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Creating a graphic novel but stopping along the way to take some photos, eat some food and admire great art!

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Word Smith – Mei Li

This will be one of the reward sketches from the Word Smith Kickstarter. She’s not part of the story but is a character design for the next issue of Word Smith. (YES! A next issue is already in planning!) Like Victoria, Mei Li is also a Word Smith with her trusty friend, Pan Hong (a red panda). She has a different approach to her craft than Victoria.

Word Smith – Mei Li :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Bless the Children Kickstarter by Joseph Duis

Link to Kickstarter

Bless the Children is a Western horror story by Joseph Duis where he describes it as a cross between Ravneous and Sixth Sense. It follows Edsel who stumbles into a town of mysterious silent children. The creator, Joseph was kind of enough to share some of his time to answer a few questions about the Bless the Children Kickstarter.

Kickstarter, Joseph Duis, Bless the Children

Thanks for your time! What was the inspiration behind Bless the Children?

The inspiration was actually history, as with most of my stories. I started researching a lot about very early westward settlements that didn’t work out and I started thinking about how most of these migrations probably ended in failure and how terrifying it would be to be stuck out there in basically hostile territory. Kind of reminded me a lot of Ravenous, and how that movie really worked as a horror movie, with the isolation and desperation palpable.

I started thinking about horrific elements I could add to it and children can be very creepy especially if they’re completely silent, which is wholly unnatural for kids. The second creepy element was some kind of repetitive enigmatic sound. I think I managed to work that in too.

I didn’t really know how it was going to look until I read a book someone gave me about the earliest comic books. They were right in the period when the story takes place so I decided to go with that style. Hopefully it gives a bizarre discordant feel being in a format that’s recognizable but not exactly what we’re comfortable with.

You mentioned an enigmatic sound? How did you work that into the comic medium?

The SFX and dialogue are done a little bit differently. Dialogue bubbles weren’t in use at the time in comic books so I gave each character a different font and their dialogue kind of hovers near them in boxes.

How was it like working with Greg Woronchak?

Love working with Greg. He is so fast, his style can be adapted to anything. I couldn’t approve his pages as quickly as he was doing them! Also Greg added a ton of little touches that are all Greg. The design of the wallpaper, adding children in the background when they weren’t scripted in, and reaction panels really showing the emotions of the characters!

What have you learnt from your first Kickstarter?

After the first Kickstarter I learned to spend a LOT more time before the Kickstarter promoting it!

All the best with your Kickstarter! I know it’s already funded but hope it finishes strong!

Link to Kickstarter

Word Smith – Post Kickstarter

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

With the Word Smith Kickstarter over, there’s been a million things to organise to get everything ready. Here’s a sketch from P.R. Dedelis that’s going to be an awesome reward. I always feel a little sad posting off original artwork.

Word Smith – Sketch :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

However my favourite reward is definitely the Drawn In reward. It’s really cool to give a backer their own little cameo in the graphic novel! It’s a fantastic way to be part of the Word Smith world.

Word Smith – Drawn In :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Geek-Girl by Sam Johnson

Link to Geek-Girl Kickstarter

Geek-Girl is a fun series following the (mis)adventures of Ruby who uses a special set of glasses to gain super powers. She’s not trained in battling super villains and finds herself in situations over her head whilst having to deal with issues in her normal life.

Geek-Girl is currently on Kickstarter where you can pre-order the series. I had the opportunity to ask some questions to the author and creator, Sam Johnson.

Geek-Girl, Sam Johnson, Kickstarter

Thanks for your time! What was the inspiration for the lead character Ruby?

Ruby was one of three characters I just came up with for a Who Wants to Create a Superheroine Contest.

What was the Create a Superheroine Contest?

Jim Valentino’s Shadowline Studios ran it, inviting people to pitch ideas for new super-heroines, the idea was the winner was intended to be turned into an Image Comics Mini-Series.

Geek-Girl, Sam Johnson, Kickstarter

How far have you planned the story?

The second Mini-Series is plotted and half-scripted, and if enough of a fanbase has built up for GG after its TPB comes out, an ongoing series will follow, which I already have lots of plans for.

Anything the fans can expect coming up?

It’s difficult to go into this much because of how the first Mini-Series ends on a cliffhanger. But what I will say is that following Lightning Storm’s actions, the heroes of Ruby’s home town are going to have their hands full, and more weird and wonderful villains will be coming out of the woodwork.

Geek-Girl, Sam Johnson, Kickstarter

What motivated you to write Geek Girl?

She’s a fun character, I wanted to develop Ruby and her universe, and see how the effects of the glasses change a character who doesn’t necessarily start out as the most likeable.

How was it like working with Carlos (artist)?

Great, Carlos is The Man for the job, he brings loads to the Geek-Girl in terms of fleshing out the characters in their facial expressions and body language, as well as delivering great action; and I’m very pleased he’s on board for Series 2.

