Archives: News

Cover Process for Book One

cover_process_screengrab

Inking the cover for book one. I’m trying to keep my line art thin and clean. Once I had the rough layout, it took a bit of mind twisting to decide on a final style. I don’t want it coming off as overly comic bookish and at the same time I didn’t want to do a full on painted piece. Mostly because it’s not my strength and also, I didn’t want to stray to far from the interior art.

So here is the beginnings of some clean inking. Already made a color guide so that part shouldn’t be as challenging as it normally is for me.

 

First Drafts

The Conjurers Book One, first draft

The Conjurers Book One, first draft

So this is what a first draft looks like. At least the hand scribbled part. After the notebooks, I transcribe it all in to the computer, cutting and patching bits as I go. Then I give it one more look, jotting down a few notes of things that need renovating and it’s off to my editor.

There’s lot’s more to be done. Rewrites, cover art and interior art. All of which I am greatly looking forward to.

Burning through Moleskines

Time to open a new notebook. A fresh, Hobbit Moleskine. For the most part I'm writing this novel longhand. Means quite the workout for the Lamy. The advantage to pen and paper is the ability to write anywhere, anytime. Gotten used to that over the years. This also means a chance for some chunky editing when I transcribe the words into the computer. I used to try avoiding the whole transcribing process. Save time. But really, it's a huge advantage. Mainly, by not getting into the habit of having to sit at the laptop to work, I can squeeze a lot more words out of the day.

 

Religion in the Conjurian

Religion in the Conjurian

Here's a quick concept sketch for the Dedites, a religious order that believes Dedi created the Conjurian. They sprang up when I worked on the origins for this world. Their counterparts would be the growing majority that Dedi merely discovered the Conjurian. However, as you'll see in the first novel, the truths behind their beliefs will play a huge part in the future of both worlds.

The monk pictured here is loosely based on another of my favorite magicians, Kenton Knepper. A brilliant thinker and a major influence on many of the effects I perform.

 

Some Novel Concepts

I take breaks from writing to doodle out concepts. Mainly for two reasons. One, the book will have illustrations, and two, it helps me visualize the character or scene. Scribbled up the first new concepts for the Grubians Brothers. They were two of the first characters to pop up in my original Conjurers sketchbook way back when. Roughly based on Penn and Teller, they were originally my Shakespearean clowns. Now, they are so much more. Much more than I ever expected.

Concept art from the Conjurers novel.

The Grubrian Brothers

 

 

Big News for the Conjurers Novels

I’m thrilled to officially announce that the Conjuers novels have found a home.  You can read the details here:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/60195-book-deals-week-of-december-2-2013.html

A lot of hard work has payed off. A mega, huge thank you to my agent, Rosemary, for finding the perfect home. Of course, a ton more work is ahead. There’s some work to do on this site too. I think I’ll just link to the comic on gocomics instead of running it on both sites. This site will then be my journal for creating the comic and the novels. It will also house all the backstory stuff and a few other cool surprises along the way.

Thanks to all of you have been riding this rollercoaster from the get-go. So, so much more to come.

Pencilling the next page.

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Here we go on the start of the next page. Script is done, and you can see some of the thumbnails in the sketchbook. Thumb nailing from the script is always another rewrite.

As you can see I’m going long form again with this page. In fact, I think, from here on out, all pages will be this size. Cuts down on speed but makes a lot more room for storytelling. And I’m continuing to evolve the style. On this page, my main focus will be form and value. Cutting waaaay back on the heavy atmospheres. Only when necessary. I’ll post more steps along the way.

A glimpse at the novel.

Right, since this site is still relatively young in terms of pages of story, I thought now would be a good time to share the first look at the novel. It’s very brief. And of course, it will more than likely change as I go along, mostly because there are no rules to how I’m writing and drawing this book. It a graphic novel in the truest sense of the term.

I’m posting it as a PDF to keep the layout fixed. Ya, that will be an interesting hurdle in the ebook realm of things. Tackle that later.

So if you feel inclined, take a peek at these few pages and let me know what you think. Do you find a book done in this fashion interesting?

Here’s the the PDF. There’s a little icon in the top right hand corner of the viewer which will open the PDF in a new window. Lot easier to read. And there’s a download link below the viewer if you’d rather avoid the low resolution images.

[gview file="http://theconjurers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Conjurers_novel_sample_091013.pdf"]

Illustration from the novel.

Illustration from the novel.

Finished this one up this morning. Getting the hang of this relatively sloppy style. I think it adds more mood and character to the story. Now of course, in lighter parts of the novel, the illustrations won’t be so shadow heavy. This fits the opening of the book and also sets up a big contrast change in the fourth chapter.

Rough art for the novel cover.

book cover for "The Conjurers"

cover for the novel

Here’s a slightly rough cover mock up for the novel.  As a magician, I adore playing cards and especially the wave of brilliantly designed custom decks that have come along in recent years. Especially this one. I knew early on that I wanted to do a relatively simple yet striking cover. Coming up with my own spade design was the hard part. Didn’t want to just buy or download some clipart and slap it on there. The solution was a lot of fun. I doodled the spade, very small, in my sketchbook. By keeping it small, it made it very easy to get the shape I wanted.

Then I scanned the doodle in and used that as the template to draw the spade in more detail in Photoshop. The face in the center needs some work. That’s the Shadow Conjurer. The main baddy. No eyes, no nose. Just three red scars running down his face.

For fun, I want to work up a fantasy, collage style wrap around cover too. If anything, it would make a cool poster. So, would you pick up a book with a cover like this?