A TV show about fighting supernatural forces is only ever going to be as good as its characters; when at least half of an episode’s characters are demons, you’d better have a team as good as Len Wiseman and Corey Castellano creating the creatures.
In Sleepy Hollow: Creating Heroes, Demons & Monsters, the authors Tara Bennett & Paul Terry take us behind the scenes in a carefully guided tour of this new Sleepy Hollow. After the first few pages of the hows and whys of recreating the town into an updated version, the book gives way to the reason we all picked it up in the first place: heroes and monsters.
Pages and pages are dedicated to (almost) all of our favorite main characters–the progression of what Ichabod was envisioned as to what Tom Mison brings to life is startlingly different–but also to the sets and the places that feel most familiar to us on the show. All of the fleeting glimpses we’re afforded of carefully placed details, murals and books and candles that blur by in a dim camera shot, are laid out before us in beautiful, bright color. Writer’s note: Nick Hawley’s bio page is noticeably and grievously absent, but it’s made up for by the two page spread dedicated to Cap’n “Rambo” Irving.
More than half of the book is comprised of the monsters, which isn’t surprising, and turning the pages is like visiting old friends. The Pop-Up Video layout lends a small (sometimes unsatisfying) snippet of info about the effects or the costume or the origin of each, then supplements with pages of pictures. Where the show itself always moved so quickly that the details were lost, here you can pour over the time and talent and effort each monster was given in a close up portrait.
The book covers up to the end of Season Two, a divisive season (as we know) among fans and showrunners alike that has everyone questioning the show’s longevity. That question has no place here, though; this is a love letter to the show, a well-photographed dedication to the enormous talent behind Sleepy Hollow’s cast of characters.
Congratulations to ProFan DizzyChickStar, winner of a copy of Sleepy Hollow: Creating Heroes, Demons & Monsters courtesy of Titan Books and Project Fandom. Here’s her winning Ichabbie haiku:
Witness to light, love, & fear
They fight the good fight
Sleepy Hollow: Creating Heroes, Demons & Monsters
Every fan of Sleepy Hollow will appreciate the chance to absorb the details and images of their favorite TV monsters. A little light on interesting tidbits–don’t think you’re going to get any behind-the-scenes scoop–but so beautifully photographed and laid out that it’s a treat to browse through multiple times. Bonus points for anyone interested in costuming: most of the notes from costume designer Kristin Burke pack extraorinary detail into cocktail-napkin sized drawings.