P. CRAIG RUSSELL: Collection of illustrated editions of Salome in the library at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York. Final performance tonight. We made a couple of changes after the first viewing/performance on Wednesday. This form is so new the ideas for handling it keep coming. Great fun. Spoke to two classes of music students this morning. Smart kids. Good questions.
CBR News: How did you end up adapting “The Graveyard Book?”
P. Craig Russell: I was asked. [Laughs] It was very simple. They called and said, “Would you do ‘The Graveyard Book’?” It was offered to me and I was excited to accept.
This was of course based on your success adapting “Coraline” and your other collaborations with Neil Gaiman.
Neil and I have been working together since 1991 when I did “Sandman” #50. Between that and “Murder Mysteries” and “Coraline” and “Sandman: Endless Nights,” we’ve done about half a dozen projects together, so it seemed pretty natural to me to work on the adaptation of “The Graveyard Book.”
When you were asked, had you read the book? Was it even out by that point?
The novel had been out, but I hadn’t read it yet. I knew the premise of it and knew about it. As soon as they asked, I sat down and read the book — but I knew before I read the book that I was going to do it.
Few works in the standard repertory are more shocking than Oscar Wilde’s play Salome and Richard Strauss’s operatic version: both have been condemned by audiences and authorities throughout their hundred-year histories.
TableTop Opera has adapted the opera for a mixed ensemble of jazz and classical instruments and paired the music with comicbook illustrations by P. Craig Russell. The story is told through the pictures projected above the musicians during the performance.
We will be presenting the production twice in 2014, on Wednesday, October 8 at 8pm in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater (Rochester, NY) and again on Friday, October 10 at 8pm at Interfaith Chapel, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY).
Busby Berkley, Neil Gaiman, and Well-Written Stories: A Conversation with P. Craig Russell
The recent graphic interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book afforded me the chance to interview the legendary artist P. Craig Russell. I lept at the opportunity which lead to a discussion that touched on a variety of topics including Neil Gaiman, art, young adult fiction, Busby Berkley, and why Russell had no social life for three months.
ALL-NEW INVADERS #12
JAMES ROBINSON (W)
STEVE PUGH AND SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS BARRY KITSON AND P. CRAIG RUSSELL (A)
Cover by MICHAEL KOMARCK
FEATURING ART BY LEGENDARY KILLRAVEN ARTIST P. CRAIG RUSSELL
• In 1917, what brought together UNION JACK, IRON FIST, and FREEDOM’S FIVE? Would you believe…invading MARTIANS?!
• Plus: THE WINTER SOLDIER sends the modern-day INVADERS to England to help SPITFIRE…but why?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
P. CRAIG RUSSELL: The last of #34 for a while. The final two pages. The silent page on the left is the one that writer Don McGregor looked at and said, in so many words, “This doesn’t need words.” A great compliment from a fellow professional and good friend.
P. CRAIG RUSSELL: 1975. Amazing Adventures #34. Writer Don McGregor was telling the story in flashback on this first page and wanted the lettering to reflect the change from the present, so they employed typeset instead of hand lettering. It set it apart and also, because of typeset’s smaller size, allowed him to write as much copy as he wanted.