If there were an Academy Award for Book Production, I think my Art Director at
Houghton, Bob Kosturko, would deserve it for this book, just based on the quality of
reproduction on these pencil drawings. I knew when I first thought of doing them,
that it might be a technical nightmare, or even impossible to really reproduce them.
Bob took great pains to get these to look right in the book. I was amazed how
well they printed. So "Hat's off!" to you Bob, great work!
I'm really glad we were able to
put these in the book, the addition of the pencil drawings and the icons, more than
doubled the amount of artwork I did for the book, not to mention research, photo
reference, etc. But I don't feel the book would be anywhere near as good as it is
without their inclusion.
I put all the extra artwork in
because I wanted to visually echo the archaeological subject matter of the book. I
wanted there to be "layers" of visuals, almost like strata, where the painting
gives you one piece of information, the drawing another, and the icon still another key
fact explaining the story. Together, they tell a more complete story, and a far
richer, more suggestive one, than I would have been able to do with only one to two images
per spread. I like to think of the pencil drawings as the "ghosts" within
Another neat part of it, was
being able to use them to give readers "clues" throughout the story,
foreshadowing aspects of the story, or even as pseudo-flashbacks.
It was a lot of work, but now
that it's finally done, I'm really glad I went with it. Besides all the things it
allowed me to do storytelling-wise, many of the pencil drawings turned out to be some of
my favorite pieces from the book. (The Mastodon, The Indians)
Click on any of these images to
see an enlarged version, with additional comments.