Hey guys, today we’d like to show another project that we’ve contributed as cover art illustrators in the past couple of years.
While not working on our stories, we’re illustrating the covers the urban fantasy series Arcana that is written by our our best friend (and editor of Book of Fates) Hanna Brady.
We met Hanna back in Berlin while working for the same mobile games company and have formed a tight-knit writers-group ever since. It’s thanks to her that we’re able to put out a new Book of Fates chapter every week. She reads every single chapter after we’re done with our pass and helps us polish it. It’s beyond us how she can take our mess and make it so pretty, but we love her for it.
If you like kick-ass women, absolutely amazing Tarot-magic, and gaslight fantasy and would like to know more about the Arcana-series, then you’re in luck because Hanna has agreed to give our readers a FREE book. It is the first book of the series, and this way you get to test it before being swept away by it. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions to receive your copy!
Silver and Kaija
We have a new weekly story for you called the Book of Fates and we hope to entertain and delight you for years to come.
If you enjoyed Run Freak Run’s gothic atmosphere, dark humor, and strange cast of characters, then you will also enjoy Book of Fates. Go check it out at www.bookoffates.com!
With love, Silver and Kaya
In the beginning of RFR’s production Silver bought me a Moleskine storyboarding notebook which I started using right away to sketch out the first couple of chapters. Over time, as we had more and more of the story written out, I kept adding new chapters to it.
It’s full of scribbles, each uglier than the previous, only readable to me, even if just barely. Still, this notebook marks the first, and possibly most important stage in drawing a comic book: thumbnailing the story.
Thumbnailing is not about pretty pictures; it’s your roadmap and your comic’s visual plotline. It’s crucial to be prepared and ready, knowing your overall goals and each page’s content before you zoom in on the individual panels. It’s all about story pacing, and page composition and flow, already marking places for drama and suspense. This is where I decide between a silent, one panel page, and a ten panel, action packed sequence, or how to best compose the blacks and whites and lights and shadows that the comic is basically made out of.
You will add the character acting and nuances when you get to drawing the actual panels, but for storyboarding you’ll have to think more like a storyteller than a portrait painter. The key is to always understand how each page works with multiple pages forward and back. If you have this, 80% of your decision making is basically done.
Optimally, you’d have all your story written out by the time you start thumbnailing. This is one thing we learned from RFR: have a script or at least a plotline ready before you start drawing anything. Having to make changes in writing is much easier than having to decide to throw ten inked pages out the window because the story needs to go a different way after all.
All that said, I wanted to give you a little peak into this scribbled mess I’ve been calling “RFR thumbnails”:
We’ve mentioned a few times on this blog what big fans of history we are. Like a lot of authors we find inspiration for locations, themes for drama, and even character quirks by turning to what was before. Knowledge of history is an extremely useful tool full of free source material, but more important than that: it’s fun!
To help you take the next step into the mysteries of history, we’d love to introduce you to one of our all time favorite podcast series by Dan Carlin: Hardcore History. Like its name suggests, it is a fascinating look into the craziest, most explosive, and always brutally violent phases of mankind’s history. But it’s not all guts and glory; it has a reflective nature that doesn’t only tell about the horrors have happened, but also explains why in a very clear way. And best of all, most episodes are totally free to listen to. Just press play.
We have two suggestions to start with: one is a strange but interesting story about a small town named Munster in Germany, and how the beginning of Protestantism affected the whole of Europe ripping it apart into a whirlwind of witch-hunts and social chaos. If you are fan of the time period Run Freak Run is based on, then we really recommend listening to this show, for it truly shows how messed up this era was.
The second suggestion we have is a series of episodes on the First World War which engulfed the planet, killing millions in a matter of weeks. It’s truly a heart wrenching story of how quickly and efficiently we as a species can destroy each other, but also how ridiculous the predicament was that lead to it. If there ever has been a better example of human idiocy, the beginning of World War 1 was exactly that. This podcast has six episodes, each lasting several hours. It does go very in-depth at times, but it’s important to remember that only by studying properly, we can learn from our mistakes and hope to never repeat them.
We had requests to make wallpaper out of the final Run Freak Run panel, and who were we to deny you this pleasure. So here it is, we hope you enjoy it! :)
Silver and Kaija
What’s in the book?
– 215 pages of Run Freak Run!
– Chapters 1-9, plus the book exclusive “The one with the Mermaids”!
– Illustrations and posters-designs!
– “Making of”-material and our favorite articles from the blog!
Get the print version
I’d like to unveil our new and improved RFR Society6 store!
We’ve uploaded new posters – amongst which is the “Mushroom men” poster that was requested on facebook – but what we’re most giddy about are the mugs. Society6 does a great job with those; we know, because the first thing we did after uploading the designs was buying a couple of them.
Full disclosure, there was a disappointing mishap with the first two mugs we got: they arrived in a dozen tiny pieces – a ceramics slaughter! The mugs were clinking in one corner of the box and the meagre amount of bubble wrap sat in the other. Looked like someone at the warehouse was having a bad day. We contacted the store and they sent us new ones along with their apologies, this time securely packed and whole. No harm done.
Presently the broken mugs serve as pretty cool pen holders, but not before we had our fun with them:
We kinsugied the shit out of them!
