David Hawcock is an Author and Paper Engineer of pop-up books that belong in every collection. He’s known for his large and impressive educational fold out books and original subjects like the Titanic, Leonardo Davinci and Space shuttles. We had the honor to interview David and ask him about his work and his recent publication of the new The Walking Dead The Pop-Up Book.
BPUB – How did your interest for paper engineering and pop-ups started?
DH – When doing a graphic design degree at Newcastle in the UK I developed an interest in making 3D structures and photographing them. I left with quite an esoteric portfolio not really suitable for getting a sensible design job. As a result I found my self making models for advertising and looking for freelance publishing commissions. The latter developed from model kits to pop-up books.
BPUB – If you could introduce yourself with three pop-up books you have created, which books would it be?
DH – The Amazing Pull-out Pop-Up Body in a Book – This was what at the time was a new format (copied a few times since…). The spreads of the book folded out to make a large pop-up poster. This one is the human body but we did a few follow on titles…a mummy, the space shuttle. It was my first book with DK creative director Roger Priddy and was a lot of fun. There has been a lot of changes at DK since but I still occasionally work with Roger at Priddy Books.
Titanic Pop-Up Book – I just love showing this at talks and presentations. It always gets a fantastic reaction. Once again this is a novel format that allows of a large pop-up reconstruction rather than separate spreads. This one also has small pops focusing on ship interiors. This one also published in the UK by Walker Books.
Leonardo Da Vinci Journal of Inventions – When this idea occurred to me I could not believe it had not been done before. The concept is that it was made by Leonardo himself and its not such a stretch of the imagination as he did make moquettes. This is a 3D codex. The research and design was very interesting. This is the most successful project I packaged (my company conceived and made the project, also printing and shipping to publishers around the world). I am now working on a new Leonardo project on a very specific aspect of his designs. In the UK this was published by Walker Books
I would also mention the farewell tour program I did with the band Genesis, and a book celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. I have a copy of that one signed by Buzz Aldrin in the studio.
BPUB – We already know some pop-up horror titles for kids but The Walking Dead pop-up book seems to be one of the first adult horror pop-up books. Do you think that horror could be a new pop-up genre to introduce pop-ups and paper engineering to adults?
DH – The book has enjoyed a very positive reception so perhaps it could. In the past I made some classic story pop-up titles, kind of pop-up graphic novels, that included Frankenstein and a Dracula titles. These were aimed at a slightly older age group and proved popular.
BPUB – The Walking Dead Pop-up book is a large book and the spreads are very impressive and surprising. For example the exploding head that folds and pops after pulling the tab. How do you start working at a design like that?
DH – Once the I have the idea its a question of doing a lot of visual research… a bit of an odd process in this instance!
BPUB – You and Becca Zerkin created this book. Can you tell us how you worked together on this project?
DH – Really we worked independently on this one. We didn’t meet. I do think she did a fantastic job!
BPUB – You’ve done an amazing job animating the pop-up movements. Can you tell us more about the process?
DH – That’s a co-operation with the artist. In any pop-up book there is a lot of adapting the pops to art and art to the pops. There is a good deal of fine tuning after the artist sketches over the first cut lines.
BPUB – How hard was it to prepare this book for production?
DH – Well, it’s certainly one of the more complex titles. In recent times there has been a lot of production cost increases in the world of 3D books so it can be difficult to realise more ambitious projects. It was good to have free reign and a publisher that wanted to make something special.
BPUB – Have you had any comments about your book from The Walking Dead fan community?
DH – Not as yet but there are some good comments on the internet.
BPUB – Can you give us a hint about upcoming titles from your hand?
DH – Well, there is a new Leonardo title. Also I just completed work on a book with Ferrari celebrating the company’s iconic cars (see post here). I also have another licence title in development with Insight Editions.
BPUB – Do you collect pop-up books yourself?
DH – I do collect pop-up books, Im also in the privileged position of being given sample books by publishers and printers.
BPUB – What do you think of bestpopupbooks.com?
DH – Its great. Im really pleased it exists!
Thanks David for the interview!
We’ve made a close-up video walk-trough and a full review about The Walking Dead The Pop-Up Book.
Go to the review…