Monday, August 27, 2012

Dip pens and Dinotopia

Dinotopia: The World Beneath has just been rereleased in a new expanded edition from Calla Editions, an imprint of Dover Publications.

(Video link) This video describes how I decided to re-letter the captions by hand to make them look more authentic. (Note—I got the Lego camera dolly working better!)

The story follows Arthur Denison as he leads an expedition deep into the mysterious caverns beneath the island of Dinotopia, where he discovers clues about ancient civilizations and hidden treasures.
Meanwhile his son Will continues his training as a pilot on a giant pterosaur known as a skybax. The story itself is 160 pages, fully illustrated in color. 

The publisher made all new digital scans, and the colors are now truer to the original art than ever before. The quality of the paper and binding is incredible, and I have no idea how the publisher produced the book for the same price that the original book sold for back in 1995.  

In the back section of the book is an archive of behind-the-scenes sketches, storyboards, photos, and maquettes to show exactly how the book was conceived and created. 

We just received our shipment here at the Dinotopia Store, so you can order a signed copy today. If you follow this link, we can handle orders from the USA (shipping only $4.50), or from anywhere worldwide ($35 for shipping).

Order a copy of Dinotopia: The World Beneath signed by the author.
Find the book at your local bookseller or at Dover.
Check out my other videos or subscribe to the GurneyJourney YouTube channel so you can see new videos before anyone else.


Luis Gama said...

Thanks for inspiring us all. :))

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Hand-lettering has such a richer look than any computer font, no matter how skillfully designed. (Someday, perhaps, someone will program in all those errant little motions we make as we hand-letter.) Enjoyed seeing the budgie, too!

Didem Naz said...

Plaka sorgulama (konrol) aracınızın Trafik, Vergi, Ceza Borcunuzu vs... gibi borçlarınızı rahatlıkla hızlı bir şekilde sorgulayabilirsiniz.

Steve said...

Details do make a difference. Thanks for giving the time to redo the lettering by hand. Great to see Mr. Kooks adding his insights! Your final line in the video, "...moving boldly forward into the 19th century" echoes the philosophy of the good people at Kenspeckle Letterpress, creators of your Artistic License. Their hand-printed work comes with the proclamation: "19th Century Solutions for 21st Century Quandries."

Teresa Rodriguez said...

Those little details really make all the difference. As a graphic designer, I often find myself looking at printed "handwriting" carefully to see if it's real or a font.

And I wonder if other viewers are as geeky as I am and rewatched the vid without sound, pausing here and there to look at all the stuff you have on the shelves, tables and walls of your office/studio. :)

Karen said...

Oh man! Now I have to choose between buying Color and Light, Imaginative Realism and a signed copy of Dinotopia: The World Beneath? If only I could afford all three now... (*am frantically checking my bank balance and rethinking whether I need to eat during the month of September*)

What I really want, though, is to get my 1995 original printing of The World Beneath signed. =^D I guess I'll have to keep waiting for an event to be held in the Pacific Northwest for that to happen.

Nice to see progress on your LEGO dolly! Maybe we'll see it in action in your next video? What route did you go to improve its performance?

James Gurney said...

Karen, For the Lego dolly, I'm using a heavier camera, less slope, and a slower gearing, so maybe that's doing the trick.

Teresa, As you can see, the studio is usually a huge mess.

Steve, my Artistic License is hanging proudly framed in the front hall. It's deliciously handmade.

Ramo, Hayır, teşekkürler. Ben vergi ile ilgili yardım, araçlar, veya borç hiçbirine ihtiyacım yok.

Michael, The budgie is a good sport. He had to hang in there for multiple takes, and he doesn't really trust that camera.

LG, Glad you're enjoying.

Serge Illustration said...

James Gurney in one word: Awesome!

Lester Yocum said...

I love your response to Ramo. How clever.

Anonymous said...

"Retro Geek" I like that! :D
Thank you so much for your commitment, you're such an inspiration and hearing you always makes my day a better one! ^^

Charlie Utting said...

Brilliant! I just moved into a new house a placed all three books on my desk, including the original print of Land Apart from Time! (First Flight in there too, don't worry!)
I've just started reading them again.
The behing the scenes and afterword sounds like a real treat.
Thanks very much

crewchief227 said...

I have a couple of nib holders and dozens of nibs. I once saw a offset holder like you were using with your letting and always wondered the purpose of it. Now I kind of see why but being a daily follower (I go to your blog every morning first thing) I am hoping to get a answer as far as can you tell me the exact nibs that you use for lettering as I too would like to do my lettering by hand. Thanks.

Brad Teare said...

Fantastic video! I am curious if the noise from the lego cam is ever picked up by your mike, and if so how do you minimize sound interference.

James Gurney said...

Brad, The mike is a cheap wired lav mike clipped to my shirt. Its doesn't seem to pick up the rather noisy Lego motor very much. The wire to the mike runs out of the camera and I have to arrange it so it won't get tangled.

CrewChief: I think I was using a Gillot 303 there,, but I also like a Hunt 22B. Mitchell also makes an offset Copperplate nib so you don't need an offset holder. A good source for Copperplate lettering tools is John Neal:
And Dover has some of the best books on Copperplate and roundhand.

Thanks everyone!

tlchang said...

James, you continue to inspire and amaze with your attention to detail, work ethic, artistic sensibilities, child-like curiosity and enthusiasm, seemingly endless energy and far-from-least-of-all, adorably droll sense of humor. I so <3 your blog!

Anonymous said...

Could you hand letter this: Who the fuck cares?
Thank you!

James Gurney said...

Anonymous...Sure, but for you I'll use the computer font.

Matt said...

Is this the 20th Anniversary Edition?

James Gurney said...

Matt, not exactly. The first edition of Dinotopia: The World Beneath came out in 1995, but Dover is rereleasing it together with Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, which did come out 20 years ago in 1992.

Joe Kulka said...

Love your response to Anonymous!

I also love your attention to detail. You continue to set the standard and keep raising the bar for all of us illustrators.