In Search of Hannibal – progress of the graphic novel

hello the time has come for an update on the progress of our works this is a Kris in Canada say hello Kris hello and I'm in Britain and I'm wearing headphones I believe her Krissi's – but I can't see him because we've been having a little bit of technical trouble but so that we don't record each other's voices slightly delayed over Skype we're both wearing headphones which I think in the long term you will appreciate obviously we look slightly strange but I think we'll sound a lot better as a result so lots of people have been sending in questions about the the forthcoming book that we've been working on and we are we have over run a bit thank you for noticing but sorry about that but we're trying to get it right and it turns out it takes a little bit longer to do a graphic novel about the whole of the second punic war than even our original not particularly pessimistic estimates so so there we go so questions all right to pick one out Kris sure sure right off the bat yeah Dominic asks will Hannibal be portrayed as a protagonist or an antagonist go Dominic what a good question there there is I almost everyone it seems who studies Hannibal starts just admiring and liking the guy and and I did notice when I was looking through the the questions for instance that one of them was can you please make Hannibal win no not not really not as in win the war because he didn't and we asked Hickey to see here we are sticking reasonably closely to the history so now we can't make a Hannibal win but there is that I do share the temptation to make him win and as for whether he's the antagonist it's worth what the question is should we actually like him or not and we have Chris's character design for him for instance makes him look quite dynamic and handsome and he strikes impressive poses so is physically he's quite superhero like an unlikable and I've made him intelligent and reason the witty and he's very competent and he's very good at commanding armies and and motivating men and and so forth so you think wow he's an all-around just terrific guy but if we just make him a white hat aid superhero then I don't think he really works so he has to be some shades of grey and one of the things that we we're doing in the way we're we're telling the story is that almost everything we see if Hannibal is through a second hand report someone has asked about a memory of Hannibal and I remember the time when he and we go into the memory so we're always almost always seeing Hannibal through the filter of someone's recollections and I hope that that gives us license to show him a little bit gray and I hope that the reader then is all the time aware that this is just somebody's version of him and it's not necessarily the truth and my telephone has just gone oh they they've good they've given up excellent my answering machine I did this bit out but they're just shows you how real and everything is YouTube possibly something else can go wrong today we've we've been struggling with the with the interweb for the last hour and a half hi it's an escape but it's time for you two to put your picture or in here or is he your protagonist or antagonist is Chris oh I think yeah like you said your gut instinct is you know you want to go with the underdog you want to go with kind of it you know Rome is always perceived as sort of just this monolith thing and so you want to go with the guy who's sort of the outsider coming in it's easy to side with with that person also he's got this sort of exotic kind of quality to him and all that but at the same time if you met this guy in the real world you probably wouldn't like him you know you probably would not want to hang out with this guy if you were a young lady you would not want to this guy home to your parents you know that kind of thing so he's poking Gary he's probably a scary dude in the real world he was certainly a military man he was fighting campaigns from the age of nine pretty much non-stop for until well into his forties and that's pretty much all we know about him is the military side of him he did spend a lawful other time in southern Italy towards the end of the campaign not fighting constantly and doing what I mean you know southern Italy is quite pleasant was he was he having all of it in southern Italy is that one of the reasons he was able to persuade so many people to stay with him in southern Italy because they thought was quite nice it will stay yeah so yes you talked about how Rome is this monolith ammonia's Rome is like the Empire the Empire and star wars and expandable one of the rebels so that makes him a good guy but we mustn't forget that at the start of this war Carthage was every bit as powerful as Rome Carthage was the alternative Rome right I guess it's the the perception that we have of just because of Hollywood and everything else we that was perceived wrong to be this yeah this mind of the thing but yeah like you said at the time no it was just it was an upstart group but you know it wasn't what we eventually know it yes this isn't Julius Caesar's Imperial Rome this is a Republican city which is created an awful lot of vassal states like kapooya around it and is forcing these states to contribute what half of its half of the Roman armies in this period we're actually allied states so these facile states are contributing troops but at the same time the the Carthaginians are employing an awful lot of mercenaries which is their way of doing sort of the same thing so in turn and it has a Senate and big city and all the rest of it so yes Carthage is not the this tiny underdog but then Hannibal is sort of the underdog in that he's wandering around Italy for 15 years so by enemy armies no matter how many times he beats one they just raise another one mm-hmm well it also took he's sort of a Hannibal himself as kind of an outsider even within Carthage I mean he's not fully even supported by his own State in a sense in a very different sense yes he gets kind of this tension going on there so he see he's an outsider kind of on every level anyway and you know he's missing an eye at some point you know there's there's a lot of you know he's going for the sympathy vote well anyways so easy an antagonist or a protagonist um sitting here yeah I hope he's both if he's entirely one or the other I think I've failed him I think as a writer he should have shades of grey in him and you should leave the reader with the option of deciding how much he likes Hannibal right yeah and I was very aware early all of the danger of making him too nice to likable to obviously the goodie um so so there you go there you go all right okay so let's have another one okay well I'll get right to where the next one here okay so Jack asks mm-hmm I really want to do the Casey Kasem voice that obscure reference okay I don't get it I think you should do the voice anyway yeah I can't anyway so how do you plan on promoting the book once it's finished there's one question and oh wait this is this is a multi-layered question so let's get to let's do the first one how do you plan on promoting the book once it's finished I guess one of this yes we shall do this there will be trips to perhaps comic conventions our show yeah and we will try to sell it through the the the comic book world but it looks as though that's perhaps not the way forward and actually more direct marketing through the web is is perhaps a better way forward what do you think air well definitely comic conventions but kind of the comic conventions I'm not the biggest fan I get a comic adventures right now I specifically in Canada and North America are really not all that much about comics and so right the last one I was at you know for instance I actually had somebody walk by my table look at my books and go comics weird that's what common connections are like I don't see I was at the comic convention in Poland not so long ago and there was one big room with loads of comics in and everything else was cosplay and eSports and other stuff yeah so it'll be kind of very very specific conventions like Sega or Lang and in Germany I'd love to put a longer limb and friends so we'll see kind of well we'll see where our people are but yeah as far as promoting I mean the number one way I guess just you know more of this and also it would be really great for the people who do buy the book and we want to hear your thoughts so it would be really cool if people who you know sharing your thoughts on the book because in a way well if it's positive that's a really good way to like our book then frankly keep it to yourselves and got no way to promote it is to get translated and the number of people have asked about that yes we have it would be nice to to have the Spanish language one version for instance and we're not entirely sure how to do that we would need someone who is extremely good at translating to do a really good translation of it because there's a lot of a lot of the dialogue is quite nuanced