Stjepan Sejic Joins Radical's "Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost"

This month, Radical Comics continues its "Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost" saga, but this time with a brand new artist. Written by Ian Edginton, "Legacy of the Lost" follows the adventures of young thief and professional scoundrel Aladdin on his quest to save the princess of Shambhalla alongside Arabian legend Sinbad the Sailor. Armed with only his wits and his skill at thievery, Aladdin travels all over the world to save the princess and thwart the plot of an evil sorcerer through amazing adventures and legendary locations. But there's something strange going on during his travels - something that relates directly to Aladdin and his bloodline. At the head of the evil plot to become supreme ruler of the world is the evil sorcerer Qassim, who has captured the Shambhallan princess and currently possesses the Djinn of the Lamp, who gives its master three wishes to be used for any intent - good or evil. It's up to Aladdin and Sinbad to stop Qassim before the world comes to an abrupt end.

Joining "Legacy of the Lost" artist Patrick Reilly for the next installment is fan-favorite artist Stjepan Sejic, who professed to be a huge fan of the source material of the Arabian tales. "I had the book when I was a kid and have read it about 40 times," he said. "So, in a simple answer, hell yeah [I'm a fan]!" Known for his work on Top Cow's "Witchblade," Sejic said that his involvement in the project had to do directly with his Top Cow connection to "Aladdin" editor Renee Geerlings. "[Renee] is a friend of mine back from Top Cow and we've worked together on some other projects," he said. "She approached me and asked if I could help out with this project and I accepted."

Even with his connection to the "Aladdin" editor, Sejic's acceptance to illustrate "Legacy of the Lost" should come as no surprise, especially considering his history with series writer Ian Edginton. Edginton and Sejic worked together previously for Top Cow's "Pilot Season: Angelus" and Sejic is excited to be back working with the writer - and even compares the way his writing flows to "Witchblade" writer and collaborator Ron Marz. "Ian's style of writing fits me. We have worked together once before on one of my favorite issues that I did, 'Angelus: Pilot Season,'" Sejic told CBR News. "In a way, I find Ian's writing to be very similar to Ron Marz's style. They both understand their artists and can write for an artist while keeping tight reigns over the story flow and character definition."

While it's apparent that Edginton's writing is a big draw for Sejic, he did admit that there was an appeal in addition to the writing and working with Edginton again - this is an atmosphere where the artist feels in his element and right at home drawing fantastic creatures and epic fantasy. "There are no challenges in these kinds of projects," he said. "This is my friendly sea and where I feel the most comfortable in comparison to my other projects." However, that's not to say that "Legacy of the Lost" is exactly the same as Sejic's "Witchblade" work. "Well, being the full-time 'Witchblade' and 'Angelus' artist, those are stories that are contemporary, while 'Aladdin' in its way is a period piece," he continued. "This is why 'Aladdin' is, in a way, easier to do because there is more room for the imagination to go wild."

For Sejic, the imagination can reach new heights with Aladdin - a book he describes as "a spectacle, pure and simple." However, Sejic also believes that something in the genre of "Legacy of the Lost" is something that translates very well into comics due to its ability to pique the imagination and draw from a number of different fantastic sources. "It's an epic fantasy about magicians, genies, monsters and treasures, and those things transfer really well into comics," he said. "I've got some experience in fantasy, so I swim in these waters rather happily."

As mentioned previously, Sejic will be sharing artist duties with "Legacy of the Lost #1" artist Patrick Reilly, but according to Sejic, the collaboration between the two has been sparse at best due to Sejic's busy schedule. "Patrick's work is fantastic, but we haven't been cooperating much simply due to the lack of time," he said. "My regular chores on 'Witchblade,' and now 'Angelus,' take away most of my time and allow for a narrow space of time during which I can interact with my editors and colleagues."

Along the journey to save the princess, Aladdin and Sinbad come up against a number of obstacles - the least of which are the fantastic creatures and amazing monsters that inhabit the world of the Arabian tales. For Sejic, it's those creatures that have been the most rewarding part of illustrating "Legacy of the Lost." "[It's the] creatures, pure and simple," he said. "Since my teen days, I was vastly influenced by masters of movie magic, above all, Stan Winston Studios, so designing functional creatures and drawing them in a way that justifies their existence was always my greatest joy. This is apparent in 'Witchblade' and this is also very visible in 'Aladdin.'"

In addition to getting to illustrate the fantasy creatures that lend themselves so well to his style, Sejic said that the appeal of the book comes not only from the creatures but also from the surrounding aura of the story that makes it feel like the next big blockbuster film. "It's a very cinematic epic," he said. "It feels and reads like a summer blockbuster and I like drawing those types of stories. It has action, adventure, glorious landscapes, epic battles and monsters, which is right up my alley. Of course, the heavy fantasy aspect that is interwoven throughout the story is a major bonus in my book."

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