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The wizard of Fire

The wizard of Fire

Some tales sometimes simply don’t let you imprint them on paper. Fairy tales have this bad habit, and not just a habit but a drawback as well. They trouble you so much breaking into and entering your thoughts, your narrations and your secrets. They sit comfortably up in dusty drawers or in your dreams’ edges preventing every effort of yours escaping into fantasy. The Wizard Of Fire is a story like that; it didn’t want to be written…

Maybe because, the wizard of the tale would prefer being one of those wizards described by B.D.Foxmoor’s (of Active Member) lyrics back in 2001 when Socrates Malamas first sang them: ‘From the ends of this land/ the wizards of fire brought/ dreams kindred/ so the ices may melt/ So the man may be courageous/ and so search at the long lost/ and put aside the nice from the owned ones…’ Influenced by this song, therefore, I started writing The Wizard Of Fire –all by accident, on the 10th of September of the same year…The next day, New York attacks took place. And the point where a full stop was put the previous night was saying: ‘red wine was spilled upon the maps. From north Ireland and all the way to Afghanistan’. And like everything else had been frozen those days, the tale was also frozen and stored away unfinished in the drawer for many months to come. In the meantime, during summer of 2003, I adapted The Wizard of Fire due to a theatrical play taken place at Petras Theatre…And so the wizard came back to the streets once again. When I met Stathis for the first time it was September again. He studied the story, a good friend of the wizard, with much liking and respect and put the colours, the shapes and the ball of thread in an order.
A few words by Stathis: I’ve illustrated many books, especially for children and several fairytales. The process always worked as a salvation for me. For a political caricaturist (who identifies with his job and loves its labor), the beyond of daily life fuss world of fairytales is like the dreams of a traveller; the before, the after and the meantime of the journey. With a childish way, away from various ‘schools’, the need of making sense and categorisations. Consequently, according to the each tale (which always indicates you the proper pictorial method of tell it), the two dimensions of illustration multiply (if it needs to) or stay ‘byzantines’, plains (also if needed) with only standard to be sufficient to touch and attribute the soul and heart of the tale.
From all the emotions offered to me by illustrations, the strongest and tensest of all are those felt by watching some, rather by the ones I myself had tried to shape. In this way, I remain an easy-touching reader of illustrations. Furthermore, the more I grow up the more the pictures of Tintin, Tom Sawyer and Don Quichotte travel me to the shapes and colours of my own fragile and paper-made immortality. I’ve communicated with the wizard of fire like old friends from the past. He and his company corrected the errors done when I tried to sketch them on paper for the first time. Through this first and clumsy shape of them, we ended up chatting. Therefore, we found the pictures which we liked the most, that is, the ones which you can see in the printed book. I guess that many versions, maybe better, would exist. ‘The next time’ the wizard and his company told me, ‘in the other tale’. And we put sailing for those pages…
Stathis S.

Story of the book: The Wizard of Earth, the Wizard of Water and the Wizard of Air were once all mighty and balancing the world. Its secret power was a magic ball of thread which was keeping the people bond tight and loved with its thread without evil and hate in their hearts. But, as the wizards trusted people, they also trusted the magic ball to their kings in order to continue their work. While they warned them of what they had to pay attention to, the careless kings messed all things up. The ball was dissolved and so the wizards got angry. But the kings, greedy as they were, decided to take the fate of the world in their hands destroying the wizards of nature. Consequently, they infested the water, the earth and the air with malicious plans and step by step they stole from people their wealth but most importantly their memory and dreams. The powerful of the world, the kings, had gathered all the strength in their hands, while everything around them had been miserable. One small hope was only left, which the kings ignorant and hasty as they were didn’t consider; The Wizard of Fire…

Electra Editions / Author: Yolanda Tsiampokalou (Sadahzinia) / Illustrator : Stathis