Scribe – Adventure and Adaptation
The Artist and Author's First Children’s Book
Scribe has made his distinctive mark again. The talented artist and illustrator channeled boundless talents and imagination into his first children’s book titled There’s an Octopus Under My Bed. Scribe, also known as D. Ross, has produced a creative oeuvré that extends from his 39th Street studio to streetscapes and galleries in Kansas City, to a hip hop/graffiti community that spans the nation, and even to international fans of his online work. He has transformed countless surfaces and objects with his colorful, expressive animal-based characters including a rhino as his signature totem. His book not only captures a visually rich style and symbolism on the printed page, but also records key life lessons acquired in his role as a father.
Scribe will sign copies of his book, There’s an Octopus Under My Bed, at Prospero’s Bookstore located at 1800 West 39th Street, Kansas City, on Saturday, March 10, from 2-4 PM.
There’s an Octopus Under My Bed is a tale that recounts the adventures of a young, green-furred rabbit named Elijah. The character, based on Scribe’s oldest son, spends time adventuring with his blanket Boo Boo and stuffed animal Rhino Rumpus. When Rumpus comes up missing, Elijah’s mom introduces a red octopus named Manos. The storyline becomes a quest as the rabbit and octopus head out on distant travels beyond the safety of a bedroom.
The story of Elijah is set in the familiarity of home and the vibrant flora and fauna of the distant Galapagos Islands. Some creative embellishments add intrigue and detail to the story that invite readers to imagine how some secondary characters came to be, but those are stories for another book. The artwork is lush and full of depth, drawing the eye into the scene and across the page.
Close inspection of the scenery throughout the story reveals graffiti artwork by Scribe’s peers including Jason Brunson, Ewok 5 mh, and Este as a nod to their inspiration. Scribe’s mentor, East, produced the book’s cover lettering. The end sheets within the book display the word “octopus” drawn in the stylized vernacular of several graffiti artists. The inclusion of “street art” in an illustrated children’s book is not only an homage paid to Scribe’s origins, but also a statement about how graffiti can be elevated to a meaningful form with “positive, creative energy.”
“Without including graffiti, it would feel like leaving part of me behind. It’s a tie to my past,” says Scribe.
Another informative page describes the Galapagos Islands setting, the animals that reside there, and the characters in the book tied to this place. The book’s theme of adaptation relates to this backdrop where Charles Darwin conducted his studies and later developed the theory of natural selection.