The world of Gormenghast created by Melvyn Peake needs little introduction due to the dedicated following the books have gained since publication. BBC Radio 4 are currently broadcasting a radio adaptation in six parts, adapted by Brian Sibley. I was commissioned by the Radio Times to produce an illustration for their radio pages to accompany the series. A gift of a project. I thought it best to concentrate on Steerpike and his murderous intent. For me, he's by far the most interesting character in the book(s) as he's so calculating and unrelentingly evil. A true villain in the best theatrical sense. His ambition to be part of the castle life and hierarchy is all consuming and I thought it would be interesting to depict him overlapping into the walls of Gormenghast itself. I explored a few other ideas, but I kept coming back to this as it seemed to have the most potential for a brooding portrait. I also subtly referenced the Peake original drawing without resorting to copying or fan worshipping - his illustrations for Treasure Island (astonishing) made a big impact on me as a student. Great fun to do, and timely in reference to the last Bama / Aurora illustration blog entry, as they were an influence here too.
And the Radio 4 show:
And a link to a post by Brian on his blog: