The Case of the Mail Order Bride
I just delivered the manuscript to my editor for the Jane’s World Novel. It’ll be out next year, but I was too excited not to share a little bit about this project now. Yay!
(This is a working version of the cover. Not the final cover. But it’s close! Click to enlarge.)
I’ve been working on a new concept for a Y/A graphic novel. The hardest part of that (besides the story) is figuring out the cast… the characters. And I usually start with a main character. For me, once I establish that main character then they sort of tell me their story. I guess I’m not one of those cartoonists or writers for whom the story comes first. I always start with character. This character is starting to gel. She’s an LGBT androgynous teen girl. I actually started penciling the first few pages of her story this week. Very exciting. I’m beginning to build her world. That’s the fun part of comics. The previous post shows my starting point for this character, but here’s where I’m ending up.
I’ve been playing around with sketches for a new graphic novel concept. This one is more of a young adult story, set in a High School. Not sure why I keep drawing Alex from behind. I’ll work on more sketches and various views. I just wanted to share these for fun. I need a good title. I realized at a recent panel I was on that my “working title” was too close to a title a cartoonist friend of mine is using. Titles are key. I find them inspiring. Maybe this one needs “High School” in the title… but I’m not sure. The concept is basically about the experience of being a young butch woman and dealing with all the usual angst of Junior year.
As some of you may know, I’ve done 11 volumes of Jane’s World. (Count ‘em, 11!) I love these characters, especially Jane. She’s helped me through breakups and boredom and loneliness and many sleepless nights. My cartoonist pal, Terry Moore and I have often talked about how great characters are a gift. And once you find them you want to keep them in your life. I definitely want to keep Jane in mine!
I’ve been doing comics and graphic novels for forever so I thought it might be fun to mix it up and write about Jane and her crew in the form of a novel. I still plan to include a few comic illustrations in the book, but otherwise it will be a traditional novel. The book will be released in June 2016, by Bold Strokes Books. Stay tuned!
To commemorate my new adventure with Jane, I thought it would be nice to share the news with a sneak peek at the novel’s finished cover image and a refresh of my website. (I have Celina De Leon to thank for my site’s new look. Thanks, Celina!)
I sketched and inked this image, and then sent it along to my friend, Brian Miller so that he could work his color magic. We tried one less traditional approach where the woman in the foreground (Natasha) is all in blue. But I wanted her to be warmer, so we ended up with the final piece having more warm tones. Then Brian added a cool “weathered” texture for effect.
As this cover implies, once again, Jane is way in over her head. She’s been laid off from her newspaper job. But thanks to everyone who participated in the fun storyline contest I held, Jane decides to take a position at the local library. She’s quietly going about her daily life when she receives a panicked call from her roommate, Ethan. It seems her PayBuddy account has been hacked and she’s accidentally purchased a mail-order bride. Natasha, aka, the mail-order bride, shows up unexpectedly at her house with rolling luggage. Let the mayhem begin!