Friday, December 21, 2012

Chapter 5, Milestone 1 reached!

I'm happy to announce that my plan to reach the first milestone of the Chapter 5 final artwork production worked out smoothly. And without further ado - here are the preview panels from the first milestone for you:

Hey, how did I get HERE?
Why do I get the feeling that this is a girl's place?
For those who bother about my technique I'd like to share the fact that Chapter 5 is going to be a bit different from the preceding chapters. The old chapters were painted in triple resolution which means that panels like the ones above, with a final resolution of 640x240 pixels, would be painted in 1920x720 pixels. However, Chapter 5 is painted in quadruple resolution so the panels above were actually painted in 2560x960 pixels. The reason for that is that I'm preparing to offer an HD version of the Wormworld Saga inside the Wormworld Saga App in 2013. Fortunately, the added resolution does not slow down my progress but has a cosiderable effect on detail crispness. I really like the new workflow and I think that it will enhance the look of the Wormworld Saga further.

It really is a good feeling to have set the foot into the production and reaching the first milestone before the end of the year. The last few months were really exhausting and I'm looking forward to at least a few downshifted days next week. I just realized that this will be the first Christmas since the launch of the Wormworld Saga that will not bring a new chapter. I'm feeling a bit sorry about that but on the other hand I'm also feeling releaved that I don't have to worry about launch issues over the Christmas dinner this year.

I'm off now. I wish everyone a merry Chrismas and a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I just want to drop you all a short notice that today is the 12th December 2012. This means that all prints ordered from the Wormworld Saga Print Shop today will be dated "12-12-2012". It's noteworthy that this is the LAST occasion in this century to get a triple date on your print. O_o

And to make this extra attractive to you I'd like to announce that you can now also order the three posters from the last kickstarter campaign for 15€ (worldwide shipping included!):

So, head over to the print shop and get yourself a special treat for Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chapter 5, Title Announcement

Just like you, I've been waiting for this update for a long time now. Over 3 months have passed since the release of Chapter 4 and I fear that a lot of you are already waiting for the next chapter being released at the end of this month. Well, that's not going to happen. What I can announce today is, that Chapter 5 is written and illustrated in its preliminary version and that I have decided on a title for it:

Chapter 5 - The Call of the Worm Mountain

I can give you a couple of reasons for the delay of Chapter 5. September started with three weeks of vacation during which I maintained the Wormworld Saga Treasure Chest kickstarter campaign. Right after returning home I headed to Frankfurt Bookfair to promote the release of the first Wormworld Saga book. In the following weeks my work was frequently interrupted by interviews concerning the book release and my wife and I started the production of all the fan items that were successfully financed through kickstarter. Just have a look at this:

Currently we're right in the middle of sending out this sweet stuff to the incredible backers of the kickstarter campaign. In January we're going to open up the Wormworld Shop in which then everyone will be able to get these items and more. Rest assured that this will be properly announced when the time comes.

But it would only be half the truth to say that these things alone caused the delay of Chapter 5. A major reason for the long time it took me to finish the writing of this chapter is, that it was a very hard chapter to write. Ironically, I started my work on Chapter 5 thinking that it would be a very easy chapter to write. I got over all the complicated legends and myths stuff in Chapter 4 and now I would only have to send Jonas out into the Wormworld, right? 


When I started writing Chapter 5, I noticed that I made very little progress each day. I was really slow. Something was holding me back but I didn't know what it was. I just wanted to continue the adventure after all the talking in Chapter 4 but somehow I couldn't move on. Then I realized that it was Jonas who couldn't just move on. I had devastated him. I confronted him with a mission that in his eyes was absolutely impossible, unthinkable even. How could I expect him to just pick up his stuff and walk on? It was really hard work to cheer the little guy up and give him a reason to go on. When he finally was ready to continue his journey, so was I.

There were more issues like that. Without going into too much detail right now (I'm going to spare that for the 'Making Of') I must say that never before I've spent so much time on writing and rewriting dialogs. After having finished the prelim now I must say that Chapter 5 is a very important chapter. It looked so harmless on first sight but it was a lot of hard work to write.

And it's going to be huge! As you can see in the milestone chart above, it's going to be a lot longer than any chapter before it. It even dwarfs Chapter 3 which is really intimidating for me. I've got a lot of spectacular art in mind for this chapter and now that it's completely written I can't wait to illustrate it.

