Sunday, December 5, 2010

Leroux's Erik

"You must know that I am made entirely of death, from head to foot, and that it's a corpse that loves you, and will never leave you! Never!"
-- The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

My apologies for the Phantom of the Opera inundation lately... unless you're enjoying it, in which case, you're welcome! :D

(I swear, there WILL be more birds and koi and bunnies and owls, and all of my usual things, coming soon! Some are on my easel right now, nearly ready. Meanwhile...)

There are so many lousy adaptations of the Phantom story, in film and other forms, that the original novel's phantom, Erik, gets lost in translation. We wind up with mopey emo Gerard Butler, instead of the terrifying mad genius we're SUPPOSED to get. The terrifying mad genius... who is supposed to look like the walking dead. Which, c'mon, is far more fun to draw!

Here's the character as he is ACTUALLY described in the original novel by Gaston Leroux. Corpse-like face, hole where a nose should be, sunken yellow eyes that glow, sparse, lank, black hair, "lipless mouth". Not some unforgivably hot, weepy Scottish guy.

(Click to enlarge.)

Image: 11" x 13", pencil on Canson watercolour paper (which was an incredibly fun and forgiving surface, which I will be using again). A hint of yellow added to the eyes in Photoshop, but otherwise, fully traditional media.


  1. I've said it before but I'll say it again: I LOVE your shading, especially on his lapels. The foreground one especially depicts the weight and the weave of the cloth beautifully!

    ...And of course I have absolutely no objections to your depictions of Leroux's Erik. ;-) FAR more interesting a character than Butler's (although I blame the director, not the actor, for the direction the character went; from what I've read Butler didn't really think "sexy" was how every damned scene should be played. XD)

    The world needs more Lerik! :D

  2. Love your take on Leroux Erik, and though I like the movie and the ALW play, they definitely twisted the story around quite a lot, and you can hardly say that Gerik is the same person as Lerik, actually.
    I just wished Lerik was a little more known and loved ;) As he is just a way more interesting character, to draw, to write, and to read about. And with HIM, people WILL be repelled at first, and have to set aside their initial fear to be able to truly embrace him in your heart, something which is not so difficult with Gerik (hence all the angry teenage 'phangirls' fussing about how 'stupid' Christine was for 'ditching' 'The Phantom' like that, etc. etc. bla bla bla) and instead of people thinking "Eww, that guy is ugly!" Everybody who's seen the 2004 movie thinks "OMFG! He's so hot! *drool*"
    That is, in my eyes, not exactly what should happen, lol! What's the entire point of POTO if Erik isn't ugly!? (actually I don't think he's ugly, what he is is BEYOND ugly! It's more like... scary)
    But anyway, love your drawing! :) The world indeed needs more Lerik!! ^^