Beth Wagner's Work Log (Isaac & Lee, Space Trucking, Sam Hawke, A Grotto of Poppies)



  • Last night was a little bit better. I managed to work on some sketches. I was even able to work on some dialogue for a scene in Grotto that was giving me some problems (I honestly wasn't planning on working on it, it just happened to draw my attention for some reason last night). All in all, it was okay for production.

    I especially am proud that I was able to write while I was attending an online book launch that was being put on by my publisher.
  • Last night I sketched and coloured some more. Another sketch card complete:

  • I was compiling a sketch book of the Tedieval drawings... I'm going to take it as a sign that I feel that I can do better than I did last year. A sign of growth if you will. I'm going to pull the weaker pictures out which should still leave me with a nice small book (17 at the very least, but likely more like 24-28 pages)
  • This convention season should be a lot different from last year. I am shifting even more into artwork, although I don't have nearly as much as I would like to going in. I've basically got one month to get enough artwork to cover table costs. Plus I want to get some promotional art done as well. (Including a kickass display)
    My publicist will kill me if I don't have a newsletter sign up sheet at my table.
    Basically, this year I'll begin doing double-duty as both comic and literary book merchant. (and there will only be more books to come!)
    I always wondered what my sales would look like if I had literary books to sell. This year it will only be in e-book form (so it will be more a matter of me giving out bookmarks and promotional material to drive people to either the Edge website or to Amazon.

  • Ramping up the sketches before the end of the month:



  • Thanks @DinoCaruso ! I always have a lot of fun drawing them. I just don't have a story for them yet. Just nebulous thoughts.
  • I did a rough sketch this morning. But my schedule got completely messed up today and I didn't get any work done this evening. I'll try again tomorrow. Right now, I'm exhausted.
    The targets I need to hit tomorrow are:
    • page 2 roughs complete
    • at least one more sketch done and inked

    Nice to get done if I have time:
    • writing novel

    Until after this convention, the writing isn't crucial, I need to focus on artwork for the convention and making sure I have comics ready. This time next year, there will be at least one book.
  • This year's convention display is going to be ornate, to say the least. It came to me last year while I was in Calgary. So far, it's looking really good. It will be fantastic when it's set up on the table. However, I'm trying to make sure that I stay focused and keep making sketches.
  • Why is it that when I need to get a specific task done, I get a flood of ideas for other projects to work on? Gah!
  • I have the same problem: I'm trying to finally finish up a story that starts running on Monday, but I keep thinking about (and spending time playing with) a couple others.
  • I have one page that I *have* to get done this weekend. But I bet I'll be fighting with other projects as well. My brain just won't stop, which is good when I am trying to come up with new stories, but not helpful when I am actually trying to finish projects.  :P
  • I didn't want to gum up Brandon's Work Log but:

  • I have three days to pencil and ink one page. Plus my daughter is visiting this week. This is going to be tight.
  • Love the Dr Strange Beth, that is a creepy slug - could be Shuma-Gorath's offspring :D
  • Thanks @Owen_Jones! Like I said, it was taken from an actual panel in a book. :)
  • I've been giving it some thought lately and I'm thinking about writing Grotto of Poppies as a novel first. I'm having problems trying to get some of the imagery down that I want, the way that I want it. So I'm thinking that if I take the time to write a novelization of it, it will be easer to then convert that to a comic. It's sound pretty backwards, I know.
    I'm going to wait until after the convention and writer's conference before I make a firm decision.
  • For the past year I've been struggling with my changing artistic identity. I've always thought of myself as comic creator and sometimes artist. Last year that role expanded to fill writer as well. Not that I didn't write before, but now my writing has to occupy more of my time and be more literary.
    In writing, I have the added pressure of writers and sci-fi/fantasy publishers watching me to see if I am at least as good as my dad was.
    I have my production schedule for the year, but I'm worried about having enough time to do everything, including having a personal life.
    This is the year of balance for me.
  • And now I feel the need to draw some Heavy Metal inspired artwork...
  • image
    Maybe I can fix it during the inking process.
  • image
    It's better but it doesn't have the right blend of sci-fi, horror and fantasy.
  • In the spirit of getting something out of my head and written down somewhere so I can focus on other things right now:

    Exploring a new genre: Occult - Science Fiction

    Personal definition: the combination of occult and science fiction

    Ways to explore the genre: 

    How would astrology work from an alien perspective?
    Polytheism from a universal perspective.
    How does magic relate to space travel?
    How do deities which are centred around planets relate to other planets? (for example: Earth powered magic wanes as you leave Earth)
    Magic (both Ceremonial and Hedge) as it relates to technology.

