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A.Richard Allen
CUPPA COCOA! APES-A-GO-GO!
posted:
My first published picture-book, Apes-a-Go-Go! came out through Harper Collins in the UK last year and hits the shelves (via Knopf Random House) in the US this year. It's a collaborative effort- concept-wise, that is, I claim no credit for the writing other than the odd tweak and the title- with my dear, talented friend: writer, fashion designer, wit, Best Man at my wedding, host to weighty slavic diacritical marks (just look at the accents on that surname! it's like a row of dress medals!), Mr Roman Milišić
Whilst the book's gestation and arrival weren't incident-free (I've still got the stretch marks and stitches to prove it), we now have a charming book of which we're enormously proud. All at Harper Collins and our literary agents (Andrew Mills at Michelle Kass/ JAB) have been patient, professional, insightful, unflaggingly enthusiastic and thoroughly supportive. I'm grateful to them for the opportunity they've given us.
From the rhyming, concept and character-driven dummy that we pitched to the publishers, the book developed into a more substantial, narrative-led fable. There was a false start along the way; a less-than-satisfactory early version of the story ('The Kong Show') was expertly euthanized- tied in a weighted bag and thrown into a canal. We pressed on, using that as a stepping stone- the bag being insufficiently weighted- towards the mighty Apes-a-Go-Go!
We have a two book contract with Harper Collins and are looking forward to producing a new story or possibly a sequel; we're still rather taken by the characters and are sure the wider public will grow to share our ape love.
So let's hear that refrain ringing out. Altogether now: 'CUPPA COCOA! APES-A-GO-GO!'
(Unless you're in the US, in which case it's the less fey, 'Bogo! Pogo! Apes-a-Go-Go!')
Sample spread from the finished book Apes-a-Go-Go (C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic (Harper Collins)

Sample spread from the finished book Apes-a-Go-Go (C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic (Harper Collins)

Sample spread from the finished book Apes-a-Go-Go (C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic (Harper Collins)

The UK edition cover. Apes-a-Go-Go (C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic (Harper Collins)

Cover rough.
tighter cover rough
Second set of thumbnails for the first half of the book. ((C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic)

First set of thumbnails for the first half of the book. ((C) 2014 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic)

dummy cover and pages from our original pitch ((C) 2012 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic)

The cover from the 2013 aborted version of the book ((C) 2013 A.Richard Allen & Roman Milisic)
character scamps
a character model sheet of sorts

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