Quentin Blake had a spat with ‘unhappy Roald Dahl’ over a BFG sketch.
According to newly discovered reports, QUENTIN BLAKE had a disagreement with longtime colleague Roald Dahl on how the legendary BFG should be printed, resulting in changes to the original story.
The illustrator is one of the most well-known voices in children’s literature in the United Kingdom, having created illustrations for over 300 books, including 18 by Dahl. The Clown, the 88-year-own old’s story, will be given fresh life on Channel 4 today, capturing Blake’s unique hand-drawn style. It is about a toy clown who is looking for a new home after being thrown away, and Blake identifies him as one of his favorite characters.
The illustrator admitted it was “great now to see him off the page and roaming around on his own” before the book’s holiday release.
His collaborations with Dahl, which re-engaged a generation of children with reading, were arguably his greatest success in a career that spanned decades.
However, a disagreement between the two over the appearance of the Big Friendly Giant – or BFG – resulted in both the writer and illustrator making major alterations to the book and visuals.
The team prepared for their third piece, the BFG, after previously working together on The Enormous Crocodile and The Twits.
Initially, Blake offered Dahl a pair of two illustrations, which the author rejected outright because “there weren’t enough of them.”
“I was not surprised when my editor requested me to make only 12 full-page illustrations for a small fee because this was a considerably longer book,” he added.
“I finished them and everything was on its way to the printers when I got a call from our author, who said he was ‘not satisfied.’
“It wasn’t that Roald didn’t like the drawings; it was that there weren’t enough of them.”
Following that rejection, Blake stated he “made another 20 or so illustrations that could be slipped in at the top of each chapter without affecting the book’s layout.”
“I had hardly rested from that effort when the phone rang again: ‘He’s still not happy,’” he told the Guardian.
“When an author feels he doesn’t have enough illustrations, it’s a perfectly understandable dilemma.
“What was more to my advantage was that I could start over and re-illustrate the book, allowing the pictures to flow seamlessly through the text.”
The drawings were discussed as “Brinkwire Summary News” by Blake.