Jane’s World, the novel! It’s here!

It’s hard to believe that today is June 1st, which means the Jane’s World novel is now available from Bold Strokes Books. There are even advance reviews of the book on their site also.

Jane Sketch

An early sketch of Jane drawn a bit more realistically than the comic.

When I first had the idea of doing a novelization based on the long running comic series I wondered if I could really pull it off. And so I began sketching the comic characters as real people. For example, what would Jane look like if expanded from her 2D comic strip self. Because to do a novel is to not only plot the action (which is usually what happens in the comic) but to also plot the internal motivations of the characters. To write about the thoughts, hopes, fears, insecurities and other little known motivations for each character. To write about these things required unveiling the subtext not fully revealed through the illustrations. Those things have been uncovered in the book, and that was new for Jane.I’m excited for this next chapter in the Jane’s World universe. Change is scary. Change is good. Change is even better when it’s served with donuts.Janes World template.epsCover art: Inks by Paige Braddock, Color by Brian Miller, Design by Sheri

Alex and Annabel

alex-sketches

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.

Coming Soon: Jane’s World, The Novel

Final color cover imageAs 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.

New cover inksNew cover color testFinal color cover image

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!