Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Final Week on Kickstarter!

Yup, we're already three weeks into the ongoing kickstarter campaign for Volume 2 of the English Wormworld Saga Book Edition. And we've already come a long way, unlocked a pile of free goodies and there's a resin figure - a  R E S I N   F I G U R E - available for a moderate upgrade fee:

It's not that the doors are closing any moment but if you'd join the ranks of the backers now, we would be able to unlock even more free stuff for everyone!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Half-Time at Kickstarter!

Last night we've reached the half-time mark of the current Wormworld Saga Book Edition - Volume 2 kickstarter campaign. And just in time for that turning point I was able to announce an awesome new stretch goal for the campaign. If we reach $30.000 I will produce a resin figure that everyone will be able to add to their rewards for a moderate additional shipping fee. I also plan to offer a "figure only" reward for everyone who isn't interested in the books but who want's to have a figure.

There already have been some nice additions to the reward (a poster, two collector cards) and we've got a little bit over 2 weeks left to reach this next goal. The reward package of this campaign promises to become even more awesome than last year's.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chapter 7 - Fateful Encounters

I proudly present Chapter 7 of the Wormworld Saga Digital Graphic Novel!

Go read it on wormworldsaga.com!

After I had finished the layout work on Chapter 7, I took some time to read all chapters of the Wormworld Saga in one session. It took me over 1,5 hours to do this and I started thinking about the fact that each panel I glanced over during these 1,5 hours - by the way, 813 in total - took me at least 2 hours to paint. Some took me over 20 hours.

Now there are 7 chapters of the Wormworld Saga and we've already discovered a lot on our journey at Jona's side. However, things only begin to tighten up in this chapter. The cast of characters grows and the contradicting ambitions of these characters take shape. The inevitable encounter with the Dark Minions lurks on the horizon but are they the only danger the Wormworld is facing?

I'm really beginning to enjoy all the implications and ambiguities in the story and I'm looking forward to the turning points they will cause in the story.

I'm already eager to start with Chapter 8 but I don't know yet when this will happen. I'm currently trying to gather funds for the production. If you want to support the Wormworld Saga I'd like to point you at the kickstarter campaign that launched alongside Chapter 7:

Here's the link to the campaign page: http://kck.st/1O53NCm

The goal is to continue the English Wormworld Saga book series with Volume 2. If you are interested but have missed the campaign for Volume 1 you can catch up with the series by pledging for a bundle of Volume 1 and 2 in this campaign.

I hope you enjoy the new chapter and I'm doing my best to continue the Wormworld Saga as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chapter 7, Final Artwork Completed!

It's done! Another chapter of the Wormworld Saga is completely illustrated! After the shock of the Chapter 6 production - I'm not kidding! It was a real shock for me how long that chapter took me to paint - it's really comforting that I'll be able to keep my original late March/early April schedule with Chapter 7.

Ok, now there's a  bunch of announcement to make. Here we go:

Chapter 7 will be published in less than a week and I can also finally announce the title of the chapter:

Chapter 7 - Fateful Encounters

Release: Sunday, April 12th 2015, 10pm (German time)

For your conveniance, a counter has been installed at the website so that you can see in what exact minute the launch will happen, no matter what timezone you're in.

Last year's livestream of the launch of Chapter 6 was a lot of fun and I'd like to repeat that for Chapter 7. I invite you to join me in my studio half an hour before the launch and we'll be able to chat a little bit before and after the launch. Here's the link:

Together with chapter 7 I will launch a new kickstarter campaign for the second volume of the Wormworld Saga Book Edition and I will share more info about that as soon as the campaign is live. For now I just want to warn you that you'll be able to get leftover copies of volume 1 (standard AND deluxe edition) and early birds will even receive all the freebies from the volume 1 campaign. So, keep your eyes open!

That's it for now. It's time to do some layout work and get everything ready for Sunday. I'm really looking forward to the launch and I hope to see you there! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 4 reached!