I'm not going to announce a release date for Chapter 5 just now. As you all know, we're heading into the Holidays and this means at least a few days of caring about other things than work. I hope to reach at least the first milestone before the end of the year though. I'm bracing for working like an ox through January and February and my dream goal would be to release Chapter 5 at the end of February. I don't know yet if this is realistic since the milestones are longer than usual this time. I guess that I will find out over the next two months, at what release date we are heading.

From now on I will keep you updated again about my progress and with every milestone update I will post preview images from Chapter 5. The Worm Mountain calls!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Frankfurt Bookfair 2012

The magic painting in the illustration was cut out and illuminated with LEDs.

Last weekend I visited the world's largest bookfair in Frankfurt where my publisher Tokyopop and I presented the first Wormworld Saga book. Tokyopop's booth was covered all over in Wormworld Saga artwork and they had prepared these nice displays with the glowing magic painting that you can see in the foto above.

The center of Tokyopop's booth was covered with Wormworld Saga artwork.

I loved watching people - especially children - skip through the pages of the book.
I had signing sessions throughout from Friday to Sunday. When the fair was opened for the general public on Saturday and Sunday the halls got really crowded and many people visited my signing table in order to get a little drawing and a signature into their books. On Saturday we had a short stage presentation where the CEO of Tokyopop, Dr. Joachim Kaps, and I talked about the steps of the Wormworld Saga from a hobby project to a successful webcomic and to a published book.

Many people I met in frankfurt discovered the Wormworld Saga there for the first time.

It was nice to get into personal contact with people.

The brand new Loki plush watched over my signing queue...

... and was also eager for some cuddling to shorten the wait for my younger fans.
Dr. Joachim Kaps and me on our panel about the Wormworld Saga.

Another picture of our panel.
For me the bookfair was a real nice experience. We had wonderful feedback from the people that visited our booth, I met a lot of fans and at the end of the fair we sold out of all the Wormworld Saga books that Tokyopop had brought to the booth. There have been talks with foreign publishers and although there's nothing I can tell you just now, I'm very optimistic that we'll see the book edition of the Wormworld Saga in other countries soon.

Many thanks to the whole Tokyopop team for a wonderful bookfair experience!

Monday, October 1, 2012



On Sunday we successfully funded the Wormworld Saga Treasure Chest Kickstarter Campaign AND we even reached the second stretchgoal of $20,000 which will provide all backers with a fantastic Paper Toy PDF including Jonas, Raya, and Loki. That actually is something that we didn't dare to hope for 5 days before, when we reached the funding goal.

We're so relieved! Relieved that all the hard work has payed off. Relieved that we've found so many supporters for this project and - to be honest - relieved that these nerve-wracking 30 days are finally over.
You provided us the means to set another leg onto the ground that will help us to carry the Wormworld Saga further into the future. This project is an ungoing adventure for all people involved and you just provided a happy end for the latest chapter of our journey.

And you laid another groundwork for hopefully many more chapters of the Wormworld Saga.

For that we, my wife and I, are deeply thankful!

Daniel Lieske & Cristina Costas

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Last 24 Hours on Kickstarter!

Soon our latest kickstarter campaign will be over. I'm really happy to announce that we've already reached our funding goal (on Tuesday) and that we are now trying to reach some stretch goals that lie beyond the finish line. The first stretch goal has already been reached. At $17,500 we've unlocked Raya as an additional character for the Papertoy PDF and should we reach $20,000 before the campaign ends in 24 hours, we'll also unlock Loki.

Just to make sure that you're not missing an opportunity that won't come again here's a list of items that are exclusive to the kickstarter campaign and that will never be sold in that form again:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Wormworld Movie

Saturday, August 18th was a very special day. I  packed my car full with flood lights and cable drums and together with my wife and son drove to my brother's house in the country. We met up with the whole family and my good friend Peter Sendfeld who brought his Canon SLR. Our crazy plan was to shoot a movie at that day.

The idea was born out of a whim. When we were holding the first prototypes of the sword replica in our hands, my wife and I thought that it would be cool to create replicas of Jonas's complete adventure outfit. My sister in law jumped onto the idea and started to knit the red turtle neck jumper. We also found a little backback that was close enough to the original from the comic and I cut up a pair of working gloves to round up the whole outfit. Then our attention moved towards my 12 year old nephew Jakob. If he would get a proper haircut...

