Herewith more work-in-progress on Countess Báthory, the Graphic Novel. This slide show/picture gallery combines some of Tamás Vari’s exquisite draft compositions: including the Countess in her octagonal tower, looking down on the scene of an execution; with photographs of interiors meant as a tonal guideline, for our colorist, Máté Vadas.

And the final image, well it’s one of Tamás and Máté’s ‘poster images’. The Countess stalks her castle, alone at night, while a frightened innocent cowers in the shadows…

Heady stuff, and there’s a lot more where that came from, as things are heating up, and not only on funeral pyres…

Darvulia Parchment

Meet one of the eerily fascinating characters of Countess Báthory, Darvulia the iron nosed witch. She was a herbalist by all accounts, but it was her influence, according to legend, that tipped Erzsébet Báthory over the edge into madness. This is another preliminary character sketch of Darvulia by illustrator Tamás Vari. Our colorist Máté Vadas hasn’t added his final touches but this sketch sums up the character very well indeed, (and we approve of the use of parchment). An iron-nosed witch by the way, is an archetypal character from Russian and Eastern European folklore. Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Slovenians and east Austrians all paid homage to the Pagan witch goddess Luca or Lucia, who wore an iron nose. Lucia, and other iron nosed witches at times were said to fly around on their mortars (spirit bowls) steering with their pestles. They would also ride on the backs of wild boar and could take on animal form. We will see more of Darvulia, not having a very good time of it, in our chapter for the Graphic Novel war chest.

And thrice as Báthory. Yes, we are quite aware that it has been a long absence. A painful one, even. But my lords, ladies and gentlemen, we have returned, and the money from our 2014 crowdfunding campaign is now being put to good use. Illustrator Tamás Vari and colorist Máté Vadas are at work on the 10 page spread we need to go with the cover art and script, which we will then ship off to some of the finest publishers of graphic novels in the known world. We certainly believe in the story, scripted by Sam Robinson Horley and Scott Alexander Young, after years of research and deliberation. And in Tamás Vari (“Tommy”) we have found an artist with an intimate understanding of the period, and a wonderful way with pen and ink. Exhibit A – this recent preliminary character study of Count Drugeth, the Blood Countess’s son-in-law. The eventual character will be a little more wiry and wily looking, and a shade less the classic, renaissance era knight. But this little soupçon still gives you some idea of the talent being deployed to bring this fascinating, blood soaked story of treachery and torment into vivid, pulsating life. It is good to be back and thrice as bad, and we will be back in a thrice with more…

Drugeth

How time flies, especially when you are working practically every waking minute of the live long day (and you don’t want to know what we get up to at night). But for those of you eagerly anticipating more from Project Báthory, we just want you to know, that 2015 looks to be a bumper year for the Bloody Countess. For one thing, co-author Scott Alexander Young’s children’s book The Wild Cats of Piran was published around Halloween of this year, and is now available across North America (wherever good books are sold as the saying goes). Clearly, this adds credibility to our publishing chops.

Early in 2015 we’ll make a definitive announcement about our march towards publication of the Báthory graphic novel, but for now we just want to assure our readers (particularly donors to our crowdfunding campaign) that absence has only served to make our twisted hearts fonder.

You heard it here first: Báthory will be back, and thrice as bad in 2015!

NightoftheBeast

TortureChamber

We have to admit. The juice has been running out of our Countess Báthory crowdfunding campaign like the blood from, well one of the scarlet lady’s victims, as illustrated. Writers Sam and Scott have been so busy with their respective projects – in Sam’s case an almost around the clock commitment to a prestigious film school, in Scott’s preparing the galleys for a children’s book he authored being published in the US later this year.

So, what does that mean? We just fold up our tents and just give up on the dream? Not on your life. We’ve worked too hard and been obsessing over Báthory for too long just to give up now. Have no fear or doubt: every pound, dollar or euro contributed thus far will be well spent, on realizing a presentation to send out to publishers. There’s just a week left on the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign now, and every injection, every infusion helps. So you know the drill. Get a bloody move on!

MirrorMirror

In her personal chambers in the tower of her castle, Countess Báthory sits on a throne-like chair raised up on a pedestal. She is dressed resplendently in her bejewelled gown for the wedding feast of her daughter. She holds out a hand mirror into which she gazes intently; in her other hand, draped over the armrest of the chair, she holds a long vicious needle…

 

Look closely now. This picture just gets more interesting – and disturbing – the longer you look at it: from the portraits of Erzsébet Báthory’s ancestors; to the crooked old lady whispering conspiratorially in the Countess’ ear – the witch Darvulia; to the young girl apparently shivering in the bathtub. It is a testament to the creative powers of illustrator Tomi Vari, and colourist Máté Vadas, and to the writer/researcher team of Sam Robinson-Horley and Scott Alexander Young.

A completed text, and several cover images for the Graphic Novel: we’ve come this far with passion and precision. Now we need your help. Please take a look at our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, how you can contribute, and the incentives for sponsors – from 5 pounds sterling to 1000. And then you’ll really be able to look at yourself in the mirror.

Siege of Nagykanisza, 1601

Yes, the jury is probably still out on whether the crowdfunding campaign will be an unqualified success. We started well, and have so far raised 685 pounds sterling. A very big thank you to everyone who has chipped in so far.  For anyone contemplating joining them, whether with 5 pounds or a 1000, all of it will help Team Báthory to realise this horrid history in vivid colour.

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