William Exley

William Exley will be illustrating The Smuggler

The creative process starts – WIP of The Hunter

Will teaser pic 4

Alone on his horse, Arthur Darell crosses the vast Romney Marshes after landing his contraband in the small hours. He is wrapped up warm, his frock coat collar turned up high and tricorn hat low against the morning frost.

There are two small kegs of brandy strung across his horse, and his saddlebags are bulging with packs of tobacco.

His men went on ahead with most of the contraband, but he stayed behind to negotiate the next landing. He prefers to do the return journey to Scotney Castle alone. Perhaps he’ll catch up with the men at the next inn and buy a round of ale to keep the spirits up. Perhaps not.

The story is set in the Georgian Era

The secretive and rewarding life of a man in the shadow of the law.

With the decline of the Kentish Iron Industry and tax increases to fund arms for the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland and wars in Europe, many people in South East England – and indeed nationwide – became involved in the smuggling trade in one way or another.

In the 18th century illegal trade across England’s coasts grew at a prodigious rate. What had once been simple small-scale evasion of tax transformed into an industry of astounding proportions.

Will teaser pic 2

About William


William Exley was an avid devourer of all things comics growing up which has influenced his work as an illustrator ever since.

He studied illustration at Brighton University and has held exhibitions across the UK.

He has been widely commissioned to create gig posters and record covers for bands, and has worked on editorial features for Time Out London and Little White Lies. He lives in South London.



Will’s work and illustrations

Late Night Drive



Various Prints

Jamie Rhodes Interviews Isabel at Scotney