Scarlett Hart


With the contract signed and the sketchbooks filling up with character designs, it’s time to announce my forth-coming collaboration with Marcus Sedgwick:

Marcus and I have known each other for years, and most of that time we’ve talked — more or less seriously — about collaborating on a graphic novel or comic book somehow. And we’ve been through several rounds of development and close brushes on our way to something cool, ‘middle grade’, and fun. But while we conjured Scarlett Hart up together, it was Marcus who came up with the tag-line ‘Gothic Tinitin’ that really set us on track.

Scarlett hunts monsters in an alternative 1920s setting, somewhere between the Suffolk of Black Shuck and the New England of Lovecraft. She does a lot of this from the driving seat of a souped-up motorcar, under the baleful eye of her lugubrious manservant Napoleon. Her equipment may be steampunk Heath Robinson, but her courage is all her own, and more than enough to keep gargoyles in their place (on the Cathedral façade).

This is mostly a project for next year, but I’m drawing into it already. The characters and plot are still in development, with Marcus and I freely exchanging ideas and thoughts on all aspects of the project, but I’m delighted to announce that US publisher First Second has bought Scarlett Hart, and will publish the book in…, well, after we’ve finished it, on the other side of 2015! But it’s all hugely exciting right now. I’m looking forward to sharing some more of sketches and designs here, so check back to this page for regular updates. Available so far are:

Some early character development sketches of Scarlett herself.

Designs for for Dorothy — Scarlett’s sports car.

Later sketches for Scarlett.

Development sketches of Napoleon — Scarlett’s faithful sidekick and guardian.

A glimpse of some of the monsters Scarlett will face.

And Marcus is building his own Scarlett Hart page here.