RFR page sketches

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Preaparation is the key small

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”:

Smiles,
Kaya

Sharing is Caring: Hardcore History by Dan Carlin

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hardcorehistory

 

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.

Hardcore History 48 – Prophets of Doom


hardcore-history-48-prophets-of-doom-by-dan-carlin-300x300The 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.

Hardcore History 50 – Blueprint For Armageddon

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If you have any podcasts or vlogs that you follow and would like to share, please drop me a message on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll check them out!

Love,
Silver

Run Freak Run book is out! (Print and Ebook)

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We’ve done it! After working on it for over three years Run Freak Run has officially come to its end, and what better way to celebrate it than to make it available as a printed graphic novel and as a pay-what-you-want e-book! Check below how to get yours!

To be honest, holding the book in our hands feels kind of surreal. After so many years of it only existing on the internet it is strange to experience it as a beautifully bound, large book. We are proud and happy about the final product and the story we’ve told you, but we’re also incredibly sad about RFR ending, because through it we’ve made many new friends, learned a lot about ourselves and the craft (blog posts about that coming soon!), and had a chance to share the wortk with all of you.

Truly, RFR would be nothing without its readers. Through the years you have cheered us on, entertained us, and opened up to us in a very personal manner. So thank you, all of you dear readers, for the awesome experience and connections we couldn’t had even imagined would happen, and we hope you had even half as much fun as we did. And lastly, we hope you’ll enjoy the completed book. :)

Even though this sounds like a good bye, we won’t be going anywhere! We’ll still keep blogging here on www.runfreakrun.com while secretly working on a new project. It’s still a little far off for us to start talking about, but we’ll do our best to start publishing it online as fast as possible!

In the mean time, if you want to get in touch with us to chat or hang, or whatever, you can reach us over through the links below:

Email: silverandkaija@gmail.com
Twitter: Silver or Kaija
Facebook
Instagram: Silver or Kaija

 

Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz
Berlin

 

start_reading_now

Click to order one! Extra hugs to everyone who gets one for their friends!

 

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
 $24.90

or

Download the high resolution e-book!
Pay-what-you-want, suggested price is $10 but don’t feel bad for downloading for free :) 

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“The book includes a small exclusive chapter that we never published on the website before. It’s about how Two met up with the mysterious mermen in the first place.”

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“The fine details of the inks read perfectly on the paper.”

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“While we paid great detail to how RFR was published online, we always aimed for physical end product. There’s something in the weight and sense of paper that just can not be replaced.”

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“Early sketches of Inquisitor Two. Kaija goes into great detail in the book about how we came up with her persona and look.”

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“We included 7 of our favorite articles from the past three years. They range from design, to inspiration, to life-hacking.”

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“Run Freak Run – the best book you’ll ever own.”

Start reading now!
Print | Ebook

The tale of two mugs

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Mugandcoffee

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.

_Theredmug

_Theblackmug

 

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!

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It's not as easy as it looks...

It’s not as easy as it looks…

_Finished_kintsugi_mugs

 

The store has more designs with mermen, mushroom men, cats, etc, and we’d love to see pictures if anyone buys some of the other mugs! A photo will always beat a mockup picture in a store :)

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Cheers,

Kaija

Twitter me at @KaijaRudkiewicz

What wonderful readers we have!

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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 sword!

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. :)
http://terminalvelocipede.tumblr.com/

 

swords1

GRRYYAAAYYOOOR!

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This is just tooooooo cool.

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“Inquisitor Six approves.”

Like I mentioned, the making of process is really great and worth checking out!

 

Tattoos!

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. :)

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The source material.

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Fan art!

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/

prisspwyll

“Ommmm!”

 

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/

deathgreaperpris

 

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.

 

Love,

Silver

Twitter me at @runfreakrun

State of the Nation update

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stateofthenation_header

 

 

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…

RFR

stateofthenation_rfr

The original art of this page is available for purchase!

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!

DotWQ

stateofthenation_dotwq

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. :)

ornmanets

We want to add small detailed ornaments and decorations, because we like doing them.

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Work-in-progress tests how the illustrations would look next to text.

metal metal metal

It’s going to be metal.

 

And last, but not least…

A new project!

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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!

Love,
Silver

Catch me on twitter @runfreakrun, drop us an e-mail, or find us over at Facebook.

Kick-ass women in history

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I haven’t written in here for a while, and lately the weight of keeping the blog alive has been on Silver’s shoulders. His last post about ancient history finally gave me an idea to continue the history streak, and gather and present a few kick-ass stories of some kick-ass women from history.

But first, let me go through a little tangent before we get to all the ass-kicking:

In secondary school I had a history teacher who acted out in front of the class everything he taught. He added drama, flare, and comedy to historical events, basically translating them to us on an emotional level. Everyone loved going to his classes and no one had problems keeping their grades up.

