Back in 1991 I sold a story called “Groundswell” to Aurealis magazine — my first in that now-venerable Australian SF journal. The story was illustrated by a then little-known WA artist by the name of Shaun Tan. It was a fantastic illustration that did all that an illustration should do, enhancing the experience of reading the story without giving anything away and displaying a keen awareness of what it was about. Shaun illustrated several of my stories over the years, always superbly, and has also been responsible for some of my best book covers.
Since then, of course, he has become justly famous for his beautiful children’s illustrated books, such as “The Rabbits”, “The Lost Thing” and “The Red Tree” — books which, in their graphically intelligent and detailed beauty, are as much for adults as they are for children. His latest, “The Arrival” — an entirely wordless and entirely magnificent graphic novel about the experience of being an immigrant in a strange land — has already won him a 2007 World Fantasy Award for Best Artist.
Now it has been announced that the book has won Album of the Year at Angouleme, one of the world’s biggest comic book festivals.
Check out Shaun’s work on his website — and go buy a copy of the book. Now!
Here is a recent interview with Shaun.