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The Artistry and Storytelling of Nick Bantock

Updated on September 14, 2014

Blending the Ephemeral to Bring You into World of Fantastical Reality

Nick Bantock is a storyteller and artist, best-known for his Griffin & Sabine series.  His books contain lush collages of ephemera that help illustrate the story and transport the reader. Most often the stories blend the action of travel, the interactions of romance and the lure of a touch of mystery.

Painter, Illustrator, Collector, Weaver of Images

a brief biography of Nick Bantock

Nick Bantock was born and educated in England. He worked for many years designing book covers and illustrations. After his relocation to Canada in 1988, he decided that he'd try working on making books of his own. When the first Griffin and Sabine book debuted in 1991, it was an instant success and the public has been eagerly awaiting and reading each fantastical story every since.

Bantock's imagery is known for his use of "found ephemera," utilizing old maps, postcards and photographs along with bits of illustration and rubber stamps. All these elements get assembled into both subtle and complex collages. Bantock has also created a rather extensive series of pop-up books which combine his illustrative skills and wonderful eye for design.

WINDFLOWER - the latest book from Nick Bantock

Griffin & Sabine - a love story begins

The Griffin and Sabine series tells the wondrous tale of two people, corresponding via conventional letters and postcards, who are separated by both space and time. What makes these books unique is that you see the postcards and letters themselves, front and back, fictional postmarks and all. With letters you often will remove the paper from an envelope that is actually part of the book and unfold it to read it.

The first book instantly captivated the public and, lucky for us, there were many books which followed. The story and the art remained intriguing throughout the entire series and with re-reading many new details and nuances are often found.

About Griffin & Sabine

Some of the history and evolution of one of the most captivating fictional romances ever!

The Pop-Up Edition of The Jabberwocky by Nick Bantock

The Pop-Up Edition of The Jabberwocky by Nick Bantock
The Pop-Up Edition of The Jabberwocky by Nick Bantock

The Griffin & Sabine stories continue... - how the Morning Star trilogy came to be

The Griffin & Sabine stories were just a single trilogy originally. However love that strong can't be denied and the fantasy romance was rediscovered by Isabella and Matthew, two lovers living apart in Egypt and Paris. Matthew receives a curious package one day, containing 65 cards and letters: the correspondence of Griffin Moss and Sabine Stroheim.

Would You Like to Meet Nick, or get Rare Editions of his Work? - visit Black Sheep Books on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

The Griffin Room at Black Sheep Books
The Griffin Room at Black Sheep Books

I just happened to be on a road trip with my father in the spring of 2012. We were headed to an art gallery on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada in an attempt to get an old family painting appraised, but in the end, the gallery owner blew us off. He'd emailed just three days before that he'd be in that weekend, but by Saturday he'd suddenly taken off for parts unknown, leaving behind a snarky assistant who tried to talk us into leaving our painting behind so it could be appraised at their leisure. We put the painting back in the car.

Across from the gallery was a book store and as it seemed to carry good used books and had the wonderful name of Black Sheep (my name means "black sheep") I felt compelled to stop in. I was browsing around in their wonder shelves when I realized I had walked past a small room that had a sign over the doorway that read "Griffin Room." Sticking my head in, I nearly swooned. It was a whole room DEVOTED to Nick Bantock, who just happens to live on the island! Sadly I couldn't afford the autographed copy of the pop-up Jabberwocky so I had to make do with a picture.

But if you'd like to meet Nick in person, the woman behind the counter said that he tends to drop by on Saturdays around noon...

Let us know what you think of this unique author and artist!

Are you a Fan of Nick Bantock's work?

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    • balancebydesign4u profile image


      6 years ago from Arkansas

      Sad to see I've never heard of him but I'm off to the library to check him out! thanks for telling us about him.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I got the first three books as a gift for someone but didn't realize there were more in the series until I saw this lens. Those first three books were fascinating - I had to read them before wrapping them up. Good thing I'm very careful with books.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens. I am most happy to accept it into the group for Ephemera and Paper Collectibles.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      was he the one who created his book cover design as well?

    • cannedguds lm profile image

      cannedguds lm 

      10 years ago

      Nick Bantock is my personal hero when it comes to bizarre romance novels like Griffin and Sabine and he had my mind flying off in a distant space and time different from us!!!I would certainly love to learn writing a romance novel just like him! Thanks for sharing this! I'm very pleased to have come across this lens of yours!

    • CrypticFragment1 profile image

      Tammy Winand 

      11 years ago from McleodGanj HP India

      zoiks! I made a lens for Nick last week at and didn't know about yours! As a fellow fan, I think there's room for us both! Nice work!

    • billco1 profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice lens. Very interesting.

    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      12 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I need to get his latest book, the one on how he makes his art. I love playing with mixed media and I know I just need this one in the collection!

    • duc lm profile image

      duc lm 

      12 years ago

      I'm reading Windflower. It's very awesome book.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I love Nick's works - he's one of the best contemporary artists and I'm saying it not only because he's almost my neighbor. Seriously, he's a great writer and illustrator. And has great sense of humor. The Griffin

    • Euryale Sinclair profile image

      Euryale Sinclair 

      13 years ago from The Left Coast

      These stories caught my attention right from the first book! I remember sitting up late at night, reading and crying, I thought the romance was soooo beautiful.


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