so it has to be done well but then yeah with a major language like Spanish we might perhaps in the years ahead to a print in Spanish otherwise we with a more obscure language possibly license it to someone else who wants to organize it yeah I'll have to see I mean it's kind of another it's another world in a way but yeah the number one language to be having translating to it yes Spanish should be at the top of the list and then for me maybe I guess like French or German next but yeah definitely Spanish I mean this is of course way down the road and but at some point I mean I I do think this project has a lot of legs and it's going to keep running and it only it's only logical but there's such a huge the spanish-speaking world is so big yeah and also there's so many comic people in the spanish-speaking universe but it only makes sense that you know especially Hannibal makes absolutely no idea how we how we we break South Korea do they all read comics that start at the front and go to the back or do you have to reverse everything I don't know but you know one comic convention that I would absolutely love to go to that is on my bucket list I really want to go to Comic ette in Japan that a really fascinating thing I do know some people in Japan so it would just be a matter of kind of it made an excuse to go I've never been but it is apparently just it's it's the biggest comic convention in the world and it would just be really fascinating to go there was something like Hannibal that's very different mm-hmm but um I think it would be a really good experience because also they I mean what's one of my favorite manga things right now is a finlynn psychic and that's like a Norse Vikings Inge that's uh you know manga and so I think there's kind of a bit of crossover there so yeah anyway come back it'd be really quick I'll never be to Japan but maybe I'll meet you there maybe I'll meet you for the first time because I something perhaps that not all the viewers of this video are aware of is that Chris and I have never actually met no it's it's purely a Skype relationship so there's long-distance for it okay I've got one here from Oh crikey me hi Alexandra Martin Oh trattman that was about the languages so MUC W Bailey says how did Hannibal's forces handles resupply yeah how did he handle resupply we don't know we have to conjecture the the histories talk about his living off the land in the early parts of the campaign with his his mobile army just taking food from wherever he went he did a lot of in the first few years of the of the war in Italy capturing Roman supplies which involved capturing a lot of cities in in the middle of Italy which were the bread baskets for Rome Rome even in this period really couldn't feed itself it was quite dependent on on these towns so one way of starving Rome is to is to take out its it's a suppliers of grain and so forth but then towards the end I we don't know we have to conjecture he's he's in the southern Italy for a very long time and the historians just don't tell us how did his money not run out I mean could it be that a lot of these mercenaries were just standing by on-call up they became if you like local militia and then they maybe got they got jobs maybe you know they could have settled down someone might have got wives for all we know we don't actually know how the the common foot soldiers in his army were we're carrying on for the later part of the war so yes he did get some supplies we know from from carthage by sea later on when he had access to ports but there's a huge amount of conjecture in the answer to that question anything to ask chris no i think yeah living off the land that's my i don't know from what I've read it's it's essentially that you know I mean he was there for such a long period of time I mean say southern Italy you know you you have to be living off the land and it is kind of a breadbasket so it only makes sense that yeah you sort of set up shop you know you're like a wart that's just okay or should we go to next set jerk Oh blimey dud Joey Kiki said have you tone down the Britishness of the spoken lines yes yes this has happened a few times I've delivered a line and Chris I said yeah it's a bit British and so I've ended up coming up with something a little bit more bland and international but it's your I am British and there is a certain residual Britishness in the dialog I think but I think the first one that that Dave actually vetoed Dave the Chris sorry Chris vetoed was wangle oh yeah so yeah someone said do you think you know could you wangle that for us and that became can you fix it for us which is it's not as good but but but what's a wangle I mean when you're wangle that's if you're British that was the perfect that sort of person in that context with a certain way yes so I have a future and recently i i've vetoed one of my own line someone said it's a good job that and i think that became it's a good thing that but in britain what's a good job that this happened so a bit a bit here's a question will there be a bird's eye view of the truths asks andrew yeah well that chris yeah so there are there are well there are definitely some bird's-eye view of the troops and worm's-eye views and all kinds of all kinds of views so well yeah there's some overhead sweeping shots so so there you go a question derp apparently the answer's yes I've wrangled it I've wrangled it in yeah David up Thomas after Carthage was sacked the Romans plowed the fields with salt or did they hmm in order to render all the leaf agricultural land around Carthage infertile with salt you would need a staggeringly vast amount of salt so the notion that they were actually able to render it all the infertile I think one that doesn't stand up to scrutiny besides later on they were farming there again so so so no but there was a ceremony where you plowed salt in and priests went round and you sort of cursed the land so I think the consensus amongst historians is that that's probably what happened that they did a ritual going around the land and and sprinkling salt perhaps around around the edges and and and saying a few words in Latin that would you know just that would curse it sings to the gods you know yeah we we really won this war and we want to rub it in but there are also stories about romans of the time being a bit worried about what they were doing to carthage because they were all don't forget fans of homer and they're all thinking that you know troy was this great city and then you know it got sacked and it got it got it ruined and now carthage was this great city and it got sacked and it got destroyed and maybe we shouldn't be doing this maybe this is this is a bit of hubris and the gods won't like it and we'll be calling down their anger on us cuz who knows one day even though rome isn't the ascendant now maybe we're setting ourselves up for a fall if you have a decision to make regarding historical accuracy or the flow of the story which winds hmm I hope that these are not actually yeah contrary I hope that there's such an interesting story in the history and that there's so much room for making up stuff that doesn't contradict the history that it's not too much of a problem I've not made up stuff that contradicts the history but I have made up stuff all the dialogue for example and a lot of the behind the scenes intrigue what would you say to this Christmas I would say that they're yeah they're not separate they're kind of one of the same the the story itself I guess we can even a couple other questions just with this is that this is why Hannibal why this story is just because it is so interesting in itself I mean you just if you were to pitch it you can pitch this whole thing in just a sentence and it sounds fascinating and interesting you have real-world people that are just dense and interesting and so you don't really need to stray and you don't need to reach very far to find stuff that is that makes for a good story because it's unloaded with it and not only just within Hannibal and Skippy oh and kind of the geopolitics of that area but also just all the surrounding people too because all the people around these people are also just fascinating and there's so many and there's an end there's endless threads and subplots and roads that you can go down with people that are just you know really interesting and so yeah it's not a heart reach to to find a good momentum to keep the story going forward because you can just say oh well there's all of these incredibly interesting people all over the place and you can just grab them and kind of build on them and yeah you might have to you know not been history but you can fill in the blanks I guess yeah I'm more filling in the blanks I think but yeah as far as a dramatist goes though it's it's not what the people did it's how they were feeling while they did it you've got to just yeah sorry as a dramatist I feel that what what I've got to do is is get that across so that there's some emotion invested in