Goth Girl With Umbrella
There is a weird story that shows how life is so larger and unexpected than we think... more in this interview for CBR that J.M. DeMatteis and me gave back in 2012...
"The story developed when the name Augusta Wind dropped into my head one morning while I was sitting on the back porch with my wife. I had no idea who, or what, Augusta Wind was, so I tucked the name away in the back of my head," the author explained.
"As time passed, Augusta kept popping up in my consciousness, but I didn't have a sense of her story or history. That said, I had the feeling that, when the time was right, I'd get the details. After so many years of writing, I've really learned to trust my process: I may not be consciously working on a story, but I know it's back there, in the creative corners of my mind, growing and evolving.
"The first new elements to come were more names: a list of wonderful -- and peculiar -- names for characters that, just like my main character, I knew nothing about. But, eventually, details of the story began to form. The first thing that came clear was an image of Augusta in a Victorian-era dress, holding an umbrella. I knew she could ride on the wind and that she lived in the ruins of an old castle."
This magical girl "lived" in DeMatteis' mind for quite a while. Fortunately, the writer would soon come into contact with an artist who could help set her free. It just so happened, however, that this artist lived half a world away in Thessaloniki, Greece. Gogtzilas explained how the winds of fate brought them together.
Gogtzilas nailed Augusta Wind with this sketch, even before he was aware of the character existing in DeMatteis' head
"After working on the 'Popgun' anthology for Image Comics, I had tried out as an artist for a comic book featuring Chucky, the famous doll-monster," Gogtzilas told CBR. "The editor of this project was Mr. DeMatteis' son, and after asking if he could possibly pass along my greetings and my admiration to his father (who I was a huge fan of), I received his email address. I wrote to him and he kindly responded. I am grateful that he went on answering every new email of mine."
"Vassilis came on to the project in a magical way," DeMatteis confirmed. "I've had an ongoing correspondence with Vassilis since 2008, and he's been kind enough to share the evolution of his art with me. We talked about doing a project together, but nothing ever materialized.
"Then one afternoon I went to the mailbox and found a sketchbook Vassilis self-published called 'Splat!'" DeMatteis continued. "Leafing through it, I was especially intrigued by a particular drawing of a young girl holding an umbrella, with a castle far in the background. I was sitting by the piano at the time and, without really thinking about it, started to play and sing a song about Augusta Wind. As I was singing, I was gazing at the drawing of the umbrella-girl. Somewhere in the middle of the song I stopped -- my head practically exploding -- as I realized that the girl in the picture was Augusta Wind. Vassilis, who knew nothing of my new story or of my ideas about the character and her world, had sketched her and brought her to life."I ran upstairs to my computer and sent Vassilis an email, telling him what had happened and asking if he'd work with me on 'The Adventures of Augusta Wind.' He quickly agreed, and we were off!"