Leandro Fernandez talks the art of THE PLAGUE WIDOW Part 2
There is one thing I consider especially interesting to emphasize in NORTHLANDERS, in general, not only in this particular story: the use of the splash pages. I can say Brian means something with them, he’s giving us (this is just an interpretation, Brian you can correct me if I’m wrong) a rhythm on reading. Considering how different time passed by during that time compared with modern urban life, between rush hour, mobile phones, work duties and so on... there’s a clear intention to say: “slow down, see this moment, get involved with the story...”. And the key thing is most of those splash pages don’t show the classical picture of the action shocking moment. They give us a special one, and they lead us into a different speed of reading. Even though I’m not a big fan of using splash pages, I agree with Brian on this story, as that’s my interpretation of their use.
There are lots of things related with the storytelling I’d love to explain to all readers, some intentional movements we’ve made on this, but I don’t have the time and space to do it, and I honestly prefer that the story speak for itself. Just as an example, the final fist fight between Gunborg and Boris is done on purpose but without any special fight technique. This is just about how men were supposed to fight in a duel to the death fist fight. In the example below, see the fist on the fourth frame and how it hits Gunborg’s face?
These were mostly technical aspects of this book. From the other side, when I started doing this it was the same time the Inlfuenza A flu disease was spreading all over the world, especially at the beginning of the southern hemisphere winter in Argentina, so the atmosphere was sadly coinciding with the story of the epidemic we were telling.
Right now it’s hard to tell that happened just one year ago, but the feeling of hysteria and panic was something present in most of the world during the beginning of it. People almost don’t talk about it anymore, but the image is still vivid--most of public places empty or closed, the kids missing their classes, people avoiding shaking hands or kissing, arguing to buy the last alcohol in gel bottle remaining on the pharmacy, buying extra medicines just to pile together as a stash “just in case,” or giving bad and blaming glances at someone just because he had coughed, all these kind of things mixing together with the “Plague” hitting this Russian Viking city, so many years ago. In some aspects, the book just tells us about human nature in similar times of disease spreading.
So…I could tell this wasn’t only about people in the 1000’s.
Anyway, going back to the book itself, I hope readers find it an interesting read and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making a Viking story.
Thanks to Brian, Massimo for his awesome covers, Mark, Dave, Travis and the whole team of people working on this book I’m so happy to have it now on my shelf.
As an adult, I’m happy to have worked on it. And if I had the chance to meet with myself when I was a small kid, I supposed I (or he) would be happy about it, too.