these characters because if it's if it's just they did this and then they did this and then they did this it's just a list of events and you could just watch a load of automata do that so I've got to set up a scene such that you you you feel what the characters are feeling and fear for them or sometimes dislike them one of the one of the questions later on was about having a favorite character and I would say it's probably for me Skippy oh and one of the things that I was very happy about it that Chris had been drawing him for quite some while before in one of his emails he said to me I like this guy because he's not likable at first is he no no yeah he said he's not and I think it said that ingrained thing word with protagonist antagonist you automatically think that Skippy Oh is you know he's he's the antagonist so you're kind of like ah you don't want to like this guy or he or you want him to be the kind of guy that you love to hate but he's neither of those things you actually he's a person he said use it and he's complicated and and I think fundamentally this story itself yeah it's of course there's these gigantic battles but fundamentally that's not particularly interesting what's much more interesting are just people and people are interesting and so it's like it's fundamentally character driven because it's about people and therefore you can kind of project yourself onto them in a weird way and relate to them yeah because they're human beings with who are full of faults and and it's far more interesting in my way and yeah Skippy oh I didn't think I mean I skip you got to be there's always been the mirror of Hannibal that kind of two sides of the same coin and there's such great parallels between them but yeah I find myself I mean yeah Hannah was interesting yeah yeah yeah he's kind of the cover guy but I do think that Skippy Oh in a way it's he's also really there's a big difference between Skippy oh and Hannibal in the way we're telling the story in that Skippy oh is not seen through the filter of others we see him as he actually is at least as he is as he is presented in our version of the story and so at first you're free to dislike him but then if you're going to be spending a lot of time in someone's company because you're reading a book about him if you just don't like him then you're not having much fun reading the story so he has to be likable on some level and as you get to know him better you start to sympathize with him perhaps and realize what his aims really are and then he becomes alive in your head and then I hope a more interesting and entertaining character as a result yeah one of the things that I really but I really love about working on this project is that the way that the process works is that I mean I have a I'm a broad-brush understanding obviously of the story and everything else but it's really great and I'm so impressed with with the script because Lloyd will introduce a character and it will it will be somebody who should just be a throwaway like a background throwaway character but within just a few pages you're like I really like this guy ah and then you stab me because I have to be okay you know and it's great because there's it's such a it's such a full-bodied cast and you know and everybody's meaningful and and the people the soldiers these these these many stories are many vignettes they're not just mindless hordes of people who are being sent off to be ripped into pieces they're they're human beings I guess that's the whole thing back to the character driven story idea I said even even the smallest kind of background guy you know it's meaningful and some of them are alter egos some of them are actually backers so oh yes yes I think we've already Kotori killed a few of those sorry cuz yeah yeah or you've done some killing hey that's me and oh yeah oh that was a question about the alter egos wasn't there BAPS we could we should we should skip to that yeah I think it was how do you incorporate them into the to the to the story or how are you going about that well basically what people did I guess I'll answer it um yeah because it's kind of on the art end it's not really although it's from someone called Ruben so what what's your process for the alter ego anger add-on and for those who are not following the alter egos are people who when they're they back to the project paid extra to have a likeness of themselves included and yes so on you go oh basically I've got a bunch of pictures of everybody and I I look for a spot where I can fit them in in an elegant way and because of what I but I want I don't not everybody can kind of become a character it's just not really gonna work but I do want everybody who's an alter ego to either do something cool or like have a moment so I kind of want you know if you are an alter ego I want you to like be satisfied with you know some sort of action like that character is doing so I'm kind of looking for places to fit it in nicely and and what I'll do is when I'm done or when when we're done I should say when I'm done the art and all that stuff is said I will inform the alter egos to say oh by the way you're on page 84 a third panel that's is that is that I don't know isn't it more exciting to read looking out for yourself I don't know is that a spoiler maybe maybe because you definitely will see yourself if I've done my job correct you'll be guilty okay that's definitely me um you might be behind a helmet but yeah okay I noticed a lot of the alter egos also wanted to be galls you know Celts there was a lot of a little long hair yeah but a long hairs you know and we just fine and it's great I'm glad that we limited 25 to be honest I think it's something that maybe it's one of them is put it on the list of things that we were a bit ambitious about it kind of it doesn't make things easier oh okay because it is sort of it's like what it's one more thing to kind of juggle you know rise the project it's kind of one within the jungle but um it is kind of cool I get a kick under the idea of people getting a kick out of it so it's okay but but you're not in the mood to sell another 2500 no okay okay don't so sorry everyone else looks like you've missed the fun part yeah but some people have actually become characters there are some people with who are you know like Batman they're like we call Batman that's actually an alter ego is oh okay yeah he gets he gets to say court love dialogue yeah yeah yeah right man but and the person who is Batman at the moment doesn't know that he's Batman no although I did send him an email I said hey could you serve me a few more pictures really no okay yeah yeah just so I could get so so he's now got a hefty clue but at least he won't know why he's called Batman if he doesn't get Barry hatch all how important or useful were elephants to Hannibal's army militarily not a lot he didn't have all that many to start off with and then he had few of them by the time you get got across the Alps and then they all died after a couple of battles and then for most of the rest of the war he didn't have any he did get reinforcements later on so there were a few battles later on but they didn't do a huge amount the Romans had worked out ways to deal with them but they were they were a sort of a throwback to the Hellenistic good day Alexander the Great essentially if after invading a India he introduced them to the the Greek world and they became a symbol of a big powerful nation has elephants and because they're incredibly expensive troops to to maintain so they were a status symbol but militarily no they weren't they weren't really all that didn't have enough of them and they they're they're too flighty they they tend to they panic and and smash down your own troops by the time the battle of the matura comes around has a stable is issuing his mahute with hammers and chisels so that if the if the things look as though they're going wrong rather than end up trampling your own side you just hammer a dirty great big chisel through the spinal cord of your elephant to end things quickly and and cut the losses a weird thing about the ancients is that they did they didn't use them in the British in India we're using them as bulldozers and tractors but there's no evidence for that they were just pants the elefanten they were just weapons of war so I don't know the question for you okay mr. doe asks what's the most interesting fact about the Punic Wars you've learned through research oh and is there anything that surprised you that's that's probably good a million things like oh yeah that's it's too hard to give a perfectly accurate ones for the most surprising I don't think when when you first learn about the war I think the most amazing thing cuz everyone knows about elephants and then and Alps or have you but most people just don't know how long he was in Italy for he was initially for something like 15 years and that is a staggering fact how can you in the enemy's back garden wander around for 15 years and never get caught even though most of the most of Italy is still loyal to Rome and the Romans are tremendously powerful and keep putting armies and more and more armies in the field and they're all trying to hunt you down how the hell can you get away with that for 15 years about this ideas are probably the most mind-boggling overarching fact obviously if you know quite a lot about the war then you already would know that but I'm introducing it to to the newbie I think that's probably the most extraordinary thing about this war and what else the the nature of Hannibal's achievement as well he has a polyglot army he has people from all around the Mediterranean they speak so many different languages and he has to keep them happy and even what we know the Romans at the time marveled how the hell is he doing it how the hell can you keep guys away from their wives for 15 years from their you know their their fathers their families I mean how much money would you have to pay them to keep them happy and and just repay well just how or how much do they hate us that they would actually do that and I could could you even wet where would the money come from and if you're just paying people large amounts of money for 15 years is there going to be anything for them to spend it on I mean what about local inflation if you if all the local mercenaries are weighed down by physical coinage and that's how that's how their payment manifests isn't it going to be you know 80 gold pieces for half a loaf of bread so yes it is it is a bizarre thing now all that cost me about the card game oh is it is it done or still in development and testing and is there a way for us backers to have a peek at the game's rules okay well when it comes to the game I actually I have a very IVA limited knowledge of what's happening there are the the game designer is a professional game designer connected from back in when I work at game studios in Germany so this guy does design games very well and he's once it should be done I mean I'm actually hoping what I would love love love is to actually have it done by the end of the year and to have it to everybody by Christmas and actually the game will be the first thing that's done probably definitely before the book so the type one of the other questions I think I saw was what type of game is it and I guess the best way to describe it from where it is at the moment because it's still in development is that it's sort of a a support based game it's a there's several decks and it's on a deck building game it's it's an army building game where your units support each other and you build up your army and then you engage with the other player right now it's kind of set for two players there's no se terrain aspects there's no is it historically accurate yes in terms of units and everything else but there's no say mechanics of territory land grabbing or anything right so it's a battle simulation between two armies that are equally matched yes yeah because they kind of are and so and it's also everything is contained within these decks so it's it's probably three decks of 50 cards and oh there's no bill yeah it's good that's news to me what's right that's news to me viewers I had my own game designer friend who was working on a version but sure but she was working on one that would fit into an ordinary pack so she imagined something in the region of 52 cards and I've played that and I've play tested it on a couple of local groups and they thought that it was all right but you know the game development takes as you game developers out they will know it can take flipping ages and yeah ideas come in and then you you you take them so far and you think they're really good but then after a while sometimes you just throw the whole thing out so we have top people working on it yes yeah it's I need to be honest I haven't even played it I you know it's because it's not really you know state I guess right but yeah it's coming and I'm super optimistic I really I think it's very clever the mechanics are really hard to describe it's not a I guess what would you call it it's a it's more complex than I thought it would be but it's in a good way it's not is a hard core it's not a hardcore hardcore thing right but it's not bears versus babies you know it's it's it's it's somewhere it's more complicated than Dominion I guess I would say oh okay if that makes any sense but there are in a good way because it is complicated hmm and by the sounds of things it's going to cost us two or three times as much as we'd budget it to print okay I can't see him ladies and gentlemen I can't see him I'm just looking at the lens at the moment but did he pull a face you can tell me okay right Oh usually documentaries the Hannibal campaign in Italy says I on my less COO is told from the cathode ginyan are his perspective but considering the title and the 17 page preview it looks as though you guys are going for a cat-and-mouse type of story where we as as a reader have no idea about Hannibal's location same as the Romans in that regard is my hunch somewhat true or is there going to be a shared perspective between the two parties yes okay so next question all right in more detail its yes it is a bit captain mouse but it's cat and mouse sort of after the fact it's largely after the war people trying to work out what just happened what why did he really do that who was who was behind that how did he manage to do that what was happening when we were doing that so it's it's it's a sort of investigative story and it's told I would say prop if anyone has the main perspective it's Skippy Oh but but even Skippy Oh is getting accounts from other people told to him so he's trying to find out about this guy his his sort of Nemus oh well he could he considers himself to be Hannibal's nemesis but then so whose nemesis exactly was I what how did he how did he even you can imagine that there's that there's a level of satisfaction that he wants to get from finding out exactly what was going on he has achieved this amazing thing he's now Skippy Oh africanus he's beaten Rome's greatest enemy but privately though you may be celebrated in triumphs and so forth privately he might be thinking what actually did because I don't actually know exactly what I did Wow but what was Hannibal up to what were Hannibal's objectives even which is one of the biggest questions that modern historians ask what what what was Hannibal's objective was he trying to Kris was he trying to take Rome obviously not I would say obviously not I think I think yeah I I don't know it's it's kind of a mystery I don't you think that if he was trying to he would because he did have an opportunity to and you do everything correctly you do all this you know you get right to up to the edge and then you pull back that's what it seems like to me so why would you pull back you know that doesn't make any sense so what were the motivations yeah what were what happened when what what happened to make him do that well I I definitely agree with with the military assessment that after cannae he was not in a position to take Rome he's just fought several battles on the trot his Army's been bashed and bashed and bashed and up until can I know no one has come over to his side yes the goals in in the in the north of Italy into South Pine Gaul they were fighting alongside him but none of the vassal states none of the Italian city-states had sided with him and that was his opportunity to start persuading people too that he he had you know what I really can take these Romans on and win so do all that joined me then John to split away from Rome do all the change site if he'd got all the Latin states to change sides and then all at once maybe they could have taken Rome after a while the Greeks start getting interested but again not at first until Keller can I he doesn't really have any any classical allies so if he marched on Rome at that point he would have then lost his main strength which is his mobility he would be encamped outside Rome and the other Roman armies that was still out there still in the field there if there are a few field armies even in Italy at the time even after can I they could have just shown up behind him and then what would he have done that would be in the end he needed allies although another problem is that as people came over to him they then expected him to protect them from the Romans so rather than gaining armies that were then actively taking on the Romans he seems that he was gaining dependence right yeah right alter egos can you envision asks Graham Coulson any kind of vaguely realistic alternative scenario where Carthage Rome might have gotten along and continued to develop in parallel to one to one another rather than resorting to a war of annihilation is that no believable way that this could have happened that's a huge what if it does seem that if Rome wanted to increase in power and definitely seems to be the case then she was going to end up coming into conflict with with Carthage