Some Intricate Mortal Engines Art

I’m slowly working my way through a bit of a backlog of artwork which readers have sent me – if you’re waiting for yours to be posted here, I’m sorry it’s taking so long.  Anyway, here’s the latest, an incredibly detailed Predator Cities drawing by James Cassir. It proved quite difficult to reproduce, so I’ve added a detail below to show just how detailed.  James tells me that the original measures about 5 x 4 inches, and took about nine hours to draw, using a 0.2mm Pentel lead pencil and a normal Helix ruler. He says, “It’s not supposed to be a depiction of a particular city, although the cathedral on the top is a reminder of St. Paul’s. I drew it last December simply because I liked the idea of Municipal Darwinism…   it isn’t for any “project” or exam-related coursework. “
It is, however, amazing; I wish I had James’s patience…


  1. Anonymous
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:07:38

    Smashing job. JH


  2. Margaret C
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 20:12:30

    This is truly lovely – doing prints, Mr Cassir??


  3. Anonymous
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 22:38:45

    WOW! It's amazing!


  4. Anonymous
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 22:38:58

    How the hell did he do that?!


  5. Anonymous
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 10:35:38

    WOW it is so detailed


  6. Cait
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 22:53:01

    That is fabulous.

    Philip, I wanted to contact you to let you know the story of reading through the books with my son, who is just 10. I still read with him because he enjoys it and frankly, so do I. I get the chance to read brilliant adventures with him that he still wouldn’t quite pick up on his own.

    I think I picked up ‘Mortal Engines’ because the cover looked nicely steampunk-adventure-esque (this is why Kindles were never going to win the war), and we’ve read through the whole thing, 1 chapter a night (approx half an hour of reading – very well structured!). We’re moving toward the half way point in the last book and I’ve sneaked forward to read the end. I have to say, given that James is 10, occasionally I do miss out the odd sentence or two, but he fully appreciates gthe investment you made in the emotional depths of the characters – particularly (perhaps obviously) Fishcake. We stopped reading and had a long chat about how he felt after reading the sequence when ‘Anna’ carved him a horse, and then reverted to the Stalker Fang.

    The way you’ve curved the narrative focus around at the very end – beautiful. Beautiful work. I’m so looking forward to reading the end sequence with him (although I might well have a welling up moment or two prior to that – reading out loud does that sometimes) and having a ponder about what it all means.

    My hat is off, and very well doffed. And, I have no doubt at all that the stories will continue to make a strong impression on him in the future, entertaining central metaphor n’all.


    • Philip Reeve
      Mar 23, 2016 @ 23:00:21

      Thank you, Cait, I’m glad he (and you) are enjoying it. I hope the end isn’t too traumatic – 10 may be a little young, but I guess many 10 year olds are made of sterner stuff than I was at that age. Please give him my best regards!


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