This was a slightly unusual but very enjoyable project done in collaboration with the wonderful authorial team of The Two Steves – Barlow and Skidmore, who I’d worked with prior to this on a number of their children’s fiction titles.
It was commissioned by O2 telecoms in collaboration with Childnet International as an entertaining means of highlighting to young people the need for vigilance and safe practice when using the internet, and distributed free to schools and libraries. The Steves came up with the rather brilliant metaphor of evil, brain-sucking aliens to represent the threats posed by careless online behaviour, which was an absolute gift in illustration terms.
Here’s the cover image plus a handful of the interior, black & white images.
When I turned up at the book launch, I was greeted by a life-size costumed figure of the alien Captain Lord Skullsplitter, which had been specially created from my drawings for the launch event and subsequent school visits. I had no idea beforehand that this was being made – it was completely unexpected and a great thrill. Steadfast and sweating inside the costume was Steve Barlow, seen below with his tentacles around me and his co-conspirator, Steve Skidmore.