The Scaphander

A scaphander is a somewhat outdated, different name for a diving suit. As you all can imagine, it is necessary to agree on a general design with yourself as the artist of an adaptation of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, because there are several extensive excursions underwater in which the characters wear these suits (by the way, according to Wikipedia, the word “scaphander” is composed of the Greek σκαφη skaphe for the word “boat” and ανδρος andros for “man”).

When designing the scaphander suits, I wanted a mixture of materials and applications that immediately make you think of the time when the story is set, the middle of the 19th century. However, it can also go a little beyond this epoch, as Nemo is technically ahead of its time and the suit can therefore be more modern than others from the time in which the story takes place (1868) – and also look a little different.

I decided on a color mix of copper (for the breast plates) and a material reminiscent brass (for the helmet). These colors look sweet together and will enrich the overall coloring of the comic book later. The shape of the breastplates is a bit reminiscent of fish scales, I think, and anchors the design back into the world in which Nemo lives. I’m not so much a fan of tried quotes, but here I found that it fits: with the suit Nemo moves out of the “Nautilus” – his floating home – and with a suit having a feature like that takes with him a piece of his identity as a man who identifies himself with the water around him. On board the ship, he is connected to the sea through the “Nautilus” itself and its overall design (more on that later). Here he wears something reminiscent of the sea on his body, a statement of his connection with the ocean when he leaves his vehicle, his floating villa – to go on excursions on the sea bed or to look for treasures …

The basic material of the suit, the rubber, will be a little more brownish-yellow in the graphic novel than it is here in the draft. Soon more about the equipment that the divers of the “Nautilus” take out into the sea!