The Story of Richard III as Graphic Novel

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 The discovery of human remains during the search for Richard III at an archaeological dig in Leicester has been very exciting for medievalists. It has also inspired graphic artist Emma Vieceli to create a short series of illustrations about the find. See our interview with Emma at the bottom of this page.




Interview with Emma Vieceli 

Why did you want to create these illustrations?

I’ve actually been a follower of Richard and his life for several years now. Having fallen head over heels for the stories and the people in them, I knew I wanted to make a graphic novel series on the subject. I’m a comic artist and illustrator by trade and channeling that into telling Richard’s story is something of a dream project for me. My husband, Andrew Ruddick, is scripting the books and we’ve already made fair progress. But this is a project that demands time and love, and my schedule is very busy right now as I’m in contract to two publishers for series that I need to finish first, so I don’t tend to talk about it much in public just yet. This seems as good a time as any to at least mention that it’s happening though ^_^

With all this in mind, you can imagine how excited I was following the dig news. And it just happened that Richard Taylor of the University of Leicester saw my twitter avatar and my clear enthusiasm for the subject, and asked if I’d be interested in offering illustrations to accompany the press conference. I leaped at the chance and, together with my friends Kate Brown and Paul Duffield, we put together the images over the weekend. It was all a bit short notice, but so worth doing to be even slightly connected to such an exciting time!

How long does the process of creating a few illustrations like this take?

Haha, normally it would take longer. What with all the excitement and how fast the dig moved, these particular illustrations were made over the weekend before the conference. But there’s no clear answer for how long an image can take to make really…it all depends on the image content, the strike of an idea and how well my drawing hand is behaving on any given day. these came together surprisingly quickly, and I was really pleased when I hit the notion of the friary in the shadow of the crown for illustrating the dissolution. That could have taken a lot longer to come up with!

Are you planning more ‘medieval’ related art work?

See question one and watch this space. I hope people will be as excited about reading a project like this as we are in making it. I’m not a historian, I’m definitely a creator first. But I’m a massive enthusiast for Richard and his contemporaries and I really want to inject what first captured me into a story that will capture many more!

Click here to visit Emma Vieceli’s website

Click here to read the latest news on the search for Richard III

Sharan Newman