Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Siegried & The Dragon

Here's a beautiful Craig Russell piece from the 2nd issue of Epic Illustrated, more a fragment than a story, adapted from Wagner's Ring Cycle, and came out I think, just after Russell's first Opera comic, the Parsifal one-off book for Mike Friedrich's Star*Reach.
You can see Russell stretching his muscles here, revelling in the chance to do his own thing, and starting to subtly move away from the Marvel style of Killraven.
It's not often noted what a great colourist Russell is, as well as everything else. His later works The Magic Flute and Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde have some of the best colouring you've ever seen anywhere, and it all starts here.
Interestingly, this is a piece with two slightly different endings: Siegried was originally due to run in the 5th issue of Imagine, the companion title to Star*Reach, before Friedrich's money troubles brought his publishing empire to a close, and he realised he couldn't afford to print it.
Epic picked the story up, but editor Archie Goodwin didn't like Russell's last page, where the bird speaks in modern day New Yoik, and asked him to redo it.
Mike, not seeing what the problem was, went ahead and printed the original ending as the back page of Imagine's final issue. So here's the version Archie preferred:

And here's the original: