The Squick­er­wonkers

This is the first in an il­lus­trated darkly po­etic se­ries from the Hob­bit and Lost star, but one which may not be worth fol­low­ing…

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Inspiration Books - Au­thor Evan­ge­line Lilly Artist Johnny Fraser-Allen Pub­lisher Ti­tan Web www.ti­tan­books.com

Yes in­deed, that is Evan­ge­line Lilly of Lost and The Hob­bit fame, and this po­etic pi­lot of a book is some­thing of a Hob­bit cre­ative team spin-off – as well as fur­ther ev­i­dence that celebrity is a more cru­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tion for writ­ing for chil­dren than nat­u­ral abil­ity.

We’re tak­ing a look at The Squick­er­wonkers above all, of course, for its il­lus­tra­tions and de­sign, so it’s cru­cial to the pro­ceed­ings that illustrator and Weta Work­shop sculp­tor Johnny Fraser-Allen gets equal billing, be­cause with the very best will in the very best world, Lilly’s con­cept and text have no real place on book­shelves. This taster story of a spoiled child who gets sucked into the world of a gang of odd­ball pup­pets is very briefly told in a hand­ful of near-lim­er­ick stan­zas with in­dif­fer­ent scan­sion and noth­ing much to sug­gest it’s pub­lish­able. It feels tough to ad­mit this with the likes of Peter Jack­son singing the project’s praises in his intro, but sadly even the quirky vi­su­als don’t turn The Squick­er­wonkers into any­thing spe­cial, leav­ing us with a pretty bla­tant van­ity project.

The Hob­bit links should, how­ever, mean that it is the first of a se­ries, whether we like it or not.

Clever but spoilt Selma loses her tem­per with the mot­ley gang of Squick­er­wonkers. What will be­come of her?

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