The Painted Ladies of San Quentin, the latest graphic novel from artist Jason Lenox, is scheduled for release this summer in the anthology UGLI STUDIO PRESENTS #2.
San Quentin News was given an exclusive sneak peak of the graphic novel’s manuscript, as well as an interview with Lenox.
The artwork of the new novel is visually stunning and includes several action scenes.
“It looked real,” said Richard “Bonaru” Richardson, design editor of the San Quentin News. “It looks like something out of a video game.”
The idea for the graphic novel came about when Lenox was asked to create artwork for a Western titled The Sheriff’s Whore Wanted Elijah Holman Dead.
Although the colorist and writer originally involved both opted out, Lenox found a new team to help him complete the project which he has invested almost 700 hours into so far.
The story takes place on Point Quentin in 1850, two years before the building of the infamous prison.
A battle ensues between antagonist landowner Jessica Belmont and the hero, Elijah Holman.
The evil Belmont is in league with the corrupt sheriff of Point Quentin to sell the land to the state for a profit. Holman is the only man who stands in the way of her plan, so she hires a bunch of outlaws to kill him.
The Painted Ladies of San Quentin is full of drama, history and fantasy.
Lenox and co-writer Kevin Truglio capture the legend that is San Quentin, while adding their own twist to the story. All of the elements of early San Quentin are there – outlaws, women of the night and crooked officials.
Lenox said he had to learn the history of San Quentin as part of his creative process.
“(I) have a real appreciation and respect for what San Quentin was, is and will be to the men that serve their sentences there and the men and women that staff the facility,” Lenox said after completing the research necessary to create The Painted Ladies of San Quentin.
Since Lenox lost his original collaborators for the graphic novel, his team has expanded to include Truglio, colorist Joe Freistuhler, Dave Sharp who did the lettering and David Urbanic, a filmmaker who is making a promotional trailer for the project.
“The ultimate goal has been to really make something that an inmate at SQ serving time would think is so cool it cuts glass and make them forget about the 24/7 grind they are living behind bars,” Lenox said.