Abarat Insight - The Scattermuns

...Delving into the archives at Clive's house, it's always fascinating to come across early sketches and artwork that show how an idea can develop on its way to publication.
With thanks, as ever, to Clive, this page showcases another example of how the images and narrative of Abarat are formed and change in the process of creating the Abarat books...

Although Clive usually makes small, quick sketches in pen of characters that later find their way onto full-size canvases, he occasionally turns to pastel or acrylic to make larger colour pieces. The two images below are on large pieces of paper, approximately 33" x 47", and rendered in pencil and then pastel...

Clive Barker - Original drawing of Mrs Scattamun Clive Barker - Original drawing of Mr Scattamun

...Instantly recognisable as Mr and Mrs Scattamun, owners of the freak show on Babilonium, these characters seem to have been remarkably well-formed in Clive's mind before he moved on to finalise them in oil on canvas.

Clive Barker - Mr and Mrs Scattamun as they appear in Abarat II

Scattamun's Emporium

Extract from Freaks, Fools And Fugitives, Abarat Book Two

'Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Scattamun's Emporium of the Malformed. You are guests in the largest collection of freaks, grotesques, inverts, miscreations, mutants, monsters, tetragogs and fiends in the Abarat; plus, of course, the one and only Eye in a Box! Be prepared to be appalled at the horrors Creation has made in the name of Life; at the Horrors that Evolution in all its Cruelty has brought forth! They were made for our amusement! Feel free to mock them! Spit at them! Poke them a little if you dare! And be grateful you are not in their shoes!'
'Please - ' the giant slug mewled. 'Let me out.'
After hearing Mrs Scattamun's horrendous speech, Candy had no doubt of what she should do. She pulled open the bolts on the creature's cage. The slug leaned its weight against the door, which swung open with an ill-oiled creak. Meanwhile Candy moved on to liberate the porcupine-woman, followed by the hybrid boy. None of them lingered. The very moment the bolts were drawn they were out, hollering and howling with joy at their liberation.
The freaks nearby heard this joyous din, of course, and started to raise a chorus of their own. Soon the whole wooden platform upon which the freak show stood was shaking with their demands of freedom.

More Abarat insight...

Elathuria and Numa Child, The Wormwood
Three paintings from their original sketches through to the canvas
Mater Motley, a procession of sketches

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