Art Post: Maddy Richards and Matthew Needham

Who are Maddy Richards and Matthew Needham?

Maddy Richards is a New York-based private investigator in the 1920s, and Matthew Needham, English WW1 vet and atrocious speller, is her secretary (or “secereteray”, as it’s written in on his CV).

What, really?

They are the protagonist and another main character in The Advent Chronicles, which I am currently researching/plotting. The Advent Chronicles will be, once I’ve started writing and found a real artist to help with the covers and inner illustrations (I have one lined up but she’s a student and thus quite busy!), a monthly-ish print and Kindle/EPUB serialised pulp fiction detective story. With aliens in.

Maddy and Matthew
Colours prior to sepia (left) and line art prior to colours (right)

How did you do it?

I use a WACOM Bamboo and Photoshop 7.0 on a PC running Windows XP, as I can’t run anything more recent from Adobe on a 32-bit system, apparently. As I’m … more of a colourist than an artist, I do just lightbox the shit out of reference images for this kind of thing rather than working from my head or even freehand: Maddy here is taken from a black-and-white stock photo of Corinne Griffith which I found on Deviantart, and Matthew is quite obviously a doctored version of Tom Hardy (well I thought if I was going to stare at someone’s face for that long it should be someone I like staring at), both in the large photo and in the inset, which is taken from a screen capture of Band of Brothers.

Will there be any more about Advent Chronicles?

When I’ve sorted out the plot and characters to my satisfaction, and hopefully finished a little more art (or “art”), I will make a proper introductory post to the Advent Chronicles.

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