Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 2 reached!


I'm in full production mode right now, painting away hour after hour and I just reached the 40% mark. I was hoping to reach this point by last Friday but a particularly detailed background demanded some extra work. So I'm 2 days off my schedule right now but I hope to make up for that in the following three milestones.
After all I now have free evenings again because I completed the fulfillment of the last kickstarter campaign yesterday. It's a very good feeling to have wiped this task off my slate. I'll try to enjoy the rest of the Chapter 7 production now without being distracted. Especially since with the launch of Chapter 7 there will start the next kickstarter campaign for the second volume of the English Wormworld Saga book series. That again promises to be a lot of work on the side.

So, here's the preview image of this milestone and I'll directly hurry on to the next one:


Friday, January 30, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 1 reached!


Alright, I've finally reached the first milestone of the Chapter 7 final illustration production. I originally expected to arrive here a little bit ealier but what are you gonna do? Fortunately the delay is not due to the amount of work but to the fulfillment of the kickstarter campaign, which really has been (and still is) a LOT of work:

A lot of books to move around!

A lot of books to sign!

A lot of books to pack!

A lot of books ready for shipping!


The great majority of books has now been shipped but I'm still packing rewards in the evenings together with my wife. We hope to send out the last remaining packages next week. By the way, as soon as the books have been shipped for the kickstarter backers, you'll be able to purchase the first English Wormworld Saga book at the Wormworld Shop. I'll keep you updated on that.

Ok, so my plan still is to finish Chapter 7 by the end of March which effectively means 4 more milestones in 2 months. That's two weeks for each milestone and while this isn't completely impossible it will mean a lot of work for me. But I'm eager to share the latest installment of the Wormworld Saga with you and I'm doing my best to present it as soon as possible.

And to raise your anticipation, here's the first preview image from this milestone:


And as always I'd like to remind you that members of the Attic get to see two extra preview images at each milestone!

Alright, so hopefully you'll read again from me in two weeks!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chapter 7, Production Kickoff


Alright, it's time to put on the drawing glove, fire up Photoshop and... well, ok - of course I will have a break over Christmas first. BUT the preliminary version of Chapter 7 is finished and production will begin right after the Holidays. As you can see, Chapter 7 is way shorter than Chapter 6 and even a little bit shorter than Chapter 5. However, don't worry, there's enough happening in this chapter and due to it's moderate length I'm optimistic to finish it until late March/early April 2015.

Normally I would announce the chapter title at this point but I haven't quite made up my mind about it just yet. There're several candidates and I want to give it a little bit more time before I decide on the title.

So, another year is going to wrap up soon. Next year at this time the Wormworld Saga will have its 5-year-anniversary. Since 4 years I'm creating this graphic novel now and during that time I've hardly done anything else besides it. This blog started as the blog of daniellieske.com back in 2009 but since 2011 most postings here have hovered around the Wormworld Saga. While that's basically ok, I feel the urge to stir things up a little bit.

Maybe it's a typical end-of-the-year-thing but lately I  had the feeling that I lacked a place where I could express things that are not related to the Wormworld Saga. I've pretty much stopped to participate in online forums and the blog isn't the right place to post small things like individual artworks or inspirational links. Therefore I've set up a new Facebook page where I'm going to post all the stuff that I don't feel appropriate for the Wormworld Saga Fanpage:


If you don't use Facebook you can follow my updates via daniellieske.com where I've implemented a post feed:


Alright, now let's all have a relaxed time over the Holidays! I'll be back with Wormworld Saga production updates early next year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Dessins du Studio Ghibli" Exhibition in Paris


After my signing session at the "Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse" on Sunday I had the chance to visit the "Dessins du Studio Ghibli" exhibition at the Art Ludique museum in Paris. This visit was the absolute highlight of my trip to France. The exhibition features about 1300 original layout drawings of all Studio Ghibli films, many of them drawn by Miyazaki himself. These artworks are exhibited in Europe for the very first time.

The exhibition was an absolute eye-opener for me as I finally understood what the purpose of a layout drawing actually is. In the layout drawing the director, or one of his team members, draws every element that will be seen in a scene or cut. Every character and even most of the background details are drawn in their final form and for the production the different elements are directly traced from the layout by the animators and background painters. Therefore the layout is drawn in the actual size in which the animation and the backgrounds are also drawn (in most cases 35cm wide and 24 cm high for feature film).

