From the Archives...

 Back again...

So, picking up where I left off last month, I thought I would continue with the story of Mordecai Crow's development. Or more accurately, go back to some of the stuff I was talking about last time, but this time with pictures!

In my last post (you can see it here) I had incorrectly identified the first crack at Crow as being in 2015 (now corrected - fortunately no one had read it!) I have been digging through the archives and realize now I was off the mark by about 8 years - my earliest files are from 2007! I've been going around saying the book was a decade in the making but now realize 16 years have passed since I started thinking about this project. Yikes! Sadly, the over-arching context for the story, climate change, has only gotten worse.

In the last post I  also mentioned taking an early attempt at the art and thought I would share that here. These are from 2007, the story wasn't even written yet, but I was eager. I was mostly drawing in pen and ink at the time (had yet to discover the Pentel brush pen that changed my life!) and was colouring it digitally on the computer. Yes, in colour - the images will look familiar as they were the basis for my second go ten years later. My working title at the time was The Survivor, and it looked like this...

My first 2007 crack at Crow. You can see that I based the final version of the book on these images - if you click on the page above it will take you to a pdf of all of the first seven pages I completed.

I had also talked last post about the thumbnailing, most of which was done a decade later when I returned to the story. My process has changed on subsequent books (I am now well into Book 3), but you can see here that I wrote the text in the margins as I thumbnailed it!

Thumbnails for Book 1 with text written in margins.

I honestly can't remember if I was actually writing it as I went - judging by the fact that there seem to be few corrections, I think not and at this point was following a script, but I'm pretty sure the first few pages I thumbnailed back in 2007 were written straight into my sketchbook in conjunction with the art. Unfortunately I can't find those first 2007 thumbnail pages!

I eventually pulled together all my thumbnails into a single document and input digital text. As with all of the work I do, those thumbnails would serve as my road map for the next few years of creating the final art. More on that next time.

Thumbnail scanned in with text added digitally afterwards. Much neater! I'm almost positive these thumbnails were done after the first colour pages were done, but I dunno. It has been a long process.
Again, if you want to see what the entire book in thumnails, click on the thumbnail.

And some newsy bits

I will be at the Renegade table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this year, signing copies of Secrets Of Jarrow and just generally hanging out, from 2 p.m. onwards on Sunday April 30. If you are in the area drop by and visit - I would love to see you! This is a free event, held in the Toronto Reference Library just north of Bloor on Young. It's packed to the gunnels with indie comic book publishers from all over and with a full schedule of exciting workshops and panels.