Jul 10, 2006

More illustration inspiration


Next to P.D. Eastman, my favorite illustrator was Roy McKie, and the book "Ten Apples Up On Top" was the book of his I loved best. Like Eastman, there's something about McKie's style--its simplicity, clarity, boldness, personality. Look at that thing on the riddles book! It's weird, bright red, and funny--somehow friendly, too. Perfect for young kids.

This simple story of three animals competing to seem who could balance the most apples on their heads...they just don't do them like this anymore. Well, not too often. And this guy was one of a kind. I know nothing about McKie...I really should look him up. Judging by the look of his signature I'd bet he did New Yorker-style illustration for magazines and such.

I've had this book sitting on a little easel, displayed in my living room lately; it's been over 100F in the San Gabriel Valley, and in addition to the charm of this thing, looking at it makes me feel happy--and cooler. Snow! A coming-together of two of my childhood heroes in one book. Bliss.

6 comments:

barry johnson said...

Ha! We must have had the same book collection!
I too wish there was more info out there about these guys.

mark kennedy said...

As a kid I loved, loved, loved the "Ten Apples" book but I never had any of his other books. I still don't! His stuff is awesome though. Thanks for the post.

Nick Sung said...

Jenny and Mark--

You guys have to find a copy of McKie's 1960 book "Melisande"; it's about a dog who sings opera, and it's by far my favourite of the bunch. It's full of terrifically expressive character drawings and just stunning compositions. Maybe I'll try to post some on my blog later this week.

I think McKie's abilities waned a touch into the 1980's, but hardly--he's definitely an amazing talent.

Marmax said...

I remember that snow book! Hehehe, very fun!

Chris Battle said...

"10 Apples" is a recent favorite of mine- loose, cartoony, and fun! Really inspirational to help one loosen up. I gotta pick up that "Snow" book....

Paige Keiser said...

Please please please let me know if you can find out anything on Roy Mckie! I've googled my littled heart out, and can't even find many books illustrated by him. I have ONE book I found at a used book store, after which I immediately fell in love with his work.

Your work is absolutely beautiful by the way. So much life in those lines.... I aspire to reach that kind skill level in my own art.

Thanks for commenting on my blog! :0)