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.
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.
Head on over to gocomics.com to read the latest episode of the Conjurers comic. I’m trying to get another page up by Friday. There’s a lot going on in this sequence and I’d rather not make everyone wait a week between scenes. So, I’ll kick in a little over drive and pump out some pages. It’ll help me get a better handle on this “quick” style. It’s odd attempting to produce pages rapidly and still make them look cool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And he’s back! Remember? The creepy dude, sitting in the tree outside the magic shop? Eating doughnuts? Well, I hadn’t forgotten him and goodness knows he was dieing to get back in the action.
This is where the fun of writing happens. In my outline, I had a few notes for this page. Firstly, bring back the doughnut eating Watcher (and his crow). Second, I knew the scene was going to be creepy, him standing over Savachia’s Mom and all. What I didn’t know, till he started talking, was that he has a history with dear Mrs. Savachia. Well, that threw me. So, I still have my outline. I know where all this ends because of Savachia’s role in the novel. However, some of the stuff coming will be as much a surprise to me as for you. Kinda cool.
What I do know is that things are going to escalate faster and faster. There be some battlin’ a comin’. Nothing is ever what it seems when dealing with magicians.
A meeting in the back room. And what war? Oh it’s coming. There will of course be some battles before the showdown. We got a ways to go before that happens. Savachia’s life is about to get even more twisted.
Savachia has barely begun to weave his web and already, fraying a bit at the edges. But now, what are Ray and Eugene up to? And is Savachia going to come clean about why he’s really there? Things are going to start twisting up faster and faster now.
How do like the pacing so far? Too slow? Not enough info?
Who’s this guy? He is based on a real magician and it is based, loosely, on a real experience. Same as this shop is inspired by my old magic shop back in Mass. One Saturday at the shop I had the wonderful happenstance to pick through spirit slates with thee Eugene Burger. My fellow magicians know who he is. Now if you haven’t heard of him, pop his name into Youtube and I’m sure one of his mesmerizing performances will kick up.
Aaaaaaand I’m back. Yup, been quite awhile. Things on the novel side of “The Conjurers” are mired in some circle of development purgatory. However, I love this world and of course I love magic. So, I scraped the cobwebs off my legs and got off the publishing waiting room couch (which is oddly similar to the waiting room in Beetlejuice sans the shrinking head guy) and stormed back to the drawing table to tell this story.
The comic will update once a week, for now. I’ve written up an actual production schedule. If that goes well, and I can keep up with my other projects, I’ll increase updates to twice a week. We’ll see. The main thing is that I got the train creaking along again. There are way to many stories swirling around The Conjurian to let fade away.