New comic coming in 2023! This one will be an adventure that starts in the subterranean world of Pelkern, and it will be a short story (with 70 comic pages or less, taking 1-2 years to complete). The work in progress placeholder name is “The Sea Serpent.”
The digital painting here is a study of an eel I made in research for this comic. I painted it in Adobe Fresco using vector brushes. (The reference is from an istock photo I purchased with a standard license).
I first started working on the idea for my previous comic “The Pelkern Cycle” when I was in high school. After graduating from my university, I created the practice short comic “The Wolves of the Wynd” for two years, and then started posting The Pelkern Comic pages in 2018.
Then in 2020 I experienced the onset of my autoimmune disorder and resulting bone marrow failure. As I tried to pick up the pieces of my comic in 2021, I started to realize I had outgrown the story of “The Pelkern Cycle.” The themes that were close to my heart during my university years aren’t as relevant to me anymore. I also started to realize–both from my experience and from reading about other graphic novelists’ experiences–that this is a common issue with long form comics. Comics take so long to make that by the time you’ve completed a long form comic you’re a completely different person, coming from a completely different place.
So I started to pivot in my thinking on comics. I am shifting to making short story comics–comics that can be completed in one year or two–that all occur in the same world. Terry Pratchett, one of my favorite authors, wrote 41 books in the same world, but each book is a complete, stand-alone story. I have always loved how you can pick up any book of his in whatever order, yet the stories were steeped in a world that is rich, complex, and multi-layered because of the 41 books’ worth of worldbuilding.
So I’m planning on continuing to build the fictional world of Pelkern that I first concieved in high school, but letting the accrued worldbuilding feed into a variety of short stories instead of one novel-length story. With shorter stories I can switch up art styles, story tone, and timelines when needed, as well.
Ace, Carolyn, Sol, and Myles will return in this new comic. I am currently working on completing the comic script, and I will start doing thumbnails and then comic pages once I have a 2nd or 3rd draft done on the comic script. I have been working slower since being so sick, so I don’t know the exact start date yet, but the comic will be ready to start posting sometime in 2023.