An early brush with a certain Mister Howard and a Mister Lovecraft imbued the love of strangeness into he who is known as ‘Paul Kopal’. This, along with a generous dose of comic books propelled me into the frowsy arena of painting and illustration.
The arena of illustration and fine art entertained me for quite a few years until the time (About five years ago) that the romance of words mysteriously lured me to the keyboard. I found I was still painting pictures but that now they were expressed in words, now they were not a single representation but could be populated, expanded and explained. When drawing weird worlds or their denizens there had frequently been plots ideas and characters flitting around in my mind- now they demanded a more fulsome life.
There ensconced at the Word Processor, I wrote Volumes 1 and 2 of the ‘Ephnan Chronicles’ novels depicting a gigantic Fantasy world many illustrations of which are to be found at the aforementioned URL.
Writing Volume 3 followed shortly thereafter but the work for it was punctuated by a side-track into ‘Sigurd’ published by Lighthouse Press ISBN 0-9711915-0-6. I had been playing with the notion of writing up a myth in a full blown novel style but as the only idea I had in my head would have led to yet another turgid retread of King Arthur(!) I was naturally reluctant to act upon it. Then, in flitting through the ‘Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology’ I happened upon Seigfreid. This encounter recalled to me the two old Fritz Lang silent movies that I had frequently viewed at the old Scala cinema in London. Along this line of recollection I found a dusty memory of the old ‘Ivan the Terrible’ seen at that self-same establishment. Then things began to gel. The baroque and detailed look of ‘Ivan’ entered and distinctly informed the style of ‘Sigurd’s descriptions.
However, I was still hamstrung by the freight of expectations and assumptions hovering around Seigfried, the unfortunate nazi associations being not the least of these. Then I found the older version of Seigfrieds name- ‘Sigurd’. I noticed how the actions and motivations of this previous incarnation differed from those of his better known descendant and permission was given. The myth had already changed once, why not change it again? ‘Sigurd-the Movie’ was born. Yes, I gave myself the same carte blanche that a Hollywood producer might: to alter anything I didn’t like and to meddle with everything!
Hopefully I wielded that power a little more respectfully, but even so I was ruthless in part, altering relationships and excising redundant characters until I achieved a version that I enjoyed. Gunthar was the chief casualty of this creative pogrom-losing all of his brothers except one, the villainous ‘Hagen’.
There is a faint simile to nazism in the book but mainly around the central character who is little better than a beer hall brawler and yet is lionised by almost everyone.