The Return of The Iron Man

Guest Post by Chris Mould.

We didn’t have books in the house when I was younger. I did not know the experience of reading with parents and uncovering fictional worlds together. So I only discovered the pleasure of stories and reading when I found the school library. It was there that I saw The Iron Man for the first time. I can remember very clearly not caring what the story was about. It had an Iron Man in it so it didn’t matter. The book was mine. For a short while at least. That was the book I chose from the shelf and held onto tightly.

Through school and into art school and out of the other side into the world of children’s publishing I still held on tightly to the story. Re visiting it in my sketchbook now and then and fantasizing that one day I could visually realise the whole story myself.

Then in The Iron Man’s 50th year (and mine), and after Leah Thaxton had seen some sketches I’d done, I was asked to create my own version of the story.

So I felt a huge sense of responsibility and was almost overwhelmed by the brief. But I was very excited by the prospect and there was so much I wanted to do visually that I knew I’d not seen of him in earlier versions…

What did he look like when he strode across the rocks beneath the sea, submerged under the water?
How did he appear to us in the poignant moment that he was buried lifeless below the earth?
How could he be so big and then appear so tiny against the might of the space dragon?
Etc.

I enjoyed illustrating The Iron Man immensely. To the point where I could almost do it all over again and see what I came up with a second time around. But I feel really honoured to be allowed to breathe life into him again and present him to a new generation of children (and adults) who haven’t met him yet.

The Iron Man is published by Faber and Faber and is available in hardback

The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.

Competition : For a chance to win one of two copies of The Iron Man Faber and Faber have kindly provided answer the following question –

How many years of publication has The Iron Man recently celebrated?

Send you answer to blog@fcbg.org.uk using the subject “The Iron Man”, competition ends 15th October 2019 and winners will be notified by email.

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