Once upon a time there lived a troll. He lived far away, far away from any towns or cities, way up high in the mountains. He lived off the sparse shrubs that grew in the rocky outcrops, and the occasional stray mountain goat, all bone and wool and little meat. When the rainclouds passed by, he would drink his fill.
And so he had lived for a long time, and there was no telling how long, and he never changed. Except that he never stopped growing, and he became coarser, tougher, and more mountainous as the years went by, until moss grew where his hair had been, and his hands were like granite and his eyes the color of a mountain stream. The troll was not aware of these changes, as they were as gradual as the stream that carves a canyon. Even if he had been aware, he would not have cared in the least. He would not have cared, and he would not change his ways, because he had no heart.
Such had not always been the case. As a baby, he was as human as you or me or your little brother. He had been found by a hunting party deep in the forest, oh so many hundreds of years ago, and been raised in a quiet village in the valley. When he was mostly grown, there was none stronger, none who worked harder, and none kinder than young Hurder (for such was his name in those days). He apprenticed to the blacksmith and in no time at all had surpassed his master. It was not an easy life, but it was not an unkind village. And though there were none kinder, there were also none quieter, and few who smiled less than he. Perhaps it was for this reason that he made the townsfolk uneasy. Perhaps their doubts were groundless, just as much as Hurder was grounded and every bit the salt of the earth as the next man, if not ten times more so. But doubt is nothing if not persistent.
”—From The Heartless Troll by Patrick Reinhart; a teaser for this most unfinished of fairy tales. (via mrpatch)
“Cabal is a coral of a character, an agglomeration of sources literary and cinematic combined with some of my own ideas for characters. I cannot honestly say I sat down and constructed him. He was lurking around in my head, becoming more Cabal for a long time. When I finally came to write the first chapter of Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, I had no idea if he was going to live on the page. Then he started giving Satan lip, which I hadn’t been expecting. My first thought for that scene was that he would be confident but cautious. When he started chiding Satan on lifestyle choices, I knew he was going to be okay.”—An interview with Jonathan L. Howard (via indubitablyjohannescabal)
“I think what I’ve offered was different. But not because I drew better than anybody, or wrote better than anybody, but because I was more honest than anybody. And in the discussion of children, and the lives of children, and the fantasies of children, and the language of children, I said anything I wanted, because I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood. I don’t believe there’s a demarcation of “you mustn’t tell them this, you mustn’t tell them that.” You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it’s true. If it’s true, you tell them.”—Maurice Sendak, via Drawn (via deantrippe)