Friday, March 25, 2016

Literary Agent Rejections for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

After completing the final art for Act 1 of Badin and the Secret of the Saami, I embarked on an 8 hour binge of combing the internet for literary agents who are looking for graphic novel writers. I narrowed it down to 14. I methodically submitted requests for representation and prayed for the best.

As of today—a week later—about half declined to assist me in finding a publisher. The replies were standard and cordial. I am a little disappointed. However, my story is controversial and the artwork is not fancy—and in some cases unorthodox. Also, it about Swedes, Saami people and an African child. Many Americans don't consider that interesting (unfortunately).

However, I will keep trying as I work. Regardless, I plan to finish three more mini-sagas (buy Vaarvaa at Lulu today!) and the graphic novel this year. If no one wants to represent me, I will represent myself. I am used to self-publishing and I have no fears about knocking on doors and asking people and businesses to carry it.

At left is an ink-only abstract from the upcoming Mini-Saga "The Traveler." I created it with Clip Studio Paint. This one will be 2 pages of art and about 3 pages of text. I'm almost done with it. I am looking for an April release. It is heavy! Those who buy it will be in for a treat and a big shocker when they read the graphic novel. The Mini-sagas are not included in the graphic novel. So if you think you can "wait it out" I would not recommend it. I do plan a special edition graphic novel that will include the, but that may not be finished until late 2018. The special edition will contain concept art, related articles and art directors notes.

As I grow with the creation of the graphic novel's Act 2, 3 and 4, I have realized that this story is a powerful weapon against xenophobia, racism and—to a small, but significant degree—Islamophobia. I need your support to help me fight the rising tide of hatred that is growing in the United States and Europe for immigrants. We are in a time of great danger. Please buy, read and invite others to buy and read Vaarvaa, the upcoming mini-sagas and the graphic novel. Use the posters and avatars. Let's get the word out now!

Thank you for your support.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Act I Final Art Complete for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

Abstract from Act 1
A year ago today I began preparation for a Kickstarter campaign to fund the translation of Gustaf Adolph Badin's diary. Thanks to generous friends and family, it was very successful and now the real Badin's diary is free for the entire English speaking world.

Also as of today, I can proudly announce that the first of four Acts for Badin and the Secret of the Saami is complete! Complete as in all ink, color and lettering (the hardest part), that is. There is still some more editing of text and artwork required. Some things I am not happy with and must leave along until I complete the entire graphic novel. Nonetheless, it is ready to start "shopping" around for a literary agent. Even if I do not snag an agent, I will not let that stop me from self-publishing. However, if I do, it might mean I can be more financially secure as I proceed over the next few months.

All of the main characters—including villains—have been introduced. They live my mind and to see them finished on paper is truly inspiring. Speaking of inspiration, I have been sending the art to a select few around the world. One of them is a man named Donald Clayborn. He spent many, many years in Sweden and Denmark gathering information about Badin in the 1980's. Needless to say, he has been a crucial source for my research of Badin, Queen Mother Lovisa Ulrika and King Gustav III.  Mr. Clayborn has told me that what he sees me doing makes him proud. That is something I do not take lightly because Mr. Clayborn is a serious no-nonsense man. I hope to write more about him in later posts.

I do not like complacency. So I am not taking a break from my work (with the exception of writing this blog entry). Today, I created the page files for Act 2 and built the layout for Mini-Saga #2: Ahmed. Hopefully, you have purchased Mini-Saga #1: Vaarvaa. If not, please do so. You will not regret it!

My plans are to release four Mini-Sagas leading up to the graphic novel. Some people are under the impression that the Mini-Sagas are samples of the graphic novel. They are exclusive PDF stories that will not be in the graphic novel. However, in another year or two I plan to create a special edition which will include them (along with all kinds of extras such as Art Director's notes to explain all the pages and the symbolism behind their composition). Before that I still will need to release the graphic novel in Swedish, Sámi and French. So don't wait.

The Mini-Sagas have been written and will be a unique blend of sequential art and text. As with Vaarvaa, there will be an educational component. Here's a list of the Mini-Saga titles (subject to change):

#1 Vaarvaa (released)
#2 Traveler (script and artwork complete; still editing)
#3 Kraken (script and artwork complete; still editing)
#4 The Mirror (script complete)

On the marketing front, I have established a Twitter hashtag #BadinSecret. I'm still new to this realm of advertising. So please feel free to offer any suggestions. I am experimenting with it for my children's books and it seems to be generating more buzz. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Introducing Gaaktu for Badin and the Secret of the Saami

Free hi-res download!
There would be no "Saami" in the title of Badin and the Secret of the Saami without this special main character. His name is Gaaktu. He is an extremely humble, yet strong man. I actually wrote his personality based on some real people of Saami ancestry who I interviewed.

In the poster, Gaaktu is on the left and a young—very anxious looking—Badin is on the right.  Destiny is the title of the poster. Badin is a big part of Gaaktu's destiny and vice-a-versa. If you read the Vaarvaa mini-saga, you will probably get a good a idea what their relationship symbolizes.

On his model sheet, I classify him as most honorable. You can liken him to a trusted uncle. In some regards you might even trust him more than your own father or mother. Simply put, he has nothing on which to judge your actions.

There are many Saami characters in the story. However he is the lead. You will see some clues in the poster about his culture. The colors red and green are very important. Same with his hat.

Although Gaaktu and his Siida (community) are fictional, I based them off of elements in the very old South Saami culture found in central-south Sweden. Every Saami community generally has its own selection of colors and designs in their clothing. I spent many hours of research to create such a culture for Gaaktu's people. Everything about it is symbolic and it relates to the Vaarvaa mini-saga and the graphic novel. In the Special Edition of the graphic novel I plan to include all the details about Gaaktu's Siida. You might be able to figure some of that out if you read the Vaarvaa mini-saga. But I have no spoilers for you here!

I appreciate your support. This is graphic novel project with which I hope to counter racial prejudice, xenophobia and greed. It is the most ambitious—and expensive—undertaking I have embarked upon in my lifetime. Please download and post these social networking avatars and banners. Of course, it's all free. So please help me spread the word!

Here's an avatar featuring Gaaktu you can use:

Here's an avatar of Badin also free to use:

Finally, a Facebook profile page image: