Your website is called gothic-novel.com. What is the gothic novel? Is that the official title of the book?
“Gothic novel” is more of a working title. The original story, envisioned 16 years ago, was called The Ring, but since Hideo Nakatas Ringu and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, I had to find another title. Yesterday I claimed TheHauntedRing.com, which is a perfect alternative.
Your website reveals some elements about the story behind your book, but it also keeps things very secretive at the same time. Are you purposefully keeping people in suspense about what your graphic novel will entail?
Yes. It's a plot-driven mystery story. Besides, I cannot give away all my eye candy, of course.
Why are you documenting your creative journey online?
In the print age, a publisher could print some sketches of the artist in the back of an edition. Digital media makes it possible to document anything you want. It might be interesting for the reader to witness the creative process in a making-of. It might be an interesting part of the commercial product as well.
What will the finished product be? Or is it growing and changing as you complete it?
The story is completed already. The finished product will be the first graphic novel particularly made for a tablet. Print is nice indeed, but ever since I saw my drawings on a 23-bit screen, I'm hooked. No more page-layout but lying pictures of the same format browsed by finger. No more balloons but text laying over the image, like subtitles. There will be a making-of section too with additional information, video, and drawings that did not make it, plus sketches and my own home-made OST.
What made you a fan of graphic novels in the first place?
Infinite, autonomous space for the price of time and fantasy.
Who are some of your inspirations for this project?
Authors like Mr. James, Susan Hill, and Vernon Lee. Photographers Simon Marsden and Jérôme Sevrette. The band Coil, composers Morton Feldman and Paweł Szymański. Directors Quentin Tarantino, Daniel Barber, and Tomas Alfredson. Comic writers François Bourgeon and Edwin Nagels. All the classic European ghosts, still haunting our shores of subconscious.
When will the book officially be published?
It will take another year before my novel is published. For now I want to manage the tablet-part myself. There is no print publisher interested yet.
Tell us about your art training. How did it help you develop your unique style?
After my graduation from the Academy of Arts in Utrecht with a degree in television production, I picked up drawing again and published two comic albums in the same funny style as I use in my work as a cartoonist for offline media companies. For this Haunted Ring story, I had to develop a more realistic style.