We wanted Curt’s illustrations to keep clear of literally depicting elements of the narrative because we didn’t want Parabolis to be an illustrated book. We wanted it to be a work of art. So the plan was to approach it with some abstraction. To give Curt an autonomous voice in Eddie’s story, like two different instruments collaborating in syncopation. Jazz.
But somewhere along the way, it began to change. It began to evolve. And we realized that we had overlooked an important variable: the possibility that Curt would become invested in the story itself. You can see it in the progression of his work. A transition from editorial imagery to emotive. You can see it in the visual tenor he brings to the subtext–his affinity for the characters, the mood, the loneliness, darkness, his commitment to a burning building that the manuscript only lends a single sentence to.
The book still has some ways to go but it’s been interesting to witness its development, to see how the art grows with the reading. And it’s starting to look less like Jazz and more like a dance solo.
The story’s the song. And the artwork, the dancer.