Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Cover Girl

We've done the text, we've done the illustrations. We've done the 'About the Author and Illustrator' pages, we've done the back of book blurb. We've done even done a dedication.

'How about putting a Much Malarkey Manor logo on the back cover?' I say to Andy. 'You know, like Penguin Books has a tiny penguin and Faber and Faber have funny fuffs.'

'Yes,' says Andy. 'It could be our trade mark.'

So we have a think about what we could use as our trademark logo. It didn't take a lot of thinking about, of course, because the obvious choice was chickens.

'All of them, or one of them?' says Andy.
'Well,' I say, 'I have always been rather fond of the cartoon you do of Mrs Miggins. The one with her wearing her Dame Edna spectacles. And Mrs Miggins was our very first chicken and she is the best chicken, isn't she?'

'Yes I am,' says Mrs Miggins, who is listening in like she does. She's popped into the kitchen to warm up her chest embrocation on the hob. Although her feathers are re-growing after this year's moult, they are taking a little longer to reach their full fluffage and she's doing her best to keep warm now the Winter drawers are on.
'Would you like to be our cover girl?' I say.
'Would it be tasteful?' say Mrs Miggins.
'Of course,' I say. 'Tasteful and dignified.'
'No tassles or cleavage?' she says.
'No tassles or cleavage,' I say. 'Your portrait is an exemplar of the height of decorum. It's the one Andy drew of you wearing your Dame Edna spectacles and looking superior.'
'That's because I am superior,' says Mrs Miggins. 'Would I get paid to be the cover girl?'
'No,' I say. 'Because the copyright of Andy's drawing belongs to him. I could ask him to get a bag of sunflower seeds next time he goes to Pets R Us At Home City if you like.'

Mrs Miggins gives this some thought. 'Okay,' she says. 'And some corn as well. We haven't had corn for a while.'
'I'm a bit loathe to let you have corn,' I say. 'On account of it turning Mrs Slocombe into a nut case.'
'It does make her a bit wild, doesn't it?' says Mrs Miggins.
'Like feeding meat to Oliver Twist,' I say.

'Okay, perhaps not corn,' says Miggins. 'Extra apples then. And grapes.'
'Done,' I say for I am just thankful she hasn't mentioned getting her agent involved in the negotiations.

So, we are ready to roll with the publication of Nearly King Jimbo. We have been so motivated by the project that we are even thinking about next year.
'We could do a Christmas Annual,' says Andy.
'Like a Much Malarkey Manor Almanac?' I say.
'Indeed,' says Andy. 'In fact, we could put together Much Malarkey Manor Hampers for everyone. We could include a bottle of dodgy home-made wine or sloe gin, a jar of marmalade, a jar of chilli jam...'
'A calendar, 'I say, catching onto the whole merchandise thing. 'I could knit novelty chickens and bees and make cakes and biscuits.'
'Oh, the possibilities are endless,' says Andy.
'Indeed they are,' I say.

We are soooo excited about the whole enterprise it's ridiculous!

Let the consumer beware!

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