Friday, December 25, 2009

Butterflies and Moths art preview - Page 2 to 10

Merry Christmas to you all :)

Here, as promised, is the preview to forthcoming graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths. Jen's artwork isnt totally finished in some cases, and obviously un-lettered, but there shall be more in the coming months.

If you're still wondering what the book is about, well, here's a short teaser...


Butterflies and Moths
Writer: Corey Brotherson, Artist: Jennie Gyllblad


What would you do if you had the power of life and death?

What would you do if you were forced to kill innocent people, without warning?

What would you do if you met a person...

... who changed everything?


Butterflies and Moths is the tale of a young woman plagued by a terrible and soul staining curse, finding a kindred spirit who may be more than she seems...



Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5
Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! Plus, a little extra...

Preview image 1 - Butterflies and Moths (graphic novel, late 2010)
Artwork by
Jennie Gyllblad


Later than planned, yet earlier than it would have probably been, this update comes with a modicum of Christmas cheer, sprinkled with a dash of weary caution that has come with 2009 so far. It's been a year with a bewildering array of ups and downs that have kept punching me in the face/feeding me heavenly strawberries right up until now, and I fully expect that to continue right into its death-knell before we celebrate the arrival of a newborn 2010. That said, it's better than having just a year of bad news with nothing to balance it out. At least, that's what I keep telling myself...



Preview image 2 - Magic of Myths (mini-series, late 2010)
Artwork by Sergio Calvet


In any case, the writing side of things has been mostly good and my sights are firmly placed on 2010 for things to get even better.


Preview image 3 - A Twilight's Promise (one-page short story, out now)
Artwork by Ariyana Vidya


My collaborative graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths, is well on the way. I finished the complete draft of the script a few months ago, fired it over to my partner-in-crime, artist Jen G who has been busily working at it since, as you've seen already. I couldn't be happier with her work so far and you'll be treated to nearly half of the coloured pages from chapter one in a sneak unlettered-but-sequential preview in the next entry, all things willing. While you wont be able to read the dialogue, it's testament to Jen's strong storytelling skills that you'll likely have an understanding of story's bare bones from the artwork alone. Fingers crossed we'll have a whole, entirely finished chapter ready to preview to the world in a couple months. Which makes me smile.


Preview image 4 - Butterflies and Moths (graphic novel, late 2010)
Artwork by Jennie Gyllblad

Regarding the actual script, well, I'm happy with it. It still needs tweaks here and there, which I'll likely be doing right up until the book is nearly drawn in its entirety, but that's the nature of comic books - as with anything creative, you cant help but tinker with it, but when you see the artist's interpretation of your script you tend to crop dialogue which has become superfluous or change bits to better suit the depiction. It's work all the way up to launch (and then after that, given the promotion) but it never really feels like work... and that's part of the grand aim.


Preview image 5 - The Twilight Cleaner (short story, mid 2010)
Artwork by James Daniels


There are also a few other things around the corner, as you may have seen in the image previews dotted on this page... but we'll get to those in due course. Oh yes.


Non-preview image - Sexy bear stripping off for Christmas. You like it, don't lie, I can see it in your eyes. "Grrr" indeed.


Look out for the preview and have a fantastic Christmas/New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is what happens...

...when crazed comic book creators meet up.



Butterflies and Moths artist, Jennie Gyllblad and myself, chatting in a cafe about the graphic novel, comics, art and random drunks accosting her (which led to my oh-so peaceful suggestion here). Drawn by Jen, with alarming speed.


After hearing some of our conversations and seeing images like this, our publisher's creative director, Nic Wilkinson, said (and I quote):

"Not sure I have ushered in the apocalypse in some way, putting these two together!"

Too late, Nic! Toooo late...

Butterflies and Moths: created by true whack-jobs. Pre-order now, kids! We want to break your brains early!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twilight comes around once more


Merry Christmas/happy holidays!

I know I've been talking about a story I wrote which was recently released and on sale, but now is not the time to discuss that - we'll come back to it in a month or so when the time is more appropriate. Instead, I'm going to focus on a story which is possibly going to get me into slight trouble next year, albeit entirely accidentally.

The Twilight Cleaner.

Due for a mid 2010 release in Insomnia Publications' next Layer Zero anthology, The Twilight Cleaner is a vampire story.

Yes, I know what you're thinking...



