Artemis Fowl: The Fairy Thief by Pascal Herve (and Giovanni Rigano)

Artemis IV: Opal Deception Cover“I don’t like this, Artemis. My instincts tell me it’s a trap.”

“Of course it’s a trap, Butler. “The Fairy Thief” has been ensnaring thieves for years. That’s what makes it interesting…”

There’s a brand new Artemis Fowl graphic novel out in July 2014. It’s as pretty as a picture and features the legendary painting, The Fairy Thief, here’s the low down…

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception – the Graphic Novel

Adapted by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin
Art by Giovanni Rigano
Colours by Paolo Lamanna
Lettering by Chris Dickey

When we first meet Artemis Fowl in The Opal Deception, the 14-year old genius is about to attempt one of the most difficult acts of his long criminal career. At the start of the story Artemis is without any memories of his adventures with Holly and the People, but strangely he still finds himself drawn to fairy lore. We join Artemis as he’s about to con his way into the underground vaults of Munich’s International Bank to try to steal a painting called ‘The Fairy Thief’ by Pascal Hervé.

‘The Fairy Thief’


Here’s ‘The Fairy Thief’ artwork in all its considerable glory. Painted by Pascal Hervé in the Artyverse, and by Italian artist, Giovanni Rigano, for our graphic novel.

So what makes this particular painting so appealing to our criminally-minded chum? The artist, Pascal Hervé, was a French Impressionist painter who became world famous for his amazing renderings of Fairy Folk. What inspired Hervé? Did he have second sight? Did he ever meet any of Holly’s people? Or even perhaps Holly herself? No one knows for sure. What we can say for certain is that these days Hervé’s paintings rarely ever come to auction and when they do they change hands for millions of Euros.

Art historians say there are fifteen paintings in Pascal Hervé’s fairy series, but the world’s top art thieves have long known there are really sixteen. The enigmatic sixteeth painting is entitled ‘The Fairy Thief’, and shows a winged fairy stealing a human baby from its crib.

Rumour has it that in the last century ‘The Fairy Thief’ has been stolen from more than a dozen private collections around the world. What makes this painting so unusual is that on every single one of these occassions, the thief has kept the painting. Stealing The Fairy Thief became a challenge for the world’s top art thieves. To successfully steal the painting was a badge of honour with the thief being knowledged as the best art thief of their generation.

If Artemis can pull off this heist then he will become the youngest thief to ever have stolen the painting. Artemis is desparate for success. Can he do it?

IMG_1332Giovanni Speaks: The artist behind the artist

The script called for Pascal Hervé’s painting to be “beautiful, mysterious, and enticing” no short order. Graphic novel artist, Giovanni Rigino says “As soon as I read the description in the script I thought of the illustrations of Arthur Rackham. His fairy universe is amazing. I wanted to try and capture a little of that mood and that magic.

So how did Giovanni create his mini-masterpiece of The Fairy Thief? “I started working on a sketch on a rough sheet of paper, before doing the final art in watercolour directly on good paper. I started with a very light colour and with each passage I used a slightly darker one. It took five or six different layers of colour to get the effect I was aiming for.”

Was it as tricky as it sounds – to draw something in a completely different style to his own? “Not so much. I often do illustrations to experiment with different styles, tools, and artistic approaches. It’s a good way to study something new and have a piece of final art at the end of it. I’m really happy that everyone seems to like ‘The Fairy Thief’ – even if Pascal Hervé gets all the credit!

artemis_fowl_herve__painting_rigano_colfer_donkin_webSee more of Giovanni’s artwork on his website here:

This was Giovanni’s first version of ‘The Fairy Thief’. It was everything it needed to be “beautiful, myterious, and enigmatic” but after printing it out and starring at it pinned up over my desk for a day and a half I realised that it had one fatal flew – at least as far as our story was concerned. Can you spot what it is? (Clue – think about the Fairy rules in the Artyverse.) See below for the answer…


Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception the Graphic Novel is published in July 2014 by Hyperion in the USA and Puffin in the UK. Follow the links below to pre-order the book.

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