I’ve been putting off this post for some time because I knew it would be a hard one, and that is that the book is likely not going to be ready this year.
We make goals to have something to strive for, but I’m reminded that all of this is really up to God and his timetable rather than the times that we arbitrarily put on them. So what has been going on and why the delay? When I set out on this endeavor it was a new goal and a substantial one. The book would be approximately 120+ color illustrated pages to be complete within the course of a year which is an endeavor in and of itself. In addition to the book art there is the script, concept art, and business matters all which need a certain amount of attention. First the script.
I felt the script was about 90% there, good enough to start layouts for graphic novels go, but after some test readings by trusted friends they affirmed some thoughts that I had lingering in the back of my mind regarding character development and arc, things I originally tried to condense to keep the story within a certain page count but was doing the story a disservice. Right now I’m rounding third base on the overhaul rewrite of the script, and have found that reworking the script to be much more difficult than the initial write because it involves a lot more “fitting”– what pieces to keep in, what to keep out, how will the pages all fit together in pagination since it is an art book. Also this means the book has grown in length now by from 120+ pages to almost 160 and going, but I’m just going to let the story take it’s course then go back and see if there are any panels/pages I can “cut for time”. I hope to have the script done this week and heavy into layouts shortly thereafter.
Next is the concept art. I set out to do a thorough work on concept art; character designs, environment designs, and key art when I first started the project to both make the book better as well as to sharpen my skills as an artist. The first pass at concept art was great and developed a style, but now it’s up to me to take a second look at it and see where to perfect and what I still must develop in order to press forward with the book as quickly as possible. All of the major characters now have had at least an initial pass, most of which have yet to be shared. Key art has been established to help give an idea for key moments as well as the style of the book. For those interested I have started a Gallery to hold the concept art in progress on the site,as well there is more art to see on my Etsy store Stronghold Art.
Finally the environments have been started, enough to begin the layouts, locations such as as the cottage by the sea and Michael’s boat in Chapters 1 and 2 have been defined thoroughly, while other areas in chapters 3-6 still are a bit loose and need work. My plan is to begin pressing on the layouts and work on some of the environment studies alongside to help speed things up.
Finally the matter of the business work. There are several areas within here, looking into possible publishing avenues, marketing, marketing language which we have mostly narrowed down and just simply getting the word out. Part of this is getting to comic shows and begin sharing the work with others. It’s a bit tough for me in all honesty, but never the less going to conventions is a great way to meet new people and maybe the best way to be real about the book. Currently I’m booked for Jet City Comic Con on November 4th and 5th in Artist Alley, as well I’ve booked Lilac Comic Con in Spokane for next June. With this in mind, my goal is to have some great prints and in process visuals from the book to share with guests and I’ll definitely be giving away free sketches and would love to meet you if you come out. If you know a convention or other venue you think would be good for me a visit I would love to hear from you, I’m new to promoting but trying to book at least a show every month or two as the book ramps up.
One last update, this year I have also been dealing with some surprise medical setbacks, I don’t really want to share all of it now… but it’s a reminder that God’s in control. We can plan, we can make goals, stockpile finances, work hard and have it all taken away in a heartbeat. We must trust in the Lord and His will for our lives and sometimes submit that we have control of the rudder, but it is God who is in control of which way the river flows. I’m reminded of this scripture from James 4:13-17 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Thanks for following the Garrison book journey. Things have been picking up lately and I’m encouraged as we head into the fall and holidays. Be Strong and Courageous and I will to.