King Arthur vs Devil Kitty

A long long time ago, a little way from here,
A king called Arthur held his court in Camelot,
A man named Merlin at his side, to mentor him,
As he united Albion and was crowned king.
What once were warring tribes were gathered at his court,
These former foes united, all now friends at last.
And so, to Camelot, they came to make their vows
To Good King Arthur, surely England’s greatest king,
With wond’rous Merlin, wisest wizard ever seen.
Writer Mister Daniel Nathan Sumption and Illustrator Master Maximillian Benjamin Hartley present: King Arthur vs Devil Kitty, a modern retelling of the medieval story of good King Arthur, and of how he killed a giant cat (how very brave of him!)

This is a genuine 13th Century tale, and it’s about the daftest thing we’ve read in a long time. We’re almost certain that large parts of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail were based upon it.  It was first written down (in French) before the year 1250 CE, when it appeared within the Old French Vulgate Cycle. Since then, it’s become remarkably obscure (Monty Python aside), and we feel it is time that it was unearthed again. And so, we’re turning it into a beautiful illustrated book.

A sample two-page spread from the book

Like we said, it’s the story of Arthur, Albion’s legendary king, killing a whopping great cat (a kitten, even!) on the advice of his wizard Merlin. There’s a lot more to it than that but, I mean, do you really need to know more? Of course it includes the Devil Kitty Origin Story. There’s also the tale of the time when Arthur decided to become Roman Emperor. Trust us, there’s plenty for you to sink your feline teeth into.

Arthur and Merlin arrive in Europe and meet a giant
(click to enlarge)

We will make a book as barmy and dark as the original tale. Inspired by kids books of the 1970s, with their weird spooky vibe and folk-artish illustrations, it will be a tale for children, adults, and immortals alike. Drawing inspiration from Gawain and the Green Knight, Jabberwocky, The Goodies vs. Kitten Kong, and, obviously, Monty Python, we will weave a tall tale that will wow the world.

As well as the story, there will be appendices telling the story of the story, of how it fits into the Arthurian canon, and of the exact spot on Google Maps where this epic battle took place. For fans of roleplaying games, like Dungeons and Dragons, we will wow you with the Stats of the Cat, a playable monster with skills and weaknesses the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Add Devil Kitty to your game of D&D, and your players will never complain about losing a limb ever again. For it is but a flesh wound!

And, who knows, perhaps one day we will turn this book it a movie. A movie which will wear its sources on its sleeve somewhat more than that Holy Grail of 70s’ cinema.

To be kept up-to-date on the progress of this project, please sign up at the Kickstarter page for the book. Signing up does not in any way commit you to backing or buying a copy, it’s just the best way for us to let you know when it’s ready to be published.

Initial concept sketches
(click to enlarge)




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *