New Derek Laufman Art Book is Almost Ready
By Dan Brown
There’s still time to contribute to the fundraising campaign for Derek Laufman’s latest art book.
The 96-page volume is the third in what he calls his Creation Series, and features Laufman’s original characters, as opposed to other intellectual property he has worked on, like Marvel’s Spider-Man.
“It’s me pouring my imagination onto the page, Whether it’s for one of my existing (projects) I’m working on or one of the many other stories bouncing around in my head,” he told me.
“It’s a lot of world-building and exploring ideas.”
The Byron comic creator has a knack for drawing characters that are cute but also fearsome. Featured on the cover is an armoured figure with a flaming skull for a head.
Laufman is at an interesting stage in his career where he’s been able to branch out with characters he’s created on his own.
This summer, I previewed one of those titles – Crimson Fall – in this space. Fans of the Lambs of God mini-comic will be pleased to know dungeon adventurer Sir Duncross looms large in the new art book, trusty broadsword in hand.
Laufman estimates that as little as 15 per cent of what he sketches actually makes it into his final products, such as The Witch of Wickerson and RuinWorld. So a large portion of the images in the new collection, maybe 70 per cent, can’t be found anywhere else.
“Sometimes I’m OK with a story idea living and dying in a design, if that makes sense,” Laufman says. “It’s like I have a desire to explore it and sometimes that’s enough.”
Readers will also be treated to drawings of knife-wielding witches, dogs at attention, wrestlers grappling, giant piranhas that walk like men, a too-cute-for-words rattlesnake, and a one-eyed, six-winged demon that looks as though it could give a balrog a run for its money.
“A lot of it is completely new to my audience,” he said. “I like having ideas and designers they can discover for the first time.”
The unifying thread tying all these different images together is Laufman’s fertile imagination.
“After doing six art books, these last three being 100 per cent original ideas, I feel proud to have created a definitive body of work since 2017. It’s satisfying to have a documented snapshot of my creative life during that time,” the illustrator/writer noted.
You can check out the fundraiser for yourself by clicking here.
And what’s next for Laufman? He hopes to have Crimson Fall: The Shore Tower ready in time for next May’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival and adds that Rats of Ironwood will follow, but fans might have to wait until 2025.
Get drawing, Derek!
Dan Brown has covered pop culture for 30 years as a journalist and also moderates L.A. Mood’s monthly graphic-novel group.