We’ve never physically met, I advertised for a long time for artists on online comic-related forums and Facebook before finding the right artist in Carlos. He’s in Colombia and I’m in the UK. The power of the internet.

Any words of advice for aspiring comic creators?

Start by getting short stories done for anthologies; that doesn’t mean they have to be completely done in one; you can use them to introduce creations you want to take beyond.

Thanks for your time Sam! Please check out Sam’s Kickstarter where you can Pre-Order a copy of his work.

Link to Geek-Girl Kickstarter

Geek-Girl, Sam Johnson, Kickstarter

The Comic Place

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

The Word Smith Kickstarter was successfully funded last Friday. Sorry for the delay in posting but a huge thanks to all the supporters with 274 backers and $8008 raised. Wow! It was a long campaign so I’m taking a little time out to myself but will keep the updates coming on how Word Smith is progressing!

Just found out Tabby is on display at The Comic Place. If you live near the area, be sure to check it out!

The Comic Place
50 Playne St Frankston Vic 3199
Open Wed to Mon

The Comic Place :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches, Jim Vinton, Frankston, VIC

Word Smith – New Stretch Goal

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

The Word Smith Kickstarter is funded and going strong! The first stretch goal has been reached and all backers will have their name on the Wall of Fame! It’s the next stretch goal that has got me very excited, P.R Dedelis (pencils) and Peyton Freeman (colours) have put together this amazing new print that will be added to the A4 Prints rewards!

Word Smith – Draft Banner :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Word Smith – Pencils :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Word Smith – Final :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, provided we reach our campaign target of $5050.

Creative Partnerships Australia, 5 Seconds, Kickstarter, Jake, Ellie, graphic novel, viral, sexy, hot

Word Smith – Hard at Work

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

Victoria is working hard on the Word Smith Kickstarter to make sure it’s a great story. Everything is going along smoothly but any support you can give (even sharing the link around) will be much appreciated. Thanks for being part of the journey to bring this steampunk fantasy adventure to life.

Word Smith – Kickstarter :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, provided we reach our campaign target of $5050.

Creative Partnerships Australia, 5 Seconds, Kickstarter, Jake, Ellie, graphic novel, viral, sexy, hot

Seasons – Kickstarter

Link to Seasons Kickstarter

The story of SEASONS (written by Nandor Fox Shaffer) revolves around one character, Fletcher Hart Iiams, a misunderstood, average young man who isn’t happy with his life anymore and has run away from almost everything and everyone.

Kickstarter, Seasons, Nandon Fox

I had the opportunity to have some of Nandor’s time to talk about Seasons and life in general.

What was your inspiration for Seasons?

SEASONS was undoubtedly birthed from this need I had to write something meaningful and thought-provoking for people to experience. That’s one reason. Another was attempting to create a story and character (Fletcher) that I could personally relate to. There isn’t many characters in fiction (that I’ve seen, in any case) who I feel has gone through what I have in my own life or reacts the same way I do in certain situations. Fletcher is my attempt to bring to readers a character that is searching for meaning in his own life and this search goes farther than feeling fulfilled with what material things or even close relationships with others can give you. And he himself isn’t even aware of what’s going on with him literally and allegorically, which just makes it even more real to me.

SEASONS is about facing yourself, the world, and the unknown and growing through those sobering experiences. I’m not saying other stories haven’t tackled these themes, however, I feel most don’t go deep enough. SEASONS aims to get to the core of what it means to live on this blue speck of a planet. A technical and more of a storytelling inspiration for SEASONS came about by how attractive the idea was to follow someone month by month through one year of his life and how the ‘seasons’ of the year themselves grant a person different sets of powers. That’s when I knew I had this undeniably neat creative hook. I fell in love with that idea and just couldn’t let it go or allow someone else to beat me to it.

How was it like designing the main character, Fletcher?

It was pretty instantaneous, really. Before Anthony even began drawing up sketches of Fletcher, I knew how I wanted him to look. I had a distinct image in my head of his hair color and body-type very early on in the writing process, and the finished product is exactly how I imagined him to look, be and overall feel. But no, Fletcher’s design isn’t based on anyone specifically.

I put together a little character bio sheet that had photo references to a young Tom Cruise and Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who) but that was mainly to give Anthony a visual example of what I was wanting. Same goes for the shadow-selves in the book. I knew how I wanted them to look — ghostly, creepy, purplish — and then Anthony brought the design in my head to the page.

Page 17 :
Kickstarter, Seasons, Nandon Fox

Page 18 :
Kickstarter, Seasons, Nandon Fox

What movies or comics have been an inspiration to you?

While I think stories and fictional characters have always been somewhat instrumental in influencing the person I am today, it wasn’t until I discovered Doctor Who, specifically the recent 11th Doctor era with Matt Smith, three to four years ago that catapulted me towards a love and admiration for storytelling. That’s where it all goes back to for me. Putting it bluntly, Doctor Who changed my life in a creative sense. I remember watching those episodes (especially the ones written by Steven Moffat, current showrunner of the series and probably television’s smartest writer) and I was in absolute awe at the dialogue, plots, and imagination involved. It blew my mind. If it wasn’t for Doctor Who and Moffat, who knows if I would’ve typed one word of SEASONS.