All these crazy ideas culminated on this Saturday. It was a hot summer day. In fact it was SO hot that filming on the attic was a real challenge for man and material. Grannie's line from Chapter 2 "Why are you wearing that old jumper? It’s much too warm outside for that!" started to make a lot of sense for my poor nephew who was literally soaked in sweat when the shooting ended at late afternoon. I'm really sorry that the script had him running through the forest...

I experienced some very special moments on this day. The whole family was together, everyone was helping carrying cable drums, distributing fog or holding light reflectors. And in the middle of all that stood this boy that looked so familiar. That jumper, the sword, the attic. It was like a dream. I actually could have cried over all this but I didn't want to irritate all the people around me that were so busy and enthusiastic about helping to bring these scenes to life.

Jakob Lieske as Jonas Berg

Later in the studio, when I was examining the footage that we shot that day, I couldn't believe it. It all came to life and it all looked SO like the thing. This little movie is very special to me and I hope that you'll enjoy it, too.

Here are some more fotos from the shooting. This movie was unlocked by the backers of the Wormworld Saga Kickstarter Campaign and as a backer - among your other rewards - you'll receive a download package of a high quality Quicktime version of the movie together with a LOT more photos and a 'Making Of' video. You can still jump on board until Saturday!

Examining the location and lighting for a take

Me drawing the "Hands Off!" note for the chest

Jonas's treasure chest

preparing the treasure chest for shooting

Fixing the sword on the backpack

Pure awesomeness

Monday, September 24, 2012

Die Wormworld Saga - Band 1

Today I want to share some images from the production of the first Wormworld Saga Book with you. My publisher Joachim Kaps and Head of Production Martina Stellbrink visited the print facility that produces the book to make sure that everything turns out just like we imagine:

Joachim and Martina inspect a test printing of the cover sheet
Some test prints of the cover sheet
Some printed pages of the book
The fact that they took the time to inspect the printing in person gives evidence of the fact that Tokyopop puts a lot of love and care into the production of this book. The first edition will come in glorious hardcover with special effects on the logo and it will contain a small collector's print of "The Journey Begins" (which you can actually see in the last image above). The book has 128 pages and features the first three chapters of the German version of the Wormworld Saga, an illustrated article about the project, a sketchbook section, and a fan art gallery. I'm extremely thrilled about the book and really can't wait to present the final product on Franfurt Bookfair in the middle of October. 

The Wormworld Saga still is a digital comic and I'm completely dedicated to it's native digital form. The massive spreading of the story around the world and the many translations that have already been provided by fans would never have happened without the mechanisms of the internet. The Wormworld Saga App  is the way I ever imagined the story to be experienced and I will continue to put a lot of effort into improving it with every update. However, seing the wonderful job Tokyopo has done on the layout and the production of this first book makes me feel very happy. I know that a lot of fans are waiting for a printed version of the Wormworld Saga and I'm really looking forward to reach out to all the new readers that would never have encountered the story in it's digital form.

You can actually preorder the book on Amazon already and it will be released on 4th October. However, if you are looking for a very special edition of the book and can wait just a few weeks longer for the book I'd suggest that you become a backer of the fundraising campaign we are currently having on kickstarter. There you can get a special edition of the book which is going to be handsigned and stamped with the kickstarter exclusive blue Wormseal stamp AND will come with three 15x20cm art prints of the three chapter illustrations. These three prints are also handsigned and stamped, have rounded corners and will never be available with these features again:

The campaign ends this week on Saturday so if you can spare $30 and want to grab one of these gems don't hesitate!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Final Week on Kickstarter!

It's the final week of our fundraising campaign on and the total funding goal of $15,000 is slowly coming into sight. We are at $12,029 right at the moment which is a little over 80%

The last week brought some new rewards for the campaign. First of all, at the $10,000 mark, I revealed another freebie that every backer of the campaign who pledges for a physical reward  (so, at least $5) will receive - a big sized (7.6cm/3inches) magnetic button:

Then, two days ago I revealed a new poster that I created during the last week which is a replica of the Captain Orion Poster that hangs on the wall of Jonas' room in Granny's house:

You can get this poster for a $15 pledge. And then there's another artwork that I actually just revealed today which is also available through the kickstarter campaign:

You can get this artwortk either as a poster for $15 or as a high quality print for $90. The expensive print is 70x50cm, done on high quality paper, handsigned, and has a kickstarter exclusive blue Wormseal stamp on the back. The poster is slightly different with a logo and a dark frame and is handsigned with a silver marker on the front:

This artwork was created for the German comic magazine "ALFONZ der Comicreporter" which will run a 10 pages cover story about the Wormworld Saga in their second issue which will be published in October.

