Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

The Butcher’s Nails – Art & Voice Direction Suggestions

It looks like the artwork for The Butcher’s Nails, my Horus Heresy audio drama, is splashing out everywhere now to glorious acclaim.

If you’ve not seen it, here it is:

It’s loosely based on John Blanche’s original Angron sketch, which is right here:

And the art for The Primarchs, next year’s anthology, was also shown at Games Day and is now doing the rounds…

Horus (who looks like my friend Ben Cawkwell) and Fulgrim

Jaghatai Khan, Lorgar Aurelian, and Rogal Dorn

Sanguinius, Mortarion, Magnus the Red and Angron

And here we see Neil’s gone back to a more Blanchey-ish (less ‘most-muscled primarch’)  Angron. Sometimes I love the Blanche depiction, sometimes it just makes me think of Dhalsim.


But back to The Butcher’s Nails for a minute. I didn’t have much say in that artwork, which is always frustrating for an author, but it’s occasionally a mundane evil of the trade. I did manage to have the Butcher’s Nails implanted on his head, which is why he’s got those stylish cyber-dreadlocks. In my writing, I base the Nails on the later artwork of Angron (and/or his bodyguard – whomever that might be) in the Heresy, and the man himself as a Daemon Prince, when he’s got that sci-fi mane of awesome cabling going on.

Oh my, yes.

Handsome fellow, that Angron.

It’s a weird moment to realise you’re writing a character one way, and the art gang are depicting him another. With nothing but love for John Blanche, I wasn’t really writing an Angron based on his sketch, and I still don’t really see him that way. My imagination was more fueled by the other style of artwork, admittedly, as well as by my own reading of the text. But Trust Your Art Director. He knows what sells. And d’you know what? Public reaction to the Butcher’s Nails cover has been immense, and hugely positive. This strongly indicates that I don’t know shit.

I plan to have a lot more say in my next HH cover, since The First Heretic was me and Neil coordinating all the way, and it rocks on toast. It’s not about forcing an artist to depict your vision, it’s about giving an artist enough info that he or she can interpret it their own way. And as for TBN, I have no complaints. It kicks maximum booty.

May I also add that I love the Lorgar shot in The Primarchs? That’s fucking rad.

May I just add, furthermore, that I may just be squeezing into that anthology? And would it be with a novella about Konrad Curze? Yes, yes it might be.


On the topic of The Butcher’s Nails, I added some voiceover direction suggestions to the end of the document. I have no idea if the guys making it will stick to them, but it’s an interesting (ish…) slice into life behind the scenes of a Horus Heresy audio drama.

ANGRON – Ron Pearlman / Hellboy.

LORGAR – Dr. Manhattan.

KHARN – vox-altered almost all the time, similar to Throne of Lies.

CAPTAIN LOTARA SARRIN – Mid-30s, energetic English female. A moronic tabloid would describe her as “posh but saucy”, when they really mean “she speaks like Nigella Lawson”.

IVAR TOBEN – British WWII officer.

VOXMASTER KEJIC (and any other officers) – British WWII officer.

SERVITORS – Just like in Throne of Lies, as they rocked.

ELDAR REAVER CAPTAIN – a rasping whisper, disgusted to even be talking to humans, and with abrasive background noise, like the transmissions in Event Horizon. Also, when he says “mon-keigh”, can it be “mon-kee” and not “monk-eye” like in the DoW games? Otherwise it no longer makes sense and misses the point of why it’s funny.

ARGEL TAL – He speaks in two voices at the same time: one like a normal Space Marine, one lower, daemonic, and eerily resonant.

September 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 29 Comments