Category Archive for ‘artwork’
Posted on June 18th, 2014 in announcements, artwork
So Harper Collins have put up their book trailer for Half a King, and I think it’s really rather excellent…
I’m generally a wee bit ambivalent on Book Trailers – I think reach often exceeds grasp and you end up with slightly embarrassing live action efforts where a lot of resources have clearly been expended to make something that looks like a rubbish version of a scene from Gladiator. But Ben North and his team have done a brilliant and very canny job here, I think, going for something simple and stark and applying a lot of thought and craftsmanship to achieve a really powerful result. You might even call it a brand.
Posted on June 17th, 2014 in announcements, artwork, interviews, news
GRRM and Gardner Dozois’ latest cross-genre mega-anthology ROGUES has published in the US today, featuring stories from GRRM himself, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Pat Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Paul Cornell, Cherie Priest and little old me, among many others. My contribution is a hefty 12,000 word novelette, as it goes, following an eventful night in the life of a whole series of disreputable inhabitants of Sipani, a few old friends among them…
In other news, Half a King is out in just two and a half weeks in the UK on the 3rd of July (bites nails) and a week and a half later in the US on the 15th of July (bites them again). I’ve got a piece up on the Waterstones blog about the genesis of the book AND there’s an interview with me at Den of Geek about writing for the (slightly) younger audience.
Hardcover copies of both are now in my possession. They definitely do exist…
UK in white, US in black, both looking rather beautiful, I would say, with silky, foil, and spot gloss finishes and all and they’re a pair of handsome hardcovers without the dust jackets too…
Posted on March 21st, 2014 in announcements, artwork, news
Final hardcover will include all manner of wondrous textures, foils and finishes. And now, of course, you are free to tell me just how much you love it…
Should you desire to pre-order one, incidentally, you could do it via this page. A considerable extract will be coming in the not too distant future…
Posted on January 10th, 2014 in announcements, artwork, news
The US cover for Half a King has been revealed over at io9, along with the book’s first chapter, by all means check it out here…
It’s going to be out in the UK and US in July, you lucky people…
Posted on June 21st, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel
Thought I’d show the development of another page from The First Law comic with a very different feel. This time Jezal and Ardee out for a stroll around the Agriont, and encountering a statue of a certain Magus. First pencils and inks from Andie Tong:
And finally some amazing work from Pete Pantazis on the colours:
How about that sky? Those glorious pinks, golds and purples? Totally different from the earthy tones of mud you get up in the wide and barren North. You can see the finished, lettered page, right now over at www.firstlawcomic.com, with new pages every Monday, Wednesday, Friday…
Thought I’d post a few little things which came my way via twitter. First off, a brilliant piece of what you might call done-for-the-joy-of-it Red Country art from British Comic Book Artist Gary Frank:
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any reviews, as well, but there’s a particularly insightful (not to mention complimentary) one of The Heroes from the aptly titled Unclekins:
“All the key ingredients that made Abercrombie’s earlier books stand out – the very real feeling characters, the naturalistic dialogue, the genuinely sharp wit … are present and correct. But it’s the story it tells that makes The Heroes an audacious book.”
And finally a few of my favourite blogger/critic/genre-commentator type people have been simultaneously posting their lists of 50 Essential Epic Fantasy works, and what do you know, the works of Joe Abercrombie appear on three of the four. Liz Bourke was the first to unleash her life-changing praise upon me:
“I read the first book. I didn’t really like it. But Abercrombie’s success – and, consequently, his influence on the features of epic fantasy – can’t be denied.”
My books are poor, but my success cannot be ignored! Better than the other way around, I guess. Justin Landon was more enthusiastic:
“George R.R. Martin started the modern grim fantasy, but Abercrombie perfected it. His work is biting, and harsh, and riddled with black humor. Essential.”
And Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch had a little more to say:
“Like any other trend, a couple people (Martin, Abercrombie) did something really, really interesting – they explored the idea that ‘actually a fantasy world would be really brutal/disease-ridden/awful on a day-by-day basis’. Their commercial success was immediately followed by dozens of pale imitations, all based on the false assumption that readers love them some diseased brutality. It is always easy to poach an aesthetic. The actual underlying insight? Harder to copy.”
