Yep, it’s another book cover starring the Months. But unlike the one I exhibited last week, this cover was hiding something even bigger than a comic book. It was a graphic novel (possibly the first one I’ve ever created. Apart from that other one about November and Jake Long the American Dragon causing some havoc in an inflatable toy factory…)
Since the beginning of my art career at the mere age of two years old, I’ve always wanted to write and illustrate longer stories than just 20 pages’ worth of a picture book for kids. The idea keeps returning to me every now and then, but I can often never find enough time or have enough concentration to keep the story going, sometimes losing interest altogether.
Nevertheless, the idea is always a very attractive one, and with The Months proving to be one of my most successful series ever (or at least until a certain someone came along…), it seemed futile to resist the idea of a graphic novel starring the Terrific Twelve. (I tried to make a Fantastic Four or Famous Five reference there, so that explains the alliteration…)
The layout of this book cover is practically identical to the cover for the proposed first issue of the comic book series, although of course all the characters are in different poses to avoid being a direct carbon copy. (All my artworks are unique in their own way – no two drawings are the same!) And unlike the other cover where only December’s skin was coloured in for some unknown reason while everybody else was a ghostly white, everybody’s skin on this cover is coloured in for more realism.
Pretty much everybody has returned to their normal design, including December, whereas on the other cover he was wearing a sort of ‘formal’ Santa suit, complete with hat and belt. However, June and July still have their trousers and shorts, whereas before it was the other way around – June wore shorts and July wore trousers. I would continue to draw them this way until the 2008 series, possibly as an experiment to see if me and my audiences would still recognize them even with a different style. (Drawing characters in outfits other than their usual fare is still somewhat hard for me. It seems to be a custom in the world of cartoons that characters always wear the same clothes, and I find it hard to shake off.)
Though the cover features all the Months, the actual story itself seems to concentrate on October, November and December. Unfortunately, the story seems to be stuck on perpetual hiatus, as with many longer stories I’ve been trying to write over the years (that’s why I called it a ‘marathon’, as it would be a lot longer than most other Months stories). Until Once Upon a Time in Canada, which was the first novel I actually completed (and thus am the proudest of), there was never a proper long story about any of my characters. And that’s something I felt somewhat disappointed about.