Jack and the Baked Beanstalk
About this deal
In Stimpson’s modern retelling, however, the setting is different and so must be the ideology. What do you think of when you think ‘capitalism’? Those in favour of capitalism probably conjure up a (traditionally) picture book township, with a milk bar, a greengrocer, a picture theatre and butcher on each side of main street. The butcher who sells better sausages ends up making more money and eventually puts the inferior butcher out of business. Consumers win. In the summer of 2004 Colin was approached to illustrate a book called “Poison Diaries” for the Duchess of Northumberland. It proved to be wonderful opportunity for him to return to illustration. He thoroughly enjoyed working with the Duchess and the publisher Pavilion Books.
Normally in stories like these, the ‘giant’ stands for ‘the corporation’. Is that what the giant stands for here? If so, would the world really run better if these corporations suddenly quashed the structures they’ve worked to build? The bright green of the beanstalk contrasts beautifully against the monochromatic, drab and rainy city. STORY STRUCTURE What about the ideology in this book? This is no idealistic view of capitalism; it is a critique. The ‘little guy’ can easily get screwed over due to the machinations and schemings of people with far more money. This ‘flyover’ symbolises the way in which the super wealthy build their empires without a second thought to the little people, passing them over, so to speak. And in any narrative, the little people are the ‘ underdogs‘. We love stories starring underdogs. NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATION
We’ve seen over the past centure or so that, actually, capitalism has a much darker side than that; in a capitalist society the rich can become super wealthy simply by having money in the first place, while the poor become increasingly destitute and are unable to work their way out of the pit.
Colin’s goal is to continue to work in both animation and illustration and he hopes at some stage to develop one of his book projects into an animated movie.
As a story for older readers, this modern retelling would be good for discussing ideas such as industrialisation and its impact on small vendors, the problems with large fast food companies and a capitalist economy. There is also a non-human opponent in this tale — the unseen corporation who designed the overpass: Capitalism and progress at the expense of that specific kind of human-to-human interaction that occurs when a small restaurant cooks for its customers. This tale also has a very Michael Pollan view of food and cooking. PLAN It’s the giant who has the anagnorisis. If he stops focusing on his immense wealth, he can have the job he always wanted: working in a downtown cafe. NEW SITUATION