at some point and the bar kids were a very warlike lot they were they were a family of high-ranking very rich military types who made themselves rich by conquering lands and taking taking over silver mines and and dominating trade and and so forth so given the way the history of the time went the number of wars that happened in that period I think it's pretty likely that they were always going to come to blows at some point yeah I mean they're kind of competing for domination of that area you know it's as you have these two powers rising rarely do you ever have you know them look at each other and say hey let's get along you know they're usually a competition and usually that ends up manifesting in yes Sicily being the obvious thing and most of the First Punic War is really a battle for Sicily you could argue and Sicily is in a very strategic position I once designed a Punic Wars based campaign game and I drew my map of of the Mediterranean and very quickly I realized oh yeah Sicily is the key to this it's it's the the hopping off point to everywhere and it's a wonderful it's a fortress and it's a base to to make aggressive moves from its yeah Sicily is so strategically valuable at this point that Carthage is always going to and Rome is always going to want to make sure the Carthage doesn't have it so yeah I think there's always gonna be a war for Sicily okay I've got a question for you as a native Welsh person all right one of the main reasons I decided to preorder your graphic novel was your use of Welsh as the language of the kilts my question is why did you choose Welsh why do you wait why did you choose Welch do you have someone helping you with your translation not translate right ah right the Welsh that you saw in that preview came out of the mouth of one of the goals and I was just we were putting together our preview and I needed some what would to almost everyone be gobbledygook coming out of the mouth of one of the characters they they were a Celtic speaking people they were probably Brit they were they were breath onic Celtic and and Welsh is an example of pythonic Celtic obviously it's a modern language but then English is a modern language so our Romans when they talk to each other they're all speaking English it's and a modern version of it too which is completely wrong so you could say well modern Welsh is wrong for a Cisalpine Gaul and well yeah it is it's wrong as well most of the time in fact almost all the time people speak English to each other and we will just assume that these two people are speaking some language to each other that they understand and it's only when we want to get across the idea that the character has no idea what the other guy is saying that we use other languages now one convention that I discussed at length with Chris quite early on was changing the font so you could have a really Germanic font for you have a very Greek looking font for the Greeks and some Celtic font for the Celts and so forth to show that they're speaking different languages so far we've not used that convention ever no no I I personally it's just I mean it's just a matter of my own kind of personal and aesthetics I just don't really like that in comics very much like there's certain instances where it works fine for instance if one of the characters was a talking crow that would be fine it could have a scratchy crow font all right or it work if it's a dragon fine then you could have a monster type font but for some reason when it comes to humans bouncing around the different fonts and stuff always looks a little bit sloppy to me so I thought I mean if we have those those gulls you know having a conversation among themselves they're going to be speaking English and like you said if we want it to be to imply that the person overhearing that doesn't understand it then we'll switch to that language and I think it works perfectly fine but when but when we switch to the language which we've done a few times already but we actually use a different alphabet completely so it's it is absolutely gobbledygook yeah yeah and because you should be confused as though as the character is confused yes although I do remember after I did my Latino level suddenly getting loads of the jokes in Asterix because in Asterix the Gaul the the Roman sometimes speak in Latin to each other and oh oh he's actually saying a thing okay it's you lose something and you gain something by using foreign languages and what we're trying to gain is empathy for the character whose story we're telling so if he doesn't understand what the guy is saying then we want you not to understand what he's saying either so I'm afraid this is a very long answer in summary then you probably won't see much welsh in it and i'll know because you said it was one of the main reasons you ordered the book well I hope yeah I hope interests that you could have you can like the book for other reasons yeah yeah interesting say with the font another there's cumson you know when you initially kind of embark on on the project it's like okay well the parameters what are the rules of our storytelling you know and one of those things is even sound effects we don't have sound effects it would actually be much easier to do a book we have like van pow whatever crash boom zip zip four things flying through the air in a way it's a it's a great tool to use for storytelling but we're not really using sound effects because I don't really kind of it's a graphic no fold yeah it's awful serious but because of that we're removing sort of like you know an artificial sound device kind of thing so it's like slowly hamstringing yourself well I observe it but we're not when I started on this I thought oh I'm writing a screenplay except it's someone else's a good drawer it instead of film it but I quickly realized oh there are all sorts of tools in the toolbox of the screenplay writer that don't exist I can time time music acting I can't say he sounds sarcastic yeah because I don't have an actor to say it sarcastically and I can't have I can't build one of the classic horror movie things is how do you know something Bad's about to happen the ominous music starts yeah and it can make an enormous difference you could you you've probably seen examples of the same scene with different music put over it and it can change the meaning completely we don't have that yeah but but what do we have Chris that film directors don't have I I would say it's time well I think like because there's no in a film you're moved like like the viewer is not in control of what's happening they've been kind of pushed along sort of a timeline and in comics it's that like how long do you linger on a panel is up to the October reader and so there's something I think interesting that because the the progression of time could go faster slow depending on who's reading it and I know there's something about that that's really interesting well we should hate shirts but you also you also guides them though don't you is that the size of a picture yeah is to some degree a guide for how long to spend looking at this yeah and even page turns as well because the age turns also act as almost like a cut in a in a movie you know because you're getting sort of a hard cut is it turn the page and then you see something different you know where's when you instinctively look at a page you kind of see the whole thing out of the corner of the eye maybe so yeah it's uh in a way it's this it's very similar to to film because I mean I also I do storyboards and when I lay out a page it's very much it's it's storyboarding essentially and it's all you know I think of screen direction and staging and camera accesses and all this stuff it's its exact same language and yeah so it's very similar but you're you're pulling away you know these other aspects too so yeah but you're gaining comics I don't know it's it's a very unique thing it's a very individualized kind of thing why we we can we can cast anyone we like and we can have as many actors as we like yeah and we can have as many locations as we like and we can be incredibly cruel to animals yeah yeah that's and I guess that's the thing too is the one thing that we do have is an unlimited budget and that's why you know you can do these like larger sweeping shots you can you know do all kinds of crazy stuff that you could never really do you know except with crazy CG I guess but yeah yeah you kind of have an unlimited potential for with just whatever you want to do but acting against type is very difficult and this is one of the things that came up very early is that when you design a character he has to absolutely embody the personality because that the look of his face and tells the reader what voice to read the dialogue in his head with yeah so it's extremely difficult to if you've got something incredibly brutish looking huge and covered in scars might have you you can't make him say gentle things very easily yeah yeah like nobody knows this but Hannibal through the