In the wonders of typical creative coincidence, the emergence of the Twilight books/films has become a big ol' double-edged sword for me in the past 12 months, and will continue to be so for... well, as long as the films and books are popular. And The Twilight Cleaner (or TTC, as I'll refer to it) is the crux of that, because people will think I wrote it in response to Stephenie Meyer's popular teen-vampire saga.

Thing is, I wrote TTC way back in 2006 before I'd ever heard of the Twilight books - it's just taken this bloody long to get my story out, as per the glacial world of publishing (and almost to prove how slow the wheels move in this industry, it took Meyer 2 years to get Twilight released, from writing it and the book deal in 2003 to publication in 2005, before the film option came in 2007... and this is considered 'quick' by normal standards).

So what's going to cause the hoo-ha, if any at all? Well, I re-read my script recently as very talented artist, James Daniels, is currently drawing it, and I made the realisation it could be seen as a counter/commentary on the Twilight novels.

See, when I wrote this short 12 page story, it was for another publisher who was looking to complete an anthology of horror shorts. I knocked out the tale while on holiday in Florida for my Mom's birthday, the editor was happy with it and we were all set to go.

Then the project fell through as the publisher disappeared.

This was the second time a publisher fell apart before my story was published, so the hammer didnt quite fall as hard as the first time, but I was still a little saddened by the whole thing. Yet, I had a story written and finished, and that's something that never goes to waste.

Fast forward to 2007, and a friend at work introduces me to James (who also works at Sony), a superb young artist looking to get into the comic book industry. I fire him over TTC and he creates some samples, which turn out to be phenomenal.

Jump to 2009, and my first 'high street shop bookshelf story', Butterflies and Moths: Fragile, is released by Insomnia. They're looking for more shorts of a twisted kind to fit the theme of the next book, and TTC is a perfect fit. James is still keen to work on it and starts to deliver the goods, of which you'll see below in the first public preview of the story.


Now, The Twilight Cleaner is a story about a young female vampire called Kira, who is forced to clean the roads at night at the command of her vampire sire. Unable to hunt during the day, they prey on the drunk, the violent, the homeless and others who roam town during the twilight hours. Kira is fed up, a lonely figure of enforced servitude and boredom, but her vampirism doesnt let her make any friends, while loyalty to her 'master' keeps her enslaved, 'cleaning' the streets in more than one sense (albeit in very unsavoury ways), against her will. And after acting as the bait for countless victims, feeding off those mostly undeserving, she's had enough...

So basically, The Twilight Cleaner is about a young woman looking to fight against the conformity of what she's been told she can be and what she's been told she is. Trying to take control of her destiny and not be governed by oppression, especially that of a man stuck in his outdated, sexist ways.

In essence, something of an opposite to the Twilight saga's main character, Bella.

Hmm.

The fact Kira's a vampire (who looks around the same age as Bella, but is a lot older), seems to reject the submissive ideals that Bella falls into, the use of 'twilight' in the title and another plot point that comes up in the story, would suggest some sensitive Twilight fans looking too deeply into the material with this unintentional commentary in mind may think I'm being mean-spirited. "'Twilight Cleaner'? Who does this guy think he is?! Is he suggesting his story is 'cleaning up' the Twilight saga by trying to be better or something? That this is how vampires are supposed to be? How Bella should act if she was turned?" and so on.

I admit, it's a happy accident that both the third film in the Twilight saga, Eclipse, and The Twilight Cleaner will share a release date within bare months of each other next summer. But like everything else between the two properties, these are coincidences that I can only smile at. Like this :)




Whether or not people will even notice my little story anywhere near the juggernaut of the Twilight saga is hugely debatable, even if it'll be sitting in the same book shops next year. In fact, all of this only occurred to me when a friend pointed out another story of mine had 'twilight' in its title (A Twilight's Promise, which has no vampires in it, promise), at which point I realised what had happened. But it gives me something to write about, and hell, made me realise that things do indeed happen for a reason - The Twilight Cleaner will come out during a time when vampires are very much in-fashion again in the media, between the likes of Twilight, True Blood and other vamp-related properties.

Anyway. Here's an early and unfinished 2 page preview of The Twilight Cleaner fresh from James' drawing board. There will be more artwork previews coming up soon, not just for this but also for Butterflies and Moths, and a bit more detail on what stories I have coming out in 2010. It should be a huge year between a short story, graphic novel, planned mini-series (more on that soon) and potentially, hopefully something absolutely huge come this time next year... keep your fingers crossed for me...


