Friday, January 27, 2012

"Terrific, a Six-Demon Bag!"

A mini-interview with yours truly has been posted over at Josh Reynold's blog.  It is pretty brief, but it was a blast to do.  Thanks, Josh!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"The Isle of Blood"... Nominated for the 2012 Pulp Ark Awards!

The book is up for a total of five nominations: Best Novel, Best Cover Art, Best Interior Art, Best New Character, and Best New Writer.  This is obviously a really cool moment for me.  Thank you for the nominations & votes, and congratulations to all the other nominees!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Visualizing "The Isle of Blood": The Kaluta Sketches

One of the major selling points of "Challenger Storm: The Isle of Blood"... ok, THE major selling point for a lot of people, I'm sure, is the amazing artwork of comic and illustration legend Michael Wm. Kaluta.  Airship 27's Ron Fortier made the official announcement regarding Michael's involvement at last year's Pulp Ark, and while I wasn't there myself I did hear a recording of that panel over at The Book Cave.  It certainly caused quite a stir and interest rose for the then-upcoming book.  We'd been sitting on this secret-weapon for a little while, and we were happy to have finally been able to start talking about it.

If you're familiar with Kaluta's art (and you'd better be... if not, get on that link up there, stat), then you know his style instantly: an extremely intricate melding of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles; these elements often raise his work above the standard "comic-booky" feel of others in the field and into the lofty realms of high-art.  His work can be very decorative and florid, and his more thematic illustrations can be hyper-detailed and intricate.  It's always been these elements of his art that have long made Michael Kaluta my favorite artist: the fact that he's basically the first guy to visualize my character in publication is just awesome.  He's a consummate professional who brings a lot of dedication to his art, and he certainly didn't skimp on any of these qualities when he did his work for "The Isle of Blood".  I'm honored to have had him aboard Challenger Storm's inaugural flight.

After the jump below are a few of the rough design sketches he did in preparation for the cover and interior illustrations.  Just from these roughs alone, I could tell that he wasn't phoning-in this assignment.  He pulled no punches here, and if you've seen the finished product you know that his work on my book was 100% Kaluta.