I was approached by Gregarious Games to undertake the massive task of creating the artwork for a full proof-of-concept graphic novel to accompany their newest multi-player game, Reptilian Rising - a wonderfully bonkers strategic combat game featuring heroes from Earth's history battling reptilians in a time travel adventure. When I was brought onboard, the design of the game was well under way, so my first assignment was to interpret those designs to suit a comic book style.
The characters in the game were created by the games designers to feel like moulded avatars in a real-world eighties-style board game, so Gregarious gave me free reign to reinterpret them to fit an action comic book aesthetic.
This was my first attempt at a full scale, 'bells and whistles' graphic novel, so I approached the layout design in 3 steps. First step was to block out the pages as thumbnails - just very quick layout designs featuring the dialogue and exposition created by the writer, Sean Kelly. Next step was refining the thumbnails into fully realised rough line drawings that formed the basis for the final line and colour versions.
The writer Sean wrote a lot of humour, drama and battle scenes into the 6 stories that featured in the novel, which forced me to go back to drawing school for a lot of the pages required in the book.
With 6 different stories came 6 different styles for each. And I had tremendous fun (and challenges) creating styles and layouts for those stories.
This has been one of my most challenging projects to date, pushing me to advance my skillset and revisit drawing fundamentals to create cohesive, exciting and engaging visual storytelling. Massive thanks to my collaborators on this project, Greg Hall at Gregarious Games and Sean Kelly, the writer. They both had tremendous faith I could pull this off, and were relentlessly encouraging throughout.