The Twilight Cleaner - 2 page unfinished art preview
(coming 2010 in Layer Zero, by Corey Brotherson and James Daniels)


Page one
(click to enlarge)


Page two

(click to enlarge)

More soon...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes

The promised new entry is on its way, with a lot to talk about - but as a quick aside, I've finally added some extra functionality to this site, so it's easier to keep track of my ramblings, buy comics (some extra stuff on that soon as another one of my stories has slipped out into the wild to buy recently *grins*), follow me on Twitter and more. Sweet.

No?

Not sweet?

Okay, well how about this?


Awww. This is courtesy of Jen, who's hard at work on the art for our forthcoming graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths, coming to the likes of Amazon, Waterstones and comic book shops in 2010. See - it's not a story of blood and pain and misery all the time!



Erm, just most of the time.

*cackles*

More soon, oh yes. There are tales to tell you...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The slow march to madness

Apologies on the lateness of this entry - there's a full update on the way, I promise. Life has just been a little unkind recently, so I'm playing catch up with a lot of things.

In the meantime, another piece of art from Jen's lovely artwork for our forthcoming graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths?

Why not.

This is Page 4 from Butterflies and Moths, the first splash page of many in the story and one of the most telling in terms of one of the main themes... Jen's still working on it, but I think it's doing a good job of looking pretty good so far...



Catch you soon...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Butterflies and Moths - the artistic angle of Angel


I've spent a long time writing in different mediums, but if there's anything which reminds me why comics/sequential art is my most loved, it's getting artwork back from your original script and seeing your vision not only realised, but combined with someone else's vision - creating (what you hope) to be a perfect unison of something far better than you originally had in mind.

Which is my gushing way of saying, graphic novel Butterflies and Moths is progressing like a beautiful dream.

The talented Ms Jen Gyllblad, artist for Butterflies and Moths, is impressing with each page. And with each page it's becoming apparent that she's destined for big things - not just because she has clear, expressive line-work, can pull at your emotions with a great grasp for facial expressions and body language, and has a watercolour painted style that compliments the tale so perfectly...

...but because she can tell a story.



Comic book artists, like comic book writers, can be looked down upon by snobs because of the negative way the medium is perceived by some. But if there's one thing apparent, it's that you can have the talent to be a wonderful artist and create an emotive picture, it's an entirely different thing to do that while telling a clear story in smaller panels, because there's so much to take into mind.

Case in point. Pages 2 and 3 of Butterflies and Moths. I've put both the uncoloured early pages and coloured near finished/unlettered pages together so you can see the progression between the early and latter work, how it developed and how the entire mood can change or be augmented.









While you can get the sense of something being told here by Angel's body language and expressions (the latter is only something you get only once near the end to cap off the earlier clues), notice how the colour, lighting and framing of the pages work to give off a certain emotion, through dark blues, purples and browns, which play off two of the brighter hues on the pages (the golden scales and her t-shirt, the former almost popping off the page for a very good story related reason).

Even the panel shape and style play their part - rectangular panels create a rigid conformity and imprisonment that Angel is trapped within, given from the very first panel (which is large but shows Angel very alone, flushed to one side of the page even with space around her).

One thing that wont usually be noticed is the sense of visual story symmetry in just two pages - see how the first page uses one long horizontal panel to start, followed by six smaller panels? Then the next page uses six smaller panels to frame the end of one long vertical panel. So the page flows visually from one to the other to help build the scene, using subtle similarities and differences so your eye naturally combines the two pages (which will be published side-by-side in the book) and creates a full image of what is going on as Angel goes from dark isolation into the light of 'freedom'. And all of this is created with enough space in each panel for the lettering/text captions to come in later.

It's all stuff you can take for granted or overlook easily, but seems to come very naturally to Jen, because I'm sure as heck not specifying all of this in my script - she's taking what I've written and making it - in a visual sense - work. And as a comic book writer, you cant ask anything more from an artist.

Believe me, it's not as easy as it looks.

More pages to come...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Butterflies and Moths - the earliest of previews

I'm still here! Honest. I am.

It's been a busy month, so apologies on the lack of updates - and to be honest, much of it has been spent trying to write my fantasy drama graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths. It's five chapters long, and I'm currently at the middle part of chapter four, which brings me up to about 170 pages of A4 script and around 50 more to go. Phew.

The finish-line is in sight, and while it's not always been an easy task, I can say that for most of the part it's been an enjoyable ride. Naturally it would have been even more enjoyable if I had more time to spend on it, but it's a good feeling to be close to completing my first major piece of fiction for publication.


