Tag Archives: young adult

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.

 

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

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.

Thanks for reading!

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.

The Inner Circle

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.

New Conjurers Comic

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?

New Conjurers Comic

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.

 

New Conjurers Comic

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.

New Conjurers Comic

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.

New Conjurers Comic

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?

New Conjurers Comic

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.

New Conjurers Comic

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.

 

The Conjurers Webcomic

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.

The Conjurers Webcomic

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.

The Conjurers Webcomic

Let the lies begin. AT least for Savachia, cause I’m not saying who else may or may not be honest.

The Conjurers Webcomic

And now we see a bit of Tenyo’s personality. She makes a cactus feel smooth.

Oh and a note on the “Blaine Package”. I personally don’t prescribe to that way of thinking, which is that David did tricks anyone could pick up at a shop and perform. Just borrowed that sentiment for Tenyo.

Won’t bore you with a magic lecture. Suffice it to say that the methods don’t matter. The reaction and effect it has on the spectator is what counts. Posting this now before I jog off into a rant.

The Conjurers Webcomic

Late again. But I had to appease the Dog eat Doug deadline before finishing this page. The interior of the magic shop is fairly close to the actual shop it’s based on. I know, cool huh?

There’s two other intriguing aspects to the real life magic store and both will play a roll in the comic. So, as you can guess, I’m not going to tell you now.

The Conjurers Webcomic

A day late but not a comic short. This one took a bit for a couple reasons. I have the entire story plotted but when I hit this page I realized it could be combined with the next page. So I scrapped them both and wrote this hybrid page.

And yes, this shop is based on a real magic store. I used to live right down the street. And it’s a magician’s magic store. By that I mean, unless you’re a magician, you would never know it existed. Yet a parade of who’s who in the magic world parade through the closet sized store whenever they’re in town.

A little side story for my magician pals: One Saturday at the shop I got to spend the afternoon browsing through and trying out a box of spirit slates and such with Eugene Burger. Now that’s a real magic shop!

The Conjurers Webcomic

It’s 12:51 in the morning, so technically I missed the Monday deadline. Hopefully this page is interesting enough to be a smidge late. And obviously it opens another plot line. This plot line also ties directly into the novel. And by that I mean the scarred, card manipulating dude is THEE bad guy.

New Year, New Choices

Already on page eight. Just about at the end of act one, which simply means that in the coming pages the plot thickens. A lot. And, from an art perspective, I think the pages will lighten up a tad. Not sooo much heavy texture in the background.

Speaking of the art, I’ll take some pics of the process for the next page. Experimenting as I go, but I have a relatively simple process so far. It’s a messy process which is as I intended. And I need to fill out more of the site. Some pieces on magic and my research for the novel.

Any magicians reading? Bet you recognized one at least one of the names I’ve slipped in so far huh?