D.M. Cornish was born in time to see the first Star Wars movie. He was five. It
made him realize that worlds beyond his own were possible, and he failed to eat
his popcorn. Experiences with C.S. Lewis, and later J.R.R. Tolkien, completely
convinced him that other worlds existed, and that writers had a key to these
worlds. But words were not his earliest tools for storytelling. Drawings
He spent most of his childhood drawing, as well as most of his teenage and adult years as well. And by age eleven he had made his first book, called "Attack from Mars." It featured Jupitans and lots and lots of drawings of space battles. (It has never been published and world rights are still available!)
He studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where he began to compile a series of notebooks, beginning with #1 in 1993. He had read Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels, The Iliad, and Paul Gallico's Love of Seven Dolls. Classical ideas as well as the great desire to continue what Mervyn Peake had begun but not finished led him to delineate his own world. Hermann Hesse, Kafka and other writers convinced him there were ways to be fantastical without conforming to the generally accepted notions of fantasy. Over the next ten years he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the Half-Continent.
Read more about Cornish in BookBrowse's exclusive interview.
This article was originally published in July 2006, and has been updated for the
September 2007 paperback release.
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