Glenwood artist illustrates humorist’s ‘Peter Pan’ prequel | PostIndependent.com
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Glenwood artist illustrates humorist’s ‘Peter Pan’ prequel

Ryan Graff

When Greg Call started illustrating “Peter and the Starcatchers,” Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s prequel to “Peter Pan,” he might not have known quite what he was in for. Originally Call, a 1979 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School and the book’s art director, submitted a sketch of a flying pirate ship to the authors. It was good, Call said, but not exactly what Pearson, the famous mystery author, and Barry, the famous humorist, were looking for.Not that knowing what the authors were looking for would help. Pearson envisioned Peter Pan creeping through the shadows of a London alley. The night would be foggy and dark – save for a few old lampposts. He wanted something, you know, mysterious. Barry wrote simply in an e-mail: “more swashbuckle.” He wanted something, you know, funny. In the end, though, Call came up with the cover illustration on his own, adding equal parts mystery and swashbuckle. The cover shows Black Stache and his first mate, Smee, holding Molly captive behind the helm of the Sea Devil. Peter isn’t far, of course, and his silhouette cuts across the moon trailing sprinkles of “starstuff.” “They usually try to keep illustrators and authors in different cages,” Call said of the unusually direct feedback he received from the authors. Famous authors, however, have a bit more input.”They have a lot of fun,” Call said of Barry and Pearson. “It’s been a great project.” After working in “fits and starts” on the illustrations for a year, Call said he likely has more to do, since a second and third book are planned – after all: “Who can pass up pirates?”Though Call hasn’t lived in Glenwood Springs for almost 25 years, he is a graduate of GSHS, and thousands of folks around the country have seen his art. So has anyone who’s set foot in GSHS’s gym. In an interview from his Kalispell, Mont., home, Call didn’t come right out and brag about how much art he’d done. He mentioned a few books and some CD covers, but not much more. So to get to the good stuff, the Post Independent visited his mom and dad, Ken and Carol Call, who still live near Glenwood. On the walls of their home they’ve got the orange rabbit Greg submitted to the Glenwood Springs Art Guild when he was in sixth grade. It won an honorable mention. They’ve also got projects from his time at the Colorado Institute of Art, The Art Center and College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and from his professional career – from designs for Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif. to the CD art for Tim McGraw. Hundreds of thousands of people, no doubt, have seen Call’s work. Greg’s most recognizable piece for Glenwood Springs, however, may have hung most of its life in the GSHS gym, and now hangs in the Calls’ garage. The Demon that hung in the high school gym from 1979 to 2001 was all Call’s work. “It was not much of a Demon, but it was there a long time,” Greg said. The school decided to take the Demon down in 2001, Carol said, and offered it to her. The Demon had hung long enough, she said, and might have begun to offend some folks around town. At any rate, going from painting school mascots to illustrating books on the New York Times bestseller list is pretty impressive.”Peter and the Starcatchers” is available at Through the Looking Glass.


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