Alexis Deacon is one of the most subtle and innovative writers and illustrators working today and a Waterstones favourite. Amongst his award-winning books are the children’s picture books Beegu, I am Henry Finch and the mythical, supernatural graphic novel Geis.
One of the most subtle and innovative writers and illustrators working today, Alexis Deacon is best-known for his haunting and heartfelt illustrations, particularly for his children’s books.
Born in 1976 in London, Deacon studied at the University of Brighton before embarking on a career as an author and illustrator. His first book, Slow Loris, established him as a startling new talent in children’s literature with a capacity to combine subtle storytelling with evocative imagery; the book was described as ‘An original allegory about diversity, understanding and acceptance’. In 2015 it was named one of the hundred best children's books of all time by Time Magazine.
Beautiful, Small, Lost and Broken Things
A champion of the lost, the lonely and the misunderstood, Deacon’s picture books have developed a strong following and in 2008 he was chosen by Booktrust as one of the ten best new illustrators of the preceding decade. His simple, figurative style has led him to illustrate classics fables such as Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant as well as working with contemporary writers such as Russell Hoban on his picture book Jim’s Lion
His talent for creating unique new books for children developed through his exquisite picture books; stories like Beegu, the tale of a lost visitor from another planet and I am Henry Finch about a little bird with some big questions about how to do the right thing. He has twice been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and is a two time recipient of The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books Award.
More recently Deacon has been creating some of the most innovative and exciting graphic novels of recent years. In 2014 Deacon won the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize for his imaginative graphic novel The River, a project described as ‘a luscious, tangled, whispering kind of story.’
Critics have compared him with Arthur Rackham and nowhere has his imaginative flare for conjuring mythologically rich and lyrically diverse stories evident than in his 2016 project Geis, a fantasy epic where souls battle to become ruler of an ancient island people.
Deacon says he’s always looking for new stories and new inspiration; ‘When, one day I realise how a story could conclude I will start to put it down on paper in some form. Usually my first step is to go somewhere that I feel shares the atmosphere I imagined for that narrative and draw everything that seems to belong.’