How an Illustration is Made: Kūkaʻilimoku’s Escape

Strange Things with this Hawaiian God

 

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Before we start I will pass on our best wished to the people of Hawaii who had suffered recently in the volcano eruption and earthquake. Luckily the most our volcano has done in millions of years in Collins Cove was crack one foundation…

By the way, above is the graphite drawing of Dave Ward, a shaman from the family of Sitting Bull. The family joke is they are full of bull… Hi Dave! This image was done first then scanned into the computer.

Later the rest of the background was drawn in and arranged on the computer with Photoshop. Kūkaʻilimoku was then drawn and added. Later the dancer and the second native was added. He was drawn from the likeness of Brudha Iz the famous singer. Each was scaled and moved into the right place doing comps on the fly and only settling in on the final when satisfied. Sometimes, different comps are saved on different layers and saved for later.

The funny thing about Kūkaʻilimoku and A Walk Through Salem, the illustration depicts Kūkaʻilimoku being rescued and sent back to Hawaii. Soon after the publication of the book, he was indeed sent back home. There are three remaining statues of him; one was in England, the second in Hawaii, and the third was in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. They all were put together in Hawaii in the Bishop Museum for the first time in quite some time. After the show, Hawaii did make arrangements to have them returned for good.

The final illustration depicts a news story in the Salem Gazette where the public finds out about the Hawaiians smuggling Kūkaʻilimoku out of the museum and into the Unzipping Tree in the Salem Common back to Hawaii. I never did find out how they actually did transport him back…

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

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How an Illustration is Made

The Salem Custom House and Hawkes House

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will share the process my illustrator Chris Dowgin uses while illustrating.

Below you will see three images of the process of his creation of the illustration of smuggling past the Customs agents on Derby Street. Chris starts the drawing in graphite and then scans it into the computer before painting. This allows him to do several versions of the painting and also gives him the ability to save the drawing if a cat knocks over the water jar on the painting…In the image below you will see the background drawn and painted.

On a separate piece of paper, he is able to draw the head at a much larger dimension and then add it to a body drawn much smaller on Photoshop. Both images get scanned in and then scaled to fit before they are added on to the background. The body does not take much detail, but faces do and seem easier to him on a larger scale.

Then helping Elias Hasket Derby, America’s first millionaire, are two other figures drawn much in the same way. The funny thing is that Tim Maguire possed for all the characters, actually looks like the real Elias Hasket Derby. These figures below were added to the cargo they are carrying and applied to the background also utilizing photoshop. After attempting several placements and scales of the figures, Chris had decided on this final composition. What do you think, tell us below?

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

 

 

P.S.~ In Salem Derby would not have smuggled so openly; in fact, he would have used one of the three miles of tunnels in Salem. To learn more about this, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City published by Salem House Press. Available at the same places above. If you do not see it, ask your favorite bookseller to order any of the books.

He Haunts this Town

and Proud of it!

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will tell you about the town’s favorite ghost. Mike was the first model Chris Dowgin illustrated for his Salem Trilogy appearing in A Walk Through Salem.

Many things about Mike and A Walk Through Salem are uncanny. Soon after publication Mike died of mysterious causes and found floating in the harbor not too far from his favorite fishing spot. His death still remains a mystery but what has not is, Mike always wanted to be a ghost. In fact, on the morning of his death, he at least visited 3 friends in their dreams.

What might have been the beginning of this fascination? He used to live in his wife’s family home where there was a ghost who would haunt the tunnel leaving the house in Chelsea. An odd member at the local poker games they held in a room off the tunnel. Later in life, Mike hosted a local ghost hunter’s film series for years. Now he haunts the harbor catching the ghost of the fish he caught and ate in the past.

So what else was weird about Mike and the book A Walk Through Salem? The funeral home and the church his funeral was in appears in the same illustration near the middle of the book. Also, he is the one who informed the author of many wonders under the Visitor’s center including Romanov Crown Jewels and Blackbeard’s skull. Maybe one day he will leave the wharf and stop aggravating his wife by smoking in her bedroom in the afterlife (which she still can smell) and take the rocket to heaven.

Till then he will be just chasing the ghost fish through Pickering Wharf…

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Eclectic Locations in Salem MA!

