Blisteringly Hot Off the Press!
about 2 months ago
– Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 02:20:33 AM
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned we were adding a slipcase to War Mage Diary because we need a way to hold the odd collection of cards, sheets of punchboard tokens, spell cards, plus the book. The durable outer slipcase will keep everything protected for shipment. But what keeps everything from sliding around inside?
I thought adding a plastic blister to hold the items in place would be a nice touch. My printing partners took the suggestion to the max!
They designed a tray (with a lid!) to hold the crazy combination of punchboard pieces! Kudos to the designer (named Magic) who figured this out. We’re bringing a little modern Magic our book of magic. Thank you!
P.S. Also, shameless plug time: The Field of Screams Kickstarter launches Thursday at noon central time. Your pledges attract the most attention in the first couple hours (when folks see a lot of activity) plus pay the bills for The WitchBorn® to keep improving. Please sign up for the launch notice here.
If you’ve already signed up—I sincerely thank you!
Stay Calm. Stay Calm. Stay Calm.
about 2 months ago
– Fri, Oct 09, 2020 at 08:57:15 PM
Odd things get my heart racing.
A close baseball game. My kids calling unexpectedly—with good news! And a project nearing completion.
I woke up to a video proof of War Mage Diary this morning. This project started about 12 years ago. It’s something I wrote and worked on, off and on, in my spare time (back when I had a “real job.”) Plus most of my waking hours from late 2018 until just a few weeks ago. To see the body of the book look exactly the way I hoped is a rush that still has my heart pounding!
This is a digital proof so it’s going to get even better. I’m really impressed with the endpapers. The cover is not quite right yet and the depressed areas need black ink so they really pop.
But hopefully you can share a little of my excitement too!
2 months ago
– Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 06:45:34 AM
All War Mage Diary files have been transferred to the printer with the usual tweaking back and forth. I’m really excited to see the initial proofs. We’ve got cards, punchboard templates, spells sheets, and of course, the leather-bound book!
With all the elements, the question was, how do I hope to package this for shipping?
I decided the best course was a heavy slipcase with a custom blister to hold everything secure. It’s a little bonus that hopefully ensures your book arrives safe.
P.S. The mockups pictured below are not to scale or from the printer. This is a 30% actual size mockup on a single sheet of laser paper—just to make sure the folds line up correctly!
Going Old School
3 months ago
– Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 11:23:52 AM
I was a kid who became a pro illustrator in the 90s. This was a fascinating time because illustration studios still existed and computers were just coming in. (We couldn’t understand why anyone would want to use a PDF!) But I was also learning from veterans with 40-50 years experience in hand-lettering, airbrush, painting—yes, actual acrylic, gouache, and watercolor on rag board—dye retouching, and more. The education I got from the masters was immeasurable!
I became an expert with Rapidograph ink pens and could draw painstakingly accurate line drawings on vellum. (A skill that quickly became obsolete once we figured out those computers).
For the cover of War Mage Diary, I decided to mix old school with new school. I needed to create a stamp for the leather on the cover. And when creating a spellbook, an imperfect hand-drawn illustration is better than a perfect computer illustration. I set to work with a Sharpie and a pad of 360 paper (my old ink pens are dried up and vellum would be too perfect). I dug out my ancient french curves and oval templates and went to work.
To draw the whole moon shape by hand would be maddeningly slow (just the little bit I drew took a couple hours) but once I had the key scrollwork done, I could bring it into the computer and repeat the shapes over and over.
It’s a little detail readers aren’t likely to notice but it’s one of those things I do to honor those teachers I had starting out.