Slade, Christian 1974–
Slade, Christian 1974–
Born 1974, in NJ; married Ann Borowski; children: Kate, Nate. Education: Syracuse University, M.A., 2005.
Author and illustrator. Animation illustrator for Disney; freelance illustrator.
SELF-ILLUSTRATED; FOR CHILDREN
(With wife, Ann Borowski-Slade) Korgi, Slade Studio (Winter Garden, FL), 2005, revised as Korgi Book 1: Sprouting Wings, Top Shelf Comics, 2007.
(With Ann Borowski-Slade) Penny's Day Out, Slade Studio (Winter Garden, FL), 2006.
Korgi Book 2: The Cosmic Collector, Top Shelf Comics, 2008.
Joni Sensel, Reality Leak, Holt (New York, NY), 2007.
Sally Rogan, The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.
Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, The Decoy, Mitten Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2007.
Kate Wharton, What Does Mrs. Claus Do?, Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2008.
Illustrator and animator Christian Slade has a somewhat unusual source of inspiration for his first major book: his wife's two dogs. As he explained to Comicon.com interviewer Chris Beckett, "it actually started when I first got my two Welsh Corgis, Penny and Leo…. I feel that the Welsh Corgi is one of the coolest animals in the world. Their design is adorable and their attitude is often hilarious. They are also loyal and caring, like many intelligent dogs. These critters helped me cast my main characters for Korgi. The [book] … developed because I have always enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy. I imagined Korgi for years, but after I chose it as my final
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thesis project for my Master's Degree, that kicked things forward into development."
A silent—wordless—graphic novel, Korgi draws readers into the Korgi Hollow world. In it, human-like fairies named Mollies live alongside the magical Korgis, which look remarkably like Corgi dogs. The story follows the antics of Ivy and her Korgi, Sprout. Speaking with interviewer Zack Smith for Newsarama.com, Slade admitted that Sprout's mischievous antics were definitely influenced by his own dog: "There was a tree at our dog park with a forked trunk. For some reason, someone kept putting dog biscuits in the tree. Leo was always smart enough to smell out the cookies and try to jump into the center of the open trunk of the tree containing the hidden treats. It is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. I sketched out his mannerisms trying to leap up with his short legs in my sketchbook."
Critics greeted Korgi with enthusiasm. Noting the difficulty of engaging a viewer in a wordless story, a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that "Slade's illustrations are so expressive and full of life that the pages radiate the feelings of his characters." Douglas P. Davey, writing in School Library Journal also found that the illustrations convey the sense of the story, indicating that Korgi is "funny, thrilling, and scary in all the right places."
In addition to Korgi, Slade has also created artwork for texts by others. His work on Sally Rogan's The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, about a crafty fox whose antics in a seaside town bring up memories of swashbuckling tales, was praised by several critics. In Kirkus Reviews a critic wrote of the book that Slade's "appealing, detailed drawings add a touch of warmth, adventure and fun."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 15, 2007, Todd Morning, review of The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, p. 43.
Design Week, April 18, 2008, "Illustrated Woodland Fantasy."
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2007, review of Reality Leak; September 1, 2007, review of The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush.
Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2007, review of Korgi, p. 38; September 24, 2007, review of The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, p. 71.
School Library Journal, May, 2007, Steven Engelfried, review of Reality Leak, p. 144; November, 2007, Nicki Clausen-Grace, review of The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, p. 136; March, 2008, Douglas P. Davey, review of Korgi, p. 227.
Christian Slade Home Page,http://www.sladestudio.com (September 1, 2008).
Christian Slade Web log,http://www.korgihollow.blogspot.com (September 1, 2008).
Comicon Web site,http://www.comicon.com (September 22, 2008), Chris Beckett, review of Korgi and interview with Slade.
I-Spot Web site,http://www.theispot.com/ (September 1, 2008), "Christian Slade."
Mitten Press Web site,http://www.mittenpress.com/ (September 1, 2008), "Christian Slade."
Newsarama Web site, http://www.forum.newsarama.com/ (September 1, 2008), Zack Smith, "Talking to Christian Slade about Korgi."
Ten Speed Press Web site,http://www.tenspeed.com/ (September 1, 2008), "Christian Slade."
Top Shelf Comix Web site,http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ (September 1, 2008), "Christian Slade."