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Voice of the Fire bonus art

2011 October 25

The reader may recall that, last November, I posted photos of a new dust jacket I had designed for my copy of Alan Moore’s novel Voice of the Fire.

I’ve slowly been picking away, since, at a small (if laborious and time-consuming) epilogue to that project, which is finally complete: a re-creation of the Northampton map included in the original edition of the book.

Map of Northampton from Voice of the Fire

Large file at full-resolution

As noted in the earlier post on this book, I first encountered it in a paperback edition; when it was re-released by Top Shelf they produced an entirely new version which replaced all of the original woodcut-style drawings with photo-illustrations by José Villarubia.

Which are nice, certainly, but at some point while poking around on-line I came across some low-res images of the original illustrations and decided that it was really a shame for them to disappear entirely. Particularly the map, which places each chapter relative to the city of Northampton. It doesn’t really fit in with the style of the Top Shelf edition, so I can see why they dropped it, but. All the same it seemed like something I would like to bring back as a component of my own copy; I’m not that much of a purist.

Unfortunately, getting a good copy of the map was going to be somewhat tricky. I probably could have just tracked down a copy online fairly cheap, really, but I didn’t go that route. I had this which I found online:

low-res map from Voice of the Fire

Low-res graphic from which I worked

I also had somewhat larger scans of each of the little inset pictures, so I thought well, I can just re-draw the rest; after all it’s mostly simple geometric shapes.

Several months later… In retrospect, it would have made more sense to just find a copy of the book with this map, or perhaps to re-draw it using pen and ink for that matter. Re-building everything as vector art proved to be slow, and tedious; in part it took a long time to complete because I mostly nibbled away a bit at a time, then stopped once I was bored and came back later.

I did get there in the end, though, and I feel some satisfaction with the accomplishment. Now I can print out a copy and have a nice little insert for my customized edition of Voice of the Fire next time I pull it down from the shelf for a read.

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