Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chapter 2 - The Journey Begins

I proudly present Chapter 2 of the Wormworld Saga Digital Graphic Novel!

Go read it at!

It's been an unbelievable year for me. The Wormworld Saga Digital Graphic Novel startet exactly a year ago and from that moment on it was a constant ride of surprises, disbelief, excitement, and a lot of hard work. This year saw hundreds of thousands (822.000 to be more precise) of people from all around the world visiting the Wormworld Saga website and reading the first chapter which - as of today - is already translated into 11 languages (I just added the Italian and the Dutch translation). This year saw a more than successful kickstarter campaign which provided the budget for the creation of the Wormworld Saga App that is available since October, bears a five star rating in the Apple App Store, and has been downloaded nearly 2000 times up to this day. This year also saw a deal with a comic book publisher who is going to release a book adaption of the Wormworld Saga Digital Graphic Novel from summer/fall of next year on. And this year saw me quitting my job and producing Chapter 2 on a fulltime schedule in a bit less than 3 months. Above all these awesome things hovers the one event in January that constantly puts everything into perspective for me: the birth of our first son Lucas. I'm so looking forward to read the Wormworld Saga with him when he's old enough and tell him that he just came to the world when all of this started.

'The Journey Begins' is an appropriate title for the second chapter of the Wormworld Saga. Jonas leaves his troubled life behind and starts into his adventure. What will he find inside the Wormworld? At the same time, I myself don't know what the future will bring. 2012 will be a fateful year for the Wormworld Saga. It will show if I'm able to produce the amount of content I'm aiming for and it will show if I'll be able to support my family by doing that. As awesome as this year was, it was merely a prelude to a journey into the great unknown. I take comfort in the feedback of my beloved fans and also in the story of little Jonas. It lies in the nature of an adventure that you don't know the outcome of it. But that's what makes it worthwhile in the first place!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and an Adventurous and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wormworld Saga App and a guy called Murphy...

I just received news that Robot Media has found a software bug inside the app that will prevent us from releasing Chapter 2 inside the app on time. We'll have to submit a software update in order to fix that problem and since we are just entering the Christmas Holidays - during which people apparently refuse to work! - it is highly unlikely that this update will get the needed approval by Apple before January. So, Murphy's Law comes into effect once again, which clearly sucks. And while we are on the topic: Murphy obviously has learned about our plans to release an Android version of the app. Now, guess what! Yeah, it gets delayed...

But on the bright side, all this won't have any effect on the release of Chapter 2 on the website. I'm sorry, that users of the app will have to wait for the special content to be released though. It wasn't planned that way and we'll learn from that for future chapter updates.

Well then, see you tomorrow night for the release post!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chapter 2, less than a week to go!

We are close to the release of Chapter 2 now and I just wanted to give you a last update. Everything is working like expected. Chapter 2 is now translated into what I call the four core languages (the languages which will be published in the Wormworld Saga App - English, German, Spanish and French) and there's only some proofreading to be done on the French version. I received the proofread texts for the artbook content which I will polish during the next few days. Byers of the Collector's Edition of Chapter 2 inside the app can look forward to a lot of new author commentary and two new artbook items. I will announce these in more detail in my release blog post.

Alright, now that I'm confident that the release schedule will be met, I have implemented a little counter on the website (which will only work if you have enabled Java Scripts in your browser). I'm going to update the website on 24th December at 11:59pm of my local time. The counter should help fans all around the world to find out when exactly this is in their timezone.

I'm so excited!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chapter 1 is now available in Bulgarian!

We now officially need a second row of flags for the translations of the Wormworld Saga! The latest translation comes from Ivan Berov who translated the first chapter into Bulgarian. What is even more exciting is the fact, that Ivan did the complete layout work for this translation on his own. And what is even more exciting than THAT is, that Ivan offered me his help with the layout of all the other translations that I don't find the time to process.

I have to tell you, that this was such a generous offer that I first hesitated to take it. I am overwhelmed enough by the fact that so many people offer translations of the Wormworld Saga for free. But that someone would actually offer me to do the tedious layout work on the translations was really more than I could take. However, Ivan convinced me to at least give it a try.

So, I have the pleasure to announce that with the help of Ivan Berov I will be able to provide at least two more translations of the first chapter in the coming weeks. It will be the Italian and the Dutch translation. And if anyone of you is interested in translating the Wormworld Saga, the chances right now are, that this translation will actually be published within a reasonable timeframe.

My heartfelt thanks go to Ivan who provides the fans of the Wormworld Saga a huge service with his contribution!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Confucius says: "Read the Wormworld Saga in Chinese!"

