A Battle of Wills! Tales From Nottingham #4 is Now Available!

The fourth of six unique stories by Mad Cave’s 2021 Talent Search winners, Tales From Nottingham #4 is now available at your favorite local comic shop! Featuring a brand-new side story by Mad Cave Studios 2021 Talent Search winners Dylan Essex and Miguel Puerta, follow along with Friar Tuck as he battles with his beliefs when Church’s tithe is stolen from under his nose!

Author: Dylan Essex – Artist: Miguel Puerta
Colorist: Diana Sousa – Letterer: Taylor Esposito

Synopsis: In 1192, the Church’s tithe is stolen from under Friar Tuck’s nose in a heist orchestrated by a group of fledgling Merry Men, just as the Archbishop arrives to collect it. Tuck must battle with his conscience as he hunts down every last conspirator and every last coin by force. Never-before-seen mysteries confront Everard Blackthorne, the Sheriff of Nottingham, culminating in an investigation that will lead directly into the climactic events of Nottingham Vol. 3.


Meet the creative team behind our all-new anthology project, Tales from Nottingham, featuring six short stories based on our best-selling medieval noir! We had the chance to sit down and chat with each contributor about their contributions to the anthology, their inspirations, and more!

Check out our interview with the Eisner Award-nominated colorist Diana Sousa (CRITICAL ROLE, CROWDED) of Tales From Nottingham Issue #4: The Lord’s Work!

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Diana: My name is Diana Sousa and I live in Portugal. I work as a comic book colorist – on several Critical Role projects, as well as the last two issues of CROWDED, and some other things I can’t announce yet – and as a freelance graphic designer, which means I’ve worked on things from maps for fantasy books, merch for authors, and also layout and other cool stuff for TTRPGs! I also do illustration, and write… And I want to do about a million other things, so if you have a time machine please reach out!

I’m @DianaSousaArt on all social media websites. And a fun fact about me… I think the perfect multi-class for a Dungeons and Dragons character is a bard / sorcerer / warlock combo, and one day I’ll find a GM who will let me play that sort of chaotic character! They’ll be a tiefling, of course.

Q: What is your contribution to Tales of Nottingham?

Diana: I colored the issue written by Dylan Essex, and drawn by Miguel Puerta, winners of the Mad Cave’s Talent Search from 2021.

Q: Which Nottingham character would you say you resonate with the most?

Diana: Although I love Lady Marian’s wit and cunning, how she plays both sides at the same time to try and further her own agenda, I’m not sure I can say that resonates with me personally, ahah. So I’d have to go with Friar Tuck: in a violent world he tries to choose the more peaceful option first, although he’ll still do what needs to be done. That doesn’t mean it’s always the right decision, though, but shhh, no spoilers here!

Q: What does your creative process look like, and where do you draw inspiration from?

Diana: I like to start by just testing out some quick color palettes. I color everything very messily, it doesn’t even take me a minute, and from there I start to experiment to see what works, and what the overall look for the issue will be, or how to separate different scenes from each other. I also try a few rendering styles to see what works best with that particular style of lineart, and once I have all of that as a point of reference, I can get properly started.

I also like to keep a separate Photoshop file where I paste all the final pages so I can compare them to each other, and check if they maintain the tone and overall look for that issue, series, or graphic novel. That also makes it easier to quickly check certain details instead of having to open all of the pages to search for where it might be – Photoshop is a fickle creature, and that might tempt it to crash!

As for inspiration, I just look at lots and lots of art. I follow a lot of artists who do art in all sorts of styles, and whenever I see something that I really like, which inspires me, I save it in a folder just for my personal use, one that I reference a lot and scroll through whenever I need some inspiration. I look at them critically to try and see what I love about these works, and what I can do to get to a similar place / style. I do that with illustrations, comic pages, frames from movies, you name it. I think one of the best things artists can do is just be constantly surrounded by other people’s art, in as many different styles as possible, and be willing to change, try new things, and improve.

Q: Any projects or events on the horizon that we should be looking out for?

Diana: All of the industries I work for are made of secrets and waiting, so there’s some things I can’t talk about yet. But one of the graphic novels I worked on came out recently – Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone, which you should check out if you like high sea and fantasy shenanigans. I have a few other projects coming out in 2023, from comic books, to a graphic novel, to books I made the whole design and layout for – keep an eye on my social media pages if you want to learn more about those!

Sneak Peek!

Tales From Nottingham explores untold stories from the twisted universe of Nottingham, including the secret origins of Robin Hood and the Merry Men, Marian’s violent past, Aya of the Hashashin’s first kill, and an ordeal that will shake Friar Tuck to his core. Never-before-seen mysteries confront Everard Blackthorne, the Sheriff of Nottingham, culminating in an investigation that will lead directly into the climactic events of Nottingham Vol. 3. Click through for a sneak peek of what’s to come!
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"The Tiger’s Tongue was engrained with passion, family intrigue and a sometimes-dark reality." -Martin Sexton
Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly@PublishersWkly
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“Showdowns culminate in an emotional conclusion as hubris meets personal sacrifice. The twists will keep readers on their toes in what proves a captivating tale.” -Publisher’s Weekly
Pastrami Nation
Pastrami Nation@PastramiNation
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“The story is vibrant and fresh, just what the comic book world needs... It’s smart, refreshing, and a great addition to the already great library Mad Cave has amassed.” -Nolan P. Smith

Tales From Nottingham #4 is now available at your favorite local comic shop, digital comic reader, and on the Mad Cave Studios website!

Mad Cave Studios is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded by Mark London in 2014 driven by madness and committed to quality. For additional information, visit madcavestudios.com.


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