The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Order of Odd Fish Author Embraces Fan Art

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 8, 2009 8:00PM

Forget those Twilight vampires. The real joy of Young Adult novels can be found in local writer James Kennedy's delightfully surreal The Order of Odd Fish. And now Kennedy is asking for readers' help in further celebrating the uniqueness of this fantastic book.

The book itself has no illustrations beyond the front cover art; everything is left entirely up to the reader's imagination. (It's a credit to Kennedy's writing that the reader has a pretty easy time conjuring the world he's created). So of course it was only a matter of time before Kennedy began receiving art from his readers interpreting scenes and characters from the book. Rather than ignore these works of tribute to his tome, though, Kennedy has fully embraced this phenomenon and has shared much of the art on his website. Now, he's taking it one step further: an art show devoted full to reader art. He's put out a call for reader-submitted art inspired by Odd Fish for display at an art show to open next spring. According to Kennedy, he'll be working with theater group Collaboraction to help him put on the show which will also double as something of a dance/multimedia experience.

The deadline for submitting art is March 1 and you can read more details here. Interested but haven't even picked up the book (shame!)? Pick up a copy and, while you're at it, revisit the interview we had with James earlier this year. And even if you have read it, give it another go, this time accompanied by Kennedy's hand-picked Odd Fish mix, what he calls, "a kind of soundtrack for the ideal Odd-Fish movie in my head."