Joel Liochon – Finding a Partner in Crime

Because I started writing this story while I was a student in Christchurch, I really wanted to give another Christchurch student the opportunity to illustrate it.

That way, I felt it would be an authentically home grown Kiwi book, made by young local people who were all learning as they produced it. I hoped the finished product might be a testament to our energy and to what locals are capable of making.

A competition was staged at the Design and Arts College. The winner would get the chance to illustrate Deputy Dan & the Mysterious Midnight Marauder. The winning student was a first year in graphic design, Joel Liochon. Over the year’s work that followed, a friendship and a great working partnership have been forged. Joel’s illustrating style is engaging, rich in detail, and humorous. I love his work and hope to create wonderful stories with him in the future.

About Joel

Joel Liochon
Joel was born in France, and grew up in Sisteron, in the Alps. He studied at the Denis Diderot School for Design and Art in Marseille and graduated with distinction. His family immigrated to New Zealand when he finished high school and he enrolled at the Design and Arts College.

Joel’s influences include European graphic novels such as Asterix, Tintin and Thorgal. However his favourite artist, and biggest influence, is Chris Riddell who with author Paul Stewart Chris created “The Edge Chronicles”. Joel also enjoys the pastel technique of Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti. Other than that, he says, he tries to stay open minded because “it’s good for an illustrator to try and stay as versatile as possible and absorb a lot of stuff from other artists!”

Deputy Dan & the Mysterious Midnight Marauder was the first book Joel has worked on: “Illustrating the book has made me realize the commitment that is needed to get a project of this size done. At the start it was kind of hard at times to get the ideas of the author, and to represent them, but after a while and step by step you can see all the work you’ve done and you start feeling a bit more confident. It was also a lot of fun doing the book with someone crazy, open to my ideas, and really patient especially at the beginning. The whole process of making this wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t adore the story and the characters, and that is another lesson that I have learnt …to always do stuff with passion, and for no other reason, we’ve learnt to always work with passionate people.”