Encyclopedia of Fantasy Beasts

I decided to create an encyclopedia about mythical creatures as this was a subject I knew a fair bit about and could have some fun with the illustrations. After looking through lists of some different creatures I decided I would do:

  • Basilisk
  • Cockatrice
  • Dragon
  • Kraken
  • Leviathan
  • Pegasus
  • Unicorn
  • Werewolf

I chose as in alphabetical order in they bear similarities on adjacent pages; IE, Basilisk and Cockatrice are cousins, Kraken and Leviathan are sea monsters, and Pegasus and Unicorns are horses.

Each image is paper cut from ink stained paper with details added in black and white pen. The illuminated letter at the beginning of each title is also cut from paper and embellished with pen.

I have decided to keep the text a mixture of “serious facts” and small comical notes; for example, i have included in depth facts about dragon biology but also notes referencing video game developers Nintendo and a song from 1978 by Warren Zevon.

I wanted the overall feel of the encyclopedia to be like a travelers journal so have aged the paper using coffee and handwritten all the text. I have also included smaller pencil sketches to highlight parts of the text.

I feel that overall the book is successful but some pages are more successful than others. When the pages were bound some of the text was too close to the edge of the page and has been cut off.

werewolf-bind
Text cut off by the binding process

Despite this, however, the book has the journal like qualities i was hoping for, especially with the faux leather cover I have bound it in. The jagged edges on the cover and worn nature of the faux leather has given the book the ancient, old feel I envisioned at the start of the project.

front-cover
Simple front cover

The book has been successful however if I were to make it again I would type the text to keep it uniform, make sure to leave a margin on the sides of the page to stop text being cut off after binding and add card to the cover to give it some form of stability.