November 22, 2010
THE SKY BOYS (IN PROGRESS)
In 2004, Edo Fuijkschot and I created a Steampunk Adventure series called THE SKY BOYS. It is one of the things I am still most proud of, especially since it was turned down by Tokyopop (after they unsuccessfully tried to badger us into making it dumber and dumber and dumber), while the European publishers couldn't quite do anything with the format it was presented in (something that is quite understandable).
But I have started to re-format the pages we did back then in a Euro-TPB type format, also the type of format that will work for an eBook, which cut down the manga-style pacing from 34 pages to 13 (see how much fucking air is in a manga? Nothing. Happens. In. A. Manga. For pages and pages and pages.)
The flow is so much better now, and something that I originally envisioned (and couldn't do, because 2004 it was all the manga all the time within the publishing system, and did I mention that the fad has passed? That the bubble burst, and rightfully so? I didn't? Oh, well, now I have).
Edo is one of the best Euro-style artists I know. This is his "thing". Right here. This is what he is really, really good at. Old-school semi-cartoon stuff that is so beautifully detailed (something that barely anybody can do these days, without photo referencing).
I can tell you that every design, every ship, ever weapon... and later on, the city of Trafalgar was hand-made. They were born in his head. In some instances, I was there when he made them real. Such is the power of a good artist.
THE SKY BOYS is completely owned by him and me, and it is more beautiful than ever before. And now it even reads well...
[UPDATE] Those who have seen this before will have noticed that (a) I fixed some of the minor mistakes that were here in the first versions, (b) that I have changed some of the minor dialogue bits to make them a bit funnier and (c) have changed the final two pages, so that now it is running at 14 pages... the last bit is because there was a beautiful panel that I wanted to still include (when Jack gets caught), but didn't. I hate waste, especially when it is the waste of beautiful art. And so I re-jiggered page 13 and made the final page of this prologue a splash page. Getting wet yet? No, wait, that sounded slightly sexual. Uh. Wetting your appetite? How does that sound?