Twitter me at @KaijaRudkiewicz
We have the best readers. Why? Because only the best readers in the world would gift us with fan art such as what I’m going to show you today. Today’s blog post is a reminder that creating stories is not just a one-way monologue, but a dialogue where both parties can inspire and push each other forward and make something that’s bigger than they ever imagined.
So without further ado, let me show you what’s inspiring me this morning.
A holy-shit sword! One of our readers, Terminalvelocipede, actually hand-crafted and built Inquisitor Six’s Sword of the Lord!!! This is incredibly awesome for us, and we hope you enjoy it too. The best part is that the artist has shared making of posts on his blog (PART 1 & PART 2), and we really encourage you to check them out – it’s amazing. :)
Like I mentioned, the making of process is really great and worth checking out!
Yep, that’s right, our reader and friend Occams-Lazer went and got a Daughters of the Witch Queen tattoo. We’re speechless: the amount of cheer and support this gives us is breathtaking. It’s also pressuring, because now we really have to step up our game and make stories that are worth this kind of love. :)
The source material.
We really love getting fan art in our inboxes, and it seems like Priscilla is getting a lot of traction lately. No wonder why; after all she’s feisty, can polymorph into a giant bird, and has the coolest hair in medieval Spain. Who wouldn’t want to draw her? Today I’m going to show you two versions of her by two different artists!
First let’s take a look at a Pris created by Spwyll who made this mid-spell casting Priscilla with the fanciest feather cape! We really love the intensity of the picture and can’t wait to see more. :) The artist blogs on Tumblr, where you can see more of his art that’s both creepy and beautiful. http://spwyll.tumblr.com/
And for second we have this adorable chibi-Priscilla by Death G. Reaper, that just lights up morning with a big smile. She really captured the nonchalant and effortless charm that Pris carries around her, and which makes her so irresistible. The artist blogs on twitter, pretty much about everything from her own art to anything cool and fascinating. http://death-g-reaper.tumblr.com/
And so, once again big thank you’s to all our readers who’ve sent us fan art, questions, and their support through the years. Now the closer we get to RFR ending, the harder it hurts to lose it all. But I guess we just have to make something new that will capture you all again.
P.S: I really want to see Inquisitor Two cosplay.
Twitter me at @runfreakrun
Halou! Most of the time with this blog we’re trying to make you buy something or just show off our cool books. Occasionally we do things like general updates about how the comic and everything else is going, but it’s been a while and we wanted to rectify that.
Since we have a few projects under our belt now, we’ll just give a quick overview on all of them, mainly focusing on where they are now and our future plans with them! So, let’s start with…
Run Freak Run will end soon. We haven’t kept it a secret, and if you’ve been reading you should be able to feel it too. But there’s still about three months worth of updates coming where we hope to surprise, inspire, and delight you many times still. :)
Within these three months we also hope to make Run Freak Run available as a printed graphic novel – we sure as hell want to hold it in our hands! It won’t be through a Kickstarter-campaign, it’d just take too much time from our other projects – but we are looking at a print-on-demand service that we’ve had some good experiences with. We’ll include the short-but-sweet secret story that’s in the ebook (chapters 1-5), and some of our favorite blog posts from the past years. If you want to make sure you won’t miss it, please sign to our newsletter, or like our facebook-page, because we’re sure to spam you about it then!
And also, me, Kaija, Two, and Priscilla would love to congratulate the US for the same-sex marriage ruling. It’s an inspiration for the whole world. #lovewins
Next up… GIFS!
As I’ve mentioned before, we are horrible at planning novels. The first part of Daughters of the Witch Queen was ten thousand words, the second part was seventeen thousand words, and the third part is looking like… twenty-five thousand (ish) words. All of these book parts were supposed to be ten thousand words, because we had this great plan of releasing fast and often, creating momentum that way. But hey, you readers said you wished for a longer read, and we listened.
You also said you wished they included illustrations. Well, that’s another reason why DotWQ part 3 is taking us longer than the previous ones. We’re adding illustrations to each book part, and also combining parts 1-3 as one short novel (about 200 pages long). If you’ve purchased or got the books before, don’t worry, you’ll just have to update your file after the release, and your Kindle-app will download the newest version with images.
Before you go lower and start looking at some previews of what the illustrations will look like inside the book, check out this recap of an interview we had with one of our readers Rosi. She runs a YA book blog together with her blogging-partner Emily (they featured DotWQ there a couple of times.)
Now pretty pictures time, we’re really excited about these and can’t wait until they’re in the books for real. :)
And last, but not least…
A new project!
RFR is ending and that gives us a lot of free time. Since we’re bad at taking breaks and resting, we decided to begin a new project again! We’re not really ready to talk about the details yet, because we’re still figuring it out for ourselves, but let me tell you what we do know.
It will be a novel, in a futuristic post-apocalyptic setting, and it will combine our love of fantasy, sci-fi, and ancient history. It will also have multiple viewpoint characters from around the world. It will be the most ambitious project we’ve done so far, with a lot of concept art and illustrations. And it will be free-to-read on a blog, that we’ll later collect into ebooks whenever there’s enough material to do so. Also, we’ll probably start a Patreon for this project, if that’s something you guys fancy.
So, we’re still very early, but we hope to have something out by the end of this year. Below you can see our freshly installed brainstorming board in action, ready to capture all our amazing ideas.
And just as a reminder, if you’re an occasional reader, and don’t want to miss out on this project – sign up to our newsletter, because we will spam you about it!