I’m off up to London for more meetings tomorrow, and there may well be quite an exciting announcement coming soon, definitely for me, and possibly even for YOU. Until then…
Fantasy Foundation Publications are putting out The First Law in Taiwan:
Always fascinating how different publishers with different markets choose to present the same book. I believe this is the 26th translation deal for The Blade Itself, if you can credit that. It’s rather wonderful to think of such diverse people thrilling, thrilling I say, to stuff that I basically dreamed up in the middle of the night for my own amusement. So my thanks to the wonderful editors and rights agents at Orion who’ve put all these deals together over the last seven or eight years, and my thanks to all the far-flung publishers who’ve taken a chance on the books. I won’t thank the readers. MY FANTASTIC WORK IS THANKS ENOUGH.
And while we’re about it, here’s their forthcoming Before They are Hanged:
Posted on May 19th, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel
Andie Tong’s finished inks are coloured by Pete Pantazis and end up like this:
I guess before starting on this project I was vaguely aware that you usually had a guy who drew the pages and a guy who coloured them, but if I’d thought about it at all I’d supposed that colouring was a pretty mechanical process, yeah, you decide a jacket’s red and you make it red, APPLY. Seeing what Pete does with Andie’s pages has been quite a revelation. He gives every scene a very different treatment, he thinks a hell of a lot about the lighting, the weather, the time of day, the mood. He gets great variety into each issue that sets a tone for each character. The atmosphere he creates is astounding, and actually the much greater clarity he gives the action too. So the time of day wasn’t entirely clear before, but here we have a fire lit, shadowy night. The officers are ruddy in the glow of welcoming lamplight from inside the inn. The Practicals are sinister in the long shadows. Details like the candle glow around the doorframe in the first panel, or shining down the steps and across the cobbles, there are even stars in the night sky in the third panel, all add a sense of realism and atmosphere.
I’ll check over the coloured pages, usually in scene batches. The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that on this first run, West’s hair is the wrong colour in panels three and four. Lettering is usually done on the black and white pages first by unsung hero of the whole process Bill Tortolini, checked by me, amended, then married up with the coloured pages for a final result. The final result for this page, you’ll be able to see at www.firslawcomic.com tomorrow (Monday 20th), with further pages posted free every monday, wednesday and friday. Should you wish to get ahead, and read whole issues at a time, you can pay us actual cash money for the privilege over at ComiXology, for which you also receive guided view and some of the inks and pencils. You can download their software for nothing and it’s a cool way to view this and a vast amount of other material (a fair bit of that free). I recommend it…
Posted on May 18th, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel
And now Page 5 inks:
With the ink (digital ink, I would assume) comes texture, shadow, detail, realism and weight. I usually don’t see the pencils, just comment on the inked pages, and more often than not I’ve got very little to say. They then go straight on to Pete Pantazis for colouring…
Posted on May 17th, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel
And now the pencilled page 5:
When I think about the amount of work that goes into each page, I get a bit scared. There’s the design of the costumes, the characters, the architecture, a huge task which is akin to asking the artist to act as costume designer, set designer, and casting agent on a film rolled into one. Then he or she has to turn director and decide exactly how to organise the panels specified in the script – here Andie’s chosen to make them a little jagged and off-kilter, suggesting Jezal’s drunkeness and the sudden explosion of action, the graphic novel equivalent of wobbly handheld camera work, maybe. Then there’s choosing the exact angle to take on each panel, the positioning of the characters to most effectively communicate the action. And that’s before he or she takes on the responsibility of all the actors and starts getting the expressions right, individuality into the faces, a sense of movement and emotion.
Those among you with some artistic talent are probably breaking it down into steps and thinking how you’d go about it. To me it seems like magic.
Incidentally, the page previous to this is up at www.firstlawcomic.com right now. Tomorrow, we’ll be talking inks…