Today is the day! Over the last month and a half, I have received a good selection of entries, and judging them has been an extraordinarily difficult task for me, not least because of the level of work.
Due to this, I have judged Art and the Written entries separately, as I felt that was only fair. As such their will be prize-winners from both sections.
Before I begin, I would like to say how much I appreciated each entry. They were each extraordinary pieces of work, and I am so proud and honoured to have received them. You cannot know how much your efforts have meant to me, and I will be forever grateful for your support.
Each piece has been given an individual critique below. Writing Entrant winners will be announced tomorrow (31/05/2015).
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PRIZE-WINNERS
1st Place: Red Cap by Thomas Fummo
2nd Place: Rufus Merle: La Mort by Rebecca Welch
3rd Place: Rufus Merle by Hamish Steele
Red Cap by Thomas Fummo
The winning entry. There is nothing I don’t love about this picture. Whilst all of the entries were very good, each boasting a different artistic style, The Red Cap is to me a perfect specimen. The attention to detail is immaculate, and the picture totally captures exactly how I imagined the Red Cap should be. The textures, the way the skin hangs both loose and yet tight, the single nostril, the red eyes, the lanky limbs and above all the beak like teeth…You have a great talent for drawing monstrosities Thomas, and on this occasion you’ve really outdone yourself.
If ever anyone wants to know what I envisioned the Red Cap as, I will be directing them to this picture.
Fae by Thomas Fummo
Your rendition of Fae is incredibly pleasing to me! I love the scars, the design of her weapons (all of which you noted and drew!) and her stance, like she’s going to spring out of the screen. For Fae, who is often drawn in a passive way, I liked seeing her looking so fierce and battle-ready, like the warrior she is! You captured her essence perfectly.
Rufus Merle: La Mort by Rebecca Welch
Where do I even begin? The concept is fantastic, and your line-work as always is horrifically enviable. The more you look at this picture, the more details you pick out, and that’s especially what I love about it. You’ve encapsulated the character extraordinarily well, throwing in hints and clues. As always, the way you draw the folds in clothes is wonderful, and I cannot fault you for the anatomical accuracy (those hands!). I am totally charmed by his picture; it could really be ‘La Mort’ in a genuine Tarot Deck, and maybe when I have enough money, I’ll commission you to make the whole thing!
My only quibble, and it is a small one, is that you didn’t have time to colour it, which would have really completed the picture. This, I understand, but it is a shame. Regardless, La Mort is a fantastic piece of work and among my absolute favourites.
Rufus Merle by Hamish Steele
As always, I am charmed by your style. Everything from the pose to the bright colours is just brimming with life and character, and this picture looks like a professional poster for a genuine cartoon! I am especially fond of the details on the clothing and Rufus’s expression. It is clear you drew on the front-cover and the book trailer to inform Rufus’s look, and I especially love the long coat with the fur-line and the boots. Adding the magic was a wonderful, extra touch which just completes the whole thing.
Luca by Amelia Bull
As a big fan of Art Nouveau, I was delighted to see Luca drawn in this way, not least because the style totally compliments the character, and you spent time investigating how she should be dressed and appear. The colours compliment her, and I am very pleased by how anatomically correct she is in build and size. This is a very beautiful homage to the character, and one that I have put up very proudly on my wall. I apologise for not being able to load a better scanned version.
Athea Ascending by Jules Ironside
This is an incredibly vibrant and striking picture. I can imagine it would be even more impressive on paper, and was very struck by its regality and power. The new design of Athea’s staff was creative and interesting, and I liked the touch of the sand turning into a different colour (Almost reminiscent of oxidised blood, though that of course isn’t actually blue!). I think the thing that gets me most about this picture is the eyes, as they really do stand out and are very piercing. You’ve certainly captured Athea very well.
Hello everyone! in light of the success The Sons of Thestian is currently having, I’ve decided to hold a promotional competition!
It’s very simple, anyone is free to participate, and the more participants the bigger and better the prizes!
The Prince Jionathan is plagued by visions of death. With the King on his death-bed, and the tyrannical Queen in power, the Kingdom of Harmatia lies in peril. Fleeing the city in fear of his life, Jionathan is shadowed by Rufus Merle, a young, secretive magi tasked with bringing him home. Now, with the help of a fearsome sidhe warrior named Fae, they must traverse a dangerous faerie-wood together. Against bandits, faeries and cursed priestesses, these unlikely friends travel a path fraught with danger, not least from the blood-thirsty Night Patrol and the dark conspiracy that shrouds them.
Art by the amazing Peter Brockhammer.
BACK COPY – Prince Jionathan is plagued by visions of death. With the king on his deathbed, and the tyrannical queen in power, the Kingdom of Harmatia lies in peril. Fleeing the city in fear of his life, Jionathan is shadowed by Rufus Merle, a young, secretive magi tasked with bringing him home.
Now, with the help of a fearsome sidhe warrior named Fae, they traverse a dangerous faerie-wood together. Against bandits, faeries and cursed priestesses, these unlikely friends travel a path fraught with danger and a dark conspiracy that shrouds them.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pantheon is a delight from cover to cover. A wonderfully drawn recreation of the Egyptian myths, Hamish Steele approaches the story with a vibrant enthusiasm that brings all the characters to life. Loyal to the original tale, the comic is witty and humorous, and stands (in my opinion) as one of the best retelling of this ancient (and very often forgotten) story.
There is nothing I don’t like about this comic. From the charming drawing, to the well formulated story-telling, to the progressive and engaging pace of the plot, Pantheon has you hooked from the beginning.
With a handy key at the back, and with each character designed very uniquely, it is easy to keep track of who is who (something which can sometimes prove difficult with stories based on mythology.). The hours of dedicated research are clear from the get-go, but Steele has a refreshing way of reworking it into a easily accessible story, even making fun of some of the more ridiculous or convoluted parts of the myth.
Informative and engaging, please note parents that this is not a good book to introduce to your kids. Tastefully graphic, Pantheon has several violent moments, a sex scene and contains…sort-of bestiality/incest at one point too… Needless to say, not for children, but definitely something for adults to have a giggle at.
As for the quality of the book itself; it’s beautifully bound, with a colored front-cover, and sturdy black and white pages on the inside; so nice and durable with clear lines and drawings.
I cannot recommend Pantheon enough to anybody. It is a joy from start to finish, with several real ‘laugh out loud’ moments, and a wonderfully thoughtful ending. Definitely something I’ll be reading over and over.
Rufus Merle, from The Harmatia Cycle – www.harmatiacycle.com