Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN extensively on both Upton Sinclair's novel The Gnomobile, and the Walt Disney movie it inspired. In my original post, I talked about the minor differences between Upton Sinclair's 1936 first edition and the 1962 reissue. There is, however, one major difference between the editions that I did not address: the illustrations.

The Gnomobile was released in France in 1959 as En Gnomobile à travers l'Amérique with illustrations by Marcel Tillard. Tillard was a children's book illustrator and comic book artist who illustrated tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Chinese tradition.  There is very little information in English about Tillard, but based on what I gleaned from Google translation, he was born in Orleans in 1913, and studied Fine Arts in Tours and Paris. He started contributing illustrations to several different magazines in the early 1950s, and in 1955, he began a long collaboration with Jean-Pierre Chabrol on Le Barlafré, a comic book series that ran for 410 albums.

When Upton Sinclair reissued The Gnomobile in America in 1962, Tillard's illustrations were included. It was the only English-language work to sport Tillard's art.

The art alternates between four-color and two-color illustrations with four-color outnumbering two-color by two.

Tillard's work is stunning, reminiscent of classic Little Golden Books' illustrators such as Gustaf Tenggren and Tibor Gergely. He died in 1976, and the only work of his that is still in print in France is a book and CD set of Peter and the Wolf. It is a shame that his work is both out of print and unavailable in the U.S.

I have posted all of Marcel Tillard's illustrations for The Gnomobile on my Flickr, and other examples of his illustrations are available online here, here, and here.

All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.


  1. beautiful work, thank you for sharing!

  2. Yes, thank you for sharing. May i ask what you think of the illustrations of Ernest H Shepard? I have an old book entitled "The Silver Curlew" by Eleanor Farjeon and his sketch-like illustrations are wonderful.