The Great Mythic Village Disaster (and other traumas)


It’s been a difficult month work-wise.

Just when I thought the collected Crooked Imp was completed and ready for it’s Spring release, the publishers started having second thoughts about the cover. Unusually, I was quite happy with the one I’d already done, and was extremely reluctant to do another. I did try another approach, but nobody liked it much. Eventually I agreed to let a third party have a look at the original to see if we could wrestle it into an form everyone was happy with. Designer and comic artist Paul Duffield squeezed and shuffled things around until we had a result – meanwhile the title changed so I had to redraw that as well.

Here’s the original cover:


Then the abandoned second attempt (in rough form):


And now the unequivocally very, very, very final cover that will appear both here and in the States (unless it changes again):


Next up, the ongoing nightmare that is the Mythic Village Yearbook.

Last year I had the splendid idea (it wasn’t) to gather all my Local Character paintings and sketches into a wonderful book (it isn’t). The book was supposed to be out before Christmas last year (it wasn’t) and be a fair representation of my favourite things to paint (it isn’t). Five hundred copies finally turned up a week ago. In fairness, the cover and binding is great, and I like the dead hares endpapers, but then things go downhill. Most of the pictures have an alarming, eye-piercing green tint that can only be described as ultra-violent emerald (a pigment currently unavailable in Windsor and Newton watercolours) and certainly not present in the originals.


At this point I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but the books are certainly unsellable and I suspect we’ll be having a very expensive bonfire in the near future.

To finish on a positive note, here’s a sketch that I’m hoping to develop for my next Local Character painting, a guardian of Wattern Tor high up on the moors. On no account will there be any green in this picture whatsoever.