Come see us at Emerald City Comicon!

website-booth-mapFind us on the map!

Reklas Abandon fans, please Click on the map to see the location of our booth at the Emerald City Comicon 2014! To see the full map of the Emerald City Comicon event for a bit of context, just click here. At our booth you will be able to get Reklas Abandon stickers, buy the newly released book and buy one of our two T-shirt designs which at the moment are being sold exclusively at Comicon!

Update on the Printing Crisis:

Things are getting intense as we approach the final countdown to the big event. We are still having trouble with our main printer (who just can’t seem to get our proof copy printed!), and so we have gone with a local printer for the Comicon copies. They will look slightly different, I am assuming, to our main copies which will be sold on amazon, etc. So think about it this way: if we ever get famous, and you buy one of these limited edition copies, they might be worth something one day!

Live Preview:

If you haven’t already noticed, we have put up a bit of the book for you to get a sneak preview. Please feel free to read it to get a taste of what the book will be. If you like it, please consider buying it and supporting our art.

Pre-ordering the book:

If you live in the continental USA, you have the opportunity to pre-order the book now for $15 (which is free of tax and shipping!). If you live outside of the USA, please email books@varida.com to find out your extra shipping costs. Because of the trouble with the main printing company, we do not yet have a release date, but it should be somewhere around early April 2014.

Reklas Abandon is finished!

… and Emerald City Comicon is just around the corner!

About a month ago Lindsay and I finished the last page of the graphic novel and shortly after that we finished the layout of the book, copywrite pages, and lastly, the cover! I was really surprised at how much work and time was needed in these last steps. To me, when I finished the final page of the graphic novel, I was done. Well, I was wrong! There was weeks left of work to do. It was like I had enjoyed the 9 months of growing a baby, but the final labour in bringing this book into the world had caught me off guard. After all of the editing, emails back and fourth with our publisher, reworking and reformatting, we finally sent the book in for our proof copy.

That was over a week ago and we are still waiting. We called the printers and it turned out they had lost the file on our book and are only just today printing the thing! They are sending us the copy on next day delivery, so I hope to skype with my publisher (who will receive the copy in the states) and see the book for myself! If it is everything we meant it to be, we will barely have enough time to send for the 200 copies that we hope to sell at Comicon. We hope and pray that these copies will be delivered in time as a rush order would cost around $600! (Which is not happening…)

Emerald City Comicon

The main way we are promoting this book is by hosting a booth at the comicon in Seattle from March 28-30. I wasn’t expecting to do much promotion with my works, especially as my main motivation was to do it for the fun of it, but if we had not had the comicon deadline, Reklas Abandon would not have been finished by now. It is all my publisher’s and my family’s work that has brought this about. My husband and I live in England, and so there was no way we could have done any of this if my family wasn’t working their butts off making this event happen. We are so blessed by this and hope they know how thankful we are for all their hard work!

To support their work in bringing this about and our work in making this graphic novel, I encourage you to do any of the following:

  • Buy the book when it comes out! (And if you just aren’t interested in this kind of a graphic novel, no pressure!)
  • Pre-Order the book at: books.varida.com
  • Show up at our booth at Comicon and buy some merch (Booth #3006)
  • Visit Reklas Abandon Blog posts and write comments
  • Share with your friends who might be interested by Sharing Reklasabandon.com website on facebook/twitter/etc
  • Keep us in your prayers!

Page #50!

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I thought I would make a new post commemorating the completion of Reklas Abandon’s 50th page! With our estimate, this makes us about 25% done.

Of course, the page above is not the 50th page; I figured that it would be giving away too much to post the real thing. You will just have to wait until the book comes out!

The race is on! We hope to complete the final page by January so that we can have it published and ready to bring copies to the 2014 Seattle Comicon! We haven’t done much advertising for Reklas Abandon, but hopefully by bringing copies to the Varida P&R booth at the comicon we can sell some copies!

We are not trying to make a name for ourselves, or sell a ton of copies, we just want to bring this story that we love into being and let anyone who wants to take part in it do so through reading our graphic novel.

I will try to post more about the book soon!

Colouring Style

Why Colour?

Picking my colouring style for my comic was pretty hard since my drawing style is a bit unique. My people look a bit like western style manga with fairly simple features. In fact, the features are so simple that it might be hard to tell certain faces apart. This is why I want to do my comic in colour. Nothing gives identity like colour does. I believe it is probably one of the simplest ways to differ characters and help the reader remember who is who.

My sister, who is somewhat of a manga fan, had me read a series called “Fruits Basket” which is a black and white manga series for teens. As much as I enjoyed the story, the one downfall was that I kept getting confused about who was who in the story because they all looked so much alike, and you had to notice small details like a wisp of hair going in a certain direction to detect a certain character.

Now think of the power rangers. When I was a kid, and my siblings and I played power rangers, how did we know who we were? Colours. “I am the yellow one!” One could say this is a pretty cheap way of differentiating characters, but hey, it works! I of course wont be making it as simple as “pink power ranger”, but I do think that giving my comic color will help bring life to my characters and my world.

My husband and I will sometimes go to a comic books store here in York called “The Traveling Man” and flip through different comic books to get inspiration for how to color mine. I usually get frustrated because my comic is most like manga in style, but almost all manga is black and white. And when I look at the different books, it is hard for me to enjoy the world and characters. I want my comic book to be different in this way. I would like characters to pop out and be memorable.

So what Style?

This was the hardest question for us. I say “us” because while I do the line art, my husband is the one with more experience in digital coloring and he has been coloring them so far. I do hope to get better at it myself, but we want to find what we like first. Like I mentioned before, there really isn’t much out there in my style that is colored, and so it’s been hard finding things we liked.

Black and White:

bw-momentum

This was the first thing I tried with my comic. Since I saw most manga-styled art was black and white I thought I would give it a try. It looks clean and simple, and I liked that. But as I said before, it is hard to tell characters apart, and I just didn’t like doing all the extra texture I would have to do if it were black and white.

Not only that, but look at this picture: wouldn’t it have so much more life in colour?

Every once in a while, we toy with the idea of going back to black and white, as colouring takes so much more time, but then we remember that there is still a lot of work involved to do black and white well.

So we decided against it.

Air Brush:

My husband will hate that I used this picture as an example, but it is the only airbrushed picture we did! (It’s also the first picture of mine that he ever coloured). We quickly decided we didn’t like it.

Though most manga is black and white, a lot of anime is coloured. So we started checking out different anime in colour to see how they did it. Most of the time, the colouring was really smooth with airbrushing or gradients. We really didn’t like this look because it looked so obviously “photoshop”. I just don’t want it to look to cheap or easy, because I want it to have a bit of style. This just looked like deviant fan art or something.

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Cel Shading:

Isa-ColourThis was the last style that we tried. Just a simple, one-shade look seemed to fit my style. It’s basically flat colour with simple shading. We also tried a three-tone approach (flat colour, shadow, and highlight), but it seemed a bit much for a style as simple as mine.

This is what we are going with for now. I hopefully will post some finished pages soon, but I would love feedback if anyone has any more suggestions.

My next challenge is background. They seem to be the bane of my graphic novel. Either I am terrible at drawing them, or terrible at colouring them. This might be my next blog post topic.