So, we now have a week left to raise about $3000. You can make up your mind until Saturday evening (German time) if you want to back the campaign. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Second Week on Kickstarter

It's time for an update about my current kickstarter campaign which now nearly reaches the half time point.
Two days ago we reached 50% of the funding goal and we currently have a healthy increase in pledges that fules my hope that we will actually be able to reach the funding goal before the campaign ends on September 30th.

There has been quite some development in the campaign during the last week. I introduced a new reward that you will receive for a $15 pledge:

This info poster features the complete Mandala from Chapter 4 of the Wormworld Saga and it includes detailed information about the meaning of it's different sections.

When we reached the 50% mark I also introduced two additional T-Shirt design that cou can chhose from when you pledge for a reward that includes the T-Shirt:

The most important news, however, is that today I've introduced a way in which you can combine any quantity of items to a custom reward. So, you are not longer restricted to the reward choices that you find inside the campaign but you can set up exactly the reward you want to receive for backing the project. You'll find more info about that on the project homepage on

So, two weeks left to reach the funding goal of $15,000! It's going to be an exciting time. Remember that there's a special thing waiting for everyone should we reach that goal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The First Week on Kickstarter

A week ago I started the Wormworld Saga Treasure Chest Kickstarter Campaign and today we are at about 39% of the fiunding goal. After the boost of the first days we've now entered the middle phase of the campaign and that's traditionally the most nerve-wracking time for anyone who runs a kickstarter campaign. Right now, new backers turn in slowly. If you want to support the Wormworld Saga, please consider to become a backer of the campaign! We've got rewards from $1 upwards.

To stir things up a bit, I've introduced a print to the reward options today. I received a lot of nice feedback for the panel featuring Janaka's tower in Chapter 4 and I thought I might attract some more new backers if I turned it into an exclusive print for the kickstarter campaign:

The print is 30x40cm and printed on high quality paper. You'll receive it handsigned and with the kickstarter exclusive blue Wormseal stamp. The print is available for $35 but you can also add it to any other reward. More info about that on the kickstarter project homepage. My plan is, to add a few more prints to the list of rewards during the next weeks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chapter 4 now available in the app!

Chapter 4 is now available in the app. Again we failed to launch the chapter simultaniously with the website and this time it was all my fault. I missed to load two important files on the server and when the developers tried to reach me on Friday evening I wasn't available for an hour and when I finally noticed that something was missing, the developers had already started into the weekend. Never launch on Fridays they say...

Well, but we are a lot closer than the last time and if the trend continues we might finally be able to do it in time with Chapter 5.

Chapter 4 brings two new artbook items and we've now filled up the first screen of the artbook inside the app completely. The first new item is a 'Making Of Chapter 4' in which you find a lot of sketches and also a breakdown of the workflow I used on the jungle backgrounds in this chapter.

The second new item contains more information about Janaka Jiiva's Mandala. I actually put a lot of thoughts into that design and I wasn't really able to expose those to full extend in the chapter itself.

So, "'The Course of Things' artbook item gives a detailed description of the different parts of the Mandala and what they mean. I realize that this information is something that shouldn't be exclusive to the users of the app and therefore I'm currently planning to put the exact same information into a layout that I can produce as a poster and which most likely will be added as a reward to the current kickstarter campaign.

Speaking of which!

Here's a progress update of the campaign. We had a good start on the launch weekend and now we are entering the hardest part of any kickstarter campaign: the middle part. To keep it interesting for the backers we've added the first stretchgoals. You now can unlock signed postcards that every backer will receive for free if he has chosen one of the physical rewards. We've also added new reward options with new combinations of fan items that were requested and we'll basically try to fulfill any wishes you might have. There's a daily update on the kickstarter project page and I'll keep you updated from time to time here on the blog about anything noteworthy that's happening over there.