So what, as the artist and writer of Masque the graphic novel, do I think of the work that came to be the source of “Masque of the Red Death – a Musical Thriller?” It’s weird, but I don’t really know what to say. So I will give you the words of my fellow artist/writer and dear friend Sonny Strait…
“A cartoonist can only take a story and present it in a way that pleases them. Some will like it, some won’t. But if you try to please everyone then no one is pleased. In my opinion there are NO standards in art. I also believe, if you are an artist and you notice some glaring ideal posing itself as The Standard in art it is your duty to challenge it.
If no one but Wendy thinks that these characters are sexy then it is still a matter of personal taste. Hers. But look at the story logically. The character do reflect the story. The way modeling is progressing these days the ‘waif look’ keeps getting skinnier and skinnier (isn’t the average Hollywood actress size ‘0’ these days?). And Masque is projected far into the future. It should look alien to your early 21st Century eyes. Could you imagine if the female cast of “Friends” went back in time even just to the 1950s? They’d be taken to the hospital for malnutrition.
But, since this has been called into question, let’s go to a level a bit higher on the chakra scale than “what daddy likes”… Art. On a spiritual level I AM turned on by art. Especially art that breaks new ground. Wendy is breaking new ground here. Believe it. I have never seen an artist create something in a format so perfect for 2 different genres of presentation. Wendy has put on a brilliant internet Flash show that (is) equally brilliant in print form. I have seen some great stuff done in flash and some great comics but never executed from the start to be presented as both.
The style of art itself, to me, is a natural progression from Elfquest. I find the line work beautiful. If you look at the EQ cannon from beginning to end you see Wendy’s style fine tune itself into an eloquence unequaled. And she tops that in Masque. There is not a line that cannot be justified. And there is a coldness here. A dark, bleakness somehow presented in a shiny package. Only Wendy could present such a dichotomy. And there is symbolism here to rival a tarot deck. Wendy’s spirit itself can be seen everywhere. In short…it is a wonderful representation of Wendy. I can’t think of anything else to ask of an artist’s creation.”