One of the Many Whimsical Places…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will highlight some of the more fanciful places in Salem Ma.

The Carousel House sits just off the corner of Pleasant Street and Washington Square North and East.  Home to many artists over the year. In fact, you might hear some piano from one of the windows. The carousel horse in the bay window on the second floor is truly magical. There is also the carriage house out of Hansel and Gretel on Bott’s Court, a small winding road that terminates at the Salem Atheneum. There is the house shaped like a riverboat down on Juniper Point. The man who invented the paddle boat was indeed from Salem… Then there is Mr.Pelinger’s House on Federal Street Court behind the Rope’s Garden; filled with wormholes and many mysteries. Also do not forget, the many locations from H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction including the Crowninshield-Bently House, The Curwin House, The Essex Institute, and the Old Burying Point. Come on down or up to Salem and see these wonders!

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Blackbeard was Never Here!

Even Though his Skull Partially Resides Here…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today we are talking about Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

Salem did have pirates off the coast, although Blackbeard was not one. He did come to rest in Salem though; at least the top of his cranium. Edward Rowe Snow a famous writer of pirates and shipwrecks had the skull plate lined in silver used as a chalice donated to the Peabody Essex Museum, which was created by a series of pirates. Well, technically privateers; a piece of paper only separated them from true pirates.

The museum did loan it to the Nahant Museum in their library but has since returned it to the dark cellars of the Peabody Essex Museum under the location of the old armory, now the Visitor Center.

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem and learn a little more about Blackbeard.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Kids Really Get High Here!

On Sugar for 212 years…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Here is a tale of how a candy company started from a shipwreck and became a favorite of luckier sailors.

The Ye Olde Pepper Company started in 1806 when an English woman named Spencer was shipwrecked and landed in Salem. She started making gibralters which the sailors took on their voyages. You still can get these sweet treasures made for those salty devils. Though not in their original location, they only went around the corner across from the House of the Seven Gables on Derby Street. Originally they were on Turner Street. Stop by and pick up some chocolate made on the spot or maybe some blackjacks.

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

The Book A Walk Through Salem Where You are the Main Character

Available from Salem to California in Barnes & Noble….

A Walk Through Salem 2nd edition cover with the Unzipping Tree.

The magical whimsical tales set in Salem that has entertained thousands is in its second edition and available at Barnes & Noble and your favorite independent booksellers throughout the country. The tale that began when Mr. Zac invited you through the Unzipping Tree to see flying fish, churches turned into rocket ships, tall ships dropping anchor next to parking meters, and Vikings storming Dead Horse Beach! A tale filled with witches, werewolves, and Frankenstein’s Monster. A tale in which you are the main character…

Vikings stormin Dead Horse Beach in Salem from A walk Through Salem

Many wonderful illustrations turn local favorite locations into something of merry and mirth.  The tale has the flavor of Willie Wonka in ire, Alice in Wonderland in absurdity, and the “..you were there, and you!” feeling of the Wizard of Oz. Because the characters in the book walk the streets of Salem for real! Just not as magical during the sunlit hours…

The goodship Friendship sailing from Salem to Neverland past the moon across the stars with the Baron Munchausen flying past on a cannonball.

A tale in which you venture through, but may never return from. In it you acquire the aid of Mr. Zac who is posthumously played by Ed Wynn. This was his final and immortal part. It follows the structure of the Journey of the Hero laid out by Joseph Campbell. A format that Lord of the Rings, Percival, King Arthur, and Star Wars follows. Truly magical!

Mr. Zac from the Salem Trilogy illustrated by Chris Dowgin and published by Salem House Press.So pick up this tale and begin the Salem Trilogy and walk through the Unzipping Tree which appears every night after dusk on the Salem Common in real life and see where it takes you. You will not regret it.

The Dream bagger from A walk Through Salem Illustrated by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press.Available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Witch House, Wicked Good Books, and Remember Salem. If your bookseller does not carry it ask for it by name from Salem House Press. Then pick up the next two books in the trilogy.

eBooks are available direct from Salem House Press with animated extras and Amazon.com. A Walk Through Salem was twice a winner of the Mass Cultural Commision Grant.

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.