Posts Tagged ‘Erzsébet Báthory’

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?)

 

 

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.

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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?

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!

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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.

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As a window into the world of Hungary in the early years of the 17th century, its politics and skullduggery, its untenable position on the front line of the conflict between the cross and the crescent, we believe Countess Báthory – The Scarlet Lady is far more compelling than the usual dry history text, gathering dust in an academic library. Mind you, we certainly sifted through a number of historical tomes, in both English and Hungarian, to piece together our story. We also went on the road. These photos were taken at Cachtice castle, in modern day Slovakia, (or Csejte as it would have been known in the Scarlet Lady’s time.) (more…)

Just a few days until the launch on indiegogo of the crowdfunding project for Countess Báthory, the graphic novel…

Read all about it…

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