I found it very hard to choose between my two binding concepts for this year’s Folio Society/House of Illustration competition. I wanted something very graphic in bright, strong colours (a nice challenge to the traditional scratchy line work/dark colours associated with ghost stories)
Both images come from The Treasure of Abbot Thomas by M R James.
Firstly, Gregory describes a grotesque carving as “more like a toad than anything” and I like the idea of a toad summing up mystery.
Secondly, poor Somerton is left dangling down a well at the end of a rope after being terrified by an unknown creature.
In the end, although I love the simplicity of the toad, I chose the rope. I thought that falling was a suitably scary sensation for some horror stories and the energetic angle and clear shapes suited the mid century palette I’ve chosen for the piece. I hope I made the right choice!