Sunday, January 3, 2010

'The Wormworld Saga' Online Graphic Novel

Welcome everybody in 2010!

This year is going to be absolutely crazy. My biggest personal challenge will be to create an online graphic novel out of a story that I'm working on for quite some time now. Inside my head 'The Wormworld Saga' is just fantastic, I tell you. Unfortunately, that's something you won't believe me until you have seen it for your own. That puts me into the uncomfortable position of the one who has to get all the stuff OUT of his head and fashion it into a form that's hopefully as fantastic as the stuff INSIDE his head. I have no idea if that will work. Honestly! I guess, we will just have to find out.

On my website I've already summed up what has lead me to the decision to create an online graphic novel in the first place (please follow the link in the paragraph above if you're interested). On this blog from now on I want to document the steps that I'm taking on my way. I'm going to write about the creative process, the planning, sketching and painting of the graphic novel but also about other related stuff like promotion and marketing. I'm doing this for the first time so prepare yourself for beholding a good portion of trial and error here. Of course, your feedback is very much appreciated. So, please don't hesitate to tell me just anything that comes to your minds along the way!

In this first post I want to show you some of my first steps in the production of the graphic novel. The first thing is my trusty notebook, which I started in 2005:

By the time I started this notebook the story was still very rough and I had just began to collect ideas to flesh out the first framework. There is a lot of rejected stuff in these pages and it is quite interesting to revisit my notes and to see how things have evolved over the years. I filled this notebook to the last page and it spans from 2005 to May 2008. I started a new notebook but I somehow have the feeling that when the first notebook was full, I arrived at a point were taking notes did not feel like the right instrument anymore. The framework was layed out and I had to take the next step. Well, I did not really know what to do with the material back then and therefore I started to do writing experiments. I wanted to take parts of the story framework and flesh them out. I was not really happy with the results. However, now that I know that I'm going to do a graphic novel I need an instrument to develop the story further and to bring it into a form that can serve as a base from which I can then create the sequential art. Right at the moment, this instrument is The Wall:

I have taped a long piece of packing paper to a wall near my studio and I'm covering it with post its. On the small area on the left I'm currently collecting characters and their motivations and conflicts. On the big area on the right (you are seeing only one half of the full size) I'm laying out the plot. The yellow post its carry plot items, the pink ones carry problems that need to be solved and the orange ones carry notes on ideas and themes. Right at the moment the work is quite straightforward because I'm working directly from a story synopsis for the first journey that I've already finished last year. However, I'm already discovered some points were the story has to be changed. The post its come in handy because they are easy to be replaced.

Right at the moment I'm working on the whole storyline and I'm still prepared for changes. However, the plot for the first two chapters is ready and I'm going to start on the sequential art as soon as possible. I'll keep you all up to date!


  1. Very nice. So eine riesige Story ist das, was ich selbst immer schon einmal machen wollte, mich aber nie ran getraut habe, weil es mir immer zu gigantisch erschien. Über ein paar anfängliche Notizen bin ich nicht hinaus gekommen.

    Ich freue mich daher beonders, dass du dieses Abenteuer mit uns teilst und ich bin sicher, du findest Wege, sie uns genau so fantastisch zu zeigen, wie du sie im Kopf hast. Deine Notizenwand gefällt mir schon sehr gut; vor allem, dass du die Konflikte so gut dokumentierst. Nichts ist schlimmer als ungewollt offene Fragen ;)

    Ich warte auf mehr ...

  2. I'd like to wish you the best of luck with your first graphic novel. For a long time I've wanted to make one myself. Your concept art caught my eye right away on DeviantArt and I can't wait to see the finished product. I'm excited to see your journey along the way as well. Good luck!

  3. this looks like a strong start! you have gathered a huge amount of ideas and are about to continue in the right way — namely puzzling everything together.

    but beware: when i tried to lay down ideas into a post it grid some time ago, they fell off rather quickly. since then, i dont trust them anymore, but use stecknadeln mit kugelkopf. they are easy to arrange and way more sturdy than post its!

    (what a detail-bashing that is, but it would be a shame if your puzzle collapsed before the finishing touches, wouldnt it?)

  4. @ wandzeitung:

    Thanks for the tip with the post its! At the moment they stick quite nicely to the paper surface even after three weeks. I guess it also matters how often you rearrange them. I would like to avoid metal pins because my plan is, to cover the whole spreadsheet with tranparent film as soon as it is finished. I guess, I will just use glue if some post its fall from their position.

    Hehe, I guess however this project turns out, at least I will gain some decent knowledge about the sticking behaviour of post its.

  5. covering everything with transparent film sounds save, good idea!

    i am really excited about the upcoming stories. maybe you can include post its into a final spread? kralle yould wear a yellow-checked trouser, or something like that.

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