One wasn't allowed to take photos at the exhibition but I've purchased the catalogue which features almost all exhibited artwork and here's some pictures for you:

The catalogue, available at the exhibition, costs 36€. The Jiji plush was a must have, too! :)

Layouts from "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind". Note the animation phases in the upper left corner! 
Layouts from "My Neighbour Totoro". For panning shots, several sheets of layout paper are put together with scotch tape like on the left.

Layouts from "Princess Mononoke"

Layouts from "Princess Mononoke"

Layouts from "Spirited Away"

Layouts from "Spirited Away"

In the following two images we can compare two layout drawings from "Spirited Away" with the respective background paintings (photos from the book "Making of Spirited Away"). It's fascinating to see how the drawing part of the background creation is practically fully accomplished in the layout phase so that the background painter "only" needs to take care of the lighting and colors. I would never have guessed that the work on the backgrounds is divided in such a way.

Comparison between layout and final background painting. They match exactly.



To see that the film in it's entirety is envisioned beforehand and that every little detail of a shot is defined by a single person is dazzling to me. And to see 1300 original drawings done by my personal heroes, for my most favorite films of all time, in one place, only added to my amazement.

A small personal highlight of the exhibition for me was that among the layout drawings there were some refined background drawings (done to add more precise detail to the layout) by Kazuo Oga and there even were some original background paintings from the end credits of "Ponyo". Kazuo Oga and the traditionally painted backgrounds of Anime films in general are among my biggest inspirations. Even to see only a handful of the originals, painted in mundane poster color (!), made my heart jump.

At the end of the exhibition you are able to take a photo of yourself and become part of a layout drawing. It's an amazing souvenir for this unforgettable exhibition.


The exhibition is open until 1st March 2015 at the Art Ludique museum in Paris.

Signing in France

I've just returned from a trip to France to which I was invited by my French publisher Dupuis. The central event of the trip was the "Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse" in Montreuil, a children's book fair in a Paris suburb. It was a big event and I signed many Wormworld Saga books at the Dupuis booth on Saturday and Sunday. I also met two fellow comic artists, Christian Darasse and José Luis Manuera and I had a wonderful time discussing with those comic veterans the future of comic book authors, editors and publishers.

From left to right: Christian Darasse, José Luis Manuera and me

A drawing I did for the Dupuis team

Before I signed in Montreuil at the weekend, on Friday, I traveled to Lyon where I was invited to sign at the comic book shop "La Bande Dessinée". It was a very interesting experience to see a French comic book shop from the inside and to talk to the people. Comic book shops in France seem to be quite different from those in Germany. There's no card playing stuff there and all in all it feels more like a normal book shop. All sorts of people come visiting it and you could clearly see that comics have a very different status in France compared to Germany.

"La Bande Dessinée" comic book shop in Lyon


Every artist who's signing at "La BD" is asked to contribute a drawing for the "wall of fame" of the shop. The following drawing will from now on be on permanent display among amazing artwork from many other comic book artists:


This was my first time signing in France and it was a wonderful journey. The city of Paris alone was absolutely inspiring and it is actually great timing that I visited it right before starting my work in Chapter 7. I'll be able to use a lot of things that I've seen and experienced in the upcoming chapter.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kickstarter Bottom Line


Two days after the recent kickstarter campaign had closed we started into a three week vacation in Spain. My wife has family there and we were looking forward to show them the new baby that was born in January. We had a great time and just returned yesterday.

I desperately needed this off-time after the exhausting months that were preceding it. The home stretch to finish Chapter 6 had been a lot of work and the four weeks of the kickstarter campaign really had given me the rest. The campaign was an overwhelming experience. The final number of backers - just over 1000 - and the result of the funding - $44K - totally blew me away. The last 48 hours of the campaign, in which over $9000 were pledged, were absolutely mind-blowing. The final minutes of the campaign have been broadcasted as a live event on Google Hangouts. A recording of the event is available and you might be interested in the answers I gave to the participating people and there's a small studio tour at the end of the video, too.


Even with three weeks distance now it's hard for me to comprehend what happened during this kickstarter campaign. What I know is, that the success of the first English Wormworld Saga book will have a very positive effect on the whole project. I finally see a chance to bring continuity to the production and to work on new chapters without interruptions. That would be a wonderful achievement and more than I could ever have dreamed of.

