Tag Archives: kids books

Speed Doodle from Book Three

Illustration from book three of "The Conjurers" novel series.

I’ll be handing over the manuscript for book three at the end of May. I won’t start on the illustrations for some time. First have to get books one and two all illustrated up. However, as I work through the prose, I take a little time here and there to whip out a speed sketch from one of the scenes. It gives me a chance to at least have drafts of the final drawings lying around. It also allows me to work out the style for the final images. Trying to keep them light and sketchy and moving.

I won’t be posting a lot of illustrations from book three as they will contain a lot of spoilers for the first two books. Never the less, there will be plenty more to post when the actual drawing begins.

Sketch Warm Up – Meet the Cast

characters from the Conjurers book series

Warming up to illustrate book one. Like I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be editing book three and cranking out the drawings for book one over the next few months. Yesterday I drew my favorite supporting cast members, the Grubians. Those of you who have read the webcomic will be familiar with these rapscallions. And if you liked them there, wait till you get a load of them in the novels.

Fair to say, these guys are my Shakespearean clowns, although they play a pivotal role in the first three books. My inspiration for them goes well past Shakespeare. My magician friends will notice a similarity to another tall and short magic duo. Except my big guy is the non-talker. Yep, Penn & Teller. Two of my biggest influences in magic since the third grade. They were the starting point for these two.

Halfway through writing book one, I realized another influence for this pair were Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. If those names aren’t familiar, google them and then get the book that pops up in the results. I also recommend getting the comic adaptation and the BBC tele-play and of course the BBC radio drama version. Trust me on this.

Lastly, the names. Was it too obvious? My devious Grubians are named after Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman, the two writers I can’t live without. Well, also Susan Hill, but I have another character based on her we’ll get to later.

That’s it for today. Back to editing book three and sketching up the art for book one. I’ll be sure to post my progress on both.

“Dream Jumper” – A Quick Review

Sophie reviews "Dream Jumper"

Right, in full disclosure, I’m a little biased. I’m a big fan of Lucas’ work. That said, he and Greg have made something special with “Dream Jumper”. My initial reaction after reading it the first time was the craving for more. I want more of this world and, more importantly, these characters. That’s where this dynamic duo really rocked. They hook you right away on the main characters. So many times I’ve read graphic novels that use worn out, on the nose, horrifically obvious tools to get you to like the people in the story.

You know what I’m talking about, the literal “save the cat from the tree” scene, that has proliferated graphic novels and movies alike. They rarely have the intended effect of making the reader go “awwww!” with glassy, anime eyes. Instead, they jolt you right out of the story, ruining the illusion. Not in “Dream Jumper”. Again, I won’t mention specifics of some of these subtleties, but they’re there and they put you right next to the hero. And off you go.

I guess my only complaint is that it wasn’t enough. I wanted more, and thankfully, more is coming. So, Lucas, if you’re reading this, stop! Get back to work!

P.S. Sophie had one complaint after reading it: The paper was not bacon flavor.