The Final Reckoning | Illustration Nominations

Aufwader’s Pick:

‘Hunted’ (c) Robin Jarvis, 1990

I have a faint memory of this illustration being on the inside cover for the cassette of this book, but my tape of The Final Reckoning is being lent out to a friend at the moment, so I’ll get back to you all on that. Anyway, what an image! Those empty-eyed, ice-spear-wielding spectres are enough to give anybody the heebie-jeebies. No wonder the mice turned and fled!

‘Battle on Board’ (c) Robin Jarvis, 1990

There’s a lot to appreciate about this. It’s a fantastically cinematic action sequence, it’s got depth and movement and bats falling to their deaths and ghostly claws reaching and Thomas cutting a swathe through the foe. I love Oswald up in the corner there, chucking bits of the Book of Hrethel and dodging ice spears.

Matt’s Pick:


‘Duel in the Storm’ (c) Robin Jarvis, 1990

I mean – just look at this illustration! Piccadilly, looking more savage than you’ll ever see him and Morgan, looking more vulnerable than you’ll ever see him. The details are just awesome: the snow angling down, the knife poised over Morgan’s throat, which Piccadilly has bared by pushing Morgan’s head back, the famous anti-cat charm that did away with Jupiter the first time.

‘The Final Reckoning’ (c) Robin Jarvis, 1990

We kind of know that Jupiter is a lot larger than a regular cat this time around, but it really hits home when you see this picture of his immense gullet and the tiny silhouette of Audrey standing in front of him. There’s only one word for this one: Apocalyptic. I can still dream that maybe one day we’ll all have beautiful cloth-bound editions of these books complete with illustrations to take us back to our childhoods.




4 thoughts on “The Final Reckoning | Illustration Nominations

  1. I think Aron asked earlier why the rat spectres had to hack through the door. The answer is simple, they might be ghosts, but their ice spears are real.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ……………….and now I’m imagining the ghosts phasing through the door so spookily, only to come back outside a moment later with sheepish faces and retrieve their spears from where they’d fallen on the porch.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Old Stumpy: *whistles with awe* Everyone, you may want to stand clear because I’m about to gush profusely over this illustration. The amount of detail on display here is so awesome. You can see the rats who weren’t able to stand close to their leader perched on and even dangling from the pipes on the far wall. If you look close enough, you can make out the vague shape of the Anti-Cat charm dangling from Morgan’s neck. All around him is a swarm of rats, so many that they seem like a monster with countless heads, hinting at the horror which will soon be unleashed upon the unsuspecting mice of Holeborn. In the foreground, we have Piccadilly who has never looked better. You can see the knife at his belt, the freckles on his muzzle. Everything about this is fantastic. Imagine an entire graphic novel done in this art style.

    Re-Enlisting: This illustration is a work of genius. Why? Because you only realise what’s happening in it once you reach the end of the book and discover just who Barker really was. When you return, the knowledge you’re now armed with puts Piccadilly’s narrow escape from the rats into new-found clarity. Look at the rats who seem unnaturally focused on Barker. Now look at Piccadilly. Does that look like none of them should spot him? Not even Vinny, who’s closest to the ground, so much as glances down and notices that the old rat is sitting on a squashed and confused-looking mouse? Now we now that Barker was actually Bauchan, a trickster God, we can infer that he was working some subtle magic to keep the attention of the rats focused on him and away from Piccadilly. And that is why the picture is so great. It was hiding its true meaning from us all along. Only when the story is over does it give up the sinister secret of Barker.

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  3. The Beacon Fire: In this illustration we see the Starwife and Audrey (my two favourite characters in the trilogy) standing together facing the haughty Orfeo and Eldritch. Audrey is clearly wary of the newcomers and you get a sense of the rather tense confrontation going on. I love the scene as a whole because, as much as she has reason to hate her, Audrey stands up for the world-weary Starwife as she is mercilessly mocked by the bats. Another nice detail in the picture is the Starwife’s paw on Audrey’s shoulder, treating her in a rather protective way as well.

    Liked by 2 people

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