Hereville Book 2: Cover Art!

On April 16, 2012 · 3 Comments

The cover art to Hereville: How Mirka Met A Meteorite.

And here are the two covers side by side:

I do think we succeeded pretty well at making a cover that was clearly part of the same series as book 1, without being the same cover over again.

Under CTA, Previews

Hereville book 2 – cover sketches

On April 14, 2012 · 1 Comments

Warning: The images below contain some spoilers regarding the plot of Hereville book 2. Then again, so does, you know, the actual cover to the book.

So when I started work on the cover to book 2, everyone (“everyone” in this case meaning me, the folks at Abrams (my editor Sheila and book designer Chad Beckerman) and my agent Judy Hasen) were agreed that we wanted a cover that looked enough like book 1’s cover so that it would be obviously in the same series at a glance, but different enough so that no one would mistake it for the first book.

So, things to keep from book 1’s cover: Big round object. Tiny Mirka (or Mirkas). The banner for the title and author lettering. Things to be different: Everything else.

So I thought of every cover idea I could and sent quick sketches of those ideas to Abrams. Pretty much all of those ideas were variations on “meteor shooting through space, Mirka sitting on or being dragged along behind it.” But I also threw in a few not involving a meteor, because I didn’t want to forclose other possibilities, even though I was pretty sure we’d wind up with a meteor.

Then the folks at Abrams discussed it, or perhaps consulted their magic eight balls (a not-unlikely subject of a future Hereville cover), and agreed that they liked a shooting meteorite dragging a panicked Mirka best.

We also sent emails back and forth playing around with several color approaches. I showed them a few possibilities — sky blue, dark blue, red, etc — and although I was secretly hoping for red, I thought they’d choose blue (a more conservative choice), and I could live with that. To my delight, they chose red.

So now knowing the subject of the drawing and the color scheme, I did some more sketches and sent them to Abrams:

I do these sketches not only for Abrams’ sake but for my own — it’s hard for me to feel that I really know what I think about a cover composition unless I first sketch it out.

On Monday I’ll post the final cover art!

Under CTA, Previews, Process

Preview panel: Mirka runs up a hill

On March 16, 2012 · 0 Comments

Just a completed panel from Hereville book 2 (although it’s still awaiting colors from Jake, of course). I’m happy with how this panel came out. Sometimes things come together well.

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First First Interview With Me about Hereville!

On March 13, 2012 · 0 Comments

Desirous of Everything has posted their “first first” interview with me. That one’s from a while ago, I think, but it’s nice to see it online. Here’s a sample:

Question: I personally, loved Pig. I love how much expression he portrays before he even speaks. And then when he spoke for the first time, I think I was just as surprised as Mirka was! Can you talk about your process of creating him?

Answer: I knew that I wanted the witch to have a familiar, an animal friend. But it took me an amazingly long time to decide on a pig! I went through so many ideas… a cat, a ferret, a goat. In retrospect, it seems silly, because a pig is so perfect.

Because the pig is Mirka’s antagonist for so much of the story, I knew right away the pig had to be sort of prickly and easily annoyed. More of her personality came out as I sketched and wrote for her.

When it came time to draw the pig, I was so intimidated! It’s hard for me to draw a pig well. What helped me a lot was buying a half-dozen little realistic pig toys that I could hold in my hand and use as models for the character.

Click over to read the whole thing.

Under CTA, Interviews

First drawing of the troll for Hereville book 2

On February 17, 2012 · 0 Comments

The troll is a very fun character to ink. Especially that huge long curve under his belly; getting that line right, when I can get it right, is loads of fun. (Yes, this is what I find fun).

This shows both the rough sketch of the character on the page, and the completed drawing. (Jake hasn’t colored it yet, obviously).

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Book two in progress: A Couple of Fruma Outfits

On February 11, 2012 · 0 Comments

Hereville book two is now completely written and laid out (although there are a couple of pages I want to go back and fix), and I’m now at long last drawing actual pages. A bunch of pages are partway drawn, a few pages are complete, and — much to my excitement — the front cover is complete.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the publisher wants me to show you any of that stuff just yet. Definitely not the cover. Maybe I’ll start showing pages next week.

Meanwhile, here’s a couple of outfits that Fruma will wear in book 2:

Under CTA, Previews, Process

Hereville 2 Work-In-Progress: Dress Design

On January 25, 2012 · 3 Comments

Mirka wears the same dress for the first 45 pages of the graphic novel (although — spoiler alert! — by page 45 the dress will be torn and filthy). Unlike last time, where I just drew a dress on the first page and then had to repeat it, this time I’m trying to figure out what the dress looks like before I start drawing.

(Click on the image to see it bigger.)

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Angry string cheese!

On January 19, 2012 · 0 Comments

My very excellent studio-mate Kristin was annoyed that her string cheese snacks had been disappearing from the studio fridge. (As it turned out, there was a genuine misunderstanding going on about who owned the cheese.) Since Kris isn’t often here at the same time as everyone else, she grabbed her red marker and left some messages to set the evil cheese thief quaking in fear:

(Description of image: Photo of a row of individually-wrapped string cheese snacks. On each snack, a short message is written in red marker. The messages are: “Is your name KRIS?,” “I bite back!,” “POISON,” “Price: $800,” “Not tasty,” “Eat at Your Own Risk,” “Grrrrrrrr…,” something that I can’t make out at all, and finally, “I know where you work.”)

Hereville Book 2 Preview: Mirka, like the kitten of lore, hangs in there

On January 19, 2012 · 0 Comments

A drawing-in-progress of Mirka from Hereville book 2. I had a lot of trouble with her left foot — not so much drawing it as finding the right angle to draw it at. Those are three of the rejects there on the upper left.

Also, I initially drew Mirka with two right hands. Fortunately, Jake (my studio-mate, creator of the runaway webcomic hit Modest Medusa and Hereville’s colorist) pointed out the problem. Sadly, even after Jake pointed it out, I couldn’t see it; it took him a couple of minutes to convince me.

Under CTA, Previews

Adrian Wallace draws Mirka!

On January 12, 2012 · 2 Comments

My friend Adrian Wallace, creator of the terrific webcomic Jumbo deLuxe (drawn in a European “clean line” style that I’m envious of), was nice enough to do this drawing of Mirka, the pig, and the Witch from Hereville, along with Emily and her dog from Jumbo deLuxe. I love how everything’s in Hereville colors except for Emily and her dog. 🙂

Thanks, Adrian!

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