Of course, it’s impossible to convey just how much the art has meant to these stories of Dev and Lee. The way I picture the tiger and fox has been permanently shaped by Blotch’s rendition of the characters, and probably the same is true for you.
I say often that illustration is really the key to getting non-furries to ease into furry books. With a visual reference to hold on to, the concept of furries becomes much easier to handle for those who don’t think about them pretty much every day. I’ve said in the past how happy I am to have Blotch’s illustrations; I think their combination of realism and animated expressiveness in the characters really captures the modern era and the feel of the book.
On top of that, Blotch brings their own perspectives to the work. They choose the scenes that speak to them and they demand details I might not have thought of. The illustrations really are a collaboration, not just a rendition of something I already wrote. There are details and thoughts that go into those illos that I never put in the books. And the cover of Isolation Play is probably 95% Blotch’s creation. I got the sketch and the idea and said, basically, “go with that, it’s awesome.”
And on top of that, they are terrific people and have become really close friends. Kit and I love to just hang out with them and talk about anything, and brainstorming creative projects with them is a joy. We seem to be kind of crazy in many of the same ways, and that’s something we’re really happy to have.
They actually asked to illustrate Isolation Play before I could ask them to do it, and they know by now that they have first right of refusal on any future volumes. I know they’re busy; one of the things I admire about them is that they have so many ambitious projects that they stubbornly plug away on, determined to finish. So I know their projects come first, and I’m deeply grateful that they have spent so much of their time working on Dev and Lee. I’m also delighted to be able to bring you their illustrations in the e-book version of Isolation Play. :)