HISTORY Blog

Richard III Lives on in Graphic Art

By Jennie Cohen

Last month, I wrote an article about a fascinating project going on at the University of Leicester: the search for King Richard III’s remains. On September 12, archaeologists announced the discovery of two human skeletons under a parking lot where the Grey Friars Church—thought to have been the ruler’s final resting place—once stood. Researchers are now trying to recover DNA from the male skeleton and test it against samples from one of the king’s descendants. Neat, right?

I’ve been looking forward to an update on the project, so I was excited to receive a press release from the university a few days ago. It describes a new chapter in the quest to unearth Richard III—one that will unfold almost entirely in images. The search has inspired comic artist Emma Vieceli, who provided illustrations for the press conference announcing the parking lot find, to create a graphic novel about the life of the slain medieval king. In keeping with the subject matter, her art will take a cue from the illuminated manuscripts, stained glass windows and tapestries of Richard’s era. “So much can be told in an illustration that can be conveyed quickly and easily to any culture, with no need for translation,” she explained in the press release. “Images can bring characters and events to life in different ways to prose. Comics in particular combine prose and images.”

As a preview, Vieceli and the University of Leicester have released a series of images depicting Richard’s demise and the recent dig. Take a look below, and check out the University of Leicester’s website for ongoing updates on the search. I hope I’ll get the chance to cover this incredible project again soon.

Richard III Graphic Novel

Emma Vieceli

Categories: British History, Burials, Middle Ages, Richard III, Royalty