Award winning Derry animator, John McCloskey.

Derry animator, John McCloskey.
Derry animator, John McCloskey.

Award-winning Derry animator John McCloskey is launching a new illustrated book ‘The Crumblegiant’, with Northern Ireland publisher Whittrick Press.

‘The Crumblegiant’ began life as an animated film, which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2009, and has now been turned into an amazing limited edition book and iBook by Whittrick Press and Raw Nerve Productions.

Just 250 copies of the stunning hardback book have been printed, with each one numbered and signed by the author.

The iBook has a unique scrolling landscape and is narrated by well-known actor Bernard Hill, star of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Titanic’ and, most recently, ‘Wolf Hall’.

John McCloskey, originally from Circular Road in Creggan and now living in Derry’s Glen area, has been working as an animator for more than 20 years and is based in the Nerve Centre.

“I’m delighted to be able give ‘The Crumblegiant’ a new lease of life as a limited edition book and iBook,” he said.

“It’s a very personal story, an exploration of how people who have died can live on in the memory and imagination. I wanted to create a fluid work in which the line between reality and imagination is crossed multiple times,” he added.

The book’s stark black and white style, with small amounts of colouring used sparsely throughout, lends itself to the themes of grief and identity. The simple, unfussy drawings allow the reader to ‘fill in the gaps’ with their own imaginations.

David Lewis, owner of Whittrick Press, said he was delighted with the finished product and praised John’s amazing talent.

“We’re very pleased to be working with an author and illustrator of John’s calibre,” he said.

“Both the limited edition print book and the iBook are beautiful works of art. This thought-provoking exploration of grief and loss will appeal to both children and adults alike.”

The book is being launched at a free event at the Nerve Centre on Tuesday, March 24, at 1pm, as part of the Humdinger! Children’s Story Festival 2015.

The launch will include a screening of the original animated film, a Q&A with the author, and refreshments. Limited edition books will be available to buy.

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