Posts Tagged ‘Balint Balassi’

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?

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Balassi Crest The family crest of Balint Balassi, the famed Hungarian poet, warrior and rake. He is moreover the Narrator of Countess Báthory – The Scarlet Woman, and somewhere between a participant and an occasional bystander in her story. Her very reputation for wickedness is in part what fascinates him. Like Countess Erzsébet Báthory, Balassi was a real life historical figure.

Though his verse is still taught in Hungarian high schools and universities today, in his time he himself was about as far from a figure of moral rectitude as you can get. The perfect guide through our story then.

Just read what one of his contemporaries, a certain György Salanki, had to say about this upper-class troubadour who extolled the virtues of chivalry and gallantry in his poetry… “The valiant Balassi with cavalry and infantry, destroyed houses and wealthy shops, captured children and women, bound many Turks by the neck. The valiant warriors went with great joy to the town of Eger, where they sold them off straightaway and gave great thanks to God.”