Martin Brown (artist)
Martin Brown (born 1 November 1959) is an Australian cartoonist/illustrator. According to Scholastic and The Telegraph, he is best known for being the main illustrator of the Horrible Histories books.
Brown was born and raised in Melbourne. He started to draw when he was very young, and sought inspiration from on-screen animated characters like Bugs Bunny. After school, Brown studied to be a primary school teacher, but left the course and instead entered the workforce, working in a television studio for a couple of years. He then became a backpacker and travelled around the world. He wound up in Britain, and decided to stay and work there.
Brown wanted to earn a living via his drawing passion, and eventually built up a catalogue of work including cartoons, magazines, books and greeting cards. He got a job working on the Coping With book Coping With Parents, by Peter Corey. He worked on that series and continued on to another Scholatic project, Horrible Histories.
Regardless of what type of illustration is required, Brown's first step is to read the accompanying text. With Horrible Histories colleague Terry Deary, his task as a cartoonist is to inject humour into the books, so he then bounced ideas back and forth, "either coming up with gags to suit the text or interpreting Terry's instructions for best comic or dramatic effect". The third stage is working out how "angles, scale, aspect, style, pace etc" will be considered in the design space. After that he draws the roughs and finally the finished drawing. The roughs are first sent to the publishers who make their comments, and then they are sent to Deary. Tweaks are done in the rough stage. In the case of full colours books, the last stage is adding colour; either he does it via ink and water-colour, or "the line-work is scanned and sent to a colourist who adds the colour on computer".
- "Author Zone: Martin Brown". Scholastic Children's Books. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Martin Brown: there's an art to having fun". Telegraph.co.uk. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Martin Brown". Davidhigham.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Children's Literature Interest Group: Interview with Martin Brown". Le.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Martin Brown at Library of Congress Authorities, with 18 catalogue records