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Yes, we know it has been a while. Years possibly. Well, we did send out our colour booklet of The Scarlet Countess to a few potential publishers, but when answer came there none, we decided to retool the written pitch somewhat. And so, soon we’ll be sending out a second wave. You bled it here first.

Meanwhile, it being vacation season here in Central Europe, we thought we’d share some snaps from a brief stay (too brief) in Ritterburg Castle, in Lockenhaus, Burgenland, Austria. At one time, this impressive hilltop fortress was a Báthory stronghold – one of many.  Legend has it that when Erzsébet’s husband, the Black Knight of Hungary, passed away, the Scarlet Lady would lock up comely girls in the castle’s dungeons, with promises of fine clothes and the like. Then of course, she would murder them, using heinously cruel devices such as the Iron Maiden (pictured, below). All the better to drink of their blood, and thus preserve her fading youth and beauty.

Altogether, there’s a lot of mystique about Ritterburg Castle, including the so-called ‘cult room’ where the Knights Templar carried out their secret rituals. How thrilling. The castle itself is a real renaissance beauty, and you can actually stay there overnight for a quite reasonable consideration, sleeping in rooms of imperial splendour with incredible views. You can see more at http://www.ritterburg.at

How’s that to whet your appetite? (Not to mention your bloodlust?)

 

 

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(You will recall ‘The Beast’ was another of the Countess’s sobriquets). Anyway, here is the full package for The Scarlet Countess, photographed just moments before that first trip to the Post Office. The handwriting on the envelope is Sam Robinson-Horley’s. Zoom in close enough and you can see some of the cover letter and synopsis which accompanies the 28 pages of artwork. Tantalizing, isn’t it?

PS: A big thank you to the Hungarian Comics magazine Kilencedik, who published a story about us (in Hungarian) on Friday.

Aye, our sweet prints hath finally come. If you haven’t yet had the patience to scroll through THE SCARLET COUNTESS Chapter III PDF online, well then this slide show illustrates what a splendid folio we are sending off to graphic novel publishers of repute. Though we are not currently crowdfunding per se, for the right patron “of wealth and taste”, we could of course hurry the whole publication business along. Hint, hint.

Here she is, the Beast! (Another one of her epithets). THE SCARLET COUNTESS, our 28 page pitch for the world’s pre-eminent graphic novel publishers.  You can see too from the end pages we have a lot of people to thank, but authors Sam Robinson Horley and Scott Alexander Young are especially indebted to illustrator Tamás Vári and colorist  Máté Vadas.

Yes, we are now just waiting for prints of The Scarlet Countess booklet to come back from, who else, but the printers, so we can do our mail-out to the right graphic novel publishers. Meanwhile, another kind of Prince! He is Prince Gábor (Gabriel) Báthory. Nephew of the ‘Scarlet Countess’, and leader of Transylvania at the time of her arrest. Considered by the Báthory clan their last and best hope to place the crown of the Holy Roman Empire on the head of a true Hungarian warrior king. This is another one of Tamás Vári’s wonderful character sketches. Here he is dressed as if in his own quarters. In the panels for the graphic novel however, we get to see Gábor in full plate armor, sitting on a Transylvanian throne. All good things to those who wait…

Prince Gabor

Here she is, illustrator Tamás Vári’s character sketch of Countess Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory, in all her cool, imperious glory. Forget the ‘red woman’, this lady was the real thing. But how much truth is there, to the generally accepted history that Báthory was history’s most prolific serial killer, or the legends which say she bathed in the blood of virgins to prolong her youth?

Well, you will just have to read The Scarlet Countess when it comes out, to ascertain that.

ScarletCountess

What is in no doubt – this was one Hell of a Lady!

The day we were beginning to think would never come is almost upon us. The pitch for The Scarlet Countess is almost ready to be sent off to the big names in graphic novel publishing. It includes a beautifully drawn and colored sample chapter, and poster artwork, but also character sketches: such as the above. Here illustrator Tamás Vári gives us two possible takes, on our Narrator. He’s a troubadour and a lovable scoundrel named Balassi, loosely based on real life, 16th century warrior poet Bálint Balassi. We have decided on the version with the eye patch. What do you think?