'The QB Papers': new books of drawings by Quentin Blake

Friday 2nd August 2019

This August, Quentin embarks on an exciting publishing project: a series of 20 large-format books of drawings, entitled The QB Papers.  
The idea for The QB Papers came from regular exhibitions at what is now Hastings Contemporary.  As Quentin explains, "These exhibitions each have a theme; one, of fantasy headgear, became a book called ‘The World of Hats’. In due course I found myself producing thematic sequences of drawings too fast for them all to be exhibited, and so I decided to have them made into a set of publications, ‘The QB Papers’. The styles, although no doubt still identifiably mine, I have tried to vary.”  Most works featured in the series - 18 out of 20 volumes - were drawn in the six months between September 2018 and February 2019, and all of them within the last two years.
The first five of the 24cm x 30.5cm books are available now, with five more titles each in November 2019, February 2020 and May 2020.   They are on sale via Quentin's online shop and will also be available shortly from the House of Illustration in London and other outlets, distributed by Thames & Hudson.  The hand-sewn paperbacks (each title with a different coloured thread on the spine) cost £16.95 each.
Published in August 2019 (examples pictured above)
Deliveries from Elsewhere
“Elsewhere must be some kind of fantasy world, which gives me the opportunity to draw bearded men on the kind of eccentric many-wheeled vehicles that I enjoy inventing to draw.  The items being delivered are everyday ones that you might send for from IKEA or Amazon – although slightly changed. ‘The Deliveries from Elsewhere’ drawings are relatively elaborate; I hope there may be a hint of Elsewhere Gothic.”
Feet in the Water
“My interest in this came originally from doing it myself, whether in Hastings or on the Atlantic Coast of France.  But I also like drawing those surroundings and the reflections in the water. The drawings for ‘Feet in the Water’ are quite naturalistic - I think we all want to have the pleasure of seeing the reflections in the water, and share in the experience.”
The Alternative Sports Olympics
“I’ve never been any good at sport.  I just liked the idea of adapting Olympic events to everyday life – so if you’re throwing something, it’s the luggage.”
The Mouse on a Tricycle
“Heaven knows how I thought of a mouse on a tricycle!? It’s just there in one of my notebooks somewhere.  Of course, the point is not it, but the range of reactions of the onlookers.”
The New Dress
“I had an idea about doing some drawing of costume, called ‘Simple Attire’, and then somehow it divided itself into two.  One is this – improvised costumes of material of no importance or perhaps even cardboard.  A good opportunity for inventing variations on a theme.”  Original drawings from this series are on show at Hastings Contemporary until October 2019.