Dienstag, 15. März 2011

brehm's animal country

© Simon Schwinge
today i would like to introduce a new illustrated book by dorothea huber (illustration) and kai splittgerber (author): brehms tierland (engl. brehm´s animal country), a satirical adventure story by kai full of "amazingly imaginative illustrations" by dorothea throughout 240 pages.

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
what is the book about? "the brilliant zoologist edmund alfred brehm, captain pamphile and a quirky team travel to a mysterious island animal country. there brehm does not only meet incredible animals, but also his great love mathilde, the wild animal country woman. but a vicious enemy of the animal researchers seeks his life." (blurb)

due to dorothea it was kai who had the idea for the book inspired by a visit at a natural history museum and brehm´s wildlife three years ago. at that time dorothea and kai didn´t know each other. "we have met for the first time at the book fair in leipzig and shortly thereafter we have started to work."

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
at the beginning of their joint work they still had no clear vision of the book. "the idea of ​​combining an expedition report on a trip to a fantastic animal world with anadventure story for instance just developed little by little ", dorothea is reporting. The idea has opened up great new possibilities for them. "From now on we could allude to classic research and exploration reports, adventure novels such as treasure island, robinson crusoe or dumas´ three musketeers and captain pamphile, and we could refer to postmodern motifs of comic books, hollywood movies and animes."

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
dorothea´s first design approaches were like an artist book, and they tried to preserve it by linking picture and text so that they enter a dialogue complement and comment each other. thus the book is not a classic illustrated novel but a kind of postmodern picture novel.

therefore the kind of collaboration was obviously a critical success factor. dorothea and kai neither haven´t established a workflow nor striktly seperated their working fields - here literature, there illustration. in fact they have worked very interactive: "we have always made proposals for both text and image, and criticized the work of other mutual", dorothea enthusiastic tells.

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
so the collaboration on the book was very inspiring and intensive: "we have met quite often and came up with animals and worked on the conception of history", she is telling, "either kai has written a text for an animal and then i have designed it or the other way round." the result of that interactive and intensive working process is an awesome illustrated book and a must-have for my bookcase. i have already ordered it.

thank your very much to dorothea for telling me about the background and making of the book.

please find further impressions and readings here or here.

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