I’ve posted today’s update of the new comic “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”. This piece was drawn throughout the spring of 1999, my first semester at UC Berkeley, right after finishing Reminiscence. This poem was a favorite of mine from high school lit, and I’d often pictured adapting it into visual form.
Around the time of most of the Meditations stories, I was reading a lot of short vignette works by P. Craig Russell, Barry Winsor Smith, and old issues of Epic Illustrated. The visual style of this one is especially influenced by Russell’s Magic Flute, in line with the sentiment of adapting a traditional piece into graphic form. To a smaller degree, the visual style was also influenced by Zander Cannon’s most excellent Replacement God, or at least the chinks in the knight’s armor.
I spent a fair amount of time doing photo references for this piece, as well as very carefully toying with the linework. Among the pieces in the Meditations stories, it’s certainly one of the more clean and “elegant” pieces visually (if such a word can describe my work).
One of the other things about this piece is the care with which I did the lettering. I took a lot of time developing the font style, and it was all hand done. Shortly after this, I began doing most of my lettering by computer, so it was a nice “last hurrah” in that regard.