Tag Archives: fantasy novels

The “Vanishing Fantasy Series” or, “Where the Novels at?”

The trials and tribulations of writing a fantasy novel series.

So, ya, about that fantasy novel series. Where are they at and what’s happening? Are they ever going to come out? It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the novels, mainly because there wasn’t a terrible lot to post about. Thought I’d give a quick run down on their status. Good news and bad news. Bad news first? Good idea. Get it out of the way. Here we go.

The Bad News

I have no idea when “The Conjurers” book one will launch. From the get go, I had an ambitious idea of creating a hybrid fantasy novel that weaved prose in and out of the illustrations. Cool! Exciting! Never been done before! Yes, all very well and nifty, however, as is to be expected when doing things four miles away from the nearest box, you bumble your way along a foggy road that has never been mapped. The first tree in the road was attempting to write the prose and work out the illustrations at the same time. But when the prose changes, so do the illustrations and when the illustrations change the prose needs adjusting. Round and round it went for a bit. Finally a couple faint, swinging lights appeared in the fog.

The first was coming to terms with the fact that, on my inaugural outing writing a fantasy series, I wasn’t going to be able to pull off some the word C.G.I. where text blended into a sequential series of drawings and then seamlessly merged back into traditional prose. It was clunky and at times, too comic book-ish. Once I accepted that, there was another looming issue.

The original draft of book one was just over ninety-thousand words, and that was before adding in the pages and pages of illustrations. The book would’ve been more a piece of furniture than a fun read kids could tote around in their backpacks. Thankfully, a new creative director had just flown over on white, feathery wings to my publisher and she had the light bulb moment that pulled the whole project out of the muck. “Why not split book one into two books?”

And boom! Just like that, books one and two were written. Sort of. Now I could focus on polishing the text for book one and finalize the what and where of the illustrations. Right now, as I wait for notes on the final edits for book one, I am sharpening and molding book two (formerly the second half of book one) into it’s own complete story arc. The neat bit is that where book one was torn in half makes the series more of a cliff–hangar serial.  That is to say, at the end of the new book one everyone dies. Just kidding.

The Good News

Onto the good news! Mainly, that book one is nearing completion and should have an official release date soon. The second breath of fresh air is that, because books two and three are more or less written, there won’t be any delays between releases. By the time book one thumps onto shelves, I should have book two wrapped and will be putting the finishing bits of spackle on book three.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting more often, given that I have a slightly sturdier grip on this eel like process. And that also means, as I promised myself, I’ll post a lot more sketches.

 

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.

Butt in chair time

A quick morning post to loosen the fingers. It's butt in chair time. Last night was the pre-visualization for what I'll write this morning. No make up trailers, or camera shots to set up. Get the actors on the page and let 'em have at it. Let the agonizing fun begin.

 

 

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.

 

Time for some magic

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.

 

The Conjurers novel

 

The Conjurers on gocomics.com

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:

http://www.gocomics.com/the-conjurers

Lots of Conjurers related material will continue to appear here. This will include posts on the novel, background stories and such on the Conjurian and bits and pieces on magic.

Thanks again to all of you who have faithfully supported this endeavor for what seems like an eternity. I promise, cool things are a comin’.

-Brian

 

 

 

New Conjurers Comic

Well we might be gettin’ all “Reservoir Dogs” up in here. Next week, we’ll learn more about Steve. Is he on their side? Could be some screaming. You’ll have to wait and see.

New Conjurers Comic

What’s not to love about a chase scene involving floating skull creatures. The style is a changin’. I’m focusing more on form and value and laying off the heavy atmospheres and textures.

 

New Conjurers Comic

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.

An ace up the sleeve.

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.

 

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?