Casting is Everything

Sometimes a story has to wait for full production because something about it is not yet quite right.

I think the reason it took me eight years between script/layouts on The Happy Prince and full production of the finished drawings was that I wasn’t really happy with the model I originally chose for the prince.

Or perhaps I should say, the statue of the dead prince.

If ever there was an easy modeling job it was this, to stand in one position while I did all the work, running around underneath and overhead taking dozens of reference photos. My model was perfectly acceptable. He’d been my title character in the 50th issue of Vertigo’s Lucifer and my Turridu in my opera adaptation of Cavalleria Rusticana.

Looking back I realized my costuming was all wrong and something in me just wouldn’t let me proceed.

So I procrastinated.

Years passed and in the meantime the nephew of one of my long time models (Mowgli, Robin 3000) grew up and one day I looked at him and realized that at the age of 17 he was perfect for the part.

This time I got my costuming right and with no road blocks in my head drew the 30 pages in about 45 consecutive days.

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About the Author

Craig Russell
Craig Russell
A graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in painting, Philip Craig Russell has run the gamut in comics. After establishing a name for himself at Marvel, he went on to become one of the pioneers in opening new vistas for comics with, among other works, adaptations of Operas by Wagner (Parsifal) and Mozart (The Magic Flute). His massive adaptation of The Ring of the Nibelung may be his magnum opus. He has also collaborated frequently with Neil Gaiman on Sandman. He has become known as an artist's artist with his very refined pure line. His series of adaptations of the Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde has gone back to press many times and been translated in over 6 languages.

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