Find out more about how we built the world of 20 Storeys Down. From early concept art to mood pieces that set the tone for the whole story... here's a look behind the story.
The first page of Issue 1. This is beautiful and immersive art that sets the tone for the whole series.
London is a modern city, but a few wrong turns and you're on cobblestones prowled by Jack the Ripper.
Adding the voices
Bringing the script and the storyboards together is really fun. For the first time you can see the pacing and the story working together.
Marc's first impressions
When we met Marc he was the obvious choice for our lead artist. This was his first piece to add some London grime to Jack. Nailed it!
Here Jack seems to be going through a steampunk / goth phase. We decided this wasn't quite right, but is fun anyway.
Jack is tooled up with weapons of stealth, all of which have a firm foundation in history.
Setting the mood
An early piece to define the mood and feel we wanted for the comic.
Early concept piece
We asked quite a few talented artists to bring Jack to life. Here's one that really caught our eye.
Original Issue 1 cover
This was the original cover for Issue 1. Marc did some great work here, but since it's set underground we went with the design showing him in his natural environment.
Not only are we committed to making every frame beautiful, but how it all works on the page is important. Here we explore how best to introduce Jack in Issue 1.
Inside Jack's hideout
Setting a key location inside a clock tower gave us plenty of scope to add beautiful backdrops.
I've got the key...
A key to an abandoned tube station. The front door to darkness below London.
A bubble of green light
Confidently moving through the tunnels, Jack is surrounded by a soft green bubble of light from his lion's head cane.
Navigating the maze
Above ground is a warren of streets and alleys. Below ground is much the same with tunnels, galleries and chambers. Jack knows his way around both.
Only Bond villains wear suits. London villains are tooled up and always ready.
London at night
Jack is free to venture out above ground after nightfall. Its history can be as dark as the night itself.
Friends and enemies
Sometimes it's fun to add your real-world friends in. This is Gary now recast as the villain Roth.
We wanted Jack to look distinctive but also be not stand out too much in a crowd. How do you get a man armed with a sword to not draw attention?
Know your enemy
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu (孫武)
Read all about it!
Clive is a newspaper vendor and an old-school Londoner. Works all hours, all weather at his newstand.
Her life is a a daily battle against prejudice, sexism and corruption, but she more than has the stomach for it.
Jack's sword cane is an important part of his set-up. We worked hard to get it to fit with his overall appearance.
Stepping in to the light
In a silent underground world, stealth is king. By the time you see Jack's blade coming, he'll be going and you'll be gone.
Final concept art
Jack had quite a few looks before we were finally happy with this as the final concept.
You never know where the night may take you. Often it's somewhere you wouldn't want to be.
Getting the art beautiful while staying true to how London really looks mattered. After all seven million Londoners know exactly how their city looks.
Sometimes things blow up
Being a brave soldier as a young man, Jack is used to danger... but no-one likes being too close to an explosion.
Strong from all angles
A great piece by lead artist Marc Olivent. It's important Jack looks confident from every side.
Somebody's watching me
Every darkened corner could hide a predator.
A concept built in 3D by an early artist.
Designing a whole world
We took our time to produce beautiful art. Even though it wouldn't appear in the comic it kept us focused on the mood.