AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR MR A. MAZING THE MONSTERS REVIEWS GALLERY
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A TOUR OF THE GALLERY BY JIM SLATER:

WHEN MY SON CHRISTOPHER, AGED 10, DREW THE FIRST FOUR A. MAZING MONSTERS IN 1977 I HAD NO IDEA THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO REPRODUCE THEM SO WELL IN SO MANY DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT HIS DRAWINGS HAD A CERTAIN CHARM AND THEY WERE VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE PICTURES AN ADULT ILLUSTRATOR WOULD HAVE PRODUCED.

IN 'THE TRICKY TROGGLE' THE VERY FIRST PICTURE OF MR GRUB WAS A SURPRISE TO ME. THE POUND SIGNS IN MR GRUB'S EYES AS HE WAS THINKING ABOUT MONEY WERE CHRISTOPHER'S IDEA NOT MINE.

THE LOOK OF SUBMISSION IN THE TRICKY TROGGLE AS MR GRUB DRAGS HIM BACK TO HIS HOUSE IS ALSO ONE OF MY FAVOURITES.

PERHAPS THE MOST INTERESTING EXAMPLE OF A CHILD'S PERCEPTION WAS THE PENULTIMATE PICTURE IN 'THE TRICKY TROGGLE' AFTER IT HAD EATEN MR GRUB'S HOUSE. THE SHAPE OF THE HOUSE PROTRUDING IN THE TROGGLE'S STOMACH WAS SHEER INSPIRATION THAT WOULD NEVER HAVE OCCURRED TO ME.

I WAS SURPRISED BY CHRISTOPHER'S DRAWINGS OF THE QUEEN AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE TIME, JIM CALLAGHAN. THE PICTURE OF THE QUEEN SITTING HAVING TEA WITH FRED AND THE GREAT GULPER IS ALSO VERY APPEALING.

THROUGHOUT THE SERIES THERE ARE NUMEROUS TOUCHES SUCH AS THE WAY THE GREAT GULPER'S TOES STICK UP IN BED WHEN FRED IS TAKING HIM HIS LAST GLASS OF OIL.

THE DANCING GIRL WITH THE MISSING LEG IN 'DIMMO' IS VERY AMUSING AS IS CHRISTOPHER'S COMMENT TO 'REMEMBER TO BUY SOME MORE BIRD SEED' IN THE WINKYBIRD.

MR A. MAZING ALWAYS APPEARS IN HIS CAP AND GLASSES EVEN IN BED AND IS ONLY TWICE SEEN FACE ON. AT THE TIME CHRISTOPHER FOUND IT MUCH EASIER TO DRAW HIM FULLY DRESSED IN PROFILE.

EVEN IN THE TWO YEARS DURING THE PRODUCTION OF THE 16 MONSTER BOOKS, CHRISTOPHER'S DRAWINGS IMPROVED APACE. THE LAST BOOK, 'SEND FOR THE GULPER', MAKES THIS POINT WELL. TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIRST PICTURE OF THE GULPER AND MR A. MAZING PLAYING DRAUGHTS, FOR EXAMPLE AND COMPARE IT WITH SOME OF THE EARLIER PICTURES IN 'THE GREAT GULPER'.

THE LITTLE MOUSE IN 'SEND FOR THE GULPER' WAS CHRISTOPHER'S IDEA. 'WHO IS HE?' I ASKED. 'HIS FRIEND' HE INFORMED ME, AS IF THAT WAS ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW. HE WAS NOT IN THE TEXT I SUPPLIED BUT THAT DID NOT SEEM TO MATTER AND AFTER A WHILE I BECAME QUITE FOND OF HIM.

ANOTHER FAVOURITE PICTURE OF MINE IS THE ONE SHOWING FRED GLUMM GOING DOWN TO BREAKFAST WITH GRINNO IN HIS HAND. I PARTICULARLY LIKE THE STEAM COMING OUT OF THE TEAPOT AND THE RELUCTANT SMILES OF FRED'S PARENTS.

WHEN A. MAZING MONSTERS WERE FIRST PUBLISHED, WE WERE SENT SOME PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHILDREN DRAWING MONSTERS AT SCHOOLS IN INDIA AND ANOTHER SCHOOL IN JAPAN. WE ALSO RECEIVED LOTS OF MONSTER DRAWINGS AND IDEAS FOR NEW MONSTERS FROM ALL OVER THE UK. THE MONSTERS AND CHRISTOPHER'S DRAWINGS HAVE CERTAINLY GIVEN ME AND MY FAMILY MANY YEARS OF PLEASURE.



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