Fall 2018, I’ll be bringing out the new, improved Heather Despair series, the Half-Ghosts series, AND the standalone book, The Odd Pizza Place. That’s seven books! I’ve been working like crazy with my new editor and commissioning art from Mariah Sinclair, who is quite renowned as a cover artist in the indie publishing world.
Since I’m doing this BIG LAUNCH soon, I thought it would be fun first to revisit the old days. So a look back at where it all began, before everything changes. If that makes sense.
And what better way than to peruse old artwork!
I present . . . a tour of the Museum of Despair!
So to begin, this is probably the very first drawing I did of Emmett. The character had been haunting me for a short while when I started making representations of him. In his first iteration, he was only 12 years old and had black freckles.
Here’s the first drawing I did of Sam, aka Samhain Despair. This is when I realized how useful drawing could be. Before I drew him, I did not realize Sam was quite a good-looking guy, and that he probably had lots of girlfriends, despite his issues with visions.
I used to try to make story boards or terrible comics, to help with storytelling. I still do this, but the comics aren’t quite as terrible. The first panel contains what may be the first ever picture of Heather Despair.
Luka has contributed massive quantities of artwork over the years. I particularly like this one from several years ago, when Luka was nine years old. It includes the song “Kiss, Text, Trust Your Feelings.” From left to right, this is May, ghost Johnny, Lily, Oskar, Sam, Trenton, Heather, Emmett.
We used SIMs 4 to great effect, even testing character personalities to see if they were compatible. The biggest surprise was the attraction between Oskar and Emmett that developed as SIMs 4 played out. I later integrated that into the books, jokingly. We also aged the characters and performed marriages and raised their children and grandchildren, to see how they’d turn out.
Luka did all these character designs at age ten. In the upper left and lower panels, (left to right) we have Hallows’ Eve, Heather, Sam, Johnny, Lily, Trenton, Oskar, and Emmett. In the upper right panel, Emmett, Johnny, Oskar, Sam, Trenton, Heather, Lily, and May.
We have SO much old artwork, it’s crazy. I began working on this universe and these series in 2012, so it’s given us six years to produce things. The art is all over my house, my computer, my phone.
Here we have Able d’Espers, a bat-Chi Luka made for Mother’s day, chibi Emmett, the first drawing of Hallows’ Eve, Eve and Sam, Reid Porter (by Luka), Hemmett and Aether in front of the Vic, and a Coney Idyll T-shirt design.
More recent artwork by Luka at age 12 and 13: an Emmett animation, the Chataini in SIMs 4, and sequential art of the first chapter of Heather Despair: Mortals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the Museum of Despair! They’ll be much more to come as we prepare for the BIG LAUNCH! Stay tuned…