Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ambitious Graphic Novel Project

I am engaged in a project unlike anything I have done in the past. Making two children's picture books, Swedish Girl of Motala and Knös the Giant were grueling and heart-wrenching in more ways than one. However, this new one is testing all of my will. It is a historical fiction graphic novel called Badin and the Secret of the Sámi.

First, I am proceeding with a strict method and process. This means writing first and illustrating second. I did this with my other books, but not with so many steps. This time, I started with a huge outline, full of detail, art direction and dialogue. The next step is to complete a full script. This helps shake out all the unnecessary stuff and turn the focus toward art direction, to form a concise blueprint for the illustrations.

Second, I plan to create it using a new program called Manga Studio 5EX. Currently, I use Manga Studio 4EX to do most of my illustrations on sale as royalty-free stock images. The new program requires extra training. It is more than likely I will produce my rough draft of the graphic novel on real paper so I can mentally place script elements in a satisfactory manner.

Third, there are many, many elements of the story that require a great deal of research. Suffice it to say, I have been busy checking out various library books about Sweden, its royal family during the 1700's and Sámi culture.

I hope to share more about this project as I progress. Right now I'm still writing the full script.