drawing in decep tion
1 Visual narrative clues
Themyscira is a highly evolved, civilised paradise, so making the shelter behind the queen’s table so crude is an immediate giveaway that this isn’t the real Themyscira, instead someplace more barbaric.
2 A doubting Steve
Wonder Woman’s love interest Steve Trevor feels doubt. He’s the only mortal male to have visited Themyscira, knows this isn’t it, but isn’t sure how to break it to Diana. I put burger and fries in front of him – a cynical slight. These Amazons don’t like men!
3 Creating atmosphere
I want to achieve a scene of a bustling, believable feast in a medieval-type setting. Heaps of food on crude tables hidden by layers of material, hastily erected shelters. The town is empty as everybody gathers in the square. A scavenging dog, a mouse…
4 More signs and clues
The sword has a horned skull motif that suggests possible involvement from Ares, the god of war, and Diana’s nemesis. Weapons wouldn’t ordinarily be on display in Themyscira, but here there are shields, spears, and even a trident.
5 A sense of texture
I primarily use brush and ink (and a small amount of pen). I like to create a sense of texture, suggesting the various materials and surfaces as well as ambient depth – created by using finer lines in the distance.
6 A surprise inclusion
It’s quite common to have peacocks parading around fantasy environments because they suggest splendour. But I wanted to draw the anti-peacock and immediately thought of a dodo! The fact the dodo is also extinct is another visual clue that things might not be what they initially seem.
7 What’s missing?
Themyscira itself is shown here as a tumble-down medieval-type city, not the progressive paradise it’s generally thought to be. There’s no sign that its denizens are in any way innovative, modern builders in a progressive, civilised society.
8 Another discrepancy
Hippolyta is the queen of the Amazons, and Diana’s mother. We had, back in Year One, established her as ravenhaired and Mediterranean in her looks. But here she appears blonde and based on an alternative iteration from the New 52 Wonder Woman series of recent years.