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.