I found out about this through a random ad online somewhere. November 4th-6th, in Baltimore, there’s going to be a convention on all things faerie. I love going to conventions. I haven’t been to many, but the atmosphere at them makes me wish I could go to more. People are generally so friendly and so open and they are on of the few places I feel normal. How could anybody not? But the main thing that caught my eye about this were three of the guests: Brian and Wendy Froud, and Charles Vess.
Brian and Wendy Froud
Brian illustrates, Wendy makes dolls and puppets. Brian Froud draws fairies and has published several books including Faeries (with Alan Lee!) and Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book. His amazingly detailed and intricate illustrations force you to actually look at the drawings rather than glance at them and move on to any text.
Wendy, his wife, makes dolls. Her work has been published too, but you’ve most likely seen her puppetry work. She used to work for Jim Henson and she created Jen and Kira in one of my favorite movies, The Dark Crystal. She also created puppets for Labryinth and The Empire Strikes Back. But, The Dark Crystal? Mind blowing. Especially when you consider almost everything is puppetry.
Brian Froud also helped as a conceptual designer on that movie and supposedly a sequel is being planned.
Charles Vess is also a fantasy illustrator. He draws a lot of fairies and elves and not your Disney Tinkerbell types either. His creations are sly and mischievous with an otherworldly beauty to them. I first came across his work through the book Stardust by Neil Gaiman. One of the editions published had full color illustrations by Vess as well as border work and smaller illustrations throughout. For someone like myself who wants the book to be as beautiful as the story, Vess did not disappoint.
He also added illustrations to Susanna Clarke’s book of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Many of the stories in that book deal with fairies, well, more correctly, the fey. Clarke’s fairies are dangerous and unpredictable and Vess’ illustrations capture the wildness of her characters and stories perfectly.