sole comic he's speaking in the voice of it's like a prepubescent boy and his voice is cracking all the time alright just actually reading just imagine that do Romans carry one peeler or two in your novel I says a worried Germanic tribes Minh well Polybius does talk about to in this period so we do actually have a literary reference which gives us an excuse to give these guys too so if we want to put two we can but sometimes we might put one just so you know yeah okay can you elaborate a bit on how you work together how do you decide how many pages are used for battle history asks Ted Twila to be to be today today a sale wow that's one hell of a surname you got there how do you interact does Nicholas design the script and conversations and Chris subsequently makes the corresponding graphics yeah I write the script mm-hmm I send it to him he we may have a little bit of back and forth with ideas about how it should be done he then draws me roughs I look at the roughs get confused ask some questions he clarifies and then he kills them in basically yeah yeah goes from script a hundred percent of the fundamentally it it's it's Boyd script and I try and take that and yeah your script is so dense okay I don't know people who okay say if you're a comic book junkie you may know about Alan Moore guy who you know is one thing from The Watchmen you know yeah yeah Alan Moore is known the pilot of halo Jones sorry I have to get that in but that's terrific his scripts if you've ever seen them are especially the stuff for from hell are almost hilariously dense they're so loaded with material so he will write just pages and pages and pages of stuff of just incredible detail and it would be so difficult to to kind of dig through that and be like okay but what am I actually drawing here and because you know he'll go on in depth about the history of a church that's in the background or something like that but anyway I'm not saying that you're like that but Lloyd scripts are very dense and it's good because but it's also it's a double-edged sword it's good because it gives me a gigantic pool of ideas to pull from but it's also like holy cow okay I could stretch out this one page this one page of script could be 10 pages of comic because there's so much you know when you're describing like a war scene or something there's just so many also there's so many different ways that you can know this story so when I get the script that a big part of the job is actually just reading it and then focusing on okay what do I need to like what I don't think of myself and what I want to draw I think about the reader and what the leader needs to see to in order to move the story along in order to so that they can follow the momentum of the story so what does the reader need it's not always what I want to draw but it's what do they need so that they're not confused so that they can keep the momentum going and so that they follow what they need to follow to get this across and that's tricky so yeah usually you know I do roughs and then and then yeah send them back to Lloyd and then we discuss them and then there's inevitably changes that have to come with that there's like we just yeah there's stuff that I'll miss her something your work is confusing sorry go ahead well it also it's it's a painful every time we put in a bit of space for instance recently one of the pages you drew which was very nice was a guy not saying anything just wandering along for a bit and that was most of a page he's just wandering across the battlefield nothing much is happening but every time we put in a page like that it means that there's an author of story because there's so much story in this war that's not getting told so every time we give a moment a bit of breathing space that's more information that we could have got in that we don't get in and so the history buffs might be oh they didn't cover this battle or they whatever but if if you want to empathize with what people are feeling you've got to give them some time to feel it yeah yeah and at some point you know if you if you just have a kind of page after page or panel after panel of just just people you know I just jammed full of information and dialogue and this that and the other set and the other sometimes you just need to like okay just pull back and just sit on the rock and just just like take it down and and and that in a way is can be heavier you know quiet like sometimes less is more and just having these quiet moments are are important you know for the for the reader because of pacing and slowing down but also just intimacy with the character so yeah and then I I do edits on the layouts and then I just I go ahead and I do kind of final pencils and then inks and then color and then the lettering is the final stage but the lettering isn't really going to be officially 100% finalized until the entire projects done because there's definitely going to be a little noodling here in there it's happened a couple of times that on going back to a page and reading it with a bit of distance one of us will notice actually this bit here is not very clear because it's not obvious who that character is or why he did that so we might add as a little speech bubble just to make that clearer or maybe just change your word yeah yeah there was there was for instance a line which I unfortunately I really liked the line where someone is referred to by their rank rather than the relation to the speaker but we needed to know that it was the guy's father so we had to say my father and it did make it a lot clearer I think so you're just changing the odd word and we even that was what when you said let's bring up more Willie taste didn't you one point I said rather than send all the details to the front but hang on that Willie tase look as though they're already at the front oh yeah okay all right send more hiss to the front there we go let's fix that yeah yeah it's all things like you have it's a really it's like a symbiotic relationship between the words and the pictures and they really kind of they need to work really well together and so and so if you start with just text you know it's inevitable that when you start adding pictures to that that stuff needs to wiggle both maybe on the tech side a little bit but also on there on the image side so it's kind of finding this perfect relationship you know between the two I'm deliberately writing words that force people to look at the pictures because if I write a story that makes sense just if you read the words then why would anyone look at the pictures in fact why are we even doing a graphic novel yeah exactly so I I hope I genuinely hope that the words that the printed on the page make no sense on their own right right and it's kind of a thing where don't say what you can show hmm you know and don't you know like it's that kind of thing so you know but it's so far I mean it's it's working out perfectly it's the balance between the two is spot-on oh not that we're posting or anything so Philip asks Chris how do you approach your art you go for a hundred percent realism and allow yourself to build a little bit of your own aesthetic into into Hannibal's world imagine it's very difficult to heart very difficult to reference for everything that you need to draw yeah realism 100% realism is really boring because we live in the real world and also to the the closer you try and get to to realism it's almost like the furthest I'm just not really into it that being said it's not a completely cartoony looking a book so it's sort of something that's kind of in the middle there's there's definitely you know with with action for instance you need to you know you need to create movement do you need to have kind of you know because real realism doesn't look that good you know in the in a comic book form you get to remember at the same time I'm fully conscious that this is a comic it means to feel fun it means to feel you know energetic it has to otherwise it's just boring I appreciate a lot of European comics I appreciate the hardcore realism that some of them have in the craftsmanship but at the same time I'm also I have one foot in the American world where I like to loud crazy stuff because it's just there's so much energy to it so it's kind of somewhere in between yeah so say it's something in-between element as far as the reference goes this isn't actually tie into another question later on with yeah looks books books and books and books I've got I've got tons of these these are spray books all right that I use for reference yeah just tons of books also real world reference some ones that anyone recently thank you very much – someone sent me an osprey Booker what are the latest so I've got it's in the other room afraid to come show you but there's a book coming out very soon that I was privileged to get an advanced copy of that was about romans and carthaginians very heavy very handy indeed yes thank you for that and the other oh sorry no what well just tailoring into this is