Jillian Tamaki

Darkest Light

Jan 30th, 2012

Personally, I think one of the best things about being an illustrator is the reading. When you’re asked to interpret an article or story, you read very attentively.

I became familiar with Hiromi Goto‘s work when a friend raved about A Chorus of Mushrooms many years ago when we were in college. So it was a nice surprise when I was contacted in 2008 to illustrate her YA novel Half World. (Apparently she was a fan of the way I draw rats!) Hiromi’s writing is so distinct… very beautiful and, well, disgusting at the same time. She describes poverty. She’s not afraid to let bodily fluids squirt. I felt an instant attraction to her writing.

Now there is a sequel to Half World: Darkest Light. It’s out tomorrow! What’s awesome about both Half World and Darkest Light is that not only are the covers illustrated, but both books also contain many interior illustrations. Dreamy. With so much debate in publishing circles about what YA covers should look like, it’s nice to know that Penguin Canada felt the first book did well enough with an illustrated cover to warrant a similar approach for the sequel. More illustrated YA book covers! They’re pretty! They work!

Currently the book is only released in Canada, but I imagine a US version is in the works. (If you’re really keen you can order through amazon.ca, I think.)

Thanks AD Lisa Jager and Penguin Canada for springing for the shiny, sparkly cover paper.