It wouldn’t be a year without a visit from Little Red. Lock up your cookies! And your cheese. And your potato chips. And your fruit salad and spaghetti and pickles and … well … anything edible really.
I met Shelby Denham at Crypticon in 2013. She and I (and Nick Gucker) shared a stage for a live drawing contest. We became “friends” on Facebook and I follow her tumblr feed. We don’t really interact. I see what shows up in her feeds and put in an occasional “like” when the mood strikes me.
I’m not sure when she posted the above image but my first thought, when I saw it, was, “Those would be fun characters to draw!” So eventually I did. Draw them that is.
The guy is named Brouhaha. I don’t know his friend’s name. Perhaps Shelby has a long back story for them. You’d have to ask her.
Steve Ahlquist’s The Electric Elephant is based on the children’s book The Wonderful Electric Elephant by Frances T. Montgomery, published in 1903. Neither the book nor Montgomery have a wikipedia entry so it’s apparently a pretty obscure volume. Montgomery’s original is fun in a blood thirsty, old timey racist sort of way. Ahlquist’s tale follows the same basic map as Montgomery’s but the new version drops the racism while expanding on and adding complexity to the original.
Steve Ahlquist has been one of my favorite writers to illustrate.
Number one, I enjoy reading his stories. Even the serious ones have a sense of humor, of lightness, to them. The world is serious enough. I like stories with a bit of goofiness.
Number two, his stories surprise me. I’d say how they surprise me but I wouldn’t want to spoil those surprises.
One of those stories is The Electric Elephant. It was serialized over at Jukepop.com. Unfortunately it didn’t get a lot of votes and, therefore, wasn’t profitable enough for Steve to continue past the published eight chapters. Fortunately, while there are plenty of loose ends, the last chapter does leave the protagonists in a good place. It’s worth a read. And a vote. Maybe with enough votes Steve can start writing again!