The Stormbringer Sessions: Sketches For A Graphic Novel by James Cawthorn
London: Jayde Design (in association with Savoy Books), 2021 (March 1st) outsized hardcover;
“This edition includes one hundred [decorated] slip-cased copies numbered from 1 to 100, one hundred trade copies branded ‘TR’ and fifty complimentary copies (for contributors, legal deposit, review, etc.) branded ‘C.C.’.”;
limited edition issued with loose-leaf print;
original prices: £90·00 (ltd.), £35·00 (trade);
cover artist: James Cawthorn (also interior);
introduction by John Davey;
afterword by David Britton;
no other edition.
Elric of Melniboné — proud prince of ruins, kinslayer — call him what you will. He remains, together with maybe Jerry Cornelius, Moorcock’s most enduring, if not always most endearing, character…
The Stormbringer Sessions is not a finished graphic novel, as such. Neither is it merely a book of rough sketches.
While organising the late, great James Cawthorn’s archive for deposit at Oxford University’s world-renowned Bodleian Library, two boxes were discovered labelled “Stormbringer Roughs” and “Stormbringer Strip Photocopies”. In combination, they comprised a complete set of the artist’s incredibly detailed preliminary sketches for an ultimately unrealised, brand-new graphic adaptation — some two hundred and fifty pages, in total — of Moorcock’s classic Elric of Melniboné novel, Stormbringer.
Entirely unpublished previously, that is what this book is…
A “work of powerful and sustained imagination” and the “most perfect collaboration between artist and writer that there has ever been”.
It should be noted that the book’s afterword, by Savoy Books co-founder David Britton, was his last completed piece of writing before his death in December 2020 (q.v., although there is one final novel left to be published posthumously).
Click on any image below to enlarge…