Incoming: SNOW, GLASS, APPLES by Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran

This has been out for a while, but I just got my letterer copies from Dark Horse. I loved working on this book, the art by Colleen is amazingly wonderful, and her adaptation of Neil’s story is excellent. This is my first time seeing many of the pages in color, and the colors look fine, but I like the line art even more.

As she says in her notes, and as I recognized right away, Colleen’s style for this project was highly influenced by Irish artist Harry Clarke. I know his work mainly from his illustrations for “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve had the 1936 edition in my library for decades, example above, his art for the story “The Cask of Amontillado.” As we began to prepare for this, Colleen also shared some of his stained glass work, which I hadn’t seen before.

Most of the lettering is in captions. I sent samples using different fonts to Colleen, Neil and editor Daniel Chabon, and we settled on this one. For the caption fill I created a pattern from one of Clarke’s stained-glass windows.

After that it was mainly a matter of keeping out of the way of the art as much as possible. I hated to cover any of it. I think there were only a few places where placements were difficult, though, Colleen did leave me room.

Much as I like the coloring, I hope there will eventually be a version in black and white so that all the details of the art can be best appreciated. I know it’s too soon, but an Artist’s Edition should happen someday.

A closer look at part of a page. The work is so rich in detail, yet at the same time it reads well due to the wise choices in open space and black areas. This really is a remarkable achievement.

If you haven’t seen the book, I highly recommend it. And even if you’ve read the story by Neil Gaiman before, this version will haunt you.

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