You know that a vacation has been effective when at the end of it you become eager to return home and start working again. The kickstarter campaign has created a LOT of work for me and the production of Chapter 7 is also bound to start soon. I'm really looking forward to the English books and especially the clothbound Deluxe Edition that we've achieved to unlock. It will be a great feeling to send out the books to over 1000 backers and to know that those books will help to further spread the word about the Wormworld Saga.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

72 Hours Left on Kickstarter!


We're closing in on the end of the English Wormworld Saga book kickstarter campaign. There's a final stretch goal to reach which will add a free poster of a brand new Wormworld Map to all packages. The reward you will receive as a backer already is impressive:


You'll get the book with a ton of freebies for $25 worldwide shipping included. And we've successfully unlocked the Deluxe Edition upgrade option. For an additional $15 dollar your book will be clothbound, gold embossed, limited & numbered. It's a once in a lifetime edition!

You definitely won't regret it to become a backer. But you might regret it not to become one! ;)


Monday, September 8, 2014

Your Fanart for the English Wormworld Saga Book


I just realized that I didn't post this info on the blog yet. I seriously need a checklist to keep track of all the channels I'm posting to!

So, we've managed to fund the printing of the English Wormworld Saga book on kickstarter and the book is based on the German edition - which includes fan artwork from German artists only - I'd like to call for your submissions for international fan artwork. You'll find some more info in the video above and for ALL the details just visit fanart.wormworldsaga.com.

There's one week left for your submission. I'm really sorry that I missed posting this info here ealier but maybe you'll be able to come up with a fan artwork until then.

Meanwhile, things are running well on kickstarter. Over the weekend we've reached the penultimate stretch goal that added some more freebies to the standard book reward - a sword-shaped signed bookmark and a free 1-year-membership for The Attic - and we're now shooting towards the ultimate stretch goal: the Deluxe Edition! Together with the standard hardcover book I'd love to publish a limited clothbound and gold embossed edition:


We're already pretty close to the goal but any help is appreciated to push us over the line! All rewards offer great value for your money and worldwide shipping is already included. Have a look and maybe become a backer here: http://kck.st/1ApeCdm 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Half-Time on Kickstarter


We're well into the second half of our kickstarter campaign and just today we've reached the 150% mark, where another freebie has been unlocked for all backers with the $25 reward and above. The book already has become a real bargain, especially if you consider that worldwide shipping is included in the price:


We're now trying to add a signed bookmark and a free 1-year-membership for The Attic as additional freebies to the package, and the ultimate goal of the campaign has also been announced:


If we reach the 200% mark at $24K you'll be able to upgrade your book to a limited Deluxe Edition which will be clothbound and gold embossed, signed and numbered.

We've got 13 days left and are $6K away from this goal. I think we can do it but it might become a close one. Any help with pushing towards this goal is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Attic comes with New Features!


The new chapter of course has also been published in The Attic but before we talk about the new content that came with that, I'd like to introduce you to a complete new feature that I'm starting to roll out: HD chapters!


In The Attic, Chapter 6 not only comes in the standard, artwork, and prelim version but all three languages also come in a new HD version which is double the size of the standard version. The HD version is 2048 pixels wide which is larger than Full HD (1920 pixels wide) and fits exactly the retina displays of current iPads. It's hard to convey the difference without showing it directly to you but here's a photo that might give you an idea:


The HD version effectively fills my 27'' screen without being scaled. The plan is to publish all other chapters in HD, too. I just need a little bit more time for that.

Ok, and with the new chapter, two new items were added to the 'Art of the Wormworld Saga' section in The Attic:


As always, there's a 'Making Of' artice about the latest chapter. The highlights of this one are infos on my digital model of Kingspeak and the workflow I used on designing and "shooting" the throneroom scenes:



The new sketchbook gallery features scrat and goblin sketches that I made over the years and also some new sketches that were made for Chapter 6:


I'm constantly trying to improve the experience of The Attic for the members and if you like to learn more about the inner workings of the Wormworld Saga and want to make a small contribution to the project, please consider to become a member for only 9€/year. Now that I had to retire the Wormworld Saga App, The Attic is the only place where you can find these features. You'll get more information about the other features and the membership on The Attic Info Page.