King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor: Andy Riley tells us how to Draw Evilly.

'Edwin isn't an ordinary nine-year-old boy. He was a king, with a throne, and his own suit of armour and a castle with secret passages and everything.'

Ever Friday, King Edwin spends all his money on chocolate for the peasants. But when the money runs out, Edwin finds himself in a fix. Cue the arrival of evil Emperor Nurbison, in his pointy-collared black cloak and accompanied by scary striding music. He has had his eye on Edwin's kingdom for a while and now he intends to use the peasants' unhappiness to his advantage. When the emperor builds a fake dragon out of a cow, green crepe paper, furry monster novelty slippers and two birthday cake candles to scare the peasants, Edmin knows it's time to come up with the first sneaky plan he's ever had in his life!

We are really excited by this debut from Andy Riley who is already a highly successful cartoonist and comedy script writer.

Andy took some time out to tell us How to Draw Evilly!

 It’s fun to draw evil characters. I’m not so much talking about the kind who are secretly evil, but the ones who are fully evil right from the go.  Publicly evil. Look-at-me evil. Emperor Nurbison, the villain in my books, is like that. He’s got an evil cape with a big evil pointy collar, an evil crown, evil buckled boots, an evil bald head and an evil beard. He hasn’t got particularly evil teeth but you can’t have everything.

You can draw inanimate objects evilly, too. That’s what I did with Nurbison’s castle.

I started with the foundations. Nice castles have moats around them. That’s where heroes live. But nasty, sinister castles have rocky crevasses. A few clouds are good just to enhance the sense of vertigo, make the building look like it’s concealing villainous secrets.

 How you get into the castle really matters too. Friendly castles have wide drawbridges which plop down to the ground like big wooden welcome mats. But evil castles have winding twisty bridges or paths, with no handrails. Scary emperors don’t care a bit for health and safety. If it looks as if sixty percent of people trying to visit the place would fall to their doom, then you’re getting it about right.



The bulk of the castle itself. It’s dark, obviously, but with just enough light bits to make the dark even darker. And it has to be tall. Evil castles are taller than they are wide, just like nice castles are wider than they are tall.

 And no shrubbery, trees or ivy, unless it’s dead. Dead is okay.

Just a tall thin castle won’t cut it. Castles need to accessorise if they’re going to project an air of menace. Start with some turrets. Those mad sticky-out turrets where you can’t imagine how anyone would build them or why. What’s the point of them? They’re nuts! How would you even get inside them? Where do the stairs go? It doesn’t matter. They look spooky, especially silhouetted against the moon, and that’s all that counts.


Animals. Doves for nice castles; bats, vultures or dragons for evil ones. Gargoyles are fun too, like in the castle in Beauty and the Beast. But it’s only really worth having gargoyles if the visitors are going to see them illuminated by lightning flashes and then go ‘Gasp! Was that a monster come to get me? Phew, no, just a stone creature…’ If gargoyles aren’t doing this for you, they’re not worth drawing in. They’re fiddly, are gargoyles. All those spines and bony wings.

Since the Lord of the Rings films, wicked castles don’t feel complete without some big sculptural evil thing on the top. Something pointy, or glowing with an eerie light; a statement piece to dominate the skyline when heroes come approaching on their big stupid horses and ridiculous magic swords.


So that’s how I designed Nurbison’s castle. But you can use the same principles for anything an evil character uses. The Creepy Coupe in the 60s cartoon Wacky Races uses half these tricks, and that’s a car. The second King Flashypants book features an evil golf club with a spiky skull at the end.


Why not have a go yourself? ANYTHING CAN LOOK EVIL!


Thanks Andy! Mwah ha ha...





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