that did you actually go to any of the places for references so obvious that wants one for you Chris yeah and then that's actually yeah – part two is yes I did i I did a crazy road trip where I I drove from I went to Barcelona and I drove you know through Spain through France I went through the Alps I went down into you know I went to Germany like for 70 I've been along the trivia I went to can I can I can I can I I took tons of photos I visit tons of museums yeah I've got many many terabytes of photos of these actual places I've called a Trevor Center is that what it's called Oh anyway helps it been there so yeah I'll put together a little video maybe up sort of my my road trip I guess and you know maybe make a little journey thing at some point when I feel ambitious because yeah I should be a travel agent and and you know because this was a fantastic you know it was a vacation but it was more of a working vacation but yeah so it was really interesting being you know seeing real world you know this is what the landscape looks like this is what the vegetation looks like because surely it's those details that help sell it because you can make this stuff up but you know it's kind of like if you had a story set in British Columbia and you've never been to the forests of British Columbia you really need to go and see what those trees actually look like and that kind of thing so yeah yeah Massa be a Louis asks is it going to be a witty funny novel well Chris is it funny yes it is yeah yeah yeah it's not haha funny throughout the whole thing yeah but yes there's definitely moments of levity and I have laughed out loud elaborating the script so that's a really good sign man if you can make somebody read just laughs just on the page that's that's it that's great so uh I hope that I can capture the humor in the drawing because it's definitely there in this room I I nothing I write I can never even when I set out deliberately to do something completely serious I can never keep the jokes out and if I see an opportunity for something funny to happen in the scene that that doesn't break the scene you know obviously if it breaks someone has to break character in order to be funny doesn't go in if they have to break the world it doesn't go in but if it's sightly if it seems you could then you know the real world is sort of a bit funny isn't it and they imagine that there must have been quite a few odd things and odd people in the ancient world and all things would have happened and and people told jokes they the Romans themselves and the ancient Greeks they wrote comedies they made each other laugh so they would wean humor at the time and so yes I I have put in funny stuff but the purpose of a scene is never to be funny and the humor I hope tells you something useful about a character or what someone's feeling or or a misunderstanding yeah yeah I mean it would be a very bleak story without any humor you know when you think about it there's a lot of very it's very dark there's a lot of violence and everything else so you have to have that nice so there you go so there are some jokes in and those there are brutal characters I hope you'll like them and we it's going to be some while before before we finish it yes and probably I believe Chris maybe you want to add a little bit easily here this is to do with you're not using quite your normal drawing technique in style is that true yeah I kind of bit off I've been off more than I can chew um first off that one thing that I guess you know why is it so late will essentially just tackle that the the density the project is is crazy and by that I mean you have seen after seeing ever seen you have pages where on your average page you've got 25 characters you know in your and if you just flip up if you open up any comic book and you just flip through and you just count how many your fingers or I paid you've got one two three okay six no that's like that's just one panel this the book myself that we're doing is oversized as well it's not generic comic size is I'm looking for an example all right it's oversized so what's it I don't well our should be talking at this point to cover the gap cuz I can't see him yes it's inevitable with a store like this that you're going to have an awful lot of characters there an awful lot of crowd scenes and comic book artists hate drawing crowd scenes but every now and then I do in the in the script actually insist that we need a frame that really does have a very large number of people in it because sometimes you've just got to show it yeah and then I'll talk about you have every I mean everything requires a reference and thought behind it because you know there's there's equipment and all that and I do want to get that accuracy so yeah there's tons of reference and and yeah it's just it's dense and another thing too is that I'm I'm doing it all traditionally I'm not doing it well not all of it traditionally but I'm I'm using real ink and brushes and there's original pages that are you know so it's it's an old-school way of doing it I'm coloring it digitally but yeah wow it's a lot of detail and to give you an idea of size of our book I guess compared to that your average American comic book is it here here we have two books we've got that you know okay so you've got your standard American book and you can see the size difference here so this is generic American comic size this oversized a hard time a guy behind it this is going to be the size of our book except it's gonna be much thicker so that's more realistic so that's more work you can see I mean you can just imagine how big it's just a beast so yeah it's it's taking a lot longer and yeah as far as like oh could you just get some help with it I do have a little bit of help with it with one stage of the coloring doing kind of the color flats but really that's the only stuff that I can kind of you know farm out is just the coloring flats like we just just this sort of kind of paint-by-numbers stage but I still have to go in and and do it so yeah yeah I find that the right with anyone writing a drama you goes through so many iterations and this is such a difficult story to tell and Dia this would be wouldn't it this would be the very first graphic novel III ever have a go at is possibly the most difficult story to tell in the world ever and one of them one thing I spend a lot of time trying to work out is what not to put in it's what I don't say which battles I'm just going to skip which entire characters we're never going to meet we never meet for general Flaminius for instance though well he's a consul was one of the major characters but I just decided there are so many characters we have to meet and get to know and he's just gonna be another Roman guy and we can sort of say everything we need to know about him through others and he's gonna die anyway so let's just not meet him yeah so that was that was a major decision and other yeah there are some really large chunks of the war we're never going to see but we just don't have time it's this unfortunate bit of editing because you have to kind of be ruthless in away with okay does it move the story along like even if you'll love it it's just does it contribute to the whole if not scrap it you know and keep moving so yeah it's I it's that I am imagined an editing process yeah just let's put in what not to put in where to steer the ship it's tough it's the same thing with like reading the script and mind is okay what do I portray here in any particular scene it's it's tough because some stuff you know gets left aside unfortunately so yeah I wrote for example I wrote a scene of a load of Romans climbing out of the river trivia freezing cold and I thought it was a really nice scene and if I were an actor playing a Roman I would have loved to have acted that scene but I just decided we don't need this scene we can just cut to they've got out of the river somehow get to the next thing so yes I keep chopping stuff out even even after deciding that I do need put in me and I still take stuff out but ultimately it will streamline the project and and I'm hoping this is going to be good so thank you so much for backing the project those of you who have if you haven't you know there is still time you could go to video yeah yeah we've come with a fair amount of ground I think so yeah I think we did a pretty good job I do hope we didn't come across as too smug so yes we're late sorry yeah yeah and a big THANK YOU to everybody I mean I I have the best job in the world right now working on this so thank you very much for for you know allowing me to do it and I'm working on it it's it's tough yeah yeah sorry I just thought another question but I just realized that they was just opening up another can of worms lose itself was probably full of cans because that lot of worms care around the can so morons inside yeah exactly it's just yes in folding universe of worms yeah right all right okay everyone okay thank you thank you so much and goodbye okay

