Thursday 9 February 2012
Yes, I know there are no tigers in Africa. I'm going to Ghana for one month (on a greatly appreciated Chalmers Arts Fellowship Award) to do research for this picture book/graphic novel (I'm not sure of the length) featuring a tiger who escapes from a city zoo in North America and who threatens to eat a young boy. The above image is one of 23 images created so far. Like Scheherazade of 1001 Arabian Nights, the boy must tell stories to save himself, in this case from a bellicose and pompous tiger who demands a good story. The tiger has already eaten 3 children on his rampage. One of the stories the boy tells involves a slave ship from Africa destined for North America. The clever boy also uses African trickster stories to his benefit, telling versions he’s learned from the many books in his home. Each story the boy tells features a tiger. For this particluar story, his second, the boy tells of a captain of a slave ship who has brought a tiger from India and has the tiger in a cage on his ship. I have a general idea of how the story might unfold, but I'm keeping options open for better ideas.