It is with great excitement that I can finally announce that my next published book will be a fully illustrated edition of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
I am especially pleased that this edition will contain the full text of Conrad's novel as well as 100 of my illustrations. I am honored once again to be working with publisher Tin House Books, and they did such an incredible job with my book Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page that I am confident this book will be a truly unique version. The tentative publication date is October 2013.
The illustrations accompanying this post are from a series of ten pieces I created illustrating Heart of Darkness for an upcoming anthology titled The Graphic Canon, volume 3. These will function more like studies for what I plan to explore with this complete, definitive Heart of Darkness that I've begun work on, so you are seeing what is the beginning of how I want to approach this. Unlike my Moby-Dick illustrations, these new Heart of Darkness pieces will be on plain white paper and will be in a much more consistent visual style.
I'm simultaneously excited and frightened. Heart of Darkness, along with Melville's Moby-Dick, David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus and Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, is one of the books that has fundamentally shaped my thinking. Exploring it visually like this, journeying through it line by line, page by page, image by image will be extremely intense. Heart of Darkness is such a complex, multi-layered, psychological narrative that the prospect of illustrating it is immensely challenging. And yet I am excited to start, and to share these pieces.
While I shared each and every one of my Moby-Dick illustrations on this blog, at the rate of around one each day, I will only be posting 30 to 50 of the 100 Heart of Darkness pieces. That's primarily because I see the text of Conrad's novel as being an indispensable part of this project and the best way to experience the art will be in conjunction with a reading of the book. Nonetheless, you will still be able to see almost half of the art before the book is out, and I will continue to work on other projects as well.
I do hope you'll continue to visit. I have a few more older pieces of art I'd like to post on this blog for posterity, and you will see a lot of Heart of Darkness this spring and summer. The pace of posting will slow a bit as I spend more time drawing, but that will only make the art more lush.