Today I have the pleasure to announce that the first chapter of the Wormworld Saga is available in a Simplified Chinese version. I'm especially happy about this because it bridges a huge language barrier and makes the Wormworld Saga accessible for the many people that live in China. Big thanks go to Chuan Liang who did not only translate the texts but who also did most of the layout work for me. New translations of the Wormworld Saga got scarce in the last few months and that despite the fact that I have several finished translated screenplays sitting on my harddrive. I just don't find the time to do the layout of the translations and therefore Chuang's layout work was a huge help and a wonderful contribution to the project. And there's more to come! I will be able to announce exciting news about new Wormworld Saga translations in the coming week. You can really look forward to it!

Concerning Chapter 2, I've finished the rework and layout of the panel illustrations and I have also finished the  layout of the word balloons for the English version. I'm waiting for the input of the translators and proofreaders right now and I'll fill the time with creating the special content for the app. Everything's on schedule right now.

Everyone have a nice Sunday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chapter 2, Final Artwork Completed!

It's done! This morning I did the last brush strokes on the final panel of Chapter 2 of the Wormworld Saga Graphic Novel. That's a very strange feeling. My normal impulse after finishing a panel is to immediately load the next panel and continue my work. Well, no next panel there! I guess, that's ok. :)

But this is not to say that there's no work left for me now. Before I can present Chapter 2 to you I'll have to:
  • layout the final artwork onto the infinite canvas
  • finish the text
  • layout the word balloons and sound fx
  • send out the scripts to the translators and layout the four core translations for the app
  • prepare the special content for the Collector's Edition of Chapter 2 inside the app

That's right, because I'm going to launch new chapters on the website and inside the app at the same time, the web launch has to wait a bit for the app content to be finalized. I pondered quite some time on the question what a good release date would be and I figured out that - as we'd come close to that date anyway - we might just do it like last year and make Chapter 2 an additional Christmas present for all of us. So:

Chapter 2 will be released on 25th December 2011.

Alright, and now it's time for the preview panel of the last milestone. This preview might very well be considered to be the ultimate spoiler:

However, since almost every fan of the Wormworld Saga knows this painting and since the title of Chapter 2 is already revealed to be "The Journey Begins" it should be quite obvious that this scene will take place in the upcoming chapter.

I can't tell you how excited I was to reach this point. Being able to finally embed this key visual into the narration gave me an undescribable feeling of accomplishment. And painting the panels AFTER this point was a real thrill for me because I was finally able to set the character free from his static pose and let him actually start his adventure into the great unknown beyond the magic canvas. Finally I'm able to invite you into the Wormworld and I can't wait to open the doors for you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chapter 2, Milestone 4 reached!

(little Lucas is busy learning to stand on his feet these days)

We are getting close! I can almost see the finish line and we are not even close to December yet! It's pretty save to assume that the artwork of Chapter 2 will be finished in early December. 

It's interesting how, at least up to now, all the individual milestones took nearly exactly 40 hours to accomplish. The space I'm covering in each milestone is the same but the amount of panels differs vastly. Milestone 1 and 2 both had 14 panels. Milestone 3 had 23 panels and Milestone 4 even had 29 panels. I really thought that the more dialog heavy milestones (with more and smaller panels) would take much more time but that doesn't seem to be true. I think that is due to the fact that I'm able to reuse backgrounds in dialogs where the camera switches back and forth between the characters. 

Well, and another thing is amazing: when I add another 40 hours (for the last milestone) to the total sum of hours that I've already worked on Chapter 2, I land at 200 hours. This is 10 hours less than I needed to paint Chapter 1! So, although Chapter 2 will be 25% longer than Chapter 1, I will probably spend less time on painting it, which really is amazing. And I can assure you that I'm not rushing things here. I would definitely say that the quality of artwork even has improved. 

Alright, I'll stop boring you with numbers now. Instead, here's the preview panel from Milestone 4:

And this is in fact the only panel of this milestone that I can share without giving away too much of the story. 

On a sidenote:

Video2Brain has finally published the last of the video workshops that I have recorded in July. It's the German version of the "Focus on Digital Painting" workshop:

On the product page you'll again find 25 minutes of preview videos! Enjoy! 

All workshops I have recorded this year are now available in German and English language.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kickstarter Rewards Finally Finished!

Yesterday I finally was able to finish my work on the rewards for the kickstarter campaign that funded the Wormworld Saga App back in April. From local artist Dirk Gross, who also does picture framing, I received these nicely framed watercolor paintings for the three top tier backers of the kickstarter campaign:

Dirk did a wonderful job and I have no doubt that the three backers will enjoy these extremely exclusive items. To make them extra special, I signed them on 11th November 2011.

