Company: Dark Horse Comics
Project: Art of Over the Garden Wall
In the winter of 2016, I sent an email to Patrick McHale, an animation innovator whose art direction had graced Cartoon Network masterworks including The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Adventure Time. I didn’t know Pat, but I asked if he wanted to partner with me to create a making-of/art book of his Emmy Award-winning miniseries, Over the Garden Wall. Over 100 minutes, the 10-episode masterpiece channels a typhoon of centuries-spanning, evocative influences, from 19th-century French illustrator Gustav Dore to 1930s Golden Age cartoons. I adored the tale of two brothers lost in a subconscious Colonial wonderland, so much so that devoted a year of phone calls, research and layouts to preserving its process.
Pat thankfully agreed to my proposition, as did publisher Dark Horse, which already had a library of gorgeous art books in its library. The ensuing work was released in September of 2017 and currently holds a rating of 4.88/5 stars on Goodreads and 4.7/5 stars on Amazon. I (obviously) can’t take full credit for the book’s value: it houses the developmental sketches, backgrounds and ephemera of animation luminaries including Nick Cross, Chris Tsirgiotis, Levon Jihanian, Jim Campbell, Laura Park, Natasha Allegri and many others. Pat is also a meticulous editor with inspired vision, and designer Justin Couch did a fabulous job. I am proud of what narrative connective tissue and project management I could provide to bring this book into the world, though.