The Family is something I’ve been wanting to get off the ground even before I was working on my graphic novel, ‘Legends: The Enchanted’.
Since finishing Legends, I’ve kept busy with various covers for 2000AD, BOOM’s Hellraiser, IDW’s Judge Dredd as well as concept art for film, but held off from committing to any comic book interior work, since I wanted to get cracking on ‘The Family‘ graphic novel series.
The official synopsis for the book is as follows:
The Family: The series
In a ruined world that frighteningly echoes our own, humanity’s Bad Feelings and Dark Emotions have taken on terrifying physical forms. Swarming through cities and towns, these sinister entities feed on people’s Empathy and Compassion, leaving only hollow shells of the afflicted behind.
Spreading like some warped disease, twisting beyond recognition familiar landmarks and landscapes, the world is brutally re-shaped in their image as Panic Attacks, Rage Storms and Floods of Tears devastate the Earth.
When four seemingly unrelated individuals cross paths in this hostile new land, a unique bond between them is forged in order to survive: Known only as Father, Mother, Son and Daughter: they are The Family.
Venturing deeper into the heart of this hazardous world, ever closer to the shocking origins of the infection, the Family must each face the horror of their own Dark Emotions – a confrontation that could not only tear their new found bond violently apart but change them forever into something more fearsome than they could ever imagine.
The Family deals with a lot of themes I’ve always wanted to explore, particularly the extreme effects of different emotions and how they affect people but I thought if I could set it in a world where every emotion and bad feeling actually exists as creature like entities, able to infect people and spread these feelings of rage, guilt, fear, panic, deceit, malice, etc- it would be a very interesting and very visual place to form a graphic novel series.
It’s a relatively small cast of characters so I can really keep it focused. I always liked the movie ’Signs’ where even though these huge world changing events are taking place around them, the focus is still on a small group of characters and how they react and how they have to respond to what’s going on.
I don’t want to make it too clear at this point whether it’s a near future version of our world, or a different place entirely, since the story will take place over six hardcover volumes. I’ve kind of treated the whole thing like a TV series with each volume reading like a season in terms of pacing and the drip feeding of information.
People familiar with my work will hopefully see a forward evolution in my artwork on ’The Family’ from the ‘Legends’ book and I think (hope!) I‘m a better writer since then. It’s all painted digitally and while I’d love to create more traditional painted artwork, for comic book interiors, it’d just take too long but I’ve still gone for a very ‘painterly’ style to the whole thing.
The first volume is getting to know the cast of characters and starting the task of word building, so there’s a wide variety of locations and settings but you will still get to see a whole bunch of strange creatures as the emotion entities are taking over and the Family start their journey through this new twisted world, so I hope people will give it a shot and stay with it.
Since my work is all fully painted, it’s taken a little bit of time to get sorted but Volume 1 is finally finished and will be released by Nickel Editions in France late Spring/early Summer 2013 as: ‘La Famille: Cruel Prelude‘. (The Family: Cruel Beginnings)
Nickel are responsible for the very nifty oversized hardcover reprints of ‘Slaine’ and they also publish Pat Mill’s original vampire series: ‘Requiem’ amongst other cool stuff, so I’m in good hands. They actually published the hardcover French edition of ‘Legends’ last year that did very well for them and our relationship grew from there.
The first English edition is likely to be in Heavy Metal Magazine later in the year, followed by trade paperback volumes starting in the Autumn and there should be a new volume out each year with a few online teasers in between, so I’m in for the long haul.
I’m still always gonna be painting a bunch of covers for various comic book publishers -( just recently completed a new X-Files over for IDW) and other projects but the main focus is on ‘The Family’ as I’m already starting on Volume 2…back to the drawing board!