Regular followers of this blog may recall that last January I had the tremendous good fortune of winning the First Fictions Graphic Novel Award, which meant that my Graphic Novel ‘The Black Project’ would be published by Myriad Editions!
Well, I’m pleased to say that 14 months later The Black Project is finally (almost) finished and will be released in September. So between now and then I’m going to give you a few tantalizing glimpses of some pages and tell you a bit about the process behind them.
The Black Project follows the exploits of a lonely suburban boy called Richard, who develops the unhealthy and all consuming ‘hobby’ of making girlfriends out of things he finds lying around. I wanted the cover to convey the crafty and decorative elements contained in the book, but also to give the curious browser a glimpse of some of Richards’ ghastly girlfriend creations!
Like the rest of The Black Project, the cover is executed using a combination of linocut relief print and hand stitching. As the inside pages are all black and white, I relished the prospect of embroidering in several colours and spent several happy hours in the haberdashery department of John Lewis mentally auditioning Anchor Embroidery threads until only three remained.
Here is the embroidery that makes up the basic background pattern of the cover. The text was then added using black embroidery thread.
For the other images I used linocut. This is an initial print of the image that would end up in the top left hand corner of the cover. Also in the photo you can see my two favorite lino-cutting tools, one I use to achieve a super fine line and the other I use to take out large areas. These are (almost) the only tools I used to create the linocuts in The Black Project, and are among my favorite objects in the world, though they can be a nightmare to sharpen.
That’s all for now but stay tuned for more page reveals in the coming months.