Vis Dev: ‘The Studio’

One source for the historically accurate setting in my WAR OF THE WORLDS graphic novel was a famous English interior design magazine of the period, ‘The Studio’. This magazine, published in England from 1893 until the early 1960ies, aimed at the upper middle class, who kept themselves up to date with the latest interior design and art trends by reading it (‘The Studio’ referring to ‘the artist’s studio’ here and thereby meaning ‘advice from a person with taste’).

The magazine was full of illustrations and pictures on certain aspects of the furnishing of houses, drafts for whole room furnishings by well-known designers, and even design tips on special topics, e.g. representations of different clocks in different, newest designs etc. This should allow the house owner to get an idea of ​​’how to furnish the house if you want to appear as someone with taste’. The magazine was also peppered with workshop reports by well-known artists and illustrators of the time, such as James McNeill Whistler and others.

Since Emma and Robert, the two main characters in my adaptation, belong exactly to the target group of ‘The Studio’, this magazine offered me valuable information about how they would probably have set up their own house and furnish the rooms in it, something that gives visual background information on the characters if properly used – and important for drawing the whole setting. I even gave the magazine a little cameo in the comic itself: In the scene where Woking is attacked by the Martians and both of them are sitting in the garden pavillon, ‘The Studio’ is lying on the tea table and is one of the magazines they are apparently about to read.