almost 2 years ago
– Mon, Jan 02, 2017 at 01:54:50 PM
If you haven't seen yet, I'm working with the illustrator on the first set of images! I want the book to feel like a brand new thing when you get it, so I don't want to share *too* much, but I do want you to feel the excitement with me!
These images have been posted to Benny's facebook page, and that's a great place to follow the progress in a more interactive way if you want to jump into the community there:
If you don't have a facebook account... Here is the first set of sketches! He sends them to me, we refine them, and then he does an ink version and colors each one in.
This was the first sketch he sent for the scene "Yesterday was weird. I couldn't get myself out of bed." I loved it as an image, but I felt like the story needed to start with Benny on his side, looking confused, like he really couldn't get out of bed. This is what he sent back:
We'll use this one, and tweak it a little more to make his expression a little more confused and his head a little more awkwardly placed... like he's surveying a body that won't cooperate.
We'll modify this one just a little to make his tail shorter and his face a little more square, but this will be very close to the second scene, "The guy I live with lifted me up. I tried to get my legs under me, but they wouldn't cooperate."
We'll make his face a little more square, and this will be the scene for, "He said, 'Don't worry, I gotcha buddy,' carried me downstairs, and out the front door. That was so nice of him."
We'll use this somewhere to show him trying to sit up, but feeling a little shaky.
This is a sketch Lucas did for the scene in the parking lot where Benny's legs are dragging behind him.
He added some scenery...
I used photoshop to compose a scene from several sketches. This one shows the condo complex in the back, to give the readers a reference when he comes back and the door suddenly seems like an impossible distance away. Lucas will render this into the final scene for, "I felt my paws dragging on the ground. 'How strange,' I thought."
This is the initial scene for, "By the time we reached the end of the parking lot, my head was spinning." We may use this, or we may make a new scene and use this for the part later in the story when he has collapsed in the park and is spinning into darkness...
This is the sketch for, "He reached down again, and ran his hands over me. That felt good."
This was his first sketch for, "He picked me up, and carried me home. I was still confused, and my head was light, but I was glad not to have to walk all the way back. It suddenly seemed like an impossible distance." I sent him photos of the actual condo, and asked him to make the building stretch off to the horizon, so the door looked really far away. He sent this:
I took several images and made this composite, which he'll use to draw the scene you'll see in the book:
This is one of my favorites so far, and we'll use this face and its proportions as a model for all the other faces in the story. This is for the scene, "I was so glad to lay down on my bed. My person petted me, saying, 'I gotcha covered, buddy. I gotcha.' I love the way that makes me feel. I know he does. He makes everything better."
This is another one that I really love. It's for the scene, "He felt my paws, and pulled up my lip. He said, 'Oh buddy, are you cold?' I was. My face was cold, my paws were cold."
This is where we are right now. I'm expecting the finished images back soon, at which point I'll lay out the text and he'll start on the next set of scenes. As we move forward, I'll make sure everything is in a format that we can send to you, and to the printer, as soon as all the scenes are done.
Book Delivery Update:
As we approach the holidays, I'm really trying to get the electronic version finished in time to send it to you all, but I don't see any way to get the physical books printed in time. I'm really sorry about that.
When I projected the August delivery date, I was thinking, "I have the story finished. All I have to do is get the art made." If I had known then what I know now, I would have projected a very different date of completion.
That said, we are quickly approaching the one year anniversary of Benny's weird day – January 28th. I have been shy about projecting specific dates for delivery since I was so far off on the first one, but my unflinching goal is to have these books in your hands by then, no matter what.
Thanks again for your support and your patience through all of this. It has been a really "weird year" – in what turned out to be a good way – and you have been a very large part of it!