March 10, 2011
« 90-Second Newbery: Hatchet and Tale of Despereaux. Plus: Giver Trailer! Odd-Fish art show at mansion this Saturday! »
Back in February, I was lucky enough to meet the super-talented and effervescent Pirka, who sent me this cute and ingenious collection of Odd-Fish character sketches. Little did I know that this was just the beginning!
The best ideas are the ones that, when you hear them, you think, “Of course!” Please, please do yourself a favor and watch the above video—an ANIMATED SHORT in which Pirka has the knights of The Order of Odd-Fish sing and dance to the song “Knights of the Round Table” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail! There’s so much to love here: the cockroach band; Korsakov, Lily, and Sir Oliver belting out the chorus; making the ostriches squawk on cue; and the Ken Kiang solo! The squires’ high-kicking line! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS. Thank you so much for this amazing animation, Pirka!
But that’s not all I’ve received from Pirka! She asked me what scenes I wanted to see illustrated. I mentioned Ken Kiang and Hoagland Shanks’ encounter at the evil patisserie in Paris, eating avant-garde pie. Pirka turned around and gave me this doozy, which is flat-out awesome:
Here I particularly appreciate Ken Kiang’s evil touching-the-fingers-together gesture (which, I am sure, he assiduously learned out of a textbook on “evil person gestures”) and the TOWER OF PIES was a great touch (especially the gold pie that seems ready to take flight and the French flag—and I like the biohazard sign on what I presume is the Phosphorescent Fascination). Pirka said she was afraid that Hoagland Shanks looked too much like a Mario brother, but I think it works here—as well as the dreamy look in his eyes from being in pie heaven (and blushing and eyes watering too). Superb!
But the glory that is Pirka just keeps giving and giving. Here is another miscellany of Odd-Fish characters:
The Schwenk, bounding and romping merrily! Nora McGunn squee-ing over Audrey Durdle! The terrifying glow of the Belgian Prankster’s goggles—Ken Kiang seeming slightly doubtful about his devilishness—and a totally nailed-it Aunt Lily and Colonel Korsakov. I love seeing the Odd-Fish universe filtered through Pirka’s chibi sensibility.
And yet, all of this almost didn’t happen. Pirka had a hard time finding The Order of Odd-Fish in the bookstores. (Pirka lives in Canada; perhaps Canadian bookstores took exception to the ridiculous Canada jokes in Chapter 4?) Pirka has a different theory: that the Belgian Prankster absconded with all the books (and check out her marvelous Sefino below as well):
Yesterday was my birthday! I’m 38 years old now. That’s pretty old! It was a restrained birthday—nothing near like my thirty-fifth birthday surprise party, in which I was ambushed and “roasted” by my best friends AND WIFE before an audience of what seemed like 100 people. This time, Heather and I took Lucy to the butterfly room in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and later had quiet cocktails with the upstairs neighbors. Truth be told, I’m feeling rather low for reasons that I don’t want to go into on my blog; but I was very much perked up by this birthday doodle from Pirka:
Thanks so much for ALL of this, Pirka! I’m lucky to have met you! And for the rest of you: remember, we’re having an art show of Order of Odd-Fish fan art at the Hegeler Carus mansion on April 2! Do come!