The Last Viking Returns

Designing Viking World – the Statue of Thor

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There’s only 6 weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st), and each week until then I’ll show some more behind-the-scenes images.

I’m going to focus on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. The theme park has a massive statue of Thor.

Patrons are able to climb the stairs inside the statue; there are viewing platforms inside his mouth and the hammer. Naturally, the statue is closed during thunderstorms.

statue of Thor
The most obvious influence for the statue is New York’s Statue of Liberty, which I ferried past a few years ago. Turned out it wasn’t very big – smaller than my head, in fact.

statue of liberty 2

Ba-doom tish.

statue of liberty 1

The other inspiration is much less obvious – it’s the merlion statue at Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

Norman and I attended a conference in Singapore in 2012. A lot of our (very serious) research was conducted at Universal Studios (check out this post to see our shenanigans) but first we went to the Sentosa Island Resort, which is right next door.

Sentosa features a 37 metre tall statue of a merlion, a mythical animal that is half-lion, half-fish (and Singapore’s official emblem). The Sentosa merlion statue has viewing decks on his head and in his mouth.

I wanted Viking World to have a large statue of Thor in the centre – something that stood out and gave a bit of visual interest from a bird’s eye view.

It would also make the real Thor more likely to want to visit the theme park, which is important to the plot of The Last Viking Returns.

 

Next week I’ll look at another part of Viking World: the shops and eateries.

 

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Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016) and Dungzilla (2017) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The third in the series, Gastronauts, will be published in late 2018. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015) In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta @jamesfoleybooks, or at www.jamesfoley.com.au .

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