Eric Fortune is awesome. He creates superbly crafted images that are both smart and emotionally evocative. When I read Steven Gould’s sensitive story “Shade,” Eric was the first and last person I thought about commissioning.
The first sketch he sent was an interesting image but, while the Jumper series follows characters that can teleport, this particular story is really about the boy, Xareed, and his fellow countrymen’s plight in a refugee camp. I didn’t want to take the focus off of him. Besides, teleportation is tough to get across in a static image. I liked the girl’s fragmentation on its own, but I didn’t think it read as teleporting. (Eric later went on to use this idea to great effect in a gallery painting.) I asked him to focus on the boy and the parasols mentioned throughout the story.
Next sketch, Eric had the brilliant idea of using a shade tree as the parasol. He also reinserted the fragmentation, but in a way that represents displacement, another theme of the story, rather than transport.