Good grief, it’s been a long time coming, yet here it is: PIGSTICKS & HAROLD AND THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY. Out today! Who’d have thought?
The idea of Pigsticks was born close to five years ago now. I don’t remember many things these days (my children have somehow demolished most of my faculties), but I do remember that date, as my wife was pregnant with our first child. I’d been thinking about creating some stories for very young children so that my soon-to-be daughter could read them. Obviously, I was thinking years ahead – but then that’s what all of us in the slow-motion world of publishing are doing anyway, right?
And so, on this most momentous of days, I thought it would be a nice chance to share some of the slow growth of Pigsticks, from a gentle little idea to an 80-ish page, full colour monster. And one with a TV show in development!
If there’s one of my characters that can be shouted about, it’s Pigsticks the ‘can-do’ pig! So here are some of his early moments from my notebooks:
The first ever drawing of my pig – which admittedly isn’t much of a pig!
It’s not very often that you’re able to point to the exact time that a name of a character or an idea comes into being, but this is one. The very page where I first wrote the word “Pigsticks”, and it stuck.
This was the first story I wrote for Pigsticks, and by this time, the nature of the relationship between him and his best friend Harold was forming.
Everything changed for me when Viv Schwarz told me to try using a brush pen, which I did with this picture. Suddenly the look of the characters became something unique. It needed work, and I needed to practise with the pen, but I really felt that I was getting somewhere.
And that’s about it, really. We put a lot of work into getting it right, with much debate on format – it was going to be a comic at one point! – but I think the final book is just right. The lovely folk at Walker have really got their teeth into it, and guided me to its conclusion. And I think it’s safe to say that getting involved with Jam Media also shaped its final form for the better. It’s amazing how far these things evolve and grow from their initial conception!
And now I’ve got to get ready for book 2, which is my attempt at a Pigsticks & Harold Miss Marple mystery, with a touch of CSI thrown in for good measure.