By contrast, my grades plummeted in high school, when another teacher, looking like a bored toad behind her desk, barked out dates and events at the equally bored looking class.

History is an amazing source of inspiration for a storyteller. Not only does it offer precedents for hypothetical situations you’re trying to figure out, but if you dig deeper you realise that there’s multiple stories to be told for every event recorded, all of them coloured with emotions: tempers running hot, nostalgia, greed, joy, guilt, love.

Striving for objectivity when recording history is important, but I personally find it boring. From the perspective of telling stories, objectivity serves as little more than just a clinical dissection of time. But when you tell a story from the points of view of different people – or for a bigger picture: from the points of view of different cultures – you’ll end up with a huge spectrum of experiences and interpretations.

Unfortunately, one point of view omitted in most history books is the female perspective. For obvious reasons, women didn’t play the leading roles in most major historical events, and as a result many interesting stories have been left untold.

Luckily, our best friend Wikipedia doesn’t discriminate as much as our primary education, and we are able to read about countless kick-ass heroines. I wanted to introduce you to a few, that I’m itching to model some future story-characters on:

 

Julie D’Aubigny (1673-1707) aka Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin

Julie D’Aubigny had a life full of passionate affairs, opera performances, illegal duelling (during which she almost always dressed as a man), running from the law numerous times, and setting a convent on fire to rescue her lover from nundom. The latter story is my personal favourite.

With a life so vibrant and erratic, Julie’s story just begs to be told. Read more on Wikipedia!

 

Olga of Kiev (c.890-969) aka Saint Olga

Olga was the Queen regent of Kievan-Rus, ruling on behalf of her son, Svyatoslav, for 18 years. In order to preserve her son’s throne, she refused suitors from the neighbouring, hostile tribe, killing one group by trapping and burning them alive, and burying alive another group. Rest of the hostile tribe she invited for a mourning-feast, got them drunk and had 5000 of them killed. Whoever was left alive was begging for mercy at this point, but Olga had pigeons fly to their villages, dispersing sulphur from bags attached to their legs, and burned everything down, sulphur making the fire unquenchable.

More about Olga here!

 

Ching Shih (1775–1844)

Ching Shih was one of Asia’s strongest pirates, who terrorized the South China Sea. She was undefeated all her life, commanding a fleet that is estimated to go as high as 80,000 men, and was one of the only few pirates who retired from piracy by the end of her career.

She started out as a Cantonese prostitute, captured by pirates, eventually marrying the notorious pirate captain, Cheng I. After Cheng’s death she worked hard to rise to power and take his place, cultivating relationships and making herself indispensable to the huge fleet. Once in the leadership position she set up and ruled by tight rules, writing down a code of laws with severe consequences to prevent looting friendly villages, setting down strict distribution of the loot, and prohibited rape (the pirates were only allowed to have sex with the women they captured if they took them as wives/concubines and remained faithful to them).

Read the full Wikipedia article for more detail.

 

Stories like these make you realise that even Game of Thrones can sometimes feel tame next to reality.

 

And I’d also love to hear about your favourite historical figures and craziest stories, male or female. Contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or comment below :)

 

Cheers,

Kaija

 

 

Free DotWQ p1 Monday – Thursday (promotion over)

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freebook

Promotion has ended, we hope you enjoyed it!

In celebration of releasing Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2, we’re doing a promotion with Amazon where the first part of DotWQ is free for the duration of next four days.

You can download it on Amazon for your Kindle-app during this time. In case you don’t have a tablet, or a smartphone with a Kindle-app, you can also read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader, straight on your PC.

So check it out, please share it with your friends, and read it when you can!

Get your free DotWQ part 1!

Also, while you’re at it – check out what others think of it: bibliobibuli review

DotWQ part 2 released!

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“She’s the kind of pain in your ass that you can’t walk off.”
– Vision

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Halou!

We’re happy to announce that Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2 is now released.
We’d like to thank our proofreader Laura, our advance copy readers, and everyone who has hit us with encouraging email during the past months – it’s been great to improve these books with you. :)

This time the book is almost twice as long as part 1, touches more on the subject of magic, and definitely opens more questions than it closes.

Start reading!

DotWQ is only on Amazon Kindle at the moment. But fear not if you don’t have a Kindle device: for you can get a Kindle-app to any smartphone, or tablet, and you can read any amazon purchased kindle-books in your internet-browser over at Kindle Cloud Reader.

New to the series? Get DotWQ part 1 first. :)

Concept art!
This time we have an info-graph on the Tree of Powers, the different branches of magic in DotWQ. And an illustration of a mermaid. See if you can find out what magic Rain uses.

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Start reading Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2!

New to the series? Get DotWQ part 1!

 

We hope you enjoyed the preview, the pictures, and look forward to hearing any feedback from you.

 

Cheers,
Silver and Kaija

Twitter: @runfreakrun || Like us on Facebook, make us feel fuzzy.