I'm happy to announce that I've reached the next milestone in the Chapter 7 final illustration production. 80% of the artwork is done now and I'm coming really close to the finish line.

There really isn't anything more to say at this point. I'm working very concentrated on Chapter 7 and my plan is to finish the illustrations in the first week of April. However, text editing is a bit behind schedule so I can't really commit to a release date yet.

The illustrations of this milestone really made me hungry and my preview image will show you why:

That's it for now. See you at the 100% mark!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 3 reached!

I'm making steady progress with Chapter 7. Today I've reached the third milestone of the final artwork production and this means that now 60% of the chapter is illustrated.

I really enjoyed this milestone a lot because it happens to contain a lush green garden which really was a joy to paint from all sorts of camera angles. One artwork I particularly enjoyed is an oversized background of which different portions are used in several panels. Here it is:

I really had a lot of fun painting this and all the other backgrounds that make up this location. So, this is a little bonus preview of Chapter 7 but I also owe you a proper preview image with actual panel artwork. There are not a lot of panels I can share from this milestone because there are spoilers in almost all of them. If you are especially eager to see more previews (also without spoilers), please consider to subscribe to The Attic where each milestone update comes with 3 preview images. Yes, there are already 9 preview images of Chapter 7 available in The Attic!

Ok, so here's today's preview image:

And there's another announcement I'm happy to make: As of today you can finally buy the first English Wormworld Saga book at the Wormworld Shop!

Volume 1 of the Wormworld Saga print edition contains the first three chapters of the Wormworld Saga in English language and you'll also find a 'Making Of' section, a sketchbook and a fan art gallery in it. All books shipped from the Wormworld Shop are signed, stamped with the red Wormseal stamp and we put one of the brand new 'Trusted Blade' bookmarks into each package. 

I'm diving back into production mode now. I'm eager to finish the new chapter as soon as possible!   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 2 reached!

I'm in full production mode right now, painting away hour after hour and I just reached the 40% mark. I was hoping to reach this point by last Friday but a particularly detailed background demanded some extra work. So I'm 2 days off my schedule right now but I hope to make up for that in the following three milestones.
After all I now have free evenings again because I completed the fulfillment of the last kickstarter campaign yesterday. It's a very good feeling to have wiped this task off my slate. I'll try to enjoy the rest of the Chapter 7 production now without being distracted. Especially since with the launch of Chapter 7 there will start the next kickstarter campaign for the second volume of the English Wormworld Saga book series. That again promises to be a lot of work on the side.

So, here's the preview image of this milestone and I'll directly hurry on to the next one:

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chapter 7, Milestone 1 reached!

Alright, I've finally reached the first milestone of the Chapter 7 final illustration production. I originally expected to arrive here a little bit ealier but what are you gonna do? Fortunately the delay is not due to the amount of work but to the fulfillment of the kickstarter campaign, which really has been (and still is) a LOT of work:

A lot of books to move around!

A lot of books to sign!

A lot of books to pack!

A lot of books ready for shipping!

The great majority of books has now been shipped but I'm still packing rewards in the evenings together with my wife. We hope to send out the last remaining packages next week. By the way, as soon as the books have been shipped for the kickstarter backers, you'll be able to purchase the first English Wormworld Saga book at the Wormworld Shop. I'll keep you updated on that.

Ok, so my plan still is to finish Chapter 7 by the end of March which effectively means 4 more milestones in 2 months. That's two weeks for each milestone and while this isn't completely impossible it will mean a lot of work for me. But I'm eager to share the latest installment of the Wormworld Saga with you and I'm doing my best to present it as soon as possible.

And to raise your anticipation, here's the first preview image from this milestone:

And as always I'd like to remind you that members of the Attic get to see two extra preview images at each milestone!

Alright, so hopefully you'll read again from me in two weeks!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chapter 7, Production Kickoff

Alright, it's time to put on the drawing glove, fire up Photoshop and... well, ok - of course I will have a break over Christmas first. BUT the preliminary version of Chapter 7 is finished and production will begin right after the Holidays. As you can see, Chapter 7 is way shorter than Chapter 6 and even a little bit shorter than Chapter 5. However, don't worry, there's enough happening in this chapter and due to it's moderate length I'm optimistic to finish it until late March/early April 2015.

