Above you’ll find Swelter, the chef of the gothic and rotting Castle Gormenghast from Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Trilogy. He was drawn as a quick study for future illustrations of certain scenes from that book series. I hadn’t been hired to do the illustrations or anything, I just thought the project would be a good exercise for me. I later dropped the idea when a friend said I’d be better off illustrating my own stories, and briefly reconsidered taking it up again when I realized I had no stories to illustrate. And then I got gainfully employed elsewhere. It’s still a project I’d love to work on, if only for the sheer challenge of bringing Peake’s – an illustrator himself – wonderful character descriptions to life:
“His skull was dark and small like a corroded musket bullet and his eyes behind the gleaming of his glasses were the twin miniatures of his head.”
“She appeared rather to inhabit, than to wear her clothes.”
“His face was very lined, as though it had been made of brown paper that had been crunched by some savage hand before being hastily smoothed out and spread over the tissues.”
“Their faces, identical to the point of indecency, were quite expressionless, as though they were the preliminary lay-outs for faces and were waiting for sentience to be injected.”
Good stuff, eh? I’ll let you know if I ever get back to the project. In the meantime, enjoy Swelter!