Making the Cut


A brief interruption to the countdown for an update on our book’s progress, and a bit of an art post. After several months and hundreds of hours of planning, sketching and drawing, work on He Was and Is and Is to Come is finished! We sent the final files over to the printers on Friday last week, and are expecting hard copies in hand by the end of the month. Now that my time is slightly less overshadowed by completing the book (although still occupied getting ready for shipping it out amongst other things) I thought I’d offer a little insight into the journey, and a look at some panels that didn’t make the final cut.

Typically when I’m illustrating, I can end up spending as much time sketching out rough ideas for what to draw as I spend on drawing complete panels. It’s a reasonably long process getting panels finished, so I can save myself a lot of wasted time by drawing a picture that really fits the text first time around. That said, sometimes I’ll work something up and find it just doesn’t come together properly – or Stef and I have looked at complete verses and felt that one or two panels weren’t quite strong enough. Here are a few of the completed panels I produced that didn’t make it into the book. I’ll leave you to work out where they were supposed to fit!

First on the list is the toolbelt at the top of the page. Those were some nice tools. You will not find them in your copy of the book however, because they have been replaced. No time for sentiment, on to the next!


It’s a tree. We can do better than that though. It was initially replaced with this:


And for a brief moment, penguins were represented in the book. Then they too were cut, in favour of a solitary egg. Life goes on.


Something of a Calvin and Hobbes-esque moment in the middle of a verse. I quite like panels like this because they can end up conveying a lot, and also are relatively quick to draw. This particular panel however, will not be immortalised in ink.


The immediate successor to the previous image. Sometimes I’ll draw something because I feel like adding a touch of levity, and because they’re simply fun to draw. They don’t always fit the tone that’s needed though – and this panel too is consigned to the digital scrapheap.


Things are getting serious for this guy. Rather than seeing his problems resolved however, he will remain cowering in his bunker for the time being.


Do you like dogs? Some people like dogs. This dog will still feature in the book, albeit in a much reduced role. If you were holding off on pre-ordering because of concerns that dogs would be totally absent, consider your fears assuaged. Don’t worry, there’s lots of other beasts in there as well.


I was rather pleased with what I had done with the lighting in this one. It won’t be in the book though.


This was one of those panels where I spent hours trying to draw a decent looking coral reef, as viewed from the air. It made perfect sense in context! Very hard for me to get right though, as it turned out. Not to worry, I replaced it with a different reef that looks considerably more convincing.


The last of this brief crop of would-be panels. Something very similar, but slightly more serious made its way into the final collections. If any of these editing room cuts has left you saddened, fear not – for every image cut, a significantly more comely and fitting illustration has taken its place.

I hope that’s satisfied some of your artistic curiosities, and whet your appetites for the soon to be released book – we can’t wait to share this with you and see what you make of the finished product! We’re pretty close to it, but we’re honestly thrilled with how it’s shaped up, and hope it will bless you as you read it.