G is for Guardmouse

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I have a slight obsession with Mouse Guard.

Written and drawn by David Petersen, Mouse Guard tells the story of “mice with swords.” Taking place in the 12th century, in a world where man doesn’t exist, mice band together against their common foes – weasels, bears, birds, foxes.

Mouse Guard is their story.

My Mouse Guard collection is quite immense – I own all of the books, individual comics, almost all of the replica weaponry, all of the pins, so many prints and posters, and I’m even fortunate enough to own an original drawing that David did for me of the Lonepine mouse.

One of my favorite parts of ordering items from David are the handwritten notes that his wife Julia always includes.

I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting David in person twice, and I’m still amazed that he knew who I was based on our limited interactions on Twitter.

A few years ago, he teamed up with Serena Malyon to create a Mouse Guard Alphabet book.

Serena would paint the pictures; David would write the words.

In May of 2019, I stumbled upon a piece of original art from this book – the spot illustration for the letter G – and was able to acquire it for my collection.

Here’s the same piece on top of the piece as it appeared in the printed book. The original is a little larger, and the color was changed a bit when it went to print.

Fast forward six months later when the corresponding full-page illustration happened to also come up for sale. As I watched the item, I saw that the seller kept lowering the price, and in December, I made my move and would soon have in my hands, the corresponding original full-page illustration.

I now owned a matching pair, and wanted to get it framed, but had a hard time deciding on how exactly I would frame it.

One Sunday afternoon, I had the best idea – I would frame the art in such a way that it matched the book they’re from.

And that’s exactly what I did. I bought another copy of the book so I could cut the words out (trivia – this would be the fourth copy I purchased!) and then try and match the frame to the cover of the book, along with trying to match the mat to the printed page’s color.

And you know what – it turned out AMAZING!

The finished product exceeded my expectations. I can’t believe how nice it turned out.

I elected to float the original art in order to make the pieces pop more, plus to preserve all of the markings that appear on the original that were lost when printed.

Whereas the words were under the mat.

The employee who helped me get this framed, found a great frame that matches the coloring on the book’s cover really well, especially the gold elements.

She also helped me pick out the mat and we tried out best to match the color of the page.

I now have the centerpiece of artwork that I plan to hang up in my den/office. I knew there was a reason that I’ve waited almost a whole year before hanging up the first picture.

I needed the right picture.

May the guard prevail.

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