Butterflies and Moths - early/sketched unfinished promo material

There's been lots of artwork floating around if you've been visiting my co-creator Jennie Gyllblad's site (where there's plenty more to look over), but I'm going to highlight the first couple pages which are currently in a very early sketch form, along with some other art which is closer to being finished. If you're wondering what exactly is going on in them, the answers will be clear in due time... and as the pages become more complete and lettered you'll start to build a picture of the sort of themes and issues Butterflies and Moths will be dealing with. In fact, if you look closely enough from these pages, you can probably spot a few already...


Page 2 (early sketch, unlettered - click to enlarge)


Page 3 (early sketch, unlettered - click to enlarge)


Page 9 (coloured, unlettered - click to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Flutter?


There's less of me chatting and more of me quietly getting on with it this week. Why? Because Insomnia has officially signed up an artist partner for my (and now, our) forthcoming graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths.


Step up and take a bow, the talented Ms Jennie Gyllblad (http://jenspiration-now.blogspot.com/). You can read the curious tale of how Jen became noticed by Insomnia Publications over at the company's blog here.

After a short period of emails and sketch trials, which showed she immediately captured the essence, look and style of the characters, Jennie was swiftly snapped up. And then managed to turn out the better part of a dozen different sketches, layouts, tests and other pieces of artwork to get a feel for the characters and certain settings.



As you can see from the artwork on these pages, she's a tad different from Fragile's also talented artist, Ariyana Vidya, but has a wonderfully eye pleasing style and such a strong command over emotion, expression and nuance that her storytelling simply shines through. There's also a visual consistency between her version of Angel and Ariyana's without losing that individuality of style - although the differences are given a little extra attractiveness through the beautiful colours and inks Jen effortlessly lends to her work. At the very least, the graphic novel will be lovely to look at.


Jen is fantastically quick, having produced fully painted pieces of work within a very short space of time, so expect more artwork and previews of Butterflies and Moths soon. As well as a nice little bit about what the actual story is about and how it relates to Fragile.


Catch you in a few...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Butterflies, Magic and a little bit of murder

It's a sometimes scary thing, this writing business.

After having six stories published and more on the way, the feeling of mind-numbing anxiety has lessened a little, knowing that something I've spent days/weeks/months working on will be read and judged within mere minutes, but it's still a strange trial to see your work on sale for, well, actual money. And learning not to instantly die inside from paranoia when you hear a sentence start with "I read your story..." and hoping everything that follows isn't along the lines of "...and I want those minutes I wasted back, please."

It's a writer's job to be slightly neurotic, after all. That, and to possess a wonderful god-complex.

Butterflies and Moths: Fragile is now out in the rather great Insomnia Publications anthology, Layer Zero: Choices, which is packed to the brim with superb short stories and amazing artwork. While there's not been any real reviews as such, the verbal feedback I've heard has been good. And while I can't trust my friends and family to be totally impartial in their opinion of my work, they've been honest enough to let me know if they were confused or offended by Fragile, which a couple were (the latter because of the coarse language used at the start of the story, which I explained away with enough justification for it to be acceptable. Phew. Still not sure my grandparents should read it, though).

Thankfully that's been layered (sorry, bad pun) with generally good feedback on the story, especially in regards to Ariyana's stunning artwork. Once again, many thanks if you've spent the money to buy the book - I'm very happy with the way it's turned out.

At the same time, yes, it's nice to hear positive things, but it's arguably more useful to discover where I took any missteps in the narrative - a lesson especially valuable given Fragile will be followed up by my main graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths, due for release next year. I may have a larger landscape to tell my story, given that will be around 150 pages rather than just 12, but it also means a larger scope for mistakes. And as it's my largest project (my series work aside), there's a fair bit of pressure. Which I'll have to get used to if I want to make a go of this full time again. But I'm excited to see the book slowly come to life, and fingers crossed you'll see some good news about it next week, in one form or another. Oh yes, the scene curtain is ruffling...

In other news, the second issue to Magic of Myths is all but done, which means I really should get to work on writing the script for issue three - even though we've not got to the publishing plan stage yet. It's a strange, if kinda nice feeling to know I've a talented, speedy and professional artist knocking out the artwork and having two issues complete even before we've gone near a publisher yet (having something to show for yourself in pitch form is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in trying to get steady series work), and I can honestly say Magic of Myths #2 is one of the most 'complete' feeling stories I've done in terms of how it's come together and ended up. I've attached the first couple pages as a preview below.

