Have you ever heard the stories about fae secretly abducting human children and replacing them with their own? It’s an old concept that was given new life by writer and illustrator Ethan Aldridge. Last summer, Aldridge released Estranged, a graphic novel that follows two boys. The first is a fae child named Edmund, who lives in the human world alongside his unsuspecting family. Meanwhile, the boy who would have been Edmund is simply known as the Childe, and he lives with the fae in the world below.
Within the story, fate stepped in to reunite Edmund and the Childe as they faced a threat to both worlds while coming to terms with their respective identities. In the latest installment of SYFY WIRE’s Artists Alley series, Aldridge drew both Edmund and the Childe as our camera captured it all.
Among other tidbits, Aldridge explained how to tell Edmund and the Childe apart, even though they are nearly identical. The Childe has an elaborate suit of armor and neatly styled hair, while Edmund’s hair is wild and he seems more fae-like. Aldridge also made sure to mention that he came to regret giving the Childe such a difficult costume to render.
“I wanted the Childe’s armor to be very detailed,” said Aldridge. “In the story, it’s a thing that the fairy royalty make him wear. It just seemed it should be gaudy and ostentatious as possible. Which is a great idea from a design perspective. It’s not the best idea when you realize you’re going to have to draw it hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times over the course of a book.”
Additionally, Aldridge noted that he struggled with whether he should make Edmund or the Childe the protagonist of the story. However, he wasn’t satisfied with two previous drafts in which one boy or the other turned out to be the villain. In the end, Aldridge decided to make them the co-protagonists, and that’s when his story finally fell in place.
For more details about Estranged, check out the full video. Then leave a comment for us below!