To Cover a Count: Ibrahim Moustafa on his Art Process

Mar 15, 2021

This week witnesses the release of Count, Ibrahim Moustafa's white-knuckle reimagining of The Count of Monte Cristo. Colored by Brad Simpson and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, this original graphic novel builds on Alex Dumas' 19th-Century classic with sci-f bombast. The tale of a merchant wrongfully imprisoned, Count injects crimson robots, jet-pack rebellion, and parkour sword fights on a foundation of vengeance and social upheaval. 

Moustafa's organic, flowing line work dovetails with his story for an experience that veers from quiet moments of emotional introspection to blockbuster thrills. Of his many arresting images, his cover for the French edition of Count (and the inside cover of the American edition) encapsulates the feverish energy found in the book—protagonist Redxan Samud standing defiantly as the prison colony, the Dif, looms in the background. Also: badass robot ARU looming in the background. Below are snapshots of the process Moustafa took to accomplish this stunning painting. 

Initial Cover Sketch 

Sketch after notes from the French office

In-Process Painting #1


                                                          In-Process Painting #2


                                                       In-Process Painting #3

Final French Count Cover