Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Isola, a Fantasy Epic Decades in the Making

Check Out Concept Art, Early Sketches & a Sixth-Grade (!) Class Photo of Co-Creators Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl

Comics Features Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl
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Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at <i>Isola</i>, a Fantasy Epic Decades in the Making

Comics, especially those in the creator-owned realm, can take a while to come together: balancing schedules, securing funds and actually sitting down to do the work can all slow down a project. Isola, the gorgeous new fantasy series debuting this week from Image Comics, can claim a longer gestation period than most, as evidenced by the below 1984 sixth-grade class photo of co-creators Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, who first envisioned the book’s mysterious tiger and her warrior companion long, long before the Gotham Academy collaborators actually brought Isola into the world.

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Sixth-Grade Class Photo of Karl Kerschl & Brenden Fletcher

The titular Isola is the land of the dead, and Captain Rook, the book’s human lead, must travel halfway around the world to reach the strange island and lift the curse placed on Queen Olwyn of Maar, who has been transformed into the striking blue tiger on the second issue’s cover. As captain of the Royal Guard, Rook is fiercely loyal to her queen, but must contend with poachers, natural dangers and Olwyn’s inability to communicate while in her beastly form. Fletcher and Kerschl are joined on Isola by colorist Msassyk and letterer Aditya Bidikar, all of whom come together to create an otherworldly vibe that’s akin to Princess Mononoke reinterpreted as a bande dessinée epic. Be sure to check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes peaks below, as well as a preview of the first issue, in stores this week.

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Isola First Concept Painting by Karl Kerschl

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Isola Early Watercolor Test by Karl Kerschl

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Rook Sketch by Karl Kerschl

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Isola Process Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk


Isola Process Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #1 Cover Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #1 Interior Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #1 Interior Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #1 Interior Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #1 Interior Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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Isola #2 Cover Art by Karl Kerschl & Msassyk

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