I also want to share with you a photo of the complete package that will now go out to each of the three backers within the next few days. It's a collector's dream come true and I have a bit of a hard time to give them away to be honest :)

And of course I'm trying to wet your appetite here. Christmas is coming and maybe some of you are interested in purchasing Wormworld Saga artwork form the print store. Except for the Wormworld Saga map, the watercolor painting and the kickstarter exclusive print of "Treehouses & Skycastles" you can purchase the items above in the 'Ultimate Fan Collection' (which comes with an original pencil drawing) or seperately or in smaller collections. All prices in the store already include shipping to any location in the world!

I didn't promote it up to this point but since I still have a lot of the Wormseal pins left from the kickstarter campaign (I ordered more than I needed on intention) for the time being all orders from the store come with one of these:

the pins are printed with a metallic effect

Ok, I hope some of you take my bait. I'll be happy to send out some nice packages for you!

You'll hear from me within the next few days. Only a few panels left until I finish the next milestone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chapter 2, Milestone 3 reached!

And there it is - Milestone3! As you can see, my Wacom stylus is glowing red hot as I managed to reach the 60% mark in 1,5 weeks. That's the way it's supposed to work! It's pretty save to say that milestone 4 will be reached way before the end of November and that I'll finish my work on the final artwork of Chapter 2 early in December. That would give me enough time to prepare the special content for the App and handle the essential translations.

It really wasn't easy to choose the preview panels for this update because nearly every panel of this milestone contains major spoilers. Out of the over 20 panels I really only had the choice between 4 or 5 panels that I can show you. I chose a big panel that isn't a spoiler right away but which shows Jonas exploring unfamiliar ground:

And here's another panel that doesn't spoil anything but gives a hint on the plot. Is someone getting suspicious here?

And I'm right off to work on the next milestone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Second English Video2Brain Workshop Available

There's another english video workshop from Video2Brain available now and in this workshop I concentrate on digital drawing. It runs for 2 hours and is a nice companion to my 'Focus on Digital Painting' workshop that was released a month ago. You can find all the detail about the new workshop and over 25 minutes (!) of sample clips on the product page.

And look, there even is a trailer on YouTube:

I hope some of you find this workshop helpful. It was recorded in July and represents my current digital drawing workflow. I use all of the described techniques everyday to create the Wormworld Saga graphic novel.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chapter 2, Milestone 2 reached!

Today I have the pleasure to report that I reached my second milestone with Chapter 2 of the Wormworld Saga. I'm completely on schedule and I hope to be able to finish the next two milestones and actually a good portion of the last milestone in November so that I'll have enough time for editing, layout and special app content in December.

It feels great to work consistently and without much disturbance on the graphic novel. Finally I'm able to make the progress that you and I were so eagerly waiting for. To reward your patience I've got three preview panels from the second milestone to share with you:

So, I'm directly starting with my work on Milestone 3 which I hope to finish before the end of next week.

Until then you might enjoy the first episode of the 'Making Comics Podcast' that just went online on Jason and I had a good time recording this. We speak about our own projects and try to explain what this podcast is going to be about and what guests you can expect on future episodes of the show.

I also want to announce that there is an update of the Wormworld Saga App available that fixes some issues that you may have experienced if you have updated your iPad to iOS 5.

Alright, back to work then!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Making Comics Podcast!

Now, this is really exciting news! Jason Brubaker of formidable graphic novel reMIND has started a new website at This is going to be an invaluable ressource for everyone who wants to create his own comic or graphic novel. To kick off the website he's starting a podcast and I'm very happy to announce that I will be co-hosting it together with Jason.

When I started to create the Wormworld Saga graphic novel in late 2009, the first thing I did was searching the internet for other people that were trying the same thing. I was very lucky to find Jason's blog where he had just started to post the first pages of reMIND. But it wasn't only his graphic novel that inspired me. He wrote a huge bunch of articles about creating graphic novels and later he even started an online forum in which I eagerly participated. He really is passionate about graphic novels and after finishing his first book, receiving a Xeric Foundation grant, and successfully financing the first print run of reMIND via, he definitely is someone you want to listen to, if you share this passion.

So, from now on I will take a few hours at the evening every now and then and have a conversation with Jason Brubaker and a not yet to be disclosed list of amazingly talented guests. Our first test recording already ended up to be an interesting conversation which Jason has fashioned into a 9 minute teaser for the podcast. You can listen to it on the website or in iTunes.

I'm really looking forward to this and I hope that you all will enjoy the podcast!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back Home And Finally Back to Art!

I'm back from Frankfurt Bookfair and I'm not only returning home but I'm also returning to producing artwork on a regular schedule. "Finally!" I hear some of you say and I agree.

I know that some of you started to get the impression that I might have spent too much time on the wrong stuff and that I should simply have concentrated on the graphic novel. I myself am a bit shocked by the fact that 9 months have passed and that I'm only 20% into Chapter 2. On the other hand, if we compare the different options I had this year, it turns out that nothing was lost and a lot was gained.