32 thoughts on “In Search of Hannibal – progress of the graphic novel

  1. Hi Lloyd, been following your channel for around three years, but missed the boat for crowdfunding of your graphic novel. Is there anyway I could still get my hands on one of your books once it's completed? Thanks in advance, Stuart

  2. please teach our colonial cousins on how to use the term "wangle" I do not know how to spell it but I know exactly what it means, "fix" is similar but not the same ! To "wangle" is to find a way around a specific problem but not use the usual general way, when something needs wangling one usually has a specific person in mind who is capable of that particular wangle !
    How does that sound ?

  3. I also think that they could have survived on SPAM. Nobody knows when it was actually made. I believe that SPAM and fruitcake were both only manufactured at one time in history in the tower of Babel, and the only difference between the two is that fruitcake never gets eaten and only regifted, while SPAM is only consumed by old New Englanders and Hawaiians.

  4. I live in New England and salt NEVER hampers the return of any of my foliage near the road, and it gets covered from salt trucks. I agree with your conclusion of salt having no affect on farming. Same goes for northern states and roadside farm overgrowth.

  5. "It's a good job, that."
    "It's a good thing, that."

    …The British bit was the sentence structure not the word job lol that one is equally natural as "job".
    We can handle this type of britishism anyway Lloyd. We're all movie viewers who have never seen a non British Roman.

    when in doubt just consider whether your North American viewers might be arrested in connection with the words you choose… and never say Wangle again.

  6. Seriously looking forward on getting me mitts on the novel. I'm sure it's going to be just brilliant.

  7. If we look at these characters thru the lens of modern day morality, they all look like bada*** sonsabi…s war-criminals who would use torture of prisoners and killing civilians as normal day-to-day tools of war.

  8. That is the difficulty of writing about a well known historical character with a lot of pop culture image about him

  9. …There now… I have caught up.. I drilled down to watch all the Hannibal videos in what I hope was the order they were presented.. 😀

  10. Dude just tell us what's going on every month like a log post or something then post a video every two months. Just a nice idea

  11. I want a Japanese version purely so a Roman soldier can turn around screaming out “NANI?!!” as an elephant barrels towards him.

  12. Oh, man, I had no idea anybody was doing an actual historical comic. This is definitely a must buy.
    By the way, Lindybeige, Metatron is fluent in Japanese, he might be able to translate it 🙂

  13. One suggestion about translations, do Latin first. Even Asterix and Obelix have their Latin translations.

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