This is the second post in a series about my books. I know, I know..kind of a boring thing to post about but I don’t want to talk politics on this blog…let everyone else do that, and I can’t share the material I’m currently working on…and honestly I’ve barely been online the past month. So here it is.
For those of you who don’t know, Earthling! was my second published book, I think…and it is a graphic novel. Though it is a particular type of graphic novel. It’s a BIG story graphic novel which is sort of old-school I suppose.
The plot is that a young boy named Bud gets on the wrong school bus one blustery day and ends up at a school in outer space named Cosmos Academy.
Adventures ensue until Bud and his new alien friends can find a way to get Bud back to Earth (without disclosing himself as a human because humans are NOT widely appreciated in the galaxy.)
It’s about 250 pages and honestly, I’m not sure I will ever do a GN of that length again. But it has found a wide audience from 3rd to 8th graders.
Earthing! started as an idea for a short animated film when I was in grad school. But I left grad school to work and was going to forget about the project. But several friends really liked what I had started and pushed me to continue to develop it as a graphic novel. My friend Tim Rummel was one of the main people who kept pushing me to finish the project and he helped by reading it and sharing his thoughts and ideas on the story. Eventually Tim was credited as helping develop the book. Without his pushing me, I would never have finished the project. It seemed so big and complicated I would have moved on to something else.
There’s a section on my website where I go step-by-step through how I made Earthling!.
Earthling! went though many revisions and different looks. At one time it was going to be a black and white ‘indy’ comic book. Below are two samples from the black and white version and a page from the final book published by Chronicle Books.
Earthling! was translated and printed in foreign editions as well.
Here is an early painting I did while trying to decide on a final style for the book.
Earthling! took over a year and a half to finish and because of various delays I ended up having to do the final drawing for the entire book in under 6 months. Not an ideal situation.
And one last interesting fact about Earthling!, about 8 months after the book was completed – all the original scans and art (I draw over my pencil sketches in Photoshop and all the files were colored by Ken Min in Photoshop) were on an external hard drive that failed! I have never sent the drive in for recovery, so I don’t know how ‘dead’ it is, but I’d guess it’s pretty dead.
I have only bits and pieces of the art that was saved off to various other drives. So at this point I guess only the publisher has a copy of all the final art in at least print resolution. But all my high resolution art is – gone.
PS. I now back all my files up to not only a local external drive but also an online back-up service. Lesson learned.