Jul 28 2009

Quantifying an epic

Published by at 11:33 am under odyssey,reviews,tools & tech

As I finally wrap up this monster of a book, I’m struck by the quantities of materials consumed in the process of making it, including physical stuff like pencils and tape, and also the numerous audio books I listened to while drawing & painting in the studio for 9+ months. For the interested, here’s a (fairly comprehensive) list what I consumed in the course of creating the art for The Odyssey:

40 Cretacolor Nero pencils (#3 medium – make a blacker line than graphite)

5 Plastic erasers

4 rolls artists’ tape

4 75-sheet pads of 12×16″ Fabriano 90lb. cold-press watercolor paper (each pad is about 1″ thick)

Upwards of 120 bags of chips (corn, potato, pita, root veggie, etc.)

3+ reams of printer paper

At least 22 inkjet cartridges and 1 laserjet cartridge


The following audiobooks, listed by author (good unless otherwise stated):

Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

Anonymous – Gawain and the Green Knight

Bill Bryson – A Short History of Nearly Everything

Cervantes – Don Quixote (switch to an abridged version after seeing how funny but long-winded it is {which makes it good fodder for adaptation})

Eoin Colfer – Airman (didn’t like)

Daniel Coyle – The Talent Code (simplistic premise, but some very valuable insights about learning and teaching)

Joseph Delaney – The Last Apprentice

Corey Doctorow – Little Brother

Arther Conan Doyle, Sir – The entire Sherlock Holmes oeuvre, for the umpteenth time.

Kathleen Duey – Skin Hunger (lamest “ending” ever)

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

John Flanagan – The Ranger’s Apprentic, books 1-4 (fun but highly predictable)

Jostein Gardner – Sophie’s World

Hermann Hesse – Siddhartha

Laura Hillenbrand – Seabiscuit (fabulous)

Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird (excellent, of course)

Geraldine McCaughrean – The White Darkness (excellent)

Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes (great, depressing), ‘Tis

LA Meyer – Bloody Jack, books 1-4 (great reader, gets better as it goes)

Kenneth Oppel – Airborn

Ovid – The Metamorphoses

Alan Paton – Cry the Beloved Country

Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar (enjoyed way more than expected)

Terry Pratchett – Nation (awesome!), Wee Free Men

JK Rowling – The entire Harry Potter series (great on audio)

Louis Sachar – Holes

Mary Shelly – Frankenstein

Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight (recommended, but not on audio, as the author is a terrible reader)

Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

John Updike – Rabbit, Run (didn’t like)

Virgil – The Aeneid (didn’t like)

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five (great), Breakfast of Champions, The Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle (awesomely weird)

Jeanette Wall – The Glass Castle (great)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Quantifying an epic”

  1. Lance Eatonon 28 Jul 2009 at 11:48 am

    Was your version of The Bell Jar read by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Cause that is an excellent performance but unfortunately, the character will always look like Maggie whenever I think of it.

    I didn’t know you were a fellow audiobook fan too. I’ve got some 4000+ in mp3 if you’re ever looking for additional material.

  2. adminon 28 Jul 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Yes, it was the excellent Maggie Gyllenhal reading, and I guess I don’t associate her voice and face as strongly as you do because I don’t picture her when listening to or recalling the book.

    I can’t listen to anything distracting during the writing or layout process, but when I’m doing the final art, the verbal part of my brain is completely idling, so I like to use the time to catch up on my reading via audiobooks. So yes, I will definitely hit you up for some good ones when I get to that stage on my next book (which may be a while, what with the wedding and all).

    BTW, I hung out with Kristin Cashore the other day at Simmons Institute (which probably calls for its own post). And told her about Otherworld.

  3. Idonyon 28 Jul 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Yay Seabiscuit!! Read it when I was a kid. I think there are Aeneid people and Odyssey people; I am in the second class as well.

    Thought about the writing/final art dichotomy. Interestingly, that’s about my breakdown re distraction, and I’ve always been a little puzzled about that first composition stage, because it would seem that it would be in a different part of the brain. (I can write or draw in public, though. Beats me.) May poll artist friends now . . .

    (Impressive list of materials. Something to muse over.)

  4. […] up what audiobooks I listened to for the 14 months I was working on Romeo & Juliet (previously: what I was listening to while drawing The Odyssey). Here they are, in no particular […]

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