The most daring art thief in Paris has struck again, and the police have assigned their best detective to the case. His only clue? A single white feather left at the scene. Could this feather belong to the thief? To the thief's accomplice, an oversized talking egret? Or will his investigation lead him to somewhere even stranger? (Answer: all of the above.)
AfterShock Comics presents Eleanor & the Egret - a peculiar and unforgettable tale of birds and banditry, paintings and pets, larceny, love and...lamprey-wielding assassins? From the legendary creator of THE MAXX and co-creator of SANDMAN, Sam Kieth, and the creator of CHEW, John Layman, Diamond sat down with Layman to discuss his work on the new all-ages fantasy series.
Eleanor & the Egret will be available March 13, 2018 and has a recommended age rating of 9-12. For more information on the upcoming graphic novel, see here. For a preview of the graphic novel, click the link below.
Ashley Kronsberg: In your own words, can you tell us what Eleanor & the Egret is about? What inspired the idea for this story?
John Layman: Eleanor & The Egret is about an art thief and her talking pet bird, who gets bigger whenever it is fed stolen art. But it’s also a meditation on creativity, and loss. There are a lot of metaphors in the book, and it’s open-ended enough we leave a lot of it for the reader to interpret however he or she sees fit. I’m not sure what the exactly inspiration was, but it came at a time when I was finishing another book, CHEW, which is longest series I’d ever written. It was ending, and I was looking at the horizons, and a creative crossroads in front of me. So a lot of the subtext is about “finding (or perhaps ‘recovering’) your creativity.”
What led you to decide on art as the center for this story? Did you consider other ideas before settling on this particular food source?
Well, in this case, I think art is a not-completely-subtle tangible substitute from creativity. Also, it allowed for both cool visuals, and a “crime caper” element to the story, so I don’t think there was any point where I was considering anything else.
Previously, you worked on Chew with Image Comics, a very different pace than Eleanor & the Egret. What was it like switching gears to produce this new title?
Eleanor was conceived when I was finishing CHEW, and CHEW ended in a very dark place, with a lot of characters dying. Eleanor was intended to be a bit of a palette cleanser, no pun intended, against all of CHEW’s darkness. That is, I wanted to write something that was breezy and whimsical and fun, an adult fairy tale, of sorts. This sort of thing is a departure from what I usually do, and what Sam usually does—which is part of what made it so attractive.
In the story, Eleanor has a flirty, WORD romance with the detective investigating the stolen art. Was this relationship something you planned from the beginning or did it seem fitting as you began scripting the story?
That was always part of the plan. Again, Eleanor was intended to be a happy story, and romance seems part and parcel for that.
What was it like working with Sam Keith on this title? His art is incredibly dream-like, how did you go about scripting the story to complement with his art/work style?
I don’t work with anybody like I work with Sam. Typically I write very detailed full scripts. For Sam, though, who likes to pace out a page his own way, I would write it plot style, but with full dialogue, so he could know exactly what sort of expressions I was looking to capture. Then Sam would go off and do his own thing, which often was not what I expected at all, but it always enhanced and enriched the story. It’s a strange partnership, but you can’t argue with the results.
For more information or to order this title, please contact your DBD Sales Representative.