Had I decided not to act on the success of Chapter 1 and just continue on Chapter 2 besides my day job, I would have been at about 80% of the final artwork by now and a release in December would have been a save bet. Chapter 3 would have been coming at the end of 2012 and Chapter 4 in 2013 and so on.

What I did instead was giving interviews for blogs, newspapers, radio and tv stations in January. I prepared a kickstarter fundraising campaign in February and fueled it with videos and PR in March. I worked on the app, created, packed and shipped the kickstarter rewards and negotiated with publishers in April, Mai and June. I quit my job in July, attended startup workshops and prepared a business plan in order to apply for state money to support my new business. In August, I finished my work on the app, produced the first 20% of artwork for Chapter 2 and took a summer vacation with my wife and son. I launched the Wormworld Saga App and prepared the bookfair when I came home late September.

Now, Chapter 2 is still scheduled for December but, thanks to my work on the business and infrastructure, I'm working fulltime on the graphic novel now and I'm fully financed until at least July 2012. By that time I plan to have already released Chapter 3 and 4. How it will go on from that point will heavily depend on the success of the app and the number of countries my publisher can place the Wormworld Saga Book Edition.

So, there's still a lot to do in the future. I'm at the very beginning of this adventure. I've just built my ship and set my course towards the unknown. But out on the sea I'll have plenty of time for painting!

My return from the bookfair marks an important milestone for me. I have now finished the business stuff and I'm happy with the result so far. I'm now going to concentrate on art again. That means that from now on you'll see milestone updates and artwork posts here on the blog. Of course I'll keep you updated about app updates (especially the upcoming Android version) but this blog is going to see a lot more art than in the last few months. I promise that.

To kick that off, I want to share an artwork with you that I created at Frankfurt Bookfair. When I wasn't talking to people I painted on this insanely detailed abstract composition. Click on it for a HUGE version!

See you soon with the next Chapter 2 milestone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

First English Video2Brain Workshop Available

My first Video2Brain workshop in English is available now! In this workshop I'm painting a nature scene with a well-known little adventurer inside. I'm painting this artwork without a preliminary drawing. Instead I'm using abstract shapes and overlay techniques to "find" the scene that I want to paint. The workshop runs for 2 hrs 15 min.You'll find further information about the workshop on the product page.

There's a second English workshop titled "Focus on Digital Drawing" in preparation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iPad App Available Worldwide and Website Update

I'm happy to inform you that our update of the Wormworld Saga App for iPad got approved by Apple and that the app is now available worldwide! You should find it in your local iTunes App Store now by simply searching for "Wormworld".

I'm really sorry for the delay that this caused for a lot of you. But we reasoned that it would be better to wait a few days instead of presenting you a potentially flawed experience of the Wormworld Saga App. I hope that you will enjoy the app now.

By the way, you all would help to promote the app tremendously by giving it a rating or by even writing a review in the App Store. These things are very important to get the app to places where it receives better recognition.

And there's other news, too! I updated the Wormworld Saga Website to reflect the launch of the app and to prepare for the fact that there will be two chapters soon. This is the first update of the website since December 2010. It really was about time!

I got a lot of stuff out of my way now and I'm finally able to concentrate on Chapter 2 again. Next week Frankfurt Bookfair will occupy me for some days though. By the way: there will be an official Wormworld Saga Event at the Tokyopop booth (hall 3.0, booth K834) on Saturday 15th October at 1:30pm (13:30) and I will do some signing afterwards. I'm really looking forward to that! Maybe I'll see some of you there?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Wormworld Saga App for iPad launched!

When I prepared the fundraising campaign for the Wormworld Saga App on in March, I really couldn't imagine that it would be possible to raise $12.000 from people that I actually didn't know at all. The overwhelming feedback my work received from the online community fortunately made me give it a try anyway. Although the donations and print orders of the preceding months had surprised the hell out of me, it was the unsuspected outcome of the kickstarter campaign that, for the first time, gave me the impression that I possibly was creating something that could become my actual job in the future.

I've learned a lot in the past six months. I've learned that creating a successful graphic novel doesn't only mean to write and paint. It also means to make plans for the future, communicate with a lot of people and do a lot of work that pops up just everywhere. The development of the app took much longer than I had imagined. There is just so much to take into account when you want to release a running app and there's so much work in the detail. I've REALLY learned a lot.

Now that it's finally done, I have a strong feeling of achievement. The Wormworld Saga App is the kind of thing that I imagined to create. A digital graphic novel that overcomes the limits of traditional book publishing. A hub to connect to just everything around the Wormworld Saga. The app humbly starts with the first chapter in four languages and the first three items inside the artbook and the production notes in English. I hope to be able to provide more languages and completely translated content in the future. It's a matter of budget only. The second chapter will follow at the end of the year and by the end of next year I hope to see the first 6 chapters and a host of artbook items inside the app. Just imagine that!

