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Graphic novel fans! Today, we’re hosting day 2 of Dmitry Yakhovsky‘s Book Tour and running an international contest to give away a copy of his latest graphic novel: The Shadow of the Cross Want a chance to win it? Subscribe to our free newsletter and send us an email by December 23 answering this question: What fresco would Dmitry like to paint? (a simple one line response will suffice!)
About the Book
– 1243, near Carcassonne, France –
Shrouded in darkness is the history of a time of terror. A time when people lived in fear, were divided, conquered and enslaved. The state was the church, and the church was the law; when justice was the tool of the self-seeking, and when imprisonment and poverty weren’t enough to satisfy the enemy’s appetites…Featuring the stunning artwork of Dmitry Yakhovsky, this debut graphic novel is a bold undertaking. The novel is a complex and visually inspiring epic based in history, and will thrill with its masterful depth of imagery.
In the following interview, Dmitry talks about why he wanted to create a graphic novel about the Cathars, what he enjoys about history, and his art influences.
Many people associate graphic novels with superheroes rather than history. Why did you choose history, in particular the Medieval period, as the genre for The Shadow of the Cross?
I always liked books about the Middle Ages, especially illustrated ones, and admired pictures of knights and noblemen. I had written a couple of stories set in the Medieval period which I always wanted to bring to life in some vivid graphic format one day. However, it was only when I was working on a graphic novel with Morgan Bell that I decided to create my own graphic novel based on those stories I had written before.
What attracted you to the story of the Cathars?
I came across an article about them in a magazine and their story caught my attention. It was one of the most brutal periods of Inquisition.
If you could travel back in time, which period of history would you most like to visit?
I’d like to visit Renaissance period as there were so many great artists at work during that time.
Your work uses many different mediums, how do you decide which medium to use for each piece of art you create?
If I am creating a painting to put on the wall I’d rather use oil paints or watercolors. However, I often work in digital art because it’s very convenient to use for printing production. I have also made some artwork and animations in 3D editors, mostly for video games production and videos. I initially created the images for The Shadow of the Cross digitally. However, they didn’t look quite how I wanted them to, so I tried watercolors,which are my favourte medium, and these captured the mood I was looking for perfectly. I will sometimes take a couple of days to consider the composition of a piece and, in fact,some of the frames in the novel were painted with watercolours and then composed using digital software.
How have your methods changed over time?
I am constantly learning something new. The “oldest” mediums I am using are watercolors and pencils. During my studies I discovered digital art and after graduating university I started to paint with oils.
Do you have a favourite piece of art? If so, have you been able to view it firsthand?
I’d like to see the works of William Adolphe Bouguereau, as he is my favourite portrait artist. I also like Ivan Shishkin’s landscape paintings, which I was lucky enough to see in my local Art museum.
If you could paint a fresco anywhere, where would it be and what theme would you choose?
I would choose to paint a version of The Assumption of Mary as it is a very challenging composition. Although I am not a religious person, a grand church or cathedral would be the obvious setting for such a piece.
Earlier this year you visited London as part of the MadeGlobal ‘Meet the Authors’ event. How does London compare with Belarus? Was it as you expected it to be?
It was even beyond my expectations, I was blown away by the architecture and was taking pictures with my camera on every corner. I saw people of many cultures that were talking different languages. I also had some adventures there, one of which was the London
Underground! I was often lost there and I was late for my plane back home because of it, but I have only good memories and it was the most exciting trip of my life.
Dmitry Yakhovsky is an extremely talented artist who has been working with MadeGlobal Publishing to create stunning cover artwork. He has an insatiable need to draw everything he sees and has taken the step to publish his first graphic novel, and start a very exciting future. Dmitry is studying for an art degree in Belarus. His visually stunning graphic novel series, The Shadow of the Crossbrings situations and stories to life.
Follow Dmitry Yakhovsky on Twitter: @entar0178