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The Order of Oddfish


The Odd-Fish Art of Jacob von Borg!

June 16, 2013

I have a treat for you today! Many treats. Eight treats to be precise. It’s all terrific Order of Odd-Fish fan art from one Jacob von Borg of Portland, OR. I first met him because he was one of the team who animated this terrific Frog and Toad Together movie for last year’s 90-Second Newbery Film Festival.

Check out his illustration above, of Lily Larouche’s costume party at her ruby palace from Chapter 1. What attention to detail! I love the composition—with the UFO talking to the eggplant while Jo eavesdrops from the bush—and how through the window, we see the robot, the pirate arm-wrestling the dinosaur, the giggling devil, Lily dancing on a table, and if you look hard, even a certain well-dressed cockroach. Elaborately constructed and winningly done! (Jacob wrote, “Honestly, I think the hardest part to draw in this one was the eggplant’s feet.”)

There’s more where that came from. Here’s Jacob’s illustrations of scenes from chapter 2 and chapter 3—Jo’s bedroom which was shaped like a giant jeweled egg, and when Mr. Cavendish’s head flies around the Dust Creek Cafe:

The picture of Jo’s room also nails exactly how I imagined it (bonus: out the window, you can see Dust Creek behind the highway). Same with the raucous madness of the Dust Creek Cafe picture—it’s got everything, Mrs. Horpness hurling waffles, Jo helping Aunt Lily, Mrs. Cavendish sternly chastising Mr. Cavendish (I love Mrs. Cavendish’s flower sun hat!) even as his head flies around the room, and all the old people running pell-mell for the doors—exactly what I was hoping to express in that scene. Well done!

Jacob also sent along some “concept art” of Lily Larouche’s ruby palace:

It’s inspired! I love the concept of a tree in Lily Larouche’s garden that is grown from a seed brought from Eldritch City. A statue of Lily by some old jilted lover is a nice touch. And a landing platform for her hot-air balloon! It makes me wish I had put these details about the ruby palace in the book! I love it when artists expand and add on to the original ideas from the book with even better ideas.

Finally, Jacob did some character sketches too. Aunt Lily is perfect, from the louche way she holds her cocktail to the mischievous twist of her lip and playful eyes. Jo is properly demure but not dull, with a spark of something dangerous in her eyes. I love how Korsakov’s eyes spring wide as he listens to his digestion, his finger held up as if it to ask for momentary silence while he mentally decodes his intestines’ squishings and rumblings. And Jacob nailed Sefino’s ridiculous outrage—one pair of arms pointedly akimbo, the other pair flung up in exasperation, clutching what must be a copy of the Eldritch Snitch—all while still keeping him totally insect-like.

Incredible work on all of this, Jacob! Thank you so much! And for those of you who are Jacob von Borg completists, you may also want to check out the silent movie he helped make for the International Youth Silent Film Festival, which you can view here.