Fardell, John 1967-
Fardell, John 1967-
Born July 10, 1967; married; wife's name Jenny; children: Josh, Connor.
Home and office—Edinburgh, Scotland.
Cartoonist, illustrator, puppeteer, and author. Creator of comic strips, including "Ferdinand the Foodie," "The Modern Parents" and "The Critics," for Viz magazine; creator of comic strip "Hanover Square" for Property Week.
(And illustrator) The Seven Professors of the Far North, Putnam (New York, NY), 2005.
(And illustrator) The Flight of the Silver Turtle, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of comic strips and cartoons to periodicals, including the Independent, Evening Standard, New Statesman, Glasgow Herald, and the List.
John Fardell, a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist, is the author of the highly regarded fantasy novels The Seven Professors of the Far North and The Flight of the Silver Turtle. The British-born Fardell, who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, is the creator of such popular comic strips as "The Modern Parents," "The Critics," and "Hanover Square," and his work appears regularly in the adult comic magazine Viz. "I've been a cartoonist for considerably longer than I've been a writer, though my cartoon and comic strip work has always involved a lot of writing and idea-generating," Fardell told Books from Scotland Web site interviewer Anna Gibbons. "Also, for many years before starting to write children's novels, I'd tried writing and illustrating picture book ideas."
Fardell began work on his first novel after a chance meeting with Suzy Jenvey, a children's book editor who enjoyed his work for Viz. As Fardell related to Tom Maxwell in an interview for Scotsman.com: "She asked me if I had any ideas for a children's book and I said: ‘Yes, lots.’ Whether it's true or not, that's what you say when you're self-employed and someone offers you an opportunity."
Published in 2005, his novel The Seven Professors of the Far North concerns three youngsters who join forces to combat an evil mastermind. While the parents of eleven-year-old Sam Carnabie attend a conference, Sam stays with madcap inventor Professor Ampersand and the professor's great-nephew Ben and great-niece Zara. During his visit, Sam learns that Ampersand and six colleagues had once attempted to create the world's greatest university at Nordberg, a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. Their hopes were dashed, however, when the scientists uncovered a series of horrible experiments conducted by the villainous Professor Murdo. Thirty-five years later Murdo has resurfaced, and his henchmen now kidnap Ampersand and the other six professors. Sam, Ben, and Zara must now journey to the frozen north to rescue their friends and halt Murdo's latest scheme, which threatens the entire human race.
Fardell's debut novel earned strong reviews. A critic in Publishers Weekly described The Seven Professors of the Far North as a "lightning-paced, skillfully stream-lined caper," and Booklist contributor Todd Morning remarked that the tale "offers plenty of humor and suspense for adventure fans." According to B. Allison Gray, writing in School Library Journal, Fardell's "inventive, funny, suspenseful, and exciting book will appeal to most readers, especially fans of [Roald] Dahl and [J.K.] Rowling."
Sam, Ben, Zara, and Professor Ampersand return in The Flight of the Silver Turtle, a sequel to The Seven Professors of the Far North. When the professor and his young charges agree to help a friend construct an experimental aircraft named the Silver Turtle, their movements are tracked by Noctarma, a secret paramilitary organization. The children are placed in peril when the leader of Noctarma believes that they have discovered the secret of antigravity. "The writing is consistently upbeat and energetic," noted School Library Journal contributor Elizabeth Bird of Fardell's second novel, and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that in The Flight of the Silver Turtle "the action is swift, and the James Bondian gadgets abound."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, January 1, 2006, Todd Morning, review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 99.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 847; September 15, 2006, review of The Flight of the Silver Turtle, p. 952.
Property Week, August 4, 2006, Ian Wall, "Seventh Heaven," review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 37.
Publishers Weekly, October 17, 2005, review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 69.
School Library Journal, December, 2005, B. Allison Gray, review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 146; October, 2006, Elizabeth Bird, review of The Flight of the Silver Turtle, p. 154.
Teacher Librarian, October, 2006, Betty Winslow, "Dreams and Journeys," review of The Seven Professors of the Far North, p. 46.
Books from Scotland,http://www.booksfromscotland.com/ (March 30, 2007), Anna Gibbons, interview with Fardell.
Guardian Unlimited,http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (July 23, 2006), Phil Hogan, "Snot, Snogs and a Tumour with Humour," review of The Flight of the Silver Turtle.
KidsReads.com,http://www.kidsreads.com/ (January 5, 2009), Paula Jolin, review of The 7 Professors of the Far North.
Scotsman.com,http://www.scotsman.com/ (March 8, 2006), Tom Maxwell, "Drawing up a World of Fun and Adventure."