Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Evidence Part #3

The French Mr.Men and Little Miss

Sometime during all of this, a French publisher, Hachette Jeunesse, published several French-exclusive Mr.Men and Little Miss Books. Those that have never been seen in English include Monsieur Non, Madame Oui, Madame Tout-Va-Bien, Madame Prudente. In the '90s, the French had a total of 39 Little Misses, while in English we had 30. Pre-1990, we had 21.

During this time, Mr.Men and Little Miss books were being approved that were not written by Roger Hargreaves. While the French exclusives have 'Roger Hargreaves' on the cover, inside they are clearly credited:

So Roger Hargreaves' own work and his name during this time was not sacred.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Evidence Part #2

The Illustrations

Roger Hargreaves had been evolving his style since he first created the Mr.Men. A style that Adam Hargreaves, son of Roger, has now adopted. Let's take a look at it -

Here's what some of the earliest Mr.Men illustrations looked like:

But, by the '80s, Roger Hargreaves had refined his style, making the characters rounder, chubbier, more cuddly. Happier, in many ways. He had begun putting lines around the eyes of some of the characters.

By the mid-'80s, Roger Hargreaves' Mr.Men and Little Misses looked like this:

Worth noting that Adam Hargreaves picked up this style where his father left off when he began illustrating the books. But, in that '90s period, between the death of Roger Hargreaves and Adam taking over the illustrations, the style looks quite different. Gone are the lines around the eyes. The line work more crude.

And, with characters like Mr.Grumble, comes the introduction of some odd mouth shapes that Roger Hargreaves never did.

The style does not match where Roger Hargreaves' earlier books were. And they don't have what Adam Hargreaves brought. These '90s books have the charm of neither.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Evidence Part #1

The four 'new' Mr.Men books and nine Little Miss books were published after the death of Roger Hargreaves.

Is it possible Mr.Hargreaves was writing and illustrating new books prior to his death and they were published posthumously? Yes. Possible. But the last Mr.Man book (Mr.Slow) was published in 1978. While Roger Hargreaves wrote and illustrated the Little Miss books and many Mr.Men companion books after that, no new Mr.Men were published until 1990. 12 years later. Did he just hold on to four books? Seems unlikely.

Prior to 1990, the last Little Miss book was published in 1984. And then nine new books appear after the death of Roger Hargreaves. If he had been working on them and the series remained popular, why wait until after his death?

Why is this a big deal? Because the books say 'by Roger Hargreaves' on the cover. And give no indication anywhere else that they weren't, in fact, written and illustrated by Roger Hargreaves.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Mr.Men Conspiracy

Books 1-43 of the Mr.Men and 1-30 of the Little Misses have 'by Roger Hargreaves' on the front cover.

Four of those Mr.Men books were published in 1990. Nine Little Misses around the same time. Roger Hargreaves died in 1988. 

It seems Adam Hargreaves, son of Roger, took over writing and illustrating the books some time after 2000. While his books still have 'Roger Hargreaves' on the front, they are clearly credited on the inside.

So... who wrote and illustrated those '90s Mr.Men books that are passed off as the work of Roger Hargreaves?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Mr.Men Conspiracy

Something is not right with the Mr.Men. This blog will uncover the conspiracy...