Shortly after the publication of jurassic park in 1990, author Michael Crichton began receiving endless letters from readers asking if a sequel was in the cards. After the cultural and financial success of Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation three years later, Crichton had no choice but to deliver a sequel that became the 1995 sequel. The lost World.
Jo Breese – a UK-based artist who carries the professional title of Vector That Fox – faced a similar situation last year after illustrating a special hardcover edition of Crichton’s dinosaur masterpiece for The Folio Society. The fan reception at the release was so positive that Folio asked Breese if they were interested in making six more pieces for a collector’s edition of the sequel.
“I think it was literally a month later,” recalls the illustrator in a Zoom conversation with SYFY WIRE. “I got an email from them saying, ‘Would you be open to the idea? We’re just looking to get the rights for it. [and are wondering] if you feel like doing it. Obviously, I really wanted to do it and since the release of the first book, people kept saying: “Please do The lost World! Thanks The lost World! ‘”
The generous folks at The Folio Society were kind enough to provide SYFY WIRE with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a number of early Vector That Fox sketches made for the project. Head over below to see what the images looked like in the nascent stages of the creative process and what they ultimately became once fully detailed and colorful.
“We had to be a bit strategic because obviously you want the images to shift fairly evenly throughout the book,” Breese explains. “I had this in mind as I read the book over and over again. I would put little notes or little scribbles every time I came to a time that felt really right – and jotted down. the reasons why that too. “
While Breese couldn’t fit all of their suggestions into the final product, Folio allowed them to create an additional design that became a two-page title just inside the cover. Based on a moment that takes place around the middle of the book, the play shows wildlife expert Sarah Harding (played in the film version by Julianne Moore) avoiding a parade of dinosaurs by swinging from a tree branch without his shoes.
“It was a good compromise to take some of the activity out of the middle of the book, but still draw it. Make sure we could draw Sarah, who is quite different from the Sarah we see in the movie.” , continues Breese. Speaking of these fans and their attention to detail, Sarah, the character, takes off her boots as she steps over the boat and she has to swim to safety or gets sucked into it somewhat. island. So she is not actually wearing shoes in this picture, as she was following the point where she came out of the river and is ambushed by these dinosaurs. Passionate fans have already noticed that she is just in her socks. . I’m glad I have this right. “
The lost World centers around chaos-obsessed mathematician Ian Malcolm (Crichton recalled the character’s death at the end of the first novel), who reluctantly agrees to participate in a rescue mission on Isla Sorna. Also known as “Site B”, it was on this island that InGen actually bred – and briefly bred – the dinosaurs before moving them to the main theme park on Isla Nublar. When John Hammond’s ambitious experiment collapsed with disastrous results, Sorna was abandoned, allowing the left-behind dinosaurs to multiply without control.
“The story arc makes it seem like it mostly unfolds over a 24-hour period,” adds Breese. “It starts off really light and cheerful, then gets really dark and scary. I was mainly trying to capture that vibe with the lighting of the scenes and stuff like that more than anything … Crichton describes the characters and the dinosaurs and the landscapes. so perfectly. A lot of people commented on the little details I added… but it’s literally there in the text. I didn’t have to do too much work. It was presented so beautifully for me. “
“I had a lot of fun working with the colors,” Breese says of the image above, which shows a pair of velociraptors attacking a raised sanctuary known as the high hide. “It’s more about the process than the final image – trying to find a way to light things up just enough to always make them look really dark and scary.”
Breese was in the process of moving when Folio reconnected. Knowing that they could not pass up the opportunity, the artist unpacked only the essentials. “The first thing I did when I got to my new home was set up my office and all my drawing stuff. Everything else stayed in boxes for a few months … It was the first time. thing that was done in my house. [also] I also took out all of my toys for reference – drawing materials and dinosaur toys. “
When it came to accurately presenting archaeological finds, Breese turned to a real-world Alan Grant: palentologist Stephen Brusatte. “He was really good at making sure the arms were the right length. I drew arms a little too big at the start compared to the first ones. And so, he was really good at that kind of really technical comeback. “
“I would also say the T. Rex bike chase was a bit of a challenge because anyone who has designed motorcycles knows it’s quite a challenge,” said Breese. “But then drawing one that authentically looks like an early ’90s e-bike was a bit of a challenge, and then having it come straight to you with two people sitting on it. I think that was quite difficult. [and] Hope this sounds convincing. I think the T. rex was the easiest part at the end because I had drawn so many T. rex at this point. “
The lost World made his way to the big screen in 1997 as The Lost World: Jurassic Park (with Spielberg in the director’s chair), albeit with a script that deviates significantly from the source material.
“With the first and second books, I didn’t allow myself to look at them because I knew it would cloud my memory of what happened,” admits Breese. “So I avoided it completely and avoided the dinosaur podcasts I listen to. I avoided everything. [and] just focused on the books. But then obviously, as soon as I finished the job, I really wanted to see them again because it was so in my head. And then I was this really annoying person watching the movie, like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting because in the book…’ “
One of those changes from the novel was the consolidation of two young characters – Arby and Kelly – as Malcolm’s teenage daughter Kelly (played in the Vanessa Lee Chester film adaptation). “We thought it was important to involve children [there] also because they’re two separate people who come together in the movie version, “says Breese.” It was about navigating who we really wanted and where we could put them, basically. “
The artist concludes, “I think what’s good about both books is that because they’re quite different from the movies in some ways, it feels like bonus content. To me, anyway. just looks like extra stuff. “
Michael Crichton’s Folio Society Edition The lost World is on sale now for $ 59.95 in the US