Magic of Myths #2

By Corey Brotherson and Sergio Calvet

2 page preview

(click them to enlarge)





A quick plug before I go - Insomnia Publications is gearing up for the launch of its next big book, Burke and Hare, a bio-graphic novel. The blurb sums it up best:

Burke and Hare by Martin Conaghan art by Will Pickering, letters by Paul McLaren
Over a 12 month period from 1827-1828 in Edinburgh, Scotland, two Irishmen by the names of William Burke and William Hare murdered 16 people and disposed of their bodies to the eminent dissectionist Dr Robert Knox at 10 Surgeon’s Square. Delve into the murky, misquoted history of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers with a research-based graphic novel that unwravels a ghoulish story of medicine, murder and money.



Insomnia has an interview here (http://theredeyed.blogspot.com/2009/06/burke-and-hare-under-skin.html) and it's available to pre-order from Amazon here in the run up to its October 6th release: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Burke-Hare-Will-Pickering/dp/1905808127/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245018093&sr=1-1

It sounds like it's well worth keeping an eye on - dismembered or no ;)

Right, that's all for now. Next update should come with some cool news...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Four colour explosion

Isn't it nice to come back from a great holiday and be greeted by lots of pleasant surprises? Comic book news is coming in thick and fast, so let's jump straight into it...

* Mine and Ariyana Vidya's short story, Butterflies and Moths: Fragile, is finished and now part of Insomnia Publications' May 2009 comic book anthology, Layer Zero: Choices. There were a few hairy moments where the deadline seemed to be crushing our chances of being included, but some valiant late night jam sessions from Ariyana saw the project through - and the results should speak for themselves. Her artwork is truly stunning and really brings the story to life, thanks to some expertly captured emotions. In comic books, your artist is your actor, set designer, special effects artist, principle photographer and much, much more, and it's easy to take that for granted. It's all very well to write a script which describes your character looking distraught yet pleading a passionate argument with just her eyes, but ever tried drawing it? Ariyana's sterling work makes it look easy when it's anything but.

Fragile is effectively the prelude to my forthcoming graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths - you wont need to read it to understand the graphic novel's storyline, but it'll give you an insight to a few things, a intriguing taste of things to come as well as a nice introduction to the character who features in it.

The bitter story of morality and mortality that is Fragile will be surrounded by a vast amount of other talented tales in Layer Zero: Choices and so far the pre-orders have been wonderfully high. You can still get your order in and avoid missing the potential sell-out by either ordering with me (discounted rate for pre-orders only) and leaving a comment, ordering via Insomnia Publications directly by emailing them at their site, or by ordering directly from various online vendors such as Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Layer-Zero-Choices-Cy-Dethan/dp/190580816X?&camp=2486&linkCode=wey&tag=insomnipublic-21&creative=8874) or local comic shops in the near future.

* My very first published story, sci-fi tale Bad Luck Inc., has been reprinted in the pages of the ever-entertaining Tales from the Plex series this month. Drawn by the superb Yui Marr, it's a curious tale that plays on the concepts of luck, determinism, fate and office working, while being a sideward's nod to The Matrix. It was slightly misunderstood the first time it was published, which partly led me to writing a huge expose (Part one, two and three) on this site, but I'm happy to see it getting another shout at this time. Check out the previews of the most recently released issue of Tales from the Plex HERE and buy a copy HERE.

* Similarly, my first story with Ariyana, A Twilight's Promise, should see release either next month or after in Tales from the Plex, which will be a nice build up to Fragile's release in May. It's a short one page missive about... well, how unfair and short life can be, as well as offering a little meta-commentary on the life of a story that only runs one page long. You can see a little preview HERE.

* One of my secret projects rolls on at a pleasing pace - issue two of Magic of Myths has been pencilled by consummate professional and blinding talent, Sergio Calvet, which means the entire secret project is nicely on track. You'll see more of this and hopefully some news on what exactly this project is later this year, but in the meantime take a glimpse at the raw pencils that is Magic of Myths #2.







And that's it for now! There'll be plenty on Fragile as we build up to Layer Zero: Choices' release in May, so expect the next few entries to be looking at that with previews, commentary and more, as well as general info about Insomnia Publication's line-up and more about Tales from the Plex.

Thanks for reading, and catch you in a few...