The Treasure of Abbot Thomas

A little under a year ago, i was approached to do a short in an anthology of MR James’ short stories, adapted by Leah Moore and John Reppion.

My back was just starting to heal up, the timeline they offered was more than sufficient, and the story was like nothing i’d ever done before.  Still, i had my qualms about doing sequentials again so soon after effectively quitting them, so i presented them a proposition, and my answer would hinge upon theirs:

Could i paint it?

You see, I *adore* painted comics.  They weren’t much more than a brief 90s fad here in the United States, but the European market has a long standing tradition of them. 

They’re nothing short of jaw dropping.

Also, the only reason why i started painting in the first place was because of the venerable Scott Hampton’s work on Lucifer, which is also the book that was the only reason i stuck around with reading comics after the late 90s (coz seriously… main stream comics were not exactly riveting reading at that point folks.)  I saw Scott’s work, and fell head over heals with VERTIGO in general, and, well, the rest is a very short history, lol.

All that to say: i REALLY wanted to paint a damn book.  My own upcoming project will likely be painted, and this would be a great practice run.  So, i waited for their reply.

They said yes.  And that brings us to these pages.

They’re all watercolor.  All.  Painted right on the stock, which is Arches Hot Press (my precious….).  The only digital work done on these was color correction from scanning, coz my scanner doesn’t pick up pinks very well, and, well, there are a lot of pinks, or pink hues, as you’ll notice throughout.

I’d never colored a book before either, so this trial by fire for me.  I did my best with color narrative and themes: Normal every day stuff is in rich browns and golden hues, very earthy.  Churchish stuff is in light filled pastels and neons, and the creepy crawly things, well, it’s pretty obvious what i did with those.  I do wonder if i should’ve pushed it more towards traditional horror, with dimmer, more muted tones, but bleh.  I’m proud of what i did, and to be blunt, i’m kinda sick of everything looking dead and dreary all the time.

Anyhoo, thank you for reading my rambling.  Here’s the art!  And i suppose a link to the book it’s in, eh?

Link! (Barnes & Noble, coz i can’t find it any place else yet) – Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Vol II

Also, yes, i totally misspelled Abbot on the title art — the publisher saved my ass though through the power of Photoshop, LOL.