Alley Cat Rally is now broadly available in all English-speaking territories in the WORLD! This Tuesday, 6th July, marked its publication in USA and Canada, and it was also published at some point in the past month in Australia and New Zealand too, so along with its April release here in the UK, that covers it all pretty well.
I’ve still got no idea how well it is doing, but I have been entered into what for me is a crazy new world, of the odd complement on social media. It’s been a few months of lovely surprises, videos from parent-friends, and generally nice people, which is incredibly gratifying.
I have made a couple more ACR-related videos in the past couple of months too.
Flying Eye managed to connect me with doing a window-painting job at a local bookshop to me, in Tring, which is just a little further out in the Chiltern Hills from where I live. I ended up doing it on a miserably rainy day, but with a bit of help, I put all the alley cats up in the window. It turned out pretty good!
I also made a video I titled ‘How did this happen?’, talking through the conception and making-of the book.
Here’s to people actually buying a thing I made, and to me dreaming up Asta and the alley cats’ next adventure!
The release of my book is creeping closer! It’s less than a month before Alley Cat Rally is published in the UK, and over the past few weeks I have been nervously trying to think of things I can do to promote the book myself.
I’ve started by making a mini-site that gives a good overview of the book, the characters, and the places you can preorder it, alongside some other fun graphics and odds-and-ends.
That’s table stakes though, so I’ve done a couple more interesting projects that I’ve also made videos about.
The first mini-project is the ballad of the little washer. I’ve had this on my shelves for years, but a desire to open it up and add some ballast to it became a mission to connect it to the internet, programming it so it will spin whenever anyone visits the short link I set up to preorder the book:
The second project is a bit less technical, but only slightly: I made a plush version of Asta, the star of the book. She wears a great pair of goggles in Alley Cat Rally, so I had to figure out how to make them, and ended up rigging up my own vacuum-forming setup, on a home kitchen scale:
I am pleased with both of these projects, and also with the videos themselves! I think I am slowly getting more natural at using my voice, which I’m hoping will come in handy as I try to join my publisher in promoting the book!
I got some stickers made up of a post-it doodle from earlier this year, for no other reason than they seemed like a good idea. Would you like some? Yeah you would! They are orange because that’s the colour they’re meant to be, and blue because that’s the colour of my bicycle (although my bike isn’t a road machine like this!).
If you go here and Paypal me just £2, wherever you are in the world, I will post you two of each colour. What a good deal!
This month in Ricky Trickartt’s wonderful world of colour, I’ve been pondering the backstory to Cecil’s Ride though a series of cat drawings. These are probably some of my favourite doodles over the past few weeks! Not all of the cats are to do with him though – the sack of cats came from Don Quixote, which I finished reading this month.
A couple of weeks ago two stories hit the internet at the same time- the resurrection of Skymall and release of footage from the new James Bond movie. The combination left me remembering Adele’s theme song to the last movie, and I imagined what James Bond would look like (and be thinking) if he ever got the opportunity to peruse a copy of Skymall on a long-distance flight.
I also found myself musing on the possibilities of throwing a hot dog so it would fly the length of a swimming pool. Maybe a 25-metre pool as that’s what was have here in the valley. I think my best bet would be some kind of balsa-and-tissuepaper wing construction. It’d make a great competition, but I don’t know if I’ll ever put this daydream into action, particularly if the hot dog is topped with mustard. That would just make a mess.
Drawing is fun!
After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “February’s Fancies”
Back when she lived in the States, Lilly used to have posters from her favourite movies on the wall. For her birthday this year, I decided to bring some of her world back to our apartment here in Rickmansland, but being the artist I am, I couldn’t help but redesign them for her too.
The To Catch A Thief poster was the biggest gamble. Lilly is very fond of Grace Kelly and not-so-fond of cats, so obviously (?) this is a poster with a great big picture of a cat and no pictures of Princess Grace. I know my audience. The design is based on the first edition cover of the original novel, and it was such a great idea I couldn’t resist repurposing it. Besides, it’s a whole lot easier to draw a silly cat than it is to draw a decent picture of Grace Kelly! Lilly’s reaction was that we should get a pet cat, simply so we can name him John Robie. Coming from a cat-agnostic, I’m taking that as high praise!
Rear Window‘s poster took the longest to come together. My biggest problem with the original poster was the inappropriate use of Showcard Gothic. Not only was it a massive anachronism, given that the font was designed almost 40 years after the movie came out, but it was pixelated to high hell on the printed poster too. Once that was fixed, it took a few runs at getting the illustration to do justice to the fantastic set the whole movie is based around.
The poster for Charade came together easiest, but that’s because the source material was so great. I loved all the typography in Italian on her original poster, so that had to stay, and the bright yellow colour scheme was great fun too. All that was needed to tie it together were some of the graphics from Maurice Binder’s wonderful animated title sequence.
Movie posters are a little out of my wheelhouse, but I’m really pleased with the results. They took a bit longer than usual to work on, but that was mostly because I was trying to keep them a surprise. More importantly than what I think about them though, Lilly likes them too – she couldn’t wait to get them up on the walls!
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