Shaun Tan and the Iron Man

‘The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows.’ – The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes

Considering all the wonderful authors and illustrators we’ve had the privilege to work with over the years, it’s puzzling that images of starstruck fandom don’t feature here more regularly.

Puzzle no more.

We were so excited to meet Shaun Tan last week when he swung by our desk at The Wheeler Centre. Shaun has generously donated this original painting he created of The Iron Man, from the Ted Hughes children’s classic of the same name. We loved Shaun’s inspiration for the artwork:

There’s a scene in it where he challenges a space monster to a trial by fire, so I imagined he’d need something to pass the time while being roasted, ie. reading a book (very fast before it ignites!).

It inspired co-founder Lachlann to go out and buy a copy of The Iron Man, and rediscover how great a story it is!

Shaun’s Iron Man is just one of the characters you’ll be seeing soon, peering out of all things 100 Story Building. Joining him will be artwork donated by other talented illustrators: Nicki Greenberg, Pat Grant, Ben Wood, Mel Matthews, Jase Harper, Doug Holgate, Miranda Costa, Ben Hutchings, Sally Rippin and Bernard Caleo. Thanks (times 100) to these illustrators for their generosity and amazing work.