drawing poe: the wonder years
How the master of the macabre inspired a fairy tale illustrator
Several years ago Scott came across an old paperback of Tales of Mystery and Imagination, the collected stories of Edgar Allan Poe, that he had bought when he was about 13.
“It not only brought back memories of how fascinated I was by Poe and his stories at that time, but it also got me wondering what Poe would have been like at that same age,” Scott says. “As I thought more about it and then began to research it, the idea of Eddie just seemed to take on a life of its own.”
The resulting novel was Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allan Poe, written and illustrated by Scott and aimed at eight to 12 year-olds. It’s something of a departure from his usual work, not least because all of the 90-odd illustrations are in monochrome, apart from the cover art, shown here.
“As far as illustrating the story, even in its earliest concept stages I knew I wanted a lot of pictures and that those pictures would be in black and white,” he explains. “Black and white not only seemed appropriate to Poe and the story, but illustrating a book with drawings as opposed to paintings was something I had wanted to do for a long time.”
The story itself grew out of possible situations that the young Poe may have found himself in, and the visual possibilities grew out of that. “When illustrating it, I was mindful of an atmosphere that I wanted to evoke, as well as illustrating the actual story,” says Scott.
Eddie stakes out the mysterious Mephisto. Under the Lampost