Reklas Abandon is the name of the graphic novel that Lindsay (my husband) and I are working on. It will be my first finished work! I have had a lot of stories in the works, but for the first time, I am buckling down and trying to finish something. I decided to go with something more bite sized, and so I am doing a one-off satire that I came up with years ago. Read more to get an idea of what this graphic novel will be like!
How it got started:
Back in 2009 I went on a road trip from Seattle, WA to Temecula, CA with my mom and my sister. My sister Toni and I had been going through a manga series together (it was the first and only manga series I ever read!) and we had bough the very last book to read on the road trip. The book came in a pack with some samples from other graphic novels. The two of us laughed as we went through the sample book, mocking all of the ridiculous pop culture stories inside. My sister and I regularly make small comic stories for each other, and so as a joke I started drawing a story mocking pop culture. I called it “Reklas Abandon” after its main character, Reklas Abandon!
The story starred a self-obsessed vampire, his slave, his best friend and a rich girl who stumbled across them by buying their haunted mansion. In no way am I a vampire fan; I have constantly mocked the over-blown obsession with them since hits like Twilight came out, and so this story was strictly satire. It was about 4 pages long and went nowhere. Years later, after I got married, my brother found the old pages, scanned them, and sent them to me. Lindsay had never seem them before and convinced me to redo the story, and that’s how it kicked off! The three main characters (vampire, slave and rich-girl) stayed essentially the same, but the story got a complete remodel.
Lindsay and I spent night after night talking in bed, after our new baby finally fell asleep, trying to figure out the best way to tell the story. Through those months, the story morphed into what it is today! Now that we have it all figured out, we are working every night after Elizabeth goes to bed.
Written by Tasha and Lindsay Kennedy (me and my husband!)
The story of Reklas Abandon falls under a few genres. I would probably place it under: satire, mystery, fantasy, noir and comedy.
The entire story covers a span of 3 days and takes place almost entirely in an eerie mansion. As the story unfolds you are taken deeper into the mystery of the mansion, what has taken place there, and who each character really is at heart.
Saying any more would only spoil the story!
All of the lineart is done by me. I usually do my lineart on nicer drawing paper, but for Reklas, to keep on a tight budget, I have stuck solely to computer paper! I do a quick pencil gesture, ink it with pigment pens, and then Lindsay scans them onto the computer.
Lindsay handles all the digital work. After scanning them, he cleans up the mistakes, puts in the borders, and fine tunes everything microscopically. It took me a while to see my line art up so close!
The colour pallete was really fun to come up with. We wanted to work quickly with colours that suits the style of the story, so we chose a very limited pallete. There are a total of 10 colours you will find in the entire book; three of which are different shades of grey and two are black and white. This enabled us to be creative in a new way: how can we tell this story best with the limited pallet we have?
You will notice the world/backgrounds to be extremely simple. This is not only because it is a weaker point in my artistic abilities, but because I don’t want to over complicate this little story with too much busyness. I like the simple style that is dynamic but keeps the story moving forward. I want enough to tell the story and give a good atmosphere, but I also want to be able to churn through this quickly and get started on my next project!
We aim to finish all the art work by January of 2014. My mother runs her own Publishing company who I am going through (of course!), and she hopes to get it all finished in the Spring, just in time to go to the Emerald City Comicon! We estimate the book to be about 200 pages give or take. Let’s see if we can get it all done!