1. Written and drawn between the 22nd and the 25th of July, 2020
2. Using some new pens my sister had bought me for my birthday
3. And an old square notebook that I had had for some time
4. So long in fact the pages had begun to yellow
5. And the cover been enthused with a glow of dust shall never leave it soul.
6. A list of inspirations, homages, plagiarisms, thefts, explanations, apologies etc follows.
7. It is probably not exhaustive.
8. The Mobius Snake shows why I did not colour the rest of the book in, for though my black pens were conatined by the page, the colours were not
9. Thus ruining poor old Violent Penguin’s return to the page.
10. (I didn’t start colouring them in until I’d got to the eyeball one, but soon realised the error of my ways. Please forgive me. It is done now. It cannot be undone.)
11. I also messed up Violent Penguin by using a too thick marker pen to write the descriptive text. I did not do that again.
12. If you would like to know more about Violent Penguin, please follow this link, so as to peruse his complete adventures.
13. One of my nephews draws people like Simon, their shoulders becoming their mouths. I like his style.
14. My nephew is not called Simon.
15. I know no Simons at all.
16. People. I remember people. But only in the most abstract sense.
17. I wrote the thorns after reading The Snow Child by Angela Carter (which is in The Bloody Chamber)
18. And also after getting caught on a thorn.
19. An exciting occurrence, I’m sure you’ll agree.
20. The Ohm is just an Ohmu from Nausicaa
21. I quite like drawing them.
22. Flaffs are also basically stolen straight from Ghibli (the soot things from My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away)
23. Though I was thinking more of a Jib-Jib
24. Largely because I’m always thinking of Jib-Jibs
25. The Fury: whenever I see a dog, it barks at me. I imagine them all eating me away to nothing.
26. Spiders. I like spiders. If you would like to learn more about spiders, please read Spiders Are Wonderful, an educational book for all ages.
27. In fact, the poem one is basically a re-use of the proposed illustrations in an unmade sequel to Spiders Are Wonderful
28. Called Books Are Wonderful.
29. Because books are wonderful.
30. Especially self referentially infinite books all about themselves.
31. The bees one is a reference to one of my favourite things in the whole world, and definitely the most beautiful, which is this entry about bees from a medieval bestiary. “Bees are the smallest of birds.”
32. (Another unmade Toby Vok educational tome insisted that Bees Are Horrible, but in this Toby was wrong).
33. Also this is called A Book Of Beasts because the medieval bestiary book I have is called The Book Of Beasts.
33. The hat one is a Miller’s Crossing reference I suppose
34. Although was not necessarily so at the time
35. (It was windy)
36. Dragonaire might be another Ghibli one.
37. Or maybe it’s the Rainicorn from Adventure Time
38. Or maybe it really was just a cloud.
39. I spend a lot of my time these days staring up at clouds.
40. There’s very little else to do.
41. Loom is basically the Groke
42. Who is the figure in all of literature I most wish to be.
43. Edith is about Edith Swan Neck
44. Who seems finally to no longer be reduced simply to her neck
45. By the curses of history.
46. Bright Horses are from the song Bright Horses, by Nick Cave
47. Which might be the beautiful song I’ve ever heard.
48. And makes me often wish to cry.
49. Which is a nice way to end this book
50. Of beasts