Faith Erin Hicks graciously gave me an original, gorgeous page from her ATLA Free Comic Book Day issue for Dark Horse. I love her inking style, so this is a real treat to see up close.
AND HERE WE GO. Pitch artwork for The Nameless City. A couple of illustrations, the main characters (designs not final, ugh, forever designing these characters) and pitch sequentials, which will be redrawn for the final comic. Of course. ;)
Back in 2010, after finishing Friends With Boys and before starting Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, I had a long talk with my publisher First Second, where they asked me what I wanted to do, long term. I said I wanted to do a comic like Bone. Meaning that I wanted to do a longer form story in a non-contemporary setting that focused on character and gave me the chance for me to draw things other than school lockers. ;) I was feeling really burned out on drawing contemporary stories (with a couple exceptions, The Last of Us, and Ice, all of my comics have been set in a contemporary environment), and I wanted to try something different.
I’d been developing a story idea while I was working on Friends With Boys, something to just mess around with, and it was starting to go from something I did for fun to something I was interested in pursuing. It was about two kids in a sprawling multicultural city, one an educated member of the ruling elite, one a damaged street kid. I imagined this giant sprawling story inspired by parts of the history of the Silk Road, where commerce forced enemy nations to work side by side … First Second took one look at that pitch and was like, nope! XD
So I went away for a couple years, drew The Last of Us: American Dreams and two volumes of Bigfoot Boy, and re-developed the story from the ground up. During those years I spent a lot of time with my three favourite stories, Bone, Fullmetal Alchemist and Avatar: The Last Airbender, taking them apart and looking at what parts I liked best. In the end, it all came down to character.
I stripped down my very long story and returned it to its roots: two kids, opposite worlds, one city.
Its been a very long road to get to this point, but I’m so happy it’s finally happening, and I think this story is SO MUCH BETTER for those additional years working on it. Thank you so much to my agent, Bernadette Baker-Baughman, who really encouraged me to pursue this project, and to my editor Calista Brill, who pushed me to make this story so much better than it was at the beginning. I am so lucky to be able to work along side these women.
So! This will be a huge project for me. Probably the next 3-4 years of my life. It’s a little (A LOT!) scary, but I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting to do something long and challenging for a while, and I think I’m ready. I hope you will enjoy it. :)
I’ll be posting more Nameless City stuff this week. I’ve been developing this comic for 3 years, so I literally have piles of development work. Hopefully it’ll be interesting to you to see where the story started initially and where it ended up.
Congratulations, Faith! This looks amazing already and promises to be an incredible project. I can’t wait to read it and feast my eyes on page after page of your awesome art.
Hey guys, I’m getting a lot of asks about the same things, mostly questions about how to make comics, how to “break into comics” (haha, oh dear), working with publishers, that kind of thing. I’ve done some blogging on many of the subjects, so instead of repeatedly replying in private with links to…
Faith Erin Hicks dropping some comics knowledge! ABSORB!
Finally! A book of these comics that you can keep on your coffee table or nightstand or in your bathroom or whatever.
I’m super excited to announce that Running Press will be publishing a book of my comics in the US in 2014! The collection will include many of the comics from this page, including 40 new, book-exclusive comics.
More exciting announcements coming soon- stay tuned!
My wife is going to be publishing a book! I’m terribly proud of her. I can’t wait to go to fancy literary parties and talk about character arcs
Super excited for my good friend Liz Climo’s continued success! Keep an eye out for her book next year. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: She rules!
Welcome to Tumblr Tuesday! Please enjoy these fresh Tumblr blogs!
Hi, I’m Liz
Liz Climo likes robots, drawing on napkins, falling asleep at parties, making up songs for her dogs, and Cheez-Its. Also: She’s an animator currently working on The Simpsons. (Above: Narwhals and mistletoe.)
Our Global Kitchen
A mix of food, science, and history. This blog is a companion to the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.
The Chronological Superman
Chronicling every appearance of Superman — from comic to newspaper, cartoon to film, and more — in the order it happened.
WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal’s look at New York City street life, night life, sex, class, ethnicity — and cats!
