The Last Viking Returns


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THE LAST VIKING RETURNS is a thrilling showdown

Here’s a fantastic review for The Last Viking Returns from today’s Weekend Australian (Review section, pg.22).

 

The Last Viking Returns is a sequel to one of our favourite books of 2012, the inspirational The Last Viking.

Author Norman Jorgensen and illustrator James Foley reacquaint us with young Josh (who, a braver boy now, calls himself Knut) and his little dog Wolverine (still wearing a colander helmet).

When Josh’s grandfather decides to take them to a Viking theme park for the day, the god Thor, watching from Asgard, decides to pop down to earth and join in the fun. “What could possibly go wrong?” he asks … The answer is Fafnir, “the most evil dragon imaginable”, who has been waiting for Thor to let his hair down.

The resulting showdown between boy, dog, god and fire-breathing beast is thrilling.

Thanks to Stephen Romei and his co-reviewer Syd for the review.

 

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Character design – choosing colours for the cast

Over the last 3 months I’ve posted my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family, all the Viking characters and the two villains.

This post gathers all the colour reference versions together so you can see the links between them.

I’ve made some notes on each major group of characters and their colours. Most of the time my colour choices were a matter of gut feeling, and it’s only after the fact that I can figure out why certain combinations seemed to work.

 

First up is Josh’s family.

I didn’t intentionally make Josh’s costume out of primary colours, but it turned out that way – yellowish hair, red helmet and shield, blue shirt. Add a bit of green and you’ve got a bunch of bright happy colours, which all help Josh stand out from whatever moody background he’s in front of.

Wolverine’s colander helmet and collar are the same shade of gold and red found on Josh’s chestplate. This sharing of colour is a simple way to link Josh and Wolverine together.

Josh’s siblings are in blue and red shirts – the same blue and red found in Josh’s costume. Their shorts/skirt are darker shades of the blue and red respectively. All three children have the same colour boots. Again, it’s about linking Josh with his siblings in the eye of the reader using colour.

Nan is the only one in the family to wear a shade of purple. I find it a loud colour for some reason; I don’t wear it a lot, and it seems to clash with a lot of colours I normally use. This fits with Nan’s no-nonsense, outspoken personality. I made it a soft, warm shade of purple though (at least to my slightly colour-blind eyes) as it seemed like a colour a loving, caring (but feisty) Nan might wear. The sneakers have purple trim in the same shade.

Pop is all in shades of grey – warm shades, tinges of brown in there. The dark vest is a strong contrast to the colour of his skin, shirt and pants. His colours seem warm and masculine and strong to me. Bright colours just didn’t seem to suit Pop; he’s silly and child-like, but he’s strong and grounded. I imagine he would give very big bear hugs. His colours make him stand out, not only from his wife but from all the other characters in the family.

character-sheet--family-550px

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Character design – Fafnir the dragon

Over the last 3 months I’ve posted my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family and all the Viking characters in previous posts. I’ve also shown one of the villains. But there’s a major villain I left out.

Today I’ll show you my sketches of Fafnir the dragon.

 

Fafnir the dragon appears in Norse mythology. The legend goes that Fafnir guarded a pile of gold – much like Smaug in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Fafnir was defeated by Sigurd, a Viking hero.

Here’s my character reference sheet for Fafnir.

Fafnir

 

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Fafnir:

Fafnir-colour

 

 

Next week I’ll show you the entire cast in one go, so you can see how their colours and designs relate to each other.