For years now, I’ve thought that the Viking books would lend themselves very well to a graphic novel adaptation. What I had in mind was a dark and brutal retelling. Something which belongs within the GK canon but which is allowed to make - or break - its own rules and be its own thing. But I needed an artist. Not just any artist - I needed the right artist.
Then, as chance would have it, I became friends with an incredibly talented human being. Not only does Christian Sloan Hall have a style which is perfect for this project, but he also knows the Viking world inside out. Christian is responsible for the iconic backdrops at the gigs of Swedish melodic death metal band Amon Amarth, and happens to be one of the best-known rock poster artists of his generation. Furthermore, he knew my books and was up for collaborating, which was so exciting.
Then I thought, what I’d really like to do is a graphic novel which has Christian’s hallmark brutal beauty, but also the accessible narrative form of a movie. I asked award-winning historical filmmaker and director Philip Stevens if he wanted to write it with me. He did!
So, this graphic novel would be inspired by our love of illustration, writing and film. Triple whammy. I had my team. Now for the story. Looking back at the RAVEN trilogy and its prequel, The Rise of Sigurd series, we suddenly thought, rather than a retelling, we could do something completely fresh, yet featuring one of the most popular characters from the books. Hmm…someone vicious. Bloodthirsty. Someone with a VERY dark side, who would be just as happy going off and doing his own thing without the rest of the crew. Someone who doesn’t seem to have a moral compass, which, perversely, makes us want to hang out with him.
The answer was staring us in the face. Unflinchingly. Daring us. And so THE SAGA OF BLACK FLOKI is in development. Below, you’ll see some early character sketches, but do check in here to see the latest illustrations and script samples. The easiest way to keep bang up to date is to join the Readers Club. We haven’t yet approached a publisher, because we want to make sure we’re good and ready before we do. But please feel free to spread word of our work-in-progress.