Small goat dairy in southern Vermont shares daily ruminations about their animals, products, and lives.
For more updates on what’s new, check the official New & Notable blog!
Congratulations to my friend Liz Climo for making it on the front page of Tumblr and generally continuing to rule!
My first web comic! Hope you trolls like it! That’s right, that door swings both ways!
EDIT: Whoops! Jon Snow… thanks. I guess it is obvious now that Mike is the one who has read all the books and I just watch ‘em on the TV. I usually just refer to the characters as “that Mick Jagger Guy” and stuff.
I’m on the final leg of drawing a graphic novel (54 pages left to ink!!! aaaaaa!!) and am currently in the RRAAR GODZILLA stage of mental sanity. Which is to say, there isn’t much and everything hurts. Especially my shoulders.
I drew the above comic when I finished my second graphic novel, The War at Ellsmere, back in 2008. The mental process I go through drawing a graphic novel remains the same, despite the fact that I’m now a full-time cartoonist, instead of an occasional one. ;) Funny how the line between professional and amateur is … uh, pretty much non-existent.
Oh yeah, and my most recent graphic novel, Friends With Boys, had 3 typos in it. Nnnoooooo.
Yes. Yessssssssssssss… Replace graphic novel with season of animated episodes, diet Coke with lemon ginger tea, and typos with retakes, and this is me and my experience too. After two years of joy and toil and a million ups and downs, we are just over two weeks out from Book 1 of Korra being completed, aired, and all said and done––all while we’re buried under a mountain of Book 2 production. “WOOOO! DONE!” will last for about a day… then this career of my own making will punch me right in the face again, as it does every day. And I still won’t be able to draw well enough. Or fast enough. Sigh…
FAITH Y R U SO AWSUM? Good luck finishing the book! I can’t wait to read it!
EDIT: A TYPO! …a millions ups and downs… Yeah, time to go home.
I first learned of Faith Erin Hicks and her beautiful comics when my friend Aaron Alexovich (creator of Serenity Rose) posted her blog entry about how to pitch a graphic novel. Not too long after that, our network exec Megan Casey sent an email around with a delightful comic Faith did for Tor.com about Avatar. I loved and it and got in touch with Faith, and asked her to post the comic on her Tumblr so I could reblog it (which you can see here).
Faith always posts really cool comics, illustrations, and fan art, and I dig all of them, especially this recent post showing her process making a sweet piece of Korra fan art. I was expecting a package from Faith with her new graphic novel in it, and when it arrived, lo and behold, the original piece of Korra art was in there too! Thanks, Faith!
I read and thoroughly enjoyed her graphic novel, Friends With Boys. Beautiful art, charming characters with spot-on expressions and fantastic posing, intriguing story. Great stuff all around, I sincerely couldn’t put it down. You can check out the first twenty pages on her website, here. Pick up a copy for yourself! And follow Faith on any social platform of your choosing. She is really generous with sharing her experience as a professional artist, for any of you aspiring to do the same. Here’s another informative blog entry from her on that subject.
Keeping ruling, Faith!
My savage love for Avatar: The Last Airbender and its follow up, The Legend of Korra, takes comic form. Tumbl’d here on request! This was originally drawn for Tor.com, so give ‘em a visit. I’ve done a lot of other comics for Tor, including one on Alien, A Wrinkle in Time and The Hunger Games (and the Hunger Games movie).
I mean it when I say Avatar:TLA is the best animated show of the past 30 years. It is truly spectacular, and as a former animator turned comic maker, I’m really happy certain creators were able to make it happen. Go you guys!
Edited to add: please view the comic full size! Can’t read it otherwise. Tumblr is mysterious…
Our exec Megan Casey shared Faith Erin Hicks's hilarious and beautifully drawn comic about Avatar and Korra with Mike and me, and we love it. So I asked Faith if she could post it so I could reblog the heck out of it. Make sure you see it full-sized, either on her Tumblr or on Tor.com, where the comic was originally posted. Follow her blog and check out her great work on her website!
And yes, I agree, Tumblr is mysterious…