May 14, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.
Tony DiTerlizzi is no stranger to stumbling into fantastical worlds — as a writer and artist he co-created “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and created the “WondLa” trilogy of children’s books (the final book, “The Battle for WondLa” was released earlier this month). But when he got the call to write a children’s book retelling the original “Star Wars” trilogy, to be illustrated with Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept drawings, he found himself entering a real-life magical realm: Lucasfilm. “I visited the Lucasfilm archive at the Skywalker Ranch,” DiTerlizzi said during a recent event at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles benefiting his favorite charity, Starlight Children’s Foundation. “I thought it would be a room with a bunch of flat files of art. No, the Death Star was there. R2-D2 was there. There was the lost Ark of the Covenant. Indy’s hat. Willow. Ten-year-old Tony’s […]
April 17, 2014 | 5:52 p.m.
Disney is releasing a new series of children’s books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, starting with a collaboration between bestselling children’s author Tony DiTerlizzi and the late iconic concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. The “Star Wars Saga” series will hit stores beginning with DiTerlizzi and McQuarrie’s picture book “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight” in October, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced Thursday. Three subsequent books will follow, leading up to the highly anticipated December 2015 movie release of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The additional titles include retellings of “A New Hope” by R.J. Palacio (“Wonder”), “The Empire Strikes Back” by Adam Gidwitz (“A Tale Dark and Grimm”) and “Return of the Jedi” by Tom Angleberger (“Origami Yoda” series). The books will be illustrated by “Star Wars” concept artist Iain McCaig and published under the Disney-Lucasfilm Press imprint. DiTerlizzi, best known […]
May 08, 2012 | 3:01 p.m.
Author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi’s latest, “A Hero for WondLa,” hits shelves today with plenty of fanfare — a glowing review from Wired, a CNN appearance and a signing appearance tonight in Santa Monica that kicks off his spring book tour. “The Spiderwick Chronicles” co-creator splits his time between Massachusetts and Florida but he was born here in Los Angeles so the event tonight is a homecoming of sorts as he delivers the second installment of his planned “WondLa” trilogy. The story follows the ongoing journey of Eva Nine, a girl raised by machines in an underground sanctuary; when that refuge is attacked, Eva begins a quest in a strange, dangerous world to find a place where she belongs. We caught up with DiTerlizzi to talk about the particular challenges that come with the middle installment of a trilogy. HC: […]
March 07, 2012 | 7:20 a.m.
“Star Wars” is a persistent (and even relentless) presence in pop culture today, but in 1974 the Empire existed only in the imagination and writing of George Lucas. To get the expensive intergalactic project off the ground, though, the filmmaker knew he would need more proof of his vision — that’s when he hired artist Ralph McQuarrie to paint vivid dispatches from this far-away galaxy and its alien landscapes, strange warriors and memorable machines. The collaboration bottled-up a rare sort of lightning and the echo of its thunder grew louder with the news that McQuarrie, 82, died Saturday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. The passing put his legacy — both as a Jedi myth-pioneer and a titan of concept art –very much on the mind of illustrators, filmmakers and fans. “You know what it’s like? It’s like George Martin and the Beatles,” said fantasy artist Tony DiTerlizzi, referring to the Fab Four and the studio producer who helped make the group the […]
Nov. 21, 2011 | 4:17 p.m.
Paramount Pictures is developing a big-screen adaptation of Tony DiTerlizzi’s 2010 bestseller “The Search for WondLa” but fans of the fantasy adventure have already turned their sights to the second bookshelf installment, “A Hero for WondLa,” which arrives in May. Writer and artist DiTerlizzi (who also tapped into a magical success as co-creator of “The Spiderwick Chronicles“) has agreed to open up his sketchbook for Hero Complex readers and in the photo gallery above you’ll find not only the finished cover but also pieces that show earlier-stage concept work and sketches. The first “WondLa” book presented a young girl named Eva Nine who may or may not be the last human in a world inhabited by alien life. That book ended with Eva’s arrival at a colony called New Attica and some major discoveries in her quest for community and identity. “The second book picks up, literally, the next day,” […]
March 25, 2011 | 8:08 a.m.
GUEST ESSAY Tony DiTerlizzi goes on a quest for “The Hobbit” that could have been — the abandoned 1960s Maurice Sendak adaptation. As I eagerly await Peter Jackson’s return to Tolkien with his adaptation of “The Hobbit,” I can’t help but wonder what the film would have become had Guillermo del Toro remained in the director’s chair. Though the story of Bilbo Baggins takes place in a more halcyon Middle-earth than the later “The Lord of the Rings” books, there are pockets of darkness that foretell what is to come. I’ve observed a gravitational pull toward the dark in film adaptations of books primarily published for children, especially in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and in the latest installment of Harry Potter. Traditional fairy tales abound with dark themes and places for the hero to adventure, and rightly so — […]
Aug. 17, 2010 | 1:33 p.m.
GUEST CORRESPONDENT: TONY DITERLIZZI Star Wars Celebration V drew thousands of Jedi faithful from around the world to Orlando over the weekend, and among them was Tony DiTerlizzi, the bestselling author and artist best know as co-creator of “The Spiderwick Chronicles.” DiTerlizzi (whose new illustrated novel, “The Search for WondLa,“ hits stores in the fall) brought his notebook to Florida and sent back a guest essay, photos and drawings for Hero Complex readers. After cavorting through the crowds at last month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, one thing was apparent as I eyed the gaggles of costumed Darth Vaders, Stormtroopers and enslaved Princess Leias: “Star Wars” is still alive and well in our pop culture. Some of us came to the film when it was simply titled “Star Wars” in 1977; others arrived during the 1981 re-release when it was “Star Wars Episode IV: A […]
April 07, 2010 | 1:00 p.m.
This a good time to judge Tony DiTerlizzi‘s book by its cover: The award-winning illustrator and author says his new young-reader novel, “The Search for WondLa,” is the most representative of his own personal style in its art, story and tone. “I’ve always been a chameleon from book to book, like a director who does different films in the best possible way,” said the bestselling creator known for his work on “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (a collaboration with Holly Black) and the Caldecott-winning “The Spider and the Fly.” “WondLa” is the first in a planned series of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and hits stores on Sept. 21. In addition, Paramount Pictures, which brought “Spiderwick” to the screen in 2008, has already scooped up the rights to the story of a young girl on a quest in a strange land. […]