Monday, March 17, 2014

Theo Ellsworth’s whimsical “Norman Eight’s Left Arm”

’Norman Eight’s Left Arm’ is a story that came to me while riding my bike. Sometimes scenes will just play out inside of my head like that.” Says Theo Ellsworth about the creation of his story.
 “When it’s really clear, I feel like I’m spying on people in another world. Sometimes the characters notice me spying and the story comes to a grinding halt. Stay invisible, take good notes: that is my mission."

"Once I have a story, then comes the even harder work of rendering it in visible form. It’s not satisfying enough to simply ride my bike around daydreaming. The work is my proof. I have been blessed (or cursed) with the insatiable need to document these kinds of things, and comics seem to be the purest form I’ve found to get the job done.” Theo Ellsworth writes of his experience creating Norman Eight’s Left Arm.

 Theo Ellsworth creates this whimsical world fully populated by crazy characters of all types from robot men to fantastic mythical beasts and beings. One gets a sense that if Lewis Carroll were alive today writing comics they would look something like this. His work is fantastic and quaint at the same time. Like Lewis Carroll’s work, it is innocent and yet very mature and thought provoking. 

Norman Eight’s Left Arm” was originally printed in a comic called Sleeper Car, which was released by Secret Acres in 2009 and is now selling for $1000 on Amazon. It was chosen to be included in The Best American Comics Anthology of 2010 by Neil Gaiman.
Before this Theo did a 336 page graphic novel called Capacity, which is made up primarily of material from his Capacity mini comics that he put out between 2005 and 2007.  It will go into it's third printing in 2015.
At the moment Theo is working on the second book of his the Understanding Monster trilogy.  Book one came out in 2012 and won the 2013 Lynd Ward Honor Book honors prize. Book two is due out in the fall of 2014, and book three is still being drawn.

At the moment of writing this Theo says, “I'm preparing for a show at the Toonseum, which is the Cartoon Art Museum in Pittsburgh. They're flying me out as a special guest for PIX (the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Festival) I'm super excited!”

You can see more of Theo’s work on his blog, Thought Cloud Factory News
Or check out his Facebook page, Theo Ellsworth-Thought Cloud Factory

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