McDarkly lives quietly all on his own, growing orchids in his dank swamp, until one day his peace is disturbed by an arrogant king who wants to turn the swamp into a roller-skate park. McDarkly has ten days to prove that the swamp isn't damp and dark, but an enchanted world. Can he do it, or will he risk losing his home forever?
A striking and unique story that shows us that beauty can be found in even the darkest of places.
Ben Mantle was born in Leamington Spa and developed a very early interest in things artistic, designing programme covers for school productions and even coming first in his local library colouring-in competition. From there he went on to study animation at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, graduating in 2003. He then gained valuable experience working on Tim Burton's “Corpse Bride” before moving to Brighton to work as 'Head of Animation' in a media company, focusing on Character and Background design.
He was also part of the Animation team creating the BAFTA winning 'Big and Small' CBeebies website. Since 2008, Ben has been working as a Children's Book Illustrator from his shared studio in Brighton and he also produces screen prints and digital artwork to exhibit. He illustrated 'Callum's Incredible Construction Kit' which won the Bishop's Stortford Picture Book prize 2013.