My name is Gary Burley and in 1989 I started to illustrate 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I don’t know what I was thinking, or if it would look very good. Over the years my OCD made doing each of the 600 pictures, comforting.


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From the comfort of my couch and a border collie called Ben on my lap, I tried to imagine each picture as if I was there, but only from the descriptions in the book. I also chose the hard way: illustrating with a brush and indian ink, so that the end result would look like an old fashioned book from 1900.

There were many times when I almost gave up; homelessness for one. The half finished book was put in city storage for four years until I had a home again. I consider myself lucky. Doesn’t matter how bad things got, I had my health, my son and daughter and an over whelming sense that someone up there liked me.

The book ended up having 700 pages and 600 illustrations, I hope you like them.