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Michael Sloan
Book One in The Chronicles of Professor Nimbus
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Professor Nimbus and the Amazing Spectacles, published in 2004, is the first book in The Chronicles of Professor Nimbus. The story is a morality tale about one man’s sin, conflict and ultimate redemption. Nimbus is an astronomer who labors in obscurity until the discovery of a lifetime propels him to fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams - with terrible consequences. Suddenly all his base desires and fantasies can be fulfilled. Nimbus’s life unravels when he learns that his discovery threatens the very existence of the Earth - or does it?


I began working on The Amazing Spectacles in the spring of 2003. As with my earlier Nimbus images, the book started as a series of promotional pieces that I intended to print as postcards for a direct mail campaign. This time, however, the images suggested a story which evolved as I filled in the gaps. The process was very intuitive; I never sat down and wrote a story line. One image led to another.


I was taking a bookbinding class at a local arts workshop as I began work on the first ten images. For my final project, I bound these images together in a sequence that resembled a story, having a beginning and an end. I sent this "prototype" to the American Illustration 23 annual competition. It was accepted into the competition, which gave me the motivation to finish the book.


As my wife and I raise our three young children, I have a much greater awareness of those things in the world around me which I appreciate, as well as those things which I find repugnant - things which I want to avoid and protect my children from as best I can. It is these repugnant things which somehow became the focus of this book: consumerism, celebrity worship, a society which places too high a value on instant gratification and making a buck at all costs, unfettered greed, mass marketing (especially to children), and the corrupting influence of fame.
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