Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Badin and the Secret of the Saami - All Inking Done!

Screen shot of all 90 pages of artwork!
A major milestone for the Badin and the Secret of the Saami graphic novel project has been achieved. The inking stage is at the peak of the mountain of work in its production. It is done. All 90 pages!

If you have been following this blog over the past year and half, you have read about how hard it was to get this far. Needless to say, I am relieved. Although coloring is not easy, I do not feel the same pressure I did to get from concept, to pencil and to inking.

Now I can continue with the character diaries, trying to get a literary agent and making up for all the income and social life lost while I focused on this part of the project. Working on this project came during the worst time in my life with mental illness nearly tearing my family into shreds. As a friend told me: Life is born in the darkness of the womb.

That brings up the topic of the social impact Badin and the Secret of the Saami could have upon the world (especially in Sweden). This is a story about real people that existed in Sweden during the years of 1761-1762. But the story is fictional. Hence, the classification: Historical fiction. The only fictional main character is Gaaktu. However, his culture—South Saami—is not fictional.

The Saami people have survived ethnic cleansing and genocide over the millennia. They have played an important role in the history of Sweden. Yet they are not always treated as such. South Saami are especially important in that they are very few in number and have always had a stronger presence in the more populated parts of Sweden.

Badin and Gaaktu to very important to the progress of the story—and in modern day Sweden, Europe and the United States. There Blacks that live there now have an opportunity to learn about the ancient history and traditions of the Saami people. That could help them to make Sweden a better place for all people. How? It is not a simple answer. However, if one keeps an open mind and heart, it will reveal itself. Hopefully, Badin and the Secret of the Saami will inspire a relationship between those considered as foreigners and the indigenous people.

May 1, 2017 is the scheduled release date for Badin and the Secret of the Saami. New fascinating and fun character diaries are uploaded every other week. Two more Mini-Sagas are already finished and being edited for release before that time. If you have not read the first two, you don't know what you're missing! Buy the Mini-Sagas through Lulu at the Badin and the Secret of the Saami website.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Finished inking Act 3 for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

Inking done for Badin and the Secret of the Saami Acts 1,2 and 3!
Only 24 pages remain to be inked for Badin and the Secret of the Saami! This revolutionary historical fiction graphic novel project consists of four acts. That means 75% of the hardest part is done. I am happy.

I am also thrilled to announce that Badin's historical fiction diary entries are being hosted on the Black Archeological Research Society Facebook group. Special thanks to Omri Cooke for the help. As mentioned in the previous blog entry, Peter Ericson's South Saami History Blog is hosting Gaaktu's diary entries. If you own a blog or website and would like some fascinating and fun historical fiction content, check out the Badin and the Secret of the Saami character page, find your favorite character and let me know!

Another great gift of support came from the podcast interview by Dr. Tisa Muhammad. For one hour we discussed the historical Badin and the graphic novel. Please listen to it on-demand. It was great!

Badin and the Secret of the Saami is about hope, friendship and the reasons why respect for indigenous and immigrant people can benefit society. Although the graphic novel is not scheduled for release until May 1, 2017, you can access weekly diary entries from the six principal characters on the Badin and the Secret of the Saami character page.

There will be many things that the characters write about that allude to events that will occur in the graphic novel. So as you read, pay close attention. You will also enjoy the little artwork pieces I create for the entries. Get to know my characters. So far, my favorites are Badin and Gaaktu. But you'll love all of them!

Also, there are two Mini-Sagas on sale to get your appetite going. As soon as I finish the graphic novel coloring, I plan to finish up the third Mini-Saga and prepare for the final and fourth Mini-Saga. Meanwhile, I really need your help to promote the Badin and the Secret of the Saami website. Will you help me? Please? I am a man of poor financial resources and cannot afford advertising. So I need just a few moments of your time to email, tweet or share the Badin and the Secret of the Saami website.

Please stay up to date with my progress at these links:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Badin and the Secret of the Saami Progress 2016-06-19
Did you know the Badin and the Secret of the Saami graphic novel project has a dedicate website and Facebook page?

That is where you can get all the good stuff. This blog serves as a center for all of my artistic work—including behind-the-scenes work on the graphic novel.

On June 19, Mr. Omri Coke wrote a wonderful article about Badin's history and my efforts to translate his diary, along with the graphic novel project. He is writing a series of articles about Black history in Europe. I am really appreciative of such news. It's quite motivational!

I am now finished with the layout and lettering for Act 3. I was on a mad dash to complete all stages except color. But I found too many little problems with the script which required on-the-fly changes.

So to avoid having to possibly redo finished artwork, I'm lettering the rest of the graphic novel. Once that is done, I can do the loose penciling, final penciling and inking. My goal is to have everything except color finished by the end of July 2016.

Snapshot closeup of screen with panel
Lettering is the part where I put in the dialog and narration text. I also layout the panels with respect to my thumbnail sketches.

Thank you for your support. Please remember to read the bi-weekly diary entries for the main characters. They are short, fun, educational and include unique illustrations. If you want to browse an overview of the diaries published so far, see the Notes section of the Badin and the Secret of the Saami Facebook Page.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Finished Inking Act 2 for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

Close up views on panels
Abstract from Act 2
It is with great joy to announce that I have now completed the layout, lettering and inking phases for all of Act 1 and Act 2 for Badin and the Secret of the Saami. Unfortunately, besides the extreme close up abstract teaser pictures I share on the Black Rhino Illustration Twitter page, I cannot show you the work.

