's Missing Voice". Fox Curioso is a private eye who lives in some '30s/'40s European film noir/silent cinemarific alternate universe and investigates non-cases while looking delightfully antique and classy in an old-fashioned European manner. He is also a fox and apparently unique as everyone else around him is human. I don't know how this works out exactly but, hey, we're dealing with fiction here and I'm pretty taken with this Fantastic Mr. Fox/Sherlock Holmes/Sam Spade hybrid.
The way I see it, this daft picture book tale about the detective's search for a young theatre performers' missing voice is just one pictorial vignette based around a concept I could do other stuff with. I'd like to give this guy some dialogue and expand his universe (which would entail worldbuilding which is always exciting). What I'd like to see with this individual story is the text accompanied by outstanding, intricate illustrations that evoke a nostalgic European aesthetic, reflect the spirit of pulp adventure, detective tales and classic literary illustration whilst also cramming the scenes with glorious detail. That sounds complicated and overhwelming. I'm not sure I could get across exactly what I'm picturing without either sitting next to the imaginary artist and talking through it with them or doing it myself. In an ideal world, someone like Jeremy Bastian - the genius behind Cursed Pirate Girl - would be conjuring up images based on my words. Hey, I can dream. In the meantime, the urge to see this or other stories I've cranked out over March come to life gets too much it's extra impetus to channel my energies into my own amateur-scrawling. DIY squiggle drawings and attempts to turn the images in my head into reality to share with the wider world. Trust me - some of these things I reckon you'll like to see.
All I know for sure is that I'm eager to give Fox Curioso more adventures and he's another figure in the creative cardboard box who I can come back to when the time is right. There's now a foxy European private seamus on my stockpile, and that's good to know...