My Dream Job
Mervyn Peake and The Gormanghast books have been a huge influence in Mark Robertson’s life and he was honoured to have the chance to realise his dream when he was asked to create the cover illustrations for all three books; Titus Groan, Gormanghast and Titus Alone. He says…
” I wanted to concentrate on trying to imagine the architecture of the castle, to try to portray the vastness. I reread the books… to try to glean as much as I could from Peake’s magnificent prose. In the original roughs I had Barquentine and Steerpike within the scenes, dwarfed by the architecture, but the publishers (Mandarin) wanted to concentrate on just portraying Gormanghast itself.
When I look back at the covers now with almost twenty years of experience under my belt, I can definitely see their technical failings, although with the Gormanghast cover I did surpass myself… I wanted to show a staircase rising upwards, leading you into the composition. It was supposed to represent Steerpike’s climb through the rigid society of the Groans. I found a picture of the Chancery in Wells Cathedral and based it upon that. I used a sombre palette of indigo.¬†The art director was chuffed with the covers.”