Flames of The Dark Crystal, the fourth and final novel in the official prequel series for The Dark Crystal, is out today!
Last time we took a look at the creation of the cover and, like I talked about last time, each of these books was a dream to illustrate. They all presented challenges and questions. Each time I’ve done my dead level best to meet those challenges and questions and deliver a cover and collection of interior illustrations worthy of the title.
In short, they’ve been a lot of fun and it’s bittersweet to see the series conclude.
I thought it fitting to take one more walk inside these books and see just what we can see.
Flames of the Dark Crystal was unique from the previous three in that while I was illustrating the book there were now actual puppets of some of the characters. The soon to be released Netflix show, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, was in production and for the first time I was able to see some new reference from the world of Thra.
This led to some subtle changes in how I approached a few of the characters.
For instance, there’s been a bit of a change in how I drew Naia, the main character, from the first book, Shadows of The Dark Crystal, compared with Naia from Flames of The Dark Crystal. Adjustments to features and her hair bring the character more in line with the show. Nothing too major, mind you, but I’m sure eagle-eyed readers will pick up on some small changes. Having the extra reference was helpful and I seeing the world fully realized beyond the black and white text and the black and white illustrations threw me for a loop.
Here’s a look at a few of the nine interior pieces.
I’ve done around 40 illustrations for the four book series and if I see one of them recreated or even nodded to in the show well, that’ll just make my millennium.
As I said before, it’s bittersweet to bring this series to close.
These books have been a part of my life for over four years now and I’m very proud of what J. M. Lee, the Penguin Random House team, the Jim Henson Co., each of the designers and art directors, and I have been able to make. The series has truly been a dream come true to illustrate.
In the words of Aughra, “End, begin, all the same.” While this series is done what’s been exciting for me is that this isn’t my last journey through the world of The Dark Crystal. More to come later this year!