The Wormworld Saga App is a living thing. Now that it exists I already have the first ideas to extend and improve it. You can expect me to constantly think about stuff that will make the app and the Wormworld Saga in general more and more enjoyable for you. We will frequently update and your feedback is highly appreciated in order to evolve the Wormworld Saga App towards something that hopefully will set standards for graphic novel apps in general.

But for now I want to invite you to explore what's already there. A lot of work and love went into the Wormworld Saga App and I hope that you will enjoy it!

Here's a link to the U.S. App Store but you can easily find the app by searching for "Wormworld" in your local App Store in iTunes:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back at work and Wormworld Saga App coming up!

I'm back! Back from a summer vation in Spain and back from the convention of the digitalartforum which took place this weekend in Berlin. It was a great event and I'm happy that we had an absolute record in participants this year because that way a lot of people were able to enjoy what I think was the best convention we've ever experienced. We've never been at a cooler location and we've never had better talks than this year which, by the way, was the 10th anniversary of the community.

The traditional convention group shot

And I had a nice surprise in my mailbox: finally the trademark registration process is completed and "Wormworld" is now a registered trademark in the United States of America!

that's what a U.S. trademark certificate looks like

I'm happy that this issue is off my mind now. I just checked and I can't believe that it took almost 22 months to register the Wormworld Saga trademark in the European Union and the United States. 

However, I will continue my work on Chapter 2 in a few days. Before I can fully concentrate on the graphic novel again I have to prepare some promotional work for the launch of the Wormworld Saga App which is going to happen very soon. In fact, we have a definite launch date which is going to be October 1st. I'm excited!

So, you'll hear from me again in a few days!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chapter 2, Milestone 1 reached!

Today I reached my first milestone and finished 20% of the Chapter 2 final artwork. I spent 40 hours working on it. Normally that would have taken me over a month but with my new fulltime schedule I accomplished the first milestone in 1.5 weeks. And that's in fact longer than it should normally take. The finishing touches on the app and the upcoming digitalartconvention in Berlin (which I'm organizing) took away some time from my schedule. However, it feels great to make such fast progress on Chapter 2. I really can't wait to present it to you.

However, the next 4 weeks will hardly see any progress on Chapter 2. It's summer vacation time and my wife and I are looking forward to present little Lucas to his great-grandparents in Spain for the first time. The little rascal is starting to crawl and I'm curious to see his face when he sees a beach for the first time. Then, directly after our vacation there's the digitalartconvention, and in October the Frankfurt Book Fair will take away some days from my schedule, too. I will post details on Frankfurt as soon as I can say when exactly I will be available on the Tokyopop booth.

Well, that all combined leads to the fact that Chapter 2 will presumably not be released so much earlier than originally planned. I really didn't anticipate all the stuff that got in my way and with the app release and the book publishing ahead there's plenty of distraction still waiting for me. I'm planning to continue with Chapter 2 late September and hopefully I'll wrap up the artwork in early November. I don't quite know yet how much time editing and layout will take. For Chapter 1 that process was very tesselated and it's hard to say how long it'll take when I'm working on that part fulltime and in one stretch. There's still a lot to learn for me. I guess, Chapter 3 will be the first Chapter that I will create in a truly proven workflow.

Okay, of course I'm not leaving you without at least a small sneak peek into Chapter 2. Here's a panel from the first milestone that I really enjoyed painting. I was longing to paint forest scenes since the very beginning of my work on the Wormworld Saga and Chapter 2 fortunately has plenty of them:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Video2Brain Video-Training (German) Released

Some of you might remember that I mentioned a journey to Graz, Austria at the beginning of July. I went there for a week and recorded a bunch of video-trainings for video2brain which is a company that offers online and DVD video-workshops. The first one (in German language) was just released. It runs for about two hours and covers all details of my digital drawing workflow. The video is not timelapsed. The full drawing process is filmed and commented in realtime. As you can see, I chose an image from the Wormworld Saga for the course:

Click to go to the product page
And there's a trailer, too:

A second video in German on digital painting will be released soon. I also recorded two video-trainings in English language which hopefully we will not have to wait for too long.

Alright, I hope that I can catch the interest of some of you with this. I will keep you informed about the following releases.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kickstarter Drawings

Last week I finished a task that was sitting on my to-do-list for some time now. All backers of the Wormworld Saga App kickstarer campaign who pledged $500 or $1000 receive a custom pencil drawing. The outcome of this is a nice and diverse collection of drawings that will go out into the world today (click thumbnails for a larger resolution):

These are really unique items because not only are these originals but these are the only 10 drawings with the blue Wormseal stamp that will ever exist. So, collectors: watch out for these!

