Of course I would find a way to work puppetry into the Conjurers. This is an origin story told with puppets. And this part of the novel uses sequential art, so you get to watch the puppet show.
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.
No matter what I do, puppets always work they way into the story. These guys were a bit of a surprise. However they became a fun way to convey some backstory and foreshadow upcoming scenes.
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.
Welcome to a meeting of the inner circle. This is the ruling body of the Conjurian. And while you won’t see a lot of them in this episode, you’ll see them all in different capacities in the novel.
For now I have only mentioned a few names. You know Ray, Eugene, Aggler and now a mention of Xavier. They are key players in the overall arc for the comic and the novels. So much fun ahead.
Next episode, you’ll see what happens when Savachia tries to take charge. Also, an honest offer from an evil man.
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.
Now to find out what’s in the secret room. Just not the way Savachia thought he was going to find out. Wait till the next episode. A little surprise, even for me!
Surprise performance. Nothing like planning a robbery and then having a surprise magic show sprung on ya. Especially when you’ve never performed magic before. What exactly is Ray up to?
A ticking clock. The pressure’s ratcheting up on Savachia. He’s going to have to move fast and bold. Might be a few unexpected happenings in his way.
On a side note, I’ll start posting other materials related to the Conjurian this week. A brief history of the secret world and also a new ongoing feature. I think you’ll enjoy them.
And as always, there are so many surprises coming! Leave a comment and let me know what you think so far.
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.
So they know. But how much do they know? Do they know what Savachia is looking for? Next episode you may find out a bit more. And you might just see a hint at something much different going on.
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.
Bit of a gap between pages. Sorry about that. However the reason for the delay is, I think, a decent one. Talks are back on regarding the Conjurers novel. Hopefully they end with a deal. Either way the comics shall continue.
Page sixteen. Savachia’s getting the ol’ magician’s test to see if he’s serious about magic. It’s actually a fairly common practice in the real world. Most people loose interest after learning the working bits of a trick. If someone does master a trick you teach them, then there’s a chance they have the bug.
And, again, the interiors of the shop are fairly close to the store I based it on, except of course for the secret door. In the real shop, there is a door in that location that opens into a mini parlor complete with a stage. Always loved that about the shop so I took some liberties with it in the strip. And I am certainly taking liberties with the things that room contains. You’ll just have to wait a bit for that.