Modern retellings of classic tales is no new thing. Edward Scissorhands was essentially a spin on Frankenstein, Mars Attacks! a loose update on War of the Worlds, and Warm Bodies a zombified take on Romeo and Juliet, among many more, are all examples of a present day-set story that uses the foundation of previously written adventures as the starting point for their own journeys.
Such is the case with the upcoming comic series Her Infernal Descent, which is written by Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler (the team behind Come Into Me) and features art by Kyle Charles. The story follows a grief-stricken mother who ventures through the nine circles of Hell in order to find her family, all while guided by the ghosts of William Blake and Agatha Christie. For those intrigued by the concept, you’ll be happy to know that issue #1 will be hitting shelves this Wednesday!
“Her Infernal Descent is a retelling of Dante’s Inferno for the modern age. It’s a middle-aged mom marching into hell to find her forsaken family. Imagine if Marge Simpson walked into the world of Diablo. The book is littered with pop culture characters, bold imaginative layouts, and beautiful surreal colors. It is 100% a retelling of the literary classic but updated with themes like social media, idol worship, gentrification and more.”
Below, we’ve got process art from three pages of Her Infernal Descent along with Charles’ notes describing what he was going for with each page and panel.
To learn more about Her Infernal Descent, head on over to Aftershock Comics’ official website.
The script for Her Infernal Descent is tight, specific and filled with visual cues the boys want to see. I knew the first few pages needed to look and feel lived in. Lynn is in a state of depression and apathy, visually the reader needs to see it. Not be told. Between the script and my approach, I think we accomplished that within the first page.
Whereas page one set the tone without seeing Lynn until the last panel, page two opens up a bit more. Lynn is in different states of depression, malaise and overwhelming sorrow. For anyone who has lost a loved one, they know that the hardest part is packing and cleaning up. Bit by bit, you’re folding your emotions, memories and hope, squeezing them into tiny boxes and waiting for the pain to go away. It’s a process that doesn’t come quick and isn’t finished easily. Page two delivers that.
One of the few times I changed a sequence in the script was for page 18. The second row of the grid was originally designed to have each shade’s head take up an equal amount of space in the panel. Visually, it would have looked cool but by starting back and slowly pushing in as we move left to right, I felt it gave more impact to Jimmy’s line and the proceeding panel, Lynn’s horrified reaction to the madness.