If you happen to be interested in an original pencil drawing from me, you might want to consider to buy an Ultimate Fan Collection from the print shop. A pencil drawing is part of this package.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm starting with the Chapter 2 Final Artwork

"Finally!" A lot of you will say, I guess. And yes, I didn't think that it would take me so long before I could start on the next chapter of the Wormworld Saga neither. I promised fast progress the day when I announced to work fulltime on the Wormworld Saga and here we are - nearly 5 weeks later and I'm just starting with Chapter 2. I just completely underestimated the amount of work that I had to put into the app. It feels good having made the effort though. I'm really looking forward to the release as I hope a lot of you do, too. I have finished my part and now the developers are going to fix bugs and submit a version to Apple in order to get the approval for the App Store. We hope that the whole process will be completed by the end of August. The app should be landing in the App Store in early September at the latest.

So, that finally gives me the opportunity to start with the final artwork of Chapter 2. During the last two days I have reworked the preliminary version from ... April (oh God, is it really April?) and I'm now confident to say that I have landed a version that's ready to be finalized. 

I'm really excited about Chapter 2! I think that it's going to be a worthy follower to Chapter 1 - with more content, more action, more dramatic turning points, and a kickass ending that will make you wanna read Chapter 3 instantly. Well, okay, let's finish Chapter 2 before we begin to talk about Chapter 3...

I've established 5 milestones again. They are 25% larger than the milestones of Chapter 1. I hope to reach the first one before my summer vacation starts. I don't dare to announce a release date for Chapter 2 yet. There's a 3 weeks vacation coming up and I'm organizing the convention of the digitalartforum again which will take place in September. In October I've got to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair. Apart from that, I'm going to concentrate on Chapter 2 though. You'll get the updates here! 

So, no time to lose!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wormworld Saga App Preview

I have recorded a video in which I present you the main features of the upcoming Wormworld Saga App! We are very close to the finish line and I expect the app to hit the app stores in August.

The app will be available for iPad and Android tablets. I will try to provide a comprehensive list of Android devices that will be able to run the app as soon as possible.

And just to make sure that everyone gets a clear picture of what my plans are with the app:

The app will not substitute the free online version of the Wormworld Saga on The graphic novel will remain to be free. The app will be a free download and there will be a free version of the graphic novel (without special features) inside the app, too. The free version inside the app will have a better image quality than the web version and the scrolling performance will be better than reading the graphic novel in the browser.
I've made a huge effort to make the Collector's Edition of each chapter attractive to you. If you purchase the Collector's Edition of a chapter inside the app, you will unlock the special features of this chapter, which includes the artwork and sketch mode, the production notes and the artbook items that are associated to this chapter. And of course, by purchasing the Collector's Edition you support the Wormworld Saga and help me to keep on working on it fulltime.

I'm looking forward to make this app available to you as soon as possible!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tablet poll results

The poll in which I basically wanted to find out how many of you own a tablet device is over and these are the results:

Question: Do you own a tablet device?

Yes, iPad - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -205 (28%)
Yes, Android - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 94 (12%)
No, but I'll soon get one - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -70 (9%)
Nope, and it's not gonna happen soon - - - - -357 (49%)

Total votes: 726

First, let me thank everyone who participated in this poll. This is very usefull data, not only for me but for anyone who thinks about focusing his publishing efforts on tablet devices. Of course you have to take these results with a grain of salt because followers of this blog definitely don't represent the general public. On the other hand, I don't think that the figures are extremely warped because in order to be interested in the Wormworld Saga and following this blog you don't have to own a tablet device in the first place so there's essentially no reason why the readers of this blog should have an above the average inclination to own a tablet device. So, I guess you could transfer these results to the general internet readership that also has an interest in webcomics. Well, I'm not a statistics specialist so please draw your own assumptions here.

At least we can savely say that these figures are valid for the Wormworld Saga readership and I must say that I'm really surprised. My guess would have been that a lot less people already own a tablet device. That 40% already have one and 9% are heavily inclined to get one is really encouraging.

I also want to address that I understand that a lot of you are disappointed to learn that the app is released for tablet devices only. That was the plan right from the beginning but I see that this information was somewhat buried inside the kickstarter campaign up to this point. The reason why the Wormworld Saga App isn't released for smartphones is simply that smartphone screens are too small to experience the Wormworld Saga as it is meant to be experienced. I actually could imagine a dedicated phone app in which the layout would be altered so that you would see individual panels in fullscreen but that would mean to create a whole other app and it would have been too high a risk and too much work to create two apps at once. However, I will keep the option of a dedicated smartphone app in mind and if I happen to be able to gather the ressources for that, I will definitely do it. But maybe this issue will be obsolute in a year or so. Word is that the next generation of iPhones get a bigger screen with higher resolution and a lot of smartphones are already very close to the 1024 pixels that the Wormworld Saga needs on the wide side to be fully displayed. So, let's see how this develops.

