Yet another proof copy arrived this week. This time the publisher, Kingfisher, have sent me a beautiful, hard-bound mock-up of Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! which looks exactly like the real thing. It's looking brilliant and Tony Mitton's poems are such fun.
I think publishers often make these, to present at the Frankfurt or Bologna Book Fair (see Dragon-Proof!) but I don't generally get to see them: they just send me the proof as individual printed sheets.
This one is even more exciting than usual, because it is a flap book, with massive flaps on every page. This means that, when I produce the artwork, it sometimes doesn't look much like the finished book. It's only when it's all put together at this proof stage, that I get to really see how it looks.
Flap books mean quite a bit more work. I have to do one drawing for when the flap is closed, like the one of Diplodocus above, and another for when it's open (on the right). In case you're confused, the flap on this one hinges upwards, so it extends out of the top of the book.
It's impossible to make it so the two illustrations will match up exactly at the flap edges, but I do my best. Later, when the artwork has been scanned and I get it back on a DVD (see Tracing up Dragon's Dinner), I can lay the two Diplodocus illustrations on top of one another in Photoshop, and touch up any bits that don't quite match.
Computers, eh? They might be a pain some of the time, but boy do they make some jobs easier!
In case you're curious about how that Deinonychus page turned out (see Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!), here it is in colour (the weird shape on the right is because it's a fold out flap again).