May 052011

The work of Shaun Tan, the Australian children’s book illustrator, recalls Terry Gilliam or Tim Burton, but with a mature sad-humored control. It’s a tone that pervades The Lost Thing, an animated adaptation of Tan’s 1999 book of the same name, which won an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. It’s the tale of a young man in a post-industrial landscape who discovers a neglected many-tentacled playful cyborg on a beach. This month, that and two of his other older children’s books, The Red Tree (2001), a meditation on loneliness, and the John Marsden-authored The Rabbits (1998), an allegory for the plight of the Aborigine, are enjoying a wide release in America in a one-book compendium Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan. These are the kinds of children’s books over which you obsess over the details of the pages’ margins.
Tan, who lives in Melbourne, answered some questions by email. =>

Mar 302011

World’s richest children’s literature award goes to Australian author-illustrator, described as a ‘masterly visual storyteller’

The Australian author-illustrator Shaun Tan is the winner of this year’s Astrid Lindgren prize – the richest children’s literature prize in the world, with a purse of 5m kroner (£490,000).

Tan is the second Australian to be awarded the prize in its nine-year history, following Sonya Hartnett’s win in 2008. =>

Dec 022010

Shaun Tan – yes he’s incredible. The Lost Thing is his book. He co-directed this short film based on the book. To hear him talk about it, he thought it was a fun thing to do. And now …

Passion Pictures’ animated short The Lost Thing has been shortlisted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to advance in the voting process for the 83rd Academy Awards.
The short, directed by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, is one of 10 to be pre-selected from a total of 33 films that originally qualified for the animated short film category.

You can watch the film and read more about the book in an earlier post I did on it here =>

Jul 132010

Shaun Tan’s illustrated books – The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, The Arrival and, most recently, Tales from Outer Suburbia – are loved and recognised by readers all over the world. Shaun has also worked as a concept artist for films such as Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E, and has just finished directing a short film version of The Lost Thing with Andrew Ruhemann. Spike sat down with him over the digital divide to find out about the problem of gravity, Lorenzo Mattotti and the beauty of emotional understatement in illustration

Read more …