Astorial Compendium published December 2021
A collection of all-new Astorial Stories, set in the imaginary Astorial Hotel.
This collection revisits a number of stories I wrote in 1992 for other artists to draw. Since that project didn’t turn out as planned, I recently revisited the scripts and drew them up myself, thus resulting in five new stories. The “cover star” is Tamblyn, a mysterious hermetic figure who appears to be the guiding force behind this strange and impossible building with its enormous number of rooms.
1. Tamblyn the Secret Architect
2. New Planes of Location
3. Their Origin Lay In Batteries
4. Filthy Nicholls
5. The Sect of the Chimera
From the afterword: “When drawing the five selected stories, I spent a bit more time than usual on layouts, panel construction, backgrounds, detail, and especially perspective. That said, I lack the technical skills to do perspective correctly, and can’t be bothered to learn the rules for it; instead, I like to make things up. My hope is that I succeed roughly in creating some sort of “impossible” space, a drawing that looks reasonably convincing on the page, yet describes an interior space that could not possibly exist.”
“I also strive to suggest the idea of being indoors and outdoors at the same time, where the dividing line between two separate environments is not made clear. To help me realise this, I draw doors, windows and staircases in places where you wouldn’t expect to see them, and long corridors that appear to lead nowhere and everywhere. At the same time, I’m not trying for an M.C. Escher effect; his impossible buildings were worked out according to strict principles of mathematics and geometry, and he was a superlative draughtsman, while my approach is much more intuitive.”
“This is all connected in my mind to the idea of the Astorial Hotel representing a house of infinite possibilities, a place where anything could happen, where there are an infinite number of rooms populated by strange guests doing inexplicable things.”
Also included in the book are some fragments from the uncompleted 1992 project, drawn by Paul Schroeder and John Bagnall, and a complete 3-pager by Phil Laskey.