Deep within the remote swamplands of Sog, a young Gelfling woman called Naia encounters a mysterious silver-haired traveler who brings life-altering news from the All-Maudra. No longer bound to remain in her small village, Naia embarks on a journey to the Castle of the Crystal—the home of the Skeksis overlords who have accused her twin brother of treason.
Unwilling to accept these accusations, Naia hopes to learn the truth about her brother. However, the truths that she uncovers reveal something far greater than the fate of one Gelfling or even of the whole Gelfling race.
Something dark is spreading throughout Thra, and there are those who will do whatever it takes to ensure that its true nature remains hidden.
I’m sure that one of these days Brian Froud is going to come swinging out his front door with a broom and chase me off his lawn. Until then, I’m happy to say that over the last few years I’ve had the very good fortune to work in an official capacity with Labyrinth and now The Dark Crystal.
SHADOWS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL is the first in a new series of novels from author J. M. Lee, publisher Grosset & Dunlap (an imprint of Penguin Random House) and The Jim Henson Co.
For this new series, I’ve had the oppurtunity to create the interior illustrations. And hey, before I forget, I’ll be doing a signed copy giveaway! See the end of the post for more information.
|Cover art by Brian Froud|
About the story itself, Lee has pulled off something amazing. Speaking as a big fan of the original film, he’s not only nailed the tone and feel of this world but he (seemingly effortlessly) has smoothed out the edges of that world and documented, with a lot of heart, what he found beyond the walls of the movie. It’s fresh, fun, and fast-paced. The story honors the original work while being completely it’s own new creation.
There are eight black and white interior illustrations in total and each one presented a special challenge. Here’s a look at a couple of them and then below I’ll walk through the steps, start to finish.
|Digital rough painted over the initial thumbnail.|
|Brown pencil rough.|
|Watercolor sky. I knew that I wanted to persevere the original drawing |
so I did this separately and knit it together digitally.
|Sketchbook page of thumbnails.|