Gris Grimly, del Toro, stop-motion animation…a few of my favorite things

One of our editors just handed me a copy of Variety. It appears that Guillermo de Toro is set to produce a stop-motion animated feature of Gris Grimly‘s illustrated edition of Pinocchio, to be written and directed by Grimly and Adam Parish King. Grimly promises it will be a “dark and witty film that will frighten the little ones and excite the big ones.”

A good friend of mine, Jonathan Schmidt, started Starscape, Tor’s young adult line. At that point it’s mission was modest: it was to repackage and reposition books on our adult list that were getting a good reception in YA markets despite the fact they were never targeted as such. At that point I had been at Tor for seven years and it was very exciting to have a whole new aesthetic open up to me. Some of those covers are still my favorites.

Gris Grimly, Cockatrice BoysOne of the first books we did was Joan Aiken’s The Cockatrice Boys with a Gris Grimly cover. A few days after I gave him the assignment, he called to say how much he loved the book and inform me he was going to do interior art for it. I kept telling him we didn’t have the budget for that but he really didn’t want to hear it. So…he did a series of scary/funny/fantastic drawings and we found a little more budget for him. (He also did the cover twice, but that’s another story.)

It gave Jonathan and I the idea that we might be able to sneak in a few illustrated classics within our list of contemporary authors. First up, Pinocchio with Gris, of course. I loved his work so much I bought the cover painting. The second was Peter Pan with Charles Vess. Sadly, Jonahan left the company before we got to a third book. I kept pushing for Wizard of Oz with Jon Foster. (Please, somone, hire Jon Foster to illustrate Oz.)

Anyway….all of this is a long winded way to say: ZOMFG, I’m so excited to see this movie!

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