Hi all! I finally got some time to post up news about my latest project, a fairy-tale inspired fantasy called “Fabled Kingdom”. I got book 1 (of 3) finished, and it’s now available in print and as ebooks. More on that later!
NOTE: I’m serialising the first 2 volumes online here. I’ll be updating 4 pages every Friday.
PURCHASE AS EBOOKS
- Buy on Amazon: Book 1(of3), Book 1.5(of3) out in July 2015
- Buy as PDF (On Smashwords): Part 1(of9), Part 2(of9), Part 3(of9) out in July 2015
- Buy as Apple iBook: Part 1(of9).
PURCHASE IN PRINT
What if Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother isn’t her real grandmother?
What is her two trueborn grandmothers are both queens – and one is good, while the other one is evil?
Fabled Kingdom is a 3-volume fairytale-inspired YA fantasy. It’s a comics-prose story, written and drawn by me. It will be released both in print format, and as an e-book series.
The story is about Celsia, a ‘Red Hood’ training to be a healer under her grandmother’s tutelage in a small village deep in the woods. One day, she discovers a shocking secret – her grandmother isn’t her real grandmother. Forced to leave her village, she goes on a quest to find her two trueborn grandmothers, who are both powerful queens of magical kingdoms. Accompanied by her childhood friend Quillon and the cheeky faun Pylus, her first destination is the ‘Fabled Kingdom’ of Fallinor, a magical kingdom that was destroyed 60 years ago. Or… was it?
As you may know, Fabled Kingdom is a comics-prose story, and it was originally accepted by a major publishing house in 2013. However, I didn’t like the contract terms they offered, so I declined. Only 3 chapters of the book was done at the time, and now, I’m halfway through chapter 8. I decided to finish the book on my own, and then see what happens.
Doing this story has been quite an interesting experience, because in terms of length, there is a direct comparison. ‘Fabled Kingdom’ is a 3-book series much like ‘The Dreaming’ was (done 10 years ago), except that FK is in comics-prose format, and TD was a traditional manga story. Due to the differences in these formats, I was able to directly compare the amount of work required to do both. And here is where it gets real interesting.
‘Comics-Prose’ was originally conceived to (1) reduce the amount of time required to draw a single comics page, and (2) to shorten the number of pages required to tell a sequence of events. After having done about 212 pgs of ‘Fabled Kingdom’ (compared to 166 pgs for volume 1 of ‘The Dreaming’), I can declare the points below:
- ‘Comics-prose’ uses a lot of prose, but ultimately it’s comics. Its length is calculated in pages, not words. Saying a comics-prose story is 70,000 words is a meaningless unit of measurement. Like comics, page count is what matters.
- It reduces the number of pages required to tell a sequence of events by about 30%. I estimate that 50 pages of comics can be reduced to 30 pages of comics-prose.
- It reduces the amount of time to draw a single comics page by 40-50%. This is an average, because that depends on the complexity of what’s depicted on a single page.
Some more statistics for comparison. These are approximates only:
- ‘The Dreaming’ vol.1 = 166 pages’ VS Fabled Kingdom’ vol.1 = 210 pages
- 7 chapters of ‘The Dreaming’ (166 pgs) took 8 months of 10-hour work days VS 7 Chapters of ‘Fabled Kingdom’ (212 pgs) took 7 months of 6-hour work days.
- ‘Fabled Kingdom’ vol.1 has 26% more pages than ‘The Dreaming’ vol. 1
- I estimate that ‘Fabled Kingdom’ tells 1.5 times the amount of story that ‘The Dreaming’ does in a single volume.
I’ve mentioned before that I have no intention of going back to doing traditional comics, and this is why. Traditional comics is back-breaking labour; it really is. Having done it for 10 years, the burn-out is terrifying, and it doesn’t get faster or better – in fact, the whole process just gets harder, because you get older.
I’m older now, less naive, and less committed to being chained to my drawing board all day long without even being able to go out for lunch or to meet friends. When I did ‘The Dreaming’, I literally had NO social life. My friends didn’t see me for months at a time, and I almost lost touch with a lot of people. Now that I’m doing ‘Fabled Kingdom’, I have no trouble going out daily, and meeting my friends once a week. I usually start at 4pm, and get two pages completed (pencils, inked, toned) by 12am at night (with breaks in between for dinner, etc). Even on a really busy day, I still manage to get a full page done within a few hours.
To be honest, I feel relieved.