The long and winding—and funny and diverting—road to creative endeavor.
Ike wants to write an incredible story, but first he needs…what does he need? “Maybe he needed to find his favorite pen. And have a long chat with his best friend. And a bit of cleaning was also in order.” Also, clearly, he needs to make his own ink! Shadows are “shifty and mysterious” like ink, so Ike nabs a shadow and safeguards it in a bag. The dark side of the moon is black like ink, so Ike matter-of-factly builds a spaceship to go fetch some. “It’s hard to say what Ike found on the dark side of the moon, because he didn’t bring a flashlight. But whatever he found went in that big bag.” Ingredients procured, he bludgeons, steams and mashes them together using flasks and beakers, a mallet and his own feet. Ike’s a quirky character with spindly limbs and a torso shaped—and sometimes spattering—like an ink blot. In digital collage and, natch, ink, Farley balances textured backgrounds and black splashes (the blender scene is spectacular) with a minimalism that emphasizes Ike’s singular project. Whether he needed the ink for itself or needed its creation as story fodder, Ike’s finally ready to sit down and write.
A realistically comical look at artistic process disguised as merry procrastination. (Picture book. 4-8)