Posted 20 hours ago

Gwelf: The Survival Guide: 1 (Gwelf, 1)

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Two of my favorite features in any book are maps and endpapers. This book has both. And man did they deliver! The maps are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, if I may venture a guess. If you find yourself in Gwelf may I suggest you stay away from the section titled “Here Be Ugly Nasty Things”.

If you had to recommend only one art book (a comic book, graphic novel, children book, ‘‘how to’’ book) to a fellow artist, what would it be and why? The guidebook goes on to tell you about all of Gwelf’s inhabitants. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. There are no humans. The animals are anthropomorphized. With the exception of beasts of burden such as ponies. They are the regular run of the mill four legged creatures.The Gwelf also enjoys eating turnip sandwiches, and carrying around an instrument he identifies as his "megaphone". The artwork is all suitable for framing. Stunning. Amazing artwork. But none of us would take apart a book. We don’t treat our books like that.

For me, the most fun part of the process is improvising. Painting into an area I have purposefully left vague and just letting the paint do what it does and see what happens. Make some marks and see what they look like, what they suggest to you. I compare it to looking at clouds and spotting fish or bird shapes in them. Some artists call it having a dialogue with your painting. You put something down, see what it looks like and the painting will tell you what to do next. What I love about this process is the potential for being surprised. If I can surprise myself then I know I’ve done something right. So conversely my least favourite part of the process is having to follow some kind of predetermined path to a predictable result. This will usually end badly for me. That is why I take very few commissions now. I suppose its fiction. But in this world, it could be true. Who knows. I’d believe anything at this point in our existence. At the moment I’m working on the second Gwelf book. We’re just getting started so there is a long way to go and I’m looking forward to every minute of it. We are going to be in a different part of the Gwelf world so all the environments and many of the characters will be new. There is a lot of designing and drawing to do to prepare the new world. Then it all has to be painted, not to mention the writing and editing.The Gwelf's most notable victim is a mean old farmer, known as Farmer Flubb. You see, one day, Farmer Flubb wanted to commit yet again other malefaction in the form of cutting down the treehouse of a squirrel. Unbeknownst to Flubb, the Gwelf was watching him! Flubb tried everything to get rid of the squirrel, but he could not, because his attention had been drawn to the Gwelf constantly. The Gwelf saved the squirrel by gluing Flubb's clothes to the roof of his own house. Subsequently, the Gwelf snatched his megaphone, and yelled, " YOU'VE BEEN GWELFED!". He then performed an abstruse ritual on top of Flubb's head. It is assumed by few that he might have been doing the Do the Wario dance. After that, news of the Gwelf had rised. He often became spotted regularly, though his whereabouts remained unknown. This event is known to this day as the "Farmer Flubb incident". The leaders of Gwelf are magical Sparrows. They however are not politicians. They are researchers and philosophers. Brilliant huh? Mayhap we can try that. No more career politicians, please. And the leaders also know all their constituents by name. hmmm.

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