I am not thrilled with quality of my work. However, when a panel is done, I move on. That is not to say that I do not make changes when needed—and such changes have set me back over a week behind schedule. I just cannot expect perfection. My goal is to have everything inked by the end of July.

Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying reading the diaries of the characters. They are so much fun to write. I put much time into researching Swedish history. So to use it for extra promotion of the graphic novel seems appropriate. The drawings are fun too. I keep them somewhat generic so I can sell them as stock art. I do not sell graphic novel artwork as stock art, however.

I am also excited that Peter Ericson of the South Saami History Blog hosts the diaries of Gaaktu. Mr. Ericson is a Swedish man of well-documented Sámi ancestry who does intense research. His blog is the only accessible source for South Sámi history of significance on the internet. Since my character Gaaktu, is South Sámi, this was the perfect fit. I am very grateful for Mr. Ericson's generosity.

Please spread the word about Badin and the Secret of the Saami. Help me. I need it and the world needs to know this story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Curly Hair, Swedish and Finishing a Graphic Novel

Swedish flag with Badin and the Secret of the Saami
Although I was oblivious to it as a small child, my Swedish-American mother endured this curious statement from other white people from time to time: "Where did your boy get that curly hair?" they would ask. 
"From his father!" she quipped with guarded annoyance. "Where else!?"

You see, no matter where I live, or who I am, I never really "fit in." The only way I accomplished such a status was when I accepted my Blackness and made a place for myself. Then I knew I could contribute to the society and be a part of making it better. Denying it because I was light skinned and could "pass" compared to my darker-skinned fellow humans never helped.

So when I wrote Badin and the Secret of the Saami, I could easily relate to the little African boy who grew up to become the famous African diasporan of Scandinavia. I did not need to put myself in his shoes. I WAS in his shoes. Like him, I struggled with racism and identity. Like him, I had a caring white mother who made sure I could have any amount of education and pursue all interests that I desired.

But I always knew I had to do something to help people of African descent feel good about themselves to take their place as contributors to their nations and communities.

With Badin and the Secret of the Saami, I want to show that not only should Blacks and Indigenous people feel good about their valuable history, but that ALL people can be inspired to make a better world and future for our children.

Please join me on this mission. Buy the Mini-Sagas, follow and read the character diaries. Two more Mini-sagas are on the way. New character diaries are uploaded every week. We have about a year until this graphic novel will be put on sale. I need your support by sharing, re-tweeting and spreading the word about this project.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

New Beginnings: Badin and the Secret of the Saami

The face of
Home page for

On this day of May 1, 2016, I am very excited to announce the official website for Badin and the Secret of the Saami. This is the main website for an historical fiction graphic novel about the Swedish Queen’s young adopted son, Badin, and his siblings in an adventure to save the future of humanity.

The website will feature the characters, information about the story, the real Badin and a storefront (Every graphic novel needs official tee shirts!)

The characters section lists the main characters, their basic attributes and links to their Twitter pages. Yes, that's right. Each of the main characters will be writing short journal entries from today until May 1, 2017, when I plan to have the graphic novel in your hands.

I encourage you to go there today and follow the characters that interest you the most. I know you will enjoy reading—and interacting with them—during their day-to-day lives. I have put alot of time into Swedish and Saami cultural and historical research and am looking forward to telling their stories. If you don't use Twitter, you can view their entries at the new Badin and the Secret of the Saami Facebook Page. Each of the six characters will get one day for entries. In the world of writing, this is called "Twitter Fiction." These entries will be completely free and accessible to all.

The first day of May is an important Swedish holiday that symbolizes new and exciting times. The dead of winter—and the old ways—melts away with the snow and is replaced by the fresh green new growth of life. Badin was a fresh new addition to the rigid and cold ways of the Swedish Royal Court. The Saami people are just as unique to Sweden, but with a deeper connection to the land that is and always was theirs. The synergy of the two will bring salvation to the Kingdom of Sweden and humanity.

Please take a few minutes to view this video I made on May 1st Eve in commemoration of the website. After watching, please rate it with a thumbs up and SHARE it. Liking videos and posts are appreciated. However, with a project of such significance, sharing the link and re-tweeting brings much more attention. Help me share this wonderful story about friendship, adventure and the great power of science and mythology in the wonderful land called Sweden.

If you are curious why I am so enthusiastic about Swedish history, these videos about my trip to Sweden for Allt För Sverige will be quite informative!

Characters Twitter diaries links:
Badin and the Secret of the Saami Facebook Page:
Badin and the Secret of the Saami Official Website:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Big Announcement May 1, 2016 for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

Screenshot from Badin and the Secret of the Saami
Strange, but true!
I have bigger plans than I originally imagined for Badin and the Secret of the Saami. As I have been finishing up the final artwork, two Mini-Saga editions have been published and efforts to promote it have constantly been refined.

The ultimate plan has been put on paper and will be revealed on May 1, 2016. With this plan, I hope to make this graphic novel project the most memorable and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Stay tuned here or on Twitter and Facebook as the day approaches. You can use the search hashtag #BadinSecret as well.

The picture at left is a screen shot of the pencil and inking process for a pair of panels in Act 2 of Badin and the Secret of the Saami.