Evil Star Workings #4: Matt Freeman’s Schooldays

After the supernatural hullabaloo of Raven’s Gate, main character Matt’s shadowy group of new benefactors – ‘The Nexus’ – arrange for him to attend a new, exclusive, private school. This being the world of Power of Five though, things are never plain sailing.

Evil Star Graphic Novel

After saving the world from ancient demons, Matt has to deal with trying to fit in and lippy kids wanting to bully him. Ahh, the joys the secondary school.

Evil Star Graphic Novel

I even had fun designing what the story picks out to be a tawdry, modern chandelier in the school’s canteen. Can you guess what generally happens to fragile-looking things made out of glass in comics..? Yep. That.

Evil Star Workings #3: At Home with Richard and Matt

After having the most strange of vivid, portentous dreams, it’s time to have some good hearty breakfast. Matt – the main character of The Power of Five – lives with his big brother figure / guardian Richard, one of my favourite characters in the series. Anthony Horowitz (who’s writing The New Sherlock Holmes books, chappy) wastes no adjectives in describing him as a lackadaisical, unkempt, crumpled, untidy twenty-something. His flat is a mess and there’s nothing anything in the cupboards to eat. Even if you’ve just experienced a coded visual flash-forward of the events that are going to happen in the book.

Evil Star Graphic Novel pencils

I did some pretty heavy photo-reffing of myself in relevant bits of clothing for the figures in this scene. I was trying my best to measure up to Dom‘s work on Raven’s Gate, and probably slightly self-conscious at drawing the book’s main characters for the first time…

Evil Star Graphic Novel pencils

Next: Why Matt looks like a mini-businessman in this scene…

Evil Star Workings #2: At Home with Gwenda and Brian

In Evil Star, a character who was more-or-less a cameo in Raven’s Gate reappears – Gwenda – the main character Matt’s aunt and foster-mum. Things aren’t going too well for her and her husband Brian though, and she ends up becoming somewhat twisted supporting character.

Evil Star Workings

Gwenda’s domestic situation’s gone downhill a bit…

Evil Star Workings

But she’s made a new friend… He might be ‘a bad-un’ though. Never mind how he comes around to visit. As always, I’m trying to sidestep the SPOILARZ in all the little reveals that you get to see when you read the book…

Evil Star Workings #1

I said I’d lob up some workings from the Evil Star Graphic Novel, so here we go. The plan is to make a regular series out of these: all the interesting pencils, layouts, thumbnails and scribbles on the script that never see print.

Evil Star

Starting at the beginning, this is some detail from the pencils – well, I’m calling them pencils, most comicy people would probably call them ‘breakdowns’ – for lowly page two of the one hundred and seventy or so in the book. We open up the top of a tall mountain in the wilds of Peru, with an ‘Amauta’ wise man making predictions on the future for the story and the characters. I seemed to remember the scribbles being tighter than this, but don’t worry, they’ll get better as they go on.

Evil Star

You’ve got to love an old wise man. I had a look at some photos of elderly Peruvians and the place takes a toll on their skin – the ones who live in the mountains above the clouds (or so it looked) have nothing to keep the harsh sun or howling winds off them, so they end up with wrinkles on top of wrinkles on their faces. This old salt was drawn first by Dom Reardon in Raven’s Gate, thankfully in a deliberately mysterious way, so I could come in later and construct him fully, going by the ideas that he was old, had a poncho, a stick, and a hat with ear flaps. I must find out the proper name for those, since the book’s full of them…

More soon…

Super What’s Next

So after the huge book that was Raven’s Gate, yer favourite Graphic Novel adaptation of a supernatural Young Adult book (which has even managed to get into the ‘Teen’ section of Waterstones bookshops all over the country, how about that? Not ghettoised in a comic shop, not even ghettoised in the Graphic Novels section of the proper bookshop, but in a section that real human beings peruse!)
The next big project I’m working on is, tidily enough, its sequel. Book Two of the Power of Five series, Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz. I’ll be the sole artist on this 171 page Graphic Novel adaptation of the original novel.

Once it’s published, this will be the thickest slab of a book comprised of my scribbles alone that’s been released so far. I’ve been working on it for a while and I’m hoping to have the pencils for the whole book finished in April or so. I’d like to lob up odd pages and frames as I go, but I’ll see how it goes with the getting the art done…

Talking of which, I’d better get back to it…

Oh, and there’s a massive collaborative community artwork here, the result of James Harvey‘s ‘Choose a Cat, Draw a Girl’ 2010, with art from me and err, everybody else on the interweb. All of ’em!