The Last Viking Returns

Designing Viking World – the visitor map

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TLV2---3-weeks-to-go

There’s only 3 (!) weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns on September 1, and I’ve got a couple more behind-the-scenes things to show.

I’ve been focusing on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. I had to figure out the rough layout of the park early on so that I could map the journey made by Pop, Josh and the family. I also wanted to make the backgrounds of each illustration consistent with the map so that the reader could really believe in the fictional setting.

I mentioned last week that most of Viking World is based on Universal Studios in Singapore. Norman and I visited in 2012 and 2013 (strictly for research purposes, we didn’t have any fun at all).

Here’s a map of Universal Singapore:

(Click for larger version)

(Click for larger version)

And here’s the map of our fictional park, Viking World. It forms the front endpapers for The Last Viking Returns.

(Click for a larger version)

(Click for a larger version)

Both parks feature an entrance promenade with souvenir shops. Both have a lake. Both are colour-coded so that you can see at a glance the types of attractions in each area. Both have legends and symbols (and folds in the paper).

Early versions of the map were much sketchier. It took a while to come together.

1st-dummy-Viking-World-scan

First sketch – statue of Thor is also a fountain

 

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Second sketch

 

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Third sketch

 

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Fourth sketch

 

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Sketchiest sketch (almost there – the scribble at the bottom is the basis for the final version)

(Click for larger version)

Final rough (click for larger version)

Next week I’ll look at one final part of Viking World: the entrance gate.

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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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