Inside a day in the life of an award-winning comic-book artist, whose indie hit is being adapted into a Netflix series




Werther Dell
Werther Dell'Edera  
  • Werther Dell'Edera is an Italian comic-book artist known for "Something is Killing the Children."

  • The comic-book series is being adapted into a TV show for Netflix.

  • Insider caught up with Dell'Edera to learn more about his daily routine and artistic process.

Werther Dell'Edera is an Italian comic-book artist known most recently for the comic series "Something is Killing the Children," published by Boom! Studios since 2019.

something is killing the children
something is killing the children  

The series has won three Eisner Awards (the comic-book industry equivalent of the Oscars), including for best continuing series this year.

"Something is Killing the Children" is being adapted into a TV series for Netflix.

something is killing the children comic
something is killing the children comic  

It follows a woman who belongs to an organization that hunts and kills monsters that prey on children.

Few details have been revealed about the Netflix series. Filmmaker Mike Flanagan, director of horror movies like "Doctor Sleep" and the Netflix series "The Haunting of Hill House," was writing a pilot for the series, but he said last month that he's no longer attached to the project.

Insider caught up with the series' artist and co-creator (along with writer James Tynion), Dell'Edera, to learn more about his artistic process and routine.

werther Dell
werther Dell'Edera  

Dell'Edera lives in Rome, Italy, but commutes to a studio outside of Rome that he shares with other artists.

werther dell
werther dell'edera studio  

During the pandemic, Dell'Edera worked from home, but has been going back to the studio.

Some might not think that an artist sticks to a typical "9 to 5," eight-hour workday, but Dell'Edera tries to.

"I'm very methodical," he told Insider. "I like to schedule my days in a certain way."

Dell'Edera said that he is ready to get to work as soon as he gets to the studio; no warmup sketches needed.

werther dell
werther dell'edera  

"I don't have a lot of time during the day and try to do a page a day, so need to optimize my time," he said. "A lot of artists do sketches to warm up, but I stopped doing that with 'Something is Killing the Children.'"

Before he starts to draw, though, Dell'Edera needs to read the script, provided by series writer and co-creator James Tynion.

james tynion iv
james tynion iv  

"While I read it, I imagine what I can do" with the pages, Dell'Edera said.

A comic-book script functions similarly to a movie or TV script, with panel descriptions and dialogue for the artist to refer to. Some writers give more details for what they want to see than others, but Dell'Edera said that Tynion gives him a lot of freedom, "especially after 20 issues" of the series.

"He's still the one with the ideas," Dell'Edera said with a laugh.

 

After reading the script, the next step for Dell'Edera is drawing layouts of the pages with the script in front of him, which he said can take a couple of days.

something is killing the children sketch
something is killing the children sketch  

"It's a rough, fast sketch to have an idea of the composition of the panel," Dell'Edera said of the process. "I run that by my editor and make tweaks if need be."

 

Dell'Edera draws digitally on an iPad using a program called ProCreate, which offers a suite of tools.

something is killing the children art
something is killing the children art  

The ProCreate app costs $10 on the App Store for iPad.

Dell'Edera said that he used to draw on traditional paper with a pencil, but working digitally is a massive time saver.

Sometimes he will ink pages traditionally by printing them out and tracing over the digital drawings. But now he only does this for some "splash pages" (drawings that take up an entire comic page rather than a single panel), action sequences, or covers.

 

 

Digitally, he can typically draw a page a day.

something is killing the children
something is killing the children  

Each issue of "Something is Killing" is typically 22 pages. So he can usually get one issue done in under a month.

"Most of the job is done in the first two steps (reading the script and sketching the layouts)," he said. "The rest if more mechanical. I'm not used to changing what I've set out in the layout. If I go off the path it takes more time."

Dell'Edera's favorite part of drawing "Something is Killing the Children" is the action sequences.

something is killing the children
something is killing the children  

The series isn't without its violent fight sequences. But he also enjoys the slower character moments.

"There are some parts that have a lot of action and then some issues have no action at all, just people talking," he said. "That's fun to draw, too, because it gives me a chance to make the characters act on the page."

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