A Launch and an Explanation

The Bellmage Kickstarter has launched!

I have a tendency to mention that I’m working on things without actually detailing what’s going on! Moving forward with Woolmancy, that will change. So what is Bellmage all about?

What?

Bellmage is a 37-page graphic novel about an apprentice bell-crafter who is booted out of the academy with a challenge to make her stone bell ring. Unfortunately she’s yet to have any training. She’s also not sure where to turn now. So like all trainees in a crisis, she bravely… returns home to her parents. Great situation right?

Why?

Frankly, because I want to. But let me explain.

Last year I wrote and published Style Quest. While I still take delight in the story, and think the information is helpful, I really didn’t write it for myself.

So this year I decided to produce a story for me. It has silly bits and introspective bits. It has musical notation and footnotes; maps, new languages, fancy endpapers, visual guides and I’m seriously, seriously thinking of adding an endnotes section. In fact, just consider it done.

In being excited to work on something that contains a lot of what I love, I excite others. By writing stories about struggles and triumphs I’ve faced, I can bond with and inspire others.

I say that’s a pretty good reason.

How?

Kickstarter.

What it is: Think of it as a fancy pre-order system. The book is finished (aside from that endnotes section) so now I’m asking for help to print it.

How it works: Over the course of one month, you can sign up to pre-order a book, or one of a few other goodies that I’m offering
> I hit my goal of $800 (or over fund even)
> I get the money
> I print the books and ship them out to you

What if I don’t hit my goal? I get nothing, your card doesn’t get charged and Bellmage will be printed in a distant future.

Let me be clear in saying that you don’t have to pledge. If you think the project seems fun, or if you want to donate without anything in return, fantastic. I really appreciate it.

But if you don’t, or can’t, I really won’t hold it against you at all. Really.

 

With that being said… Go check out the Bellmage Kickstarter page!

Bellmage Is Coming To Print!

The Kickstarter for Bellmage is coming up on August 1st!

Getting Blue Cat Co. off the ground as a place where fantastical stories are built and distributed has been an interesting challenge. AND SO MUCH FUN! I love learning, and the fact that there are so many moving parts to creating visual stories and publishing them is daunting, but so rewarding.

Let’s talk about the first official tale from Blue Cat Co: Bellmage.

Bellmage is a light-hearted journey about the trials of starting out as an apprentice in a clan of magical bellmakers. The story follows the journey of a fresh apprentice who is sent on a quest, totally untrained, and tasked with making a stone bell ring. She must figure out, not only the bell’s mysteries, but her place in the world she lives in.

The book runs 48 pages long and is packed with extra notes, bell terminology and explanations in addition to the story. Though it premiered online last year, the art has been redone (in color!) and the story touched up to be a bit more cohesive.

From the beginning, I’ve asked for community involvement in picking the story and crafting it along the way. Now I’d love for your help in bringing it to life as well!

This is a simple Kickstarter. Just books and a few ways to get yourself into the next comic Woolmancy. If this is successfully funded, you can bet that I have some amazing plans for the next book launch!

Stay tuned for future updates and the Kickstarter link!

Bellmage is Coming to Kickstarter!

ON AUGUST 1st, 2017

After making this comic a day at a time, reworking it with new art and preparing to print… I realized I’d been making this project alone!

Posting the pages online did lead to some nice fan interaction, but I want to include more of you into my process from now on. I’ve decided crowdfund the printing of Bellmage as a first start.

The project will launch on Kickstarter on August 1st and run for 30 days. I’m offering reward tiers ranging from a digital copy of the comic, to printed comics, to even getting yourself or your business drawn into the next comic! I’ll get more detailed in the upcoming weeks.

To be perfectly honest, I’m so accustomed to doing everything by myself that crowdfunding feels like a major, terrifying step. Forget meeting the funding goal, what if I only get one backer? And it’s my relative??

Or even the flip side: What if it is wildly successful? What if it’s way too much to handle? What if I need to hire an assistant? Who would I even hire?!

In all directions it seems impossible. But why not attempt the impossible right? That’s how progress is made.

I’ll be back with more details soon! If you want to stay more up to date, sign up for the newsletter as I’ll be sharing more sneak peeks and tidbits there!

132 of 365 – Master Stones

Keepers have the ability to store memories and energy into stones. Contrary to common thought, the large, pure gemstones are often used by the more inexperienced Keepers. The highest masters don’t need very much raw gem material to work with, therefore their stones are either very small, or they are gem mixed with average rock. Unfortunately, that means the craft has a high entry-level cost.

131 of 365 – Citrus Crawler

There is a story about a grove of oranges… no, let us back up a bit.

In the land of Kanvala, there is a region called Mierat, consisting mostly of forests and ground vegetation. Mierat is known for brilliantly crafted teas and master calligraphers. Residing in Mierat is the royal house of Bergamot, so named, naturally, because of their monopoly on the Bergamot trees in Kanvala. They were able to secure this monopoly, because they hold captive a dark beast that once roamed the forests. They were able, by use of the cipheric power of written word spells, to capture and seal the beast, and can, theoretically, release it upon whomever they wish. Understandably they get what they want.

And so the creature remains locked away. For now.

Worldsmith Roundtable – Beauty and the Beast

Typically for Worldsmith Roundtable, we’d invite a creator over to the trading post to chat about their world. Sadly, the creator of my most favorite tale is long gone. I am most certainly speaking of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, said to be the creator of the first iteration of Beauty and the Beast.

Schmincke watercolor on Fabriano Softpress paper, digital clean up, lines and background

You know you have a good tale by the number of times it’s been redone. I have personally taken in no less than 10 versions of this story, not counting multiple iterations from the same company. And there are many more than that!

The tale of first impressions is compelling. Also used in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (another favorite that has many strong similarities to this French classic), it is an effective narrative device because, as an audience, we love to hate the villain. But then we are surprised as our opinion of them is forced to change as we come to understand them better.

Due to the magic of the internet, you can now read an archived scan of the original story. It’s even illustrated!