The Wormworld Saga App is nearing completion. This week should see the first complete version with all features and I roughly plan to record a preview video for next week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The app is coming closer!

My first week in the home office is over now and man - I've really got lots of stuff done! The app is very close to a first version (which will then be tested and polished) and I'm really looking forward to make it available to you as soon as we have finished our work on it and it's got the approval from Apple.

I also want to ask you to take part in a small poll that you'll find on the right side of the blog. Basically I want to find out what percentage of my followers own a tablet device and if they do, which OS is running on it. Later we'll also have a poll about price points but let's make one step at a time here.

Alright, still lots of work ahead. Let's get this second week rolling!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My first Monday in the home office

And here it is - my first day at the home office! I know what you're thinking - 1st July is already a week ago, what the heck was he doing all the time? Well, before diving into the Wormworld Saga with full speed I traveled to Graz, Austria where the nice people of video2brain recorded some brand new video workshops with me. We'd already produced a German workshop DVD in 2006 (and you can access the videos as online streams here) but a lot has changed in the last 5 years and I'm really happy that we were able to record some fresh material. Also, this time we recorded the videos in German and English so that a lot more people are going to be able to enjoy them. I will announce it here as soon as they become available.

Alright, after an intense week of recording in the studio I've now arrived at home. This travel to Graz served as a wonderful transition into my new work life I must say. At the weekend I did some rearrangement of the stuff in my studio and now I'm ready. There's a lot of stuff to do and finally I've got time to get things rolling. 

My first priority at the moment is the Wormworld Saga App. We are planning to have it finished by the end of the month so I guess we can look forward to a launch in August. Then there's still some work to do on the kickstarter rewards on which I worked over the past 12 weekends. Here's some photos of the fun:

I'm going to finish my work on the rewards during the week now so I hope that I will be through with it pretty soon.

Well, and then of course there's the second chapter waiting. The preliminary version of it rested for 8 weeks and this is perfect for revising it now. I've learned that it is crucial to the process to give everything the time it needs. It will become a challenge to arrange for that when I'm starting to speed through my milestones from now on. I currently plan to create the preliminary version of chapter 3 before starting the final artwork for chapter 2 so that it can rest for some time, too. It might generally be a good idea to always be one chapter ahead with the prelims. Speed doesn't only have its benefits but also its pitfalls. But we'll maneuver our way around them!

By the way, in the last few month I have used the Wormworld Saga Facebook Fanpage to post smaller updates (like links to interviews and stuff like that) so you might be interested to subscribe to that to get the full fix on Wormworld Saga news. Essential updates will always be posted to the blog though. I'm still not quite sure what exactly to put on my Twitter but there might turn up more stuff in the future, too. Please share any ideas you might have!

Alright, now let's get some stuff done!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm going fulltime with the Wormworld Saga!

I'm sorry that it was so quiet here on the blog over the last four weeks. The reason for that is that the last month was such a crazy hotchpotch of stuff that happened, which made me leap from here to there and which I just wasn't able to comprehend into a form that I could share with you. Now that I just had the chance to relax on a short trip to the Munich Comicfestival (which was a great event by the way) things have settled down a bit and I'm able to break the news to you about some decisions that I made. And boy are there news!

I was approached by a big investor a few weeks ago. To put it into a nutshell, they wanted to give me the money that I needed to work fulltime on the Wormworld Saga. That of course got me totally thrilled. My goal got within reach! So I created a business plan for a production company, we talked about the details and in the end it was up to me to sign the deal. It would have meant to create a company, earning a good salary as CEO and ... to hand over the major share of the Wormworld Saga property to the investor.

Relax! I didn't do it.

I realised that I hadn't worked my ass off over the last 18 months only to hand my rights over to someone else. But I'm deeply thankful for their approach because it made me crunch my numbers and it got me thinking about the financial potential of the Wormworld Saga project. And I realised that it could work. There still is a gap in the cash flow for the rest of this year and I will have to dive into my savings in order to bridge it. But next year, when the app has been in stores for several months, I'm optimistic enough to hope for a complete yearly income generated by the Wormworld Saga.

Especially because the app won't be the only way to generate income from!

