The second of 6 unique stories by Mad Cave’s 2021 Talent Search winners, including Eisner and GLAAD-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio, Tales From Nottingham #2 is now available at your favorite local comic shop! Featuring a brand-new side story by Mad Cave Studios 2021 Talent Search winners Anna Everts and Gabriel Serra, follow along with the Sheriff of Nottingham as he becomes ensnared with a most mercurial adversary!
Author: Anna Everts – Artist: Gabriel Serra – Colors: Josh Jensen – Letters: Justin Birch
MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM!
Meet the creative team behind our all-new anthology project, Tales from Nottingham, featuring five 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!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Anna: I’m Anna (they/them) and I’m a writer hailing from the Netherlands! I’ve been crafting stories since I was young and became a professional freelance writer in 2020. In my free time I enjoy painting sunsets (I can’t really paint much else), making collages, reading, going for long walks and selling my soul to yet another TV show. I’m also the ruling monarch of 34 plants and I’ve been collecting rocks, trinkets, and occasionally dead things since I was five. You can find me on most socials as @peculiarplanets.
Gabriel: From Montevideo, Uruguay, I first started working in the area of comics in 2016 at the national level where I got a national award for best graphic novel Diskettes in 2018. I am currently working internationally for different clients making covers/concept art and comics for independent publishers.
Q: What is your contribution to Tales of Nottingham?
Anna: I wrote Nottingham issue #2, titled “The Curious Case of the Deer in the Nighttime”. It’s a story that features a popular European folklore figure that people may or may not know. The amazing Gabriel Serra did the artwork for it, with lettering by Justin Birch and colours by Josh Jensen.
Gabriel: Well, it was up to me to bring to life the great story that Anna and the other guys put together. In other words, to make some drawings, which is something I love to do.
Josh: I provided colors for the The Curious Case of the Deer in the Nighttime story.
Q: Which Nottingham character would you say you resonate with the most?
Anna: Probably Ev. He doesn’t like to beat around the bush and neither do I. He’s got a lot more nerve than I do though. At times I’m all bark and no bite. I could use some of his courage haha!
Gabriel: Good question, I think Alan because of his analytical character always trying to understand the facts that led to a situation and because of his imprint of always being present when something important was going to happen.
Josh: The villain, (I won’t say the name, no spoilers) I enjoy some good chaos if for good or evil. Definitely fun to color!
Q: What does your creative process look like, and where do you draw inspiration from?
Anna: I’ve got ADHD so my mind is always switched on. Even when I’m lying in bed at night I make up scenes in my head about stories I’m working on, so it’s very easy for me to come up with ideas (I even get them in my dreams!). I get inspired by consuming other content. Sometimes I’ll watch or read something and take note of things that speak to me and try to figure out why it speaks to me. In the end I want to create stories that I’d want to read, not necessarily what’s popular right now. When it comes to the actual process, I come up with a rough plot idea first and then start doing research if needed, which can sometimes take hours. I think people often forget that writing is more than just putting words on paper. Those words have to be accurate as well! Finally, when I have a solid draft script I leave it be for a few days and then start making edits. That last part is my least favourite part, because then I become my own worst critic.
Gabriel: My creative process is simple, reading and rereading the script along with a quick sketch of the page. Then a deeper revision with a more detailed sketch in traditional style.
Scanning the sketches, and then digital inking, and that’s when all the magic of the digital process appears. Of course I have illustrators that I like Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen, among others but my main inspiration is my family; without their support it would be impossible for me to live this dream of working and doing what I like.
Josh: My process starts when I get the black and white pages. I generally prep all the pages by adding base colors to all elements of every page, panel and all objects. This is called “flatting” and it makes element selections faster later in the process. As I flat, I see everything in the page that readers probably never see in the final. This helps me figure out the mood of each scene and find consistency if scene time jumps from page to page. After initial colors are laid in, I start the fun rendering, usually backgrounds first and starting dark building up to light. Then the fun SFX comes last! I’m heavily inspired by Matt Wilson, FCO and Frank Frazetta.
Q: As a winner of Mad Cave Studios’ annual Talent Search, do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Anna: Stay connected to people who share your passion and create a safe space for yourself where you can practice without worrying about failure. For me, that space is online roleplay. It helped improve my English (which is not my native language) and it’s basically where I learned how to write. Through this medium I learned what makes a good character and, more importantly, what makes a bad one. I learned to write in different narrative styles, explore what kind of plots work and don’t work, and got in contact with other writers who inspired me to write better. Having this space was, and still is, essential to my journey as a writer. I think every creator could use a space like that: a sandbox where they can play with other kids who are just as passionate about building sandcastles as they are and aren’t worried about being the best of the best. Only through practice you can grow, and only by failing you can become better. Just keep at it and keep doing what you love. The rest will follow.
Gabriel: Yes, never give up on a dream whether it is drawing, writing, coloring, you name it, all good things come with hard work and dedication. If you apply and don’t win, keep trying, with time and practice you will improve and your chance will come.
Q: Any projects or events on the horizon that we should be looking out for?
Anna: I have a few comics in the works that should see the light of day in 2023! Most of them are indie, so follow me on my socials to stay updated
Gabriel: I am currently working on an independent series called The Death Tally, we are on issue 4 which comes out in 2023 and in parallel I working on a historical graphic novel about Lucky Luciano and his role during the time of the war.
Josh: I have a couple of books running the rounds, most notably Dust Pirates by Bob Frantz, Kevin Cuffe and Anthony Gregori. Interestingly, I am working on a new animated series that I can’t yet talkable but I am very excited about, so keep a lookout on my twitter!
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!
Tales From Nottingham #2 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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