Yay! The autumn releases catalogue from Egmont graphic novel arrived, announcing my adaption of H.G. Wells’ famous ’The War of the Worlds’! Superhappy :-)
I´m back from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and brought a War of the Worlds graphic novel announcement pic from the Egmont Graphic Novel booth on the fair!
A scene in my War of the Worlds graphic novel shows the protagonist and his wife sitting in their teahouse in the garden, reading. And like I did it with many other things surrounding my characters throughout the story, I asked myself: What will especially Emma, the main character’s wife, read here?
As Wells designed him, the main protagonist is a philosopher, being involved in that-time-of-period-discussions in magazines, writing essays. He lives in his own house with his wife, having a parlourmaid, enjoying little pieces of luxury. Because of that, I figured the pair to be more upper middle class.
The common activities of a woman living at the time War of the Worlds is set were managing the home, making (and answering) invitations, fueling the social life of the family, doing philanthropist activities and educating herself in handcrafts. She was socially oppressed, as the women’s rights movement was just about to form itself. But before you judge the above mentioned activities too early: I think that was a huge job to do, managing all this stuff. My great-grandmother herself did a great part of her husband’s job by contributing her skilled handcraft abilities like sewing or repairing lace to his museum profession. So, more or less, a couple of that time could also form a union in the same effort, so to say, and women sometimes had a tremendous effect on the careers of their husbands. But back to Emma, my War of the Worlds character: Supposing she is concerned with the commitments of a wife of that period, what would she read in this scene? I decided she reads some The Studio magazines. The Studio was a reformist magazine of that period displaying modern lifestyle, showcasing new tendencies in decorating a home, displaying artists and publishing articles about arts and crafts. I think it is very likely that Emma, as a wife of a man with the profession and social status that he has, would be open to modern ways of living and furnishing as well as to traditional tendencies of her life (after all they’re Victorians).
So I put a The Studio magazine on the teatable. I show a scan of a cover of The Studio above, actually not exactly from that time my graphic novel is set (about two years older), but very, very close to it. The magazine covers looked like that the whole period in which the publication of Wells’ War of the Worlds took place. The little vignette handling the magazine´s name like an ornament was found in one of these original editions of The Studio that I own. I think it amalgamates the magazine´s approach to showcase modern art and the Arts & Crafts movement in one single illustration very well. I added it here to give you an impression of how that journal was.
I noticed some differences at the original instrument and the one in the picture of this music-making moment between Emma and Robert that I posted before. So I changed it a bit.
I wonder what they are playing - being in the middle of the season right now, I imagine something like this: click. With a little bit less in volume, of course :)
The War of the Worlds Graphic Novel will have a sketch addendum, although we - the publisher and I - don´t know yet how many pages it will have. But here´s a recent try on one of the pages about the characters.