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Yellowman: Warren Holder

The collaborative debut graphic novel from the illustrator and writer team takes on the themes of magic in a Victorian London to epic effects

The new creative project by editor (and contributor to Dazed & Confused, The Guardian, and i-D), Justin Quirk, and illustrator Warren Holder, entitled 'Yellowman', is a debut graphic novel. Arriving earlier this year, the first installment introduces the fantastical story of a black albino who is being hunted down by his pursuers who need his skull in their magical rituals. Set in a war-torn London in Victorian times, the novel is a dramatic piece of surrealist fiction where Holder (who's worked for the likes of Nike, MTV, Universal and also Tim Burton) draws up minimal black and white illustrations, paired with Quirk's engrossing story-telling. Here Dazed speaks to Holder about their project together and his solo work so far...

Dazed Digital: How/why did the collaborative project start?
Warren Holder:
I was put in touch with Justin via a mutual friend. It just so happens Justin was looking for an illustrator to get involved in creating this excellent story he had written.

DD: How were the characters of 'Yellowman' developed?
Warren Holder: After reading the script and a character breakdown I was able to get quite a good grasp of the personalities involved in the story. It was then a case of me going on to design the appearances of these characters every now and then bouncing ideas off Justin as I went along.

DD: What is it about the format of graphic novels that appeals to you?
Warren Holder: It's the creation of a visual narrative, in which you capture a story unfolding over a series of images, this what I find quite fascinating. The graphic novel is a medium that kind of sits in between the world of books and animation/film. The format in a way allows you to take on multiple roles such as the characters with all their little details, the environments and the camera angles from which we view the story from.

DD: What are your favourite graphic novels of all time?
Warren Holder: I grew up with the works of Chris Clermont/Jim Lee's essential X-Men and Todd McFarlane's Spawn through the 90s. In my later years took quite a liking to Katsuhito Otomo's Akira and others.

DD: What other projects are you working on now?
Warren Holder: I've just finished working on Dark Shadows with Colleen Atwood. Other than that I'm working on a load of other stuff that I can't really talk about. If I do, the men in hats will get us both!

Originally available in an early limited, numbered edition of 50, Yellowman is now out on general release, more info HERE