War of the Fairy Tales in LEGENDS
War of the Fairy Tales in LEGENDS
But in modern times, these fairy tales have been regelated to the light all-ages arena, and while some of those can be entertaining --- few retain the dark elements they had in their earlier incarnations. But in the upcoming Radical Publishing series Legends: The Enchanted, these fairy tales get their edge back.
The Enchanted are the supernatural immortals such as Pinocchio, the Red Hood, the giant killer Jack, Goldilox. These aren't the children's storybook versions, but dark reimaginations made of
The miniseries comes by way of European artist Nick Percival, who has worked extensively for 2000AD as well as Marvel's recent Dead of Night miniseries. But now Percival comes into his own writing and drawing this lush and bloody tale. For more, we talked to Percival by email from his home in England.
Newsarama: How would you describe Legends: The Enchanted, Nick?
Nick Percival: Legends: The Enchanted is set in a violent and corrupt world swarming with dangerous creatures and ruled by corrupt powerful tyrants. It’s a place where modern technology, twisted nature and dark magic battle for dominance. The plot focuses on a
Loathed and feared by many, they spend their fractured existence as vigilantes, outlaws, bounty hunters and such trying to make a life for themselves in a land that is increasingly hostile towards them. Armed with a hard attitude, unique abilities and customized weaponry, the Enchanted’s world is shattered when they discover someone (or something) has found a way to break through their mystic immortality and is stealthily murdering them one by one.
Nrama: A murder sets this all off – the murder of Pinocchio. What was he like in this world, and who would have it out for him?
Nrama: It seems like the main characters in this are a wolf-hunting Red Hood and a giant-killing Jack. Can you tell us about them?
Percival: Red Hood lives in a harsh terrain known as the Bionic Woodlands - a place overgrown with spiked bio-mechanical trees and living, organic plant life, populated by mutated wolf creatures. She’s fiercely independent and lives there with her daughter, Verity. Basically, she just wants to be left alone and raise her child but the murder of Pinocchio and other events force her to seek out help from other Enchanted in a big story element that involves the safety of Verity.
Jack is a whole different ballgame. He’s a rogue, bit of a drunk and drives a monster of a motorcycle that runs on Giant’s blood for fuel. Powered up on a supply of various ’magic beans’ Jack hires out his violent Giant killing skills to the highest bidder. Initially he doesn’t think too deeply about things but after he gets himself seriously wounded, it kind of serves as wake up call for him as he becomes involved in the Enchanted’s fight for survival.
Nrama: What other familiar fairy tale folk will we see in this book?
Nrama: How would you describe the look and feel you’re aiming for in this book?
Percival: It’s an urban-action fantasy tale. On a visual level I’m aiming for a unique combination of post-apocalyptic decayed environments where nature is reclaiming the land. There’s also a heavy-duty industrial feel to the cities and vehicles and even the weapons with a smattering of steam-punk for good measure. I think the world is quite different from stuff normally seen in comics as well as the designs for the characters and creatures themselves - even the average
Nrama: I hear word of this simultaneously being developed for comics and the movie screen. Can you tell us about a Legends: The Enchanted movie?
Percival: I developed the story idea and initial concept artwork for the project quite a few years ago and part of that included a full script for the book. The aim has always been to produce a graphic novel but as with a lot of Radical’s projects, they plan for the bigger picture, saw the potential for a movie version and are heavily involved in that process for Legends. But my main focus has been to produce the best graphic novel I can and for me,
Nrama: How did you get hooked up with Radical, Nick?
Percival: Well, I’d already written a full script for Legends and created a large volume of concept artwork for it and my managers in LA showed some of this material to Barry Levine who really responded to it. As I continued to work on it, Radical was in the early stages of coming together as a company and we agreed it would be a perfect fit for the kind of things they wanted to publish. They really understand the project and know the things that I’m trying to achieve on it, so it’s a mutually strong relationship.
Percival: I’ve produced a lot of fully painted comic book interiors and covers for 2000AD, working on ‘Judge Dredd’ and ‘Slaine’ as well as painting material for Marvel’s Dead of Night series and various other stuff, so comics has always been in my background ( I even used to run a comic book store, here in the UK) but this is the first project that has been created, written and illustrated by myself, so that’s kind of a big deal for me and given me room to really expand as a storyteller and also take my artwork further. It’s a hell of a lot of work and a big responsibility but pretty damn cool as well.