Saturday, November 19, 2011

Les Voyages Fantastique

I make no secret of the fact that my storytelling is inspired by the movies. Where other performers talk about how they grew up in houses filled with musicians or yarnspinners, I grew up at the foot of a black and white TV with a bad vertical hold that brought me all the UHF goodness of the Monster Movies of the 30s and 40s. Plus, there was the Spring Valley Cinema, home of the fifty-cent double feature and all the great low-budget movies of the seventies and eighties.
Recently I read the Fool of the World and the Flying Ship in Andrew Lang's Yellow Fairy book. I decided I wanted to tell the story, but it needed to be punch up a bit. I remembered my eighties movies and that the opening story in Terry Gilliam's Adventure of Baron Munchausen was not actually a Munchausen story, but was indeed the Fool of the World.
Then it hit me - I looked back a few years in my idea book - there was a note from January 2009 entitled: Indana Munchausen. The idea was to tell first-person adventure stories that are a mix of Indiana Jones and Baron Munchausen.
I started toying around with the idea again in the vein of the Fool of the World instead of Indiana Jones. I like flying ships, and they look good on advertising. So I dug into my vast collection of Ed Emberley books.
I grew up drawing from Ed Emberley books. I was never patient enough to develop my drawing skills, but I can follow directions, so Ed Emberley gives me all I need.
There it was, in the Big Purple Drawing Book, the most difficult Ed Emberly drawing ever, the Sea Hawk. I had never drawn the Sea Hawk, it took me three attempts in pencil before I could get it to fit on a single page. And then, when I finished, to make it into a flying ship I still had to attach two more sheets of paper, and then I had to scan it in three passes.
But now that it's complete it's a beauty to behold and will become the centerpiece image for my summer program: Les Voyages Fantastique, classic adventures told in the Munchausen style.


  1. After having read a little more Andrew Lang this morning, I would say that the story from the Adventures of Baron Munchausen is actually more the Six Men Who Travelled the Wide World than the Foll of the World and the Flying Ship.

  2. Sounds like a great program. And that is quite a credible flying ship.--hart

  3. We are looking forward to your program at our library in June!-