Sir Quentin Blake to publish series of 20 hand-sewn books of drawings

The QB Papers will hit the shelves over the course of a year.
The QB Papers will hit the shelves over the course of a year. The QB Papers will hit the shelves over the course of a year.

Sir Quentin Blake is to release a series of 20 large format books of drawings exploring different subjects and techniques.

The illustrator, best known for his lengthy collaboration with the author Roald Dahl, has embarked on a new project which will be published over a year, entitled The QB Papers.

The first five books, entitled The Mouse On A Tricycle, The Alternative Sports Olympics, Feet In The Water, Deliveries From Elsewhere and The New Dress, will be published on August 8.

Deliveries From Elsewhere will be one of the first books published (Sir Quentin Blake/PA)

Sir Quentin said: “In recent years I have found myself working increasingly in sequences of drawings that explore subjects and techniques which interest me.

“These sequences are the origin of The QB Papers. They vary in approach and tone, and between reality and fantasy. But I hope that in each of them in its own way will appeal to anyone who likes looking at drawing.”

Explaining where the idea for The QB Papers came from, he said: “I exhibit regularly at what used to be called the Jerwood Gallery and is now Hastings Contemporary.

One of the drawings contained in Feet In The Water (Sir Quentin Blake/PA)

“These exhibitions each have a theme; one, of fantasy headgear, became a book called ‘The World Of Hats’.

“In due course I found myself producing thematic sequences of drawings too fast for them all to be exhibited, and so I decided to have them made into a set of publications, ‘The QB Papers’.

“The styles, although no doubt still identifiably mine, I have tried to vary.”

Deliveries From Elsewhere explores a fantasy world (Sir Quentin Blake/PA)

Discussing Deliveries From Elsewhere, he said: “Elsewhere must be some kind of fantasy world, which gives me the opportunity to draw bearded men on the kind of eccentric many-wheeled vehicles that I enjoy drawing to invent.

“The items being delivered are everyday ones that you might send for from Ikea or Amazon – although slightly changed.

“The Deliveries From Elsewhere drawings are relatively elaborate; I hope there may be a hint of Elsewhere Gothic.”

Of the Alternative Sports Olympics, he added: “I’ve never been any good at sport. I just liked the idea of adapting Olympic events to everyday life – so if you’re throwing something, it’s the luggage.”

The Alternative Sports Olympics involve everyday items (Sir Quentin Blake)

The works featured in the 20 hand-sewn paperbacks were all drawn in the six months beginning September 2018.

The next five will be published in November, the next in February 2020 and the last in May 2020.

The QB Papers will be distributed by Thames & Hudson and cost £16.95 each.