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.
Back home from a glorious road trip visiting family. Managed to squeeze in some writing and stripping (comic stripping. What were you thinking?). Also got some quick concept art scratched off. Here's a snippet. This is part of the tower of Dedi, the center of Conjurian City.
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.
Sorry that today’s episode is not posted. However, since the comic recently launched on gocomics.com, I wanted to consolidate and sync where and when the comic is posted.
If you would be so kind as to head on over to gocomics, subscribe to the strip there, and leave a comment telling the awesome, god-like beings that run the site, thank you, I will forever be indebted to you:
And a car chase! Yep, not as involved as I would have wanted, but still fun. There’s going to be some odd alliances coming up.
Also, this comic will launch on GoComic.com starting on October 28th. It’ll still run here, along with all other Conjurers related stories, but GoComics will open it up to a larger audience. I’ll be promoting that a lot more in the coming days.
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.
Little time jump here. Now, the script called for Savachia turning the cup over to the old couple and all, but I felt the story needed a breath. Mostly from the real-time plotting so far. Just a bit of space. Also, you’ll notice the art has lightened up a lot. Again, I’m still experimenting and am pushing the art in a slightly different direction. I want to keep it painterly, but I need to focus on better rendering of the characters and such. We’ll see how that progresses.
And, if you can’t tell by this week’s episode, things are about to get battle-licious. Things were moving slow in the original script. So I’m editing a lot as I re-write the pages and thumbnail ’em. I have a habit of trying to explain too much in too little space. Makes things drag. Simple solution: add more conflict, ramp up the stakes.
Also, we’re not far off from Savachia’s journey into the Conjurian. Which will be the end of this comic arc. His story picks up in the novel. I’ll have more on what story will be next soon. It’ll be quite different in many ways.
This one was brutish from an art perspective. Like I’ve mentioned before, this is a new style for me, so I’m constantly in search of new mistakes and hoping for happy accidents. And I was trying to push this one towards more of a painterly feel and it got away from me a bit. Still, learned a ton for the next page, which I am off to finalize the script for now.
Aaaand here’s a look at members of the 13th circle, the governing body in the Conjurian. They’re making an appearance in the comic next week. Of course they also play large roles in the novel, so this is just a quick meet and greet.
What? Savachia’s dad? Yep. And the nasty Shadow Conjurer’s got him. And the poor little Watcher. His old crush on Savachia’s Mom made him drop the ball, and his “redemption” will really put several trains on a collision course.
The fun bit is that I am working on the novel whilst working on this arc of the comic. So many things start to tie together. At first it seems like a jumbled mess. You just keep chiselling away and little surprises appear like diamond flecks in a rock wall.
Next week, Savachia will try and get his head to stop spinning and get some answers. Sadly, some of those answers will whip his head around faster than the teacups at Disney World.
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.
Seems to me someone knows a lot more than they have let on. And who is this Christopher fellow? You will find out. He’s a major player in the world of magicians. Can’t give away too much. Suffice it to say, he has a large role in the novel. was happy he popped up in this comic series. Kind of a little meet and greet before the book.
Now, what about Savachia’s father? Oh my, there’s lots. You’ll see.
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.
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?
And wham! Something has popped out of the Conjurian. Ya, I know we’re not heading directly into the Conjurian for a good while, but I wanted elements from that world to crossover into Savachia’s story. Things are picking up some steam, and there’s more complications to come for the poor street hustler. He’s stepped into a dandy of a wasps’ nest.
Also, I have some ultra cool news coming about the webcomic’s future. Should be able to announce it very soon.
Here’s a two page spread from the book. Some pages will be just text. Some will have background images like this with the text overlayed. And some of the story will be told sequentially, in panels. Kind of going on instinct as I write the book. Little different than rewriting only prose. Not only do I have to focus on the emotional impact and rhythms of the words, but I need the art to not just be cute little decorations here and there.
It’s all new and a whopper of an experiment. However, it is still a story. I’m going to try and tell it the most exciting way possible.