‘Nutcracker’ illustrations in the Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature

Just received my contributor copies of the Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature!  It is a large, bright anthology of classic children’s stories, adaptated by various contemporary artists and illustrators. Edited by Russ Kick, out now from Seven Stories Press.

Graphic Canon of Children's Literature, cover

Graphic Canon of Children's Literature, book

It was VERY hard to choose which story to adapt, but I finally decided to go with “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. I have always loved the Tchaikovsky ballet, the costumes and the characters. While researching, I learned that the ballet was actually based on the short story by Alexander Dumas, which was actually a re-write of an earlier version by E.T.A Hoffmann, a German writer and composer. The original, written in 1816, is much darker, stranger, and more interesting than the later Dumas version. So of course I had to illustrate the original :)

These began as brush and ink drawings, which were digitally colored for the publication. I later decided to make the images into screen prints. You can see the original handprinted editions on my etsy page

The Battle between Dolls and Mice, detail

The Nutcracker and Doll Kingdom, spread

Seven-Headed Mouse King and The Battle between Dolls and Mice, spread

The Capital

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