Posts Tagged ‘Dracula’

(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.

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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?

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

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.