FROM THE ARCHIVE: How the Little Adventurers became…

It’s MY turn to write today…I’ve fed Ardagh some lunch and he’s got himself comfy in a corner of the studio, pretending to do some work.

Although we’re both very involved in what the Little Adventurers are up to on each page - the whole look of the book - it’s me who does all the actual drawing (though I do find Philip’s little animal doodles rather endearing).

At the very beginning, I had a Little Adventurer called Finnigan, as a central character of a story I’d come up with but I felt he needed friends and funnifying. Then I teamed up with Philip (who I’d been working with on other ideas yet to be unleashed upon the world) and together we created Floss, Sprat and, lastly, Peanut. 

They came wandering out of our imaginations and onto the page almost fully formed, though each took a bit of getting to know - their likes, dislikes, even what pet they have -  but that’s been part of the fun about working on a series like this, and especially as part of a collaborative team - combining our ideas about what a particular character might or might not do, really fleshing them out until they feel almost real to us.

Part of the satisfaction of getting to know each Little Adventurer so well is that we know how they’re going to react in any given situation…though that’s not to say they haven’t sometimes surprised us.

Some of the characterisation came out of my early sketches. We talked, I sketched. We talked some more I sketched some more.


Once I’m done with a pencil sketch I usually take it onto the light box and create the final lines with a VERY sharp pencil, or sometimes - like in this instance - I scan them into my computer and do the final lines and colour them up on my Wacom Cintiq.


It’ll be interesting to see, once the first book is published, how similar or different they look to our earliest ideas.