This week Titan Comics releases a new collected edition of Kingdom of the Wicked, the 1996 fantasy miniseries by frequent collaborators Ian Edginton and D'Israeli (Dark Horse published a hardcover collection in 2004, but it's out of print.)
The new edition offers a sort of director's commentary by D'Israeli, who details his creative process. To let readers know what they will get when buying the book, Titan shared with ROBOT 6 some the process for one page, as well as D'Israeli's commentary.
Before starting each page, I’d sketch out a small plan to establish the layout of the page and the composition of each panel (a “thumbnail” rough, so called because they’re traditionally drawn very small). The idea is just to block out the shapes and the gross composition; at this stage we’re not interested in detail.
Using the roughs as guide, I do a detailed drawing in pencil. At this point I am thinking about detail; every element that will appear in the finished drawing should be added here.
Once the pencilling is done, I tape the page to the drawing board for painting. For Kingdom of the Wicked, I worked in batches of three pages, pencilling, painting and inking them as a batch. Painting three pages at a time helped me to maintain consistency, especially when mixing batches of paint.
With a big decorator’s brush I’d lay down a single colour over the whole page - in this case a sickly green to suggest fluorescent light and illness - and then paint individual objects in flat colour over then top of that. I’m using acrylic, which is semi-opaque, but some of the underlying green shows through the other colours, binding the colours on the page together.
I like to paint with acrylics; they’re quick-drying, resilient, and completely waterproof when dry. The one drawback for colouring line drawings is that acrylics are opaque; lay down colour over ink lines and you’ll start to obscure them. To get round this, I paint the pencil drawing and ink it afterwards. This takes a bit of nerve, especially as I use dip-pens for inking, which leave slow-drying lines and can catch and spit ink across the drawing. But once you’re used to it, you can get lovely black lines over strong colour.
Here are Titan's official release details:
KINGDOM OF THE WICKEDWRITER: Ian EdgintonARTIST: D'IsraeliFORMAT: 128pp – HC – FCPUBLISHER: Titan ComicsPRICE: $19.99 US/$22.95 CAN/£14.99 UK
RELEASE DATE: January 6, 2015
In this sumptuous collection of their first collaboration, Ian Edginton and D’Israeli – whose work together includes H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds, Scarlet Traces, Stickleback and Nevermore: Murder in the Rue Morgue – explore the knife-edge between childhood memory and adult nightmare!
The twenty-first century’s greatest living children’s author – Christopher Grahame – is drawn back into Castrovalva, the world of his childhood imagination, when the stress of his fame starts to weigh on him.
But Castrovalva has gone to hell in his absence – devastated by war, famine and loss. And now Christopher can’t wake up. Has he lost his mind… or his innocence?