The next big news is, that I found a publisher for a print adaption of the Wormworld Saga Digital Graphic Novel. That really wasn't an easy thing to do because there needs to be some serious editing done on the material and I had to find a publisher who would let me retain the rights for the digital version AND who would let me keep on publishing the free online version on the website. Fortunately I found a forward thinking publisher who would agree on these terms. The German Tokyopop publishing house will bring the Wormworld Saga books into stores from next year on. I'm thrilled and I think a book will be a nice artifact for fans and with it I will be able to reach people with my story who don't like to read comics on a screen. It will be published in Germany first and international contracts will be negotiated over the next months. I hope that it won't take too long until readers outside of Germany will be able to enjoy the Wormworld Saga in the printed edition.

Well, all this ultimately lead me to the decision to do the leap of  faith. I quit my job and will be working fulltime on the Wormworld Saga from 1st July on. I'm scared of course since I'm venturing into unknown territory here. I don't know how things will turn out. But how much sense this all makes! "The Journey Begins" is the title of the upcoming chapter two. The journey begins indeed and I begin to understand how Jonas must feel on the brink of his great adventure. I'm joining him and I hope you join us, too!

Oh, and I think I don't need to mention that the second chapter will be relased WAY before the end of the year now, do I? Feast your eyes on my rearranged schedule!

Compared to my old schedule I now I have FIVE times more hours per day to work on the Wormworld Saga AND I'm actually going to see my family in the evenings. That's pure craziness! Prepare to see the milestones fly by!

Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the last six months! If this all was just the prologue, I'm wondering what's going to happen now that things are really getting started. I'm going to work hard in order to meet your expectations.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wormworld Saga App First Sneak Peek

I have to share a very first glimpse at the Wormworld Saga App with you! Robot Media, the developer of the app has recorded a small clip of the first version of the intro camera track and the homescreen with the cover flow. Please keep in mind that this is a very early version and that we will polish the hell out of it.

In addition to this, I have received the first version of the app for testing on my iPad. I can't tell you how happy I felt the moment I saw the Wormseal app icon, clicked on it and got propelled directly onto the attic. It was one of these moments. Like when I saw the massive amount of cardboard boxes for the kickstarter rewards in my hallway. Those moments when visions become reality.

I'll keep you updated on the app's progress!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wormworld Saga App Homescreen Illustration

That's the finished illustration for the Wormworld Saga App homescreen. I'm looking forward to seeing it the first time in the actual app with the logos and the title fading in and everything! 

It took close to 16 hours to create this illustration. Quite some time if you can invest only 2 hours each day. Man, I would have finished this one in two days if I could just work fulltime on the project. But hey, we are working towards that goal and patience is a virtue. :)

However, I think this is a nice and atmospheric starting point for the app and it was well worth the effort. As soon as I have finished the screen layout I will be able to show you how everything will work together.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wormworld Saga App Homescreen WIP

Finally I'm able to give you an update on my Wormworld Saga progress! On the weekends I'm quite busy with cropping, stamping and signing all the prints for the kickstarter rewards:

here you see merely 50 of the over 700 prints I've already prepared

During the week I'm working on the Wormworld Saga App now. My current task is to create the illustration for the homescreen where you browse the chapters. I want to start the app with a spectacular effect and therefore I have designed a three screens high illustration which the camera will pan down while titles are faded in and out. At the end of the pan you land directly inside Jonas' secret headquarters where you'll find a coverflow-like list of all available chapters. I will show you the screen design as soon as it is ready. For now I'm quite busy with creating the illustration. I've just finished the drawing which alone took me close to six hours:

You really have to love attics and perspective drawing in order to not become crazy drawing something like this, I guess. The scenery is very close to the last panel of chapter one but it's a completely new illustration with a much lower point of view. And instead of making it a night scene, I will create a gloomy day scene with bright sunlight pouring through the little windows and the crevices between the roof tiles. Think of a dark and dusty attic with bright islands of light. I'm really looking forward to finishing this illustration. It's the place where Jonas starts his adventures and it will become the place where the reader of the app will start his adventure, too.

I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chapter 2 - Preliminary version

Ok, same procedure as last year! I have just finished the first draft of the grayscale preliminary version of chapter 2. I have not yet set the milestone marks because I want to let the first draft of this preliminary version rest for some time now. In the next weeks I will concentrate on the Wormworld Saga App (including work associated with the kickstarter campaign) and when that's wrapped up I will have gained enough mental distance to this preliminary version in order to be able to tell if changes have to be made. The storytelling gets much more complicated in the second chapter and I really want to make sure that everything works perfectly before I start painting the final artwork.

However, what I can already say is, that chapter 2 will be approximately 25% longer than the first chapter so you can look forward to a juicy update as soon as it is released! And there's another thing I can tell you. The title of chapter two will be:

Chapter 2 - The Journey Begins

So, in the next update I hope to be able to show some sneak peeks from the Wormworld Saga App production.

I wish everyone a happy easter!