January 14th, 2021
The creation of my first all-ages graphic novel, Brushfire, is well underway and (as promised!) here’s an update of how it’s going.
This is concept art for arguably the most important location in the entire series: Faribault’s Central Park. Brushfire — which, if this is the first you’ve heard of it, is an advanced wildlife society dedicated to adventure, education and community — is actually located UNDERNEATH it all, in the burrow our characters call home.
This piece was created using various painting tools in an art program called Infinite Painter on my tablet (which is one of my favorite art apps on Android, and I’ve used quite a few). The backgrounds in the series itself are quite different, but it’s fun (and helpful) to use different brushes (like the watercolor I used here) to experiment, and to create different moods and settings. I’ve been very inspired by the hand-painted backgrounds seen in Disney and Warner Bros. animated work for this series.
I’m almost done with character design for Wave I, which has been an almost overwhelming task on this project. With The Weirdos, I basically had to design four characters (one of whom was a literal stick figure); then I’d design additional characters when needed. The initial cast for Brushfire is at least FIVE TIMES that size.
The art style itself has also gone through a lot of development; this will look nothing like The Weirdos, or anything I’ve ever put out. The Weirdos has a “style” all its own that I created over five issues, and I hope to carry a tradition of not repeating myself every time I start a new comic series.
I mentioned “Wave I” a few paragraphs back, and that refers to the book I’m working on. Brushfire will consist of three books, called Waves, and the entire series is already laid out from start to finish. This allows me to plant seeds on the very first page that might not bloom until the last. That kind of stuff is exciting for me!
I hope you’re all as well as you can be. The world is really hard right now. I’m finding relief with a crew of small, furry animals who love life, science, exploration, and each other. I can’t wait for you to meet them, too.