Normally I would announce the chapter title at this point but I haven't quite made up my mind about it just yet. There're several candidates and I want to give it a little bit more time before I decide on the title.

So, another year is going to wrap up soon. Next year at this time the Wormworld Saga will have its 5-year-anniversary. Since 4 years I'm creating this graphic novel now and during that time I've hardly done anything else besides it. This blog started as the blog of daniellieske.com back in 2009 but since 2011 most postings here have hovered around the Wormworld Saga. While that's basically ok, I feel the urge to stir things up a little bit.

Maybe it's a typical end-of-the-year-thing but lately I  had the feeling that I lacked a place where I could express things that are not related to the Wormworld Saga. I've pretty much stopped to participate in online forums and the blog isn't the right place to post small things like individual artworks or inspirational links. Therefore I've set up a new Facebook page where I'm going to post all the stuff that I don't feel appropriate for the Wormworld Saga Fanpage:

If you don't use Facebook you can follow my updates via daniellieske.com where I've implemented a post feed:

Alright, now let's all have a relaxed time over the Holidays! I'll be back with Wormworld Saga production updates early next year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Dessins du Studio Ghibli" Exhibition in Paris

After my signing session at the "Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse" on Sunday I had the chance to visit the "Dessins du Studio Ghibli" exhibition at the Art Ludique museum in Paris. This visit was the absolute highlight of my trip to France. The exhibition features about 1300 original layout drawings of all Studio Ghibli films, many of them drawn by Miyazaki himself. These artworks are exhibited in Europe for the very first time.

The exhibition was an absolute eye-opener for me as I finally understood what the purpose of a layout drawing actually is. In the layout drawing the director, or one of his team members, draws every element that will be seen in a scene or cut. Every character and even most of the background details are drawn in their final form and for the production the different elements are directly traced from the layout by the animators and background painters. Therefore the layout is drawn in the actual size in which the animation and the backgrounds are also drawn (in most cases 35cm wide and 24 cm high for feature film).

One wasn't allowed to take photos at the exhibition but I've purchased the catalogue which features almost all exhibited artwork and here's some pictures for you:

The catalogue, available at the exhibition, costs 36€. The Jiji plush was a must have, too! :)

Layouts from "NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind". Note the animation phases in the upper left corner! 
Layouts from "My Neighbour Totoro". For panning shots, several sheets of layout paper are put together with scotch tape like on the left.

Layouts from "Princess Mononoke"

Layouts from "Princess Mononoke"

Layouts from "Spirited Away"

Layouts from "Spirited Away"

In the following two images we can compare two layout drawings from "Spirited Away" with the respective background paintings (photos from the book "Making of Spirited Away"). It's fascinating to see how the drawing part of the background creation is practically fully accomplished in the layout phase so that the background painter "only" needs to take care of the lighting and colors. I would never have guessed that the work on the backgrounds is divided in such a way.

Comparison between layout and final background painting. They match exactly.

To see that the film in it's entirety is envisioned beforehand and that every little detail of a shot is defined by a single person is dazzling to me. And to see 1300 original drawings done by my personal heroes, for my most favorite films of all time, in one place, only added to my amazement.

A small personal highlight of the exhibition for me was that among the layout drawings there were some refined background drawings (done to add more precise detail to the layout) by Kazuo Oga and there even were some original background paintings from the end credits of "Ponyo". Kazuo Oga and the traditionally painted backgrounds of Anime films in general are among my biggest inspirations. Even to see only a handful of the originals, painted in mundane poster color (!), made my heart jump.

At the end of the exhibition you are able to take a photo of yourself and become part of a layout drawing. It's an amazing souvenir for this unforgettable exhibition.

The exhibition is open until 1st March 2015 at the Art Ludique museum in Paris.