Book 3, Page 46 [End of Volume 1]

Here ends the first volume. Whoa.

I want to say thanks to those of you who have stuck with me through this, especially those who have had encouraging words to say. After an absence from the medium of comics for 20 years, I have been very much aware of this as a learning (re-learning) experience. These three books represent something I started at the end of 2009. We are now two thirds of the way through 2012. I feel like I am only now (drawing Volume 3!) starting to get a sense of my own style and getting a handle on how to really tell a story in this medium.

Volume 2 exists. It has been written. It has been mostly drawn. But I have been working with it in light of what I learned about comic creation in the development of volume 3. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I feel like now that I know what I am doing, I have to go back and edit what I did a bit.

I continue to be frustrated by my art. In Volume 1, I set out to make something that looked anime… like a cartoon more than a comic. Volume 2 evolved more extremely in that direction and I found myself not as fond of the results. Trying to “comic” it a bit, I drew over everything with (digital) colored pencils, which wound up making it look just cluttered.

That’s a ringing endorsement, isn’t it? You’ll be sure to stick around and check it out, won’t you?

Story-telling wise, Volume 2 will be a giant step forward. I promise. In Volume 1, I had only the vaguest idea what was going to happen in the next chapter. Looking back on it from the perspective of this page, it doesn’t really hold together as a novel. Volume 2 does. I expanded the character roster significantly. There is a definite story arc which ends in a dramatic climax.

Significantly, the principles of Volume 1—Mel, Max, and Dunk—become just a part of the character roster in Volume 2. I’m feeling like this is where the series is going. Like, each “Volume” will tell a story which will feature some combination of Mel, Max, or Dunk, but they won’t necessarily be the protagonist of the story.

The production issue right now is that Volume 2 has a lot more pages than Volume 1, but I still want to present it as a trilogy. Figuring out which parts go in which book requires a lot of organizing on my part. When it’s ready, it will appear here. In the meantime, the “blog” below will update the progress.

Volume 2 SOON (I promise!)

Never thought we’d see nearly a year between the release of the Melandra’s Galaxy trilogy and beginning a second volume of science fiction adventures. I had a lot of other projects in the cue.

Expect this site to come back to live within a few weeks. At least one two page will show up on the site each week. And long before the last chapter of the series shows up on this site, you’ll be able to pick up the whole thing at your favorite digital book seller.

I got more ambitious with the second volume. Where the first volume only had six characters who appeared in more than one scene, the second volume has maybe twenty. The first volume has three chapters. The second has four. Last year at this time, I saw the second story as an ambitious failure. Since then, I have completely reworked everything. Every image has been retouched. Whole scenes have been added. Characters have been better developed. The action is tighter, the dialog is better. I am now very excited to release it.

NaNoWriMo done. Now back to the regularly scheduled program.

Yes, I got my 50,000 words written this November. I journaled about the experience. Probably wrote more than fifty thousand words about writing fifty thousand words. Thought briefly about posting them as a blog. But I have this theory that most people would rather read less of other people’s introspective blather rather than more of it.

I actually wrote two novellas. In my mind, it’s a comic series. The “novellas” are the multi-part series and then I have one or two issue stories to go between them. What I wrote this month, once it is edited and drawn, will probably be about a year’s worth of monthly comics. I feel like I’ve got the hard part done, but I still have a ton to do before this idea sees the light of day.

So, now I have to get back on top of my other projects. And that includes this one. My goal is to have the first two books of the second trilogy all laid out and ready for publication by the end of the year.

I suspect it seems like I’m not doing anything because I haven’t actually published anything new in quite some time. But that isn’t the case. I’m working constantly. Got all kinds of pots on the fire, as they say. And eventually something will be ready to serve up.

NaNoWriMo Book Cover

One week to go and still ten thousand words to write. I needed a break, so I drew a potential cover for my book. Since this book will eventually see release as a graphic novel, I need to know how to draw the characters anyway. I think it turned out pretty good. And, for those of you reading the my more famous comic, you can see how much my artwork has evolved even in the months since releasing Melandra’s Galaxy books 1-3.

In my mind, this is a classic pulp fantasy novel in the tradition of Conan, Kull, Tarzan, John Carter, Solomon Kane, Elric of Melnibone, etc. My character has a few unique ticks which I think set him apart from every other guy with long hair and a sword. The art was designed to evoke Larry Elmore and Frank Frazetta, two of my favorite fantasy artists. Trying to imagine this as the cover of one of those fantasy anthology magazines like “Weird Tales” that I used to pick up at the used book store when I was a kid.

Potential cover for my NaNoWriMo book