I was very pleased to be able to go to the launch -- at Heffers in Cambridge -- of Dave Shelton’s charming and delightful illustrated novel, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat. And it was lovely to meet so many old friends from art school and beyond. Though wishing to spare the author’s blushes, everything about the book is lovely too.
First there’s the title, which is itself a definition of what ‘high concept’ is all about. Then the cover is a jaw dropper, not only because it’s stylishly understated, but because publishers are thought to be allergic to anything but ‘play it safe’ these days. Then inside… well, inside there’s humour, humanity, allegory, a sea monster, fly-fishing with a rubber duck, a very strange sandwich, and much more besides, all peppered through with fine drawing. And some cracking one-liners too: “The boy managed a half-smile (he would save the other half for later)…”
For children and grown-ups alike, especially if they appreciate good design with their future classics. Buy it or find out more here or here. And you can see pages from Dave’s sketchbooks on his excellent blog. And if that isn't enough, Sarah McIntyre has written a much more fullsome acount of the launch, with photos and cake and everything!