Other movies or television would include Star Wars, of course, many of the comic book-based films, anything that Christopher Nolan does, and I’ve also become a massive fan of USA’s Mr. Robot. On a side note, the creator of Mr. Robot, Sam Esmail, wrote and directed a artsy romantic dramedy called Comet that is exceptionally noteworthy. On the comic book side of things, Jonathan Hickman is most likely the biggest reason why I wanted to create and write comic books. His runs on Fantastic Four/FF and Avengers/New Avengers made me fall in love with the medium. I hold his New Avengers run in high regard. It should be in the top 10 Marvel Comics runs of all time. Because of Hickman, I’ve never looked at comics the same since reading his phenomenal work. Creators Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns, Scott McCloud, and James O’Barr’s The Crow have greatly inspired me as well.

What is your writing style? Do you plan everything (outlines etc.) or organic writing and see where the story leads?

It’s a mix a both, but I’m more of an architect than one who improvises. I usually know where I’m going from the very beginning. That said, better ideas come up as I write or an idea I thought was great for some reason just doesn’t fit when I try to place it in the story. I do know that I don’t like to handcuff myself to an outline in case there’s something I could miss. So all of my main plot points are permanent, but a lot of what happens in between has to feel natural, and the most organic way for me to do that is to take it one step at a time as I’m writing the script. Just panel by panel, page by page — think about what’s going on in the story at the moment and then find the most consistent and entertaining way I can get to where I want the story to satisfyingly end up.

What was your drive to write?

I really began to have an itch for writing when I was around 13 years old. I would write blogs and articles about video games and comics on certain sites and took “how” I conveyed what I felt pretty seriously. It was like this challenge I put upon myself to express my thoughts as articulate and creative as possible. I just honestly fell in love with words and in the ways you could use them. Then I began to realize more and more how everything I enjoyed — movies, music, video games, comics — began with an idea, and then those ideas were written down, and what was written down could, with a lot of hard work and long hours put in, eventually turn into a profound, powerful creation that impacted millions of people.

Stories could make us feel things we’d never felt before and touch us in ways that are wholly unique. And…I wanted in on that. I wanted to write and create something that would affect people, something meaningful and lasting. Fictional stories in general have brought me so much joy, laughter, hope as well as sadness, heartache, and terror, and I just have this desire to tap into what stories can do to the human soul. It’s supernatural, in a sense.

You mentioned in the KS video you gave up college. Was that a hard decision? Would you do anything differently?

It was a hard decision. I never expected to leave college during this time, but trying to write the series while working my day job and then pushing SEASONS out there on social media just wouldn’t allow for it (neither would the budget). I was juggling too many things at once and I just knew I couldn’t focus on school if I wanted to seriously pursue this. There’s also that possible stigma from people, “You dropped out of college???” And then, even worse, “You dropped out of college to write comic books???” It sounds like the illogical thing to do, but that’s what I love about dreams. It’s not about what’s reasonable, it’s about having faith and believing in yourself despite what others think.

I plan on going back to college at some point, but there’s also a part of me that thinks, “Hey, if SEASONS takes off, don’t bother.” Jokes aside, though, I’m hoping it wasn’t a mistake to postpone my education. That’s why I really need the Kickstarter for SEASONS Vol. 1: Spring to succeed — I’ll be at rest that my leaving wasn’t in vain. I’ll know for sure that you don’t need college to fulfill your dream goals in life.

I wish you all the best in this Kickstarter. The story sounds very interesting and the artwork is stunning!

Please check out Nandor’s work and support it if you can.

Word Smith – 100 Backers

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

A little slow on the update but I want to let everyone know that the Word Smith Kickstarter has reached a 100 Backers a few days ago! It’s currently sitting at 125 backers and I’m hoping that will increase over the weekend. I think I will rest easy once the target has been reached and thanks to everyone who has supported this project.

Word Smith – Kickstarter :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

Thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, provided we reach our campaign target of $5050.

Creative Partnerships Australia, 5 Seconds, Kickstarter, Jake, Ellie, graphic novel, viral, sexy, hot

Word Smith – Now LIVE

Link to Word Smith Kickstarter.

The Word Smith Kickstarter is LIVE! For those who have done it, launching a Kickstarter is a mixture of nerves and excitement. You’re putting your project out into the world and asking people to support it without knowing if people are going to like it or hate it!

If you are reading this post, I do hope you check out the Kickstarter. Any support you can give will be appreciated, even if it’s just sharing the link around and wishing me well. If you can pledge, that would be awesome! Let’s hope the campaign is successful and we can bring Word Smith to life!

Word Smith – Kickstarter :
Tabby, P.R.Dedelis, Graphic novel, project start, wordsmith, Celia, Victoria, Sparky, steampunk, match lab 2017, Word Smith, Font, sketches

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