    That's all I have for now.
  • Today will be updating blogs and writing convention reports. I need to get back into the writing and drawing. Especially now that I've told my editor that I will be sending in a pitch for Ryn's Turn and, later on this year, Who Would Destroy the Gods? 
    My model for this year is to pitch the two books and then either get them published with my publisher or, self publish them both.
    If they take both books then I'll have to self-publish a different novel (meaning that I'll need to pitch these books quickly). At the end of the day, by this time next year, I need to have at least one hard copy of my father's novels on my table at Calgary Expo.
    Comics? More comic books go without saying. I need to be doing at least one page per week to hit the production schedule. A fairly simple strategy at least.
  • edited May 2016
    Okay, I just wrote out a pitch...I think. It gave an overview of the story that I want to sell to my editor. We've known each other for years now. This is for a sequel to a story that she's already edited and published. Let's see if this works out:
    Ryn’s Turn

    As I was reading Railroad Rising, I was intrigued by the characters. I also loved the world, the magic and the politics that went on. I also couldn’t help but to draw parallels between the story and our family. At the end of the book, I got this sense that there was more to the story than what was here. How did the queen rise to power so quickly? How convenient it was that the rebels, just “happened” to take out the king. Who was the other magical power on the other side of the rebellion? Will the rebellion strike again? I needed answers to these questions.

    I felt that Carrtog’s story was fairly complete. Carrtog was my father’s character. As luck would have it, there was a baby girl born in the novel, Aderyn. Perhaps she could take up her father’s mantle and be able to answer these questions for me. It was Ryn’s Turn.

    The story opens with Ryn returning from finishing school and her parents coming back from a visit with the queen. All is not well in the kingdom as some of the balloon scouts along the tracks are being attacked in the same manner as before.

    Gryff volunteers to go to the wisemen to see if they have any way of being able to determine what is going on with the scouts and Ryn stows away with him.

    As the story progresses, we discover that the Queen murdered her father in order to gain the throne. She used the rebells to gain her power and then promptly forgot about them. Because of this betrayal the rebells launch a new attack on the kingdom.

    By the end of the story, I want to know who the other magician was and who the new magician is behind the attacks. I want to know how and why the Queen betrayed her father. I want to find out how Ryn, Carrtog, Adelenger and Gryff save the kingdom.

  • Sitting down and writing that out actually helped me. If nothing else, it gives me a guideline for my story and what I want to do with it.

  • Writer's conferences. I can't say enough about them. Anyone who writes for comics should be attending them. Even if you are doing both writing and illustrating, you should still attend. At least here in Canada, the writing community is really beginning to understand that comics aren’t going away and that they are a new media, to be explored.

    Writer’s conferences, if you aren’t familiar, are conventions for writers and readers, which run workshops on all different aspects of writing (and they are also beginning to have workshops on illustration and art as it relates to book covers and comics).

    They are such a great way to meet other writers and pick their brains. You also get to meet the writing community.

    Did I mention that you also get to meet publishers and editors?

    Anyway, over the course of the weekend, I was convinced to pitch a story idea to my editor. There was a party, there were shots of single malt Scotch… I’m positive this is what all editors do. “Take a shot and then pitch me”

    She loved the idea. She wants the story. The problem is, I need to make sure that my writing skills can deliver this story. It’s huge, and there are a lot of subplots that are intertwined.

    It can’t be my first novel.

    I know this and it was confirmed by my editor.

    Me being me, I recalled a saying that I’d heard, “You need to write 10 books before you are ready to be published”

    So then I thought to myself, okay, ten books. From there, I managed to trap my publisher and some writers at a dealers table and asked them, what are 10 elements of a story that are essential to highlight the craft of the story?

    They gave me 11.

    I went back to my editor and told her this. She wanted to know how long I was planning on making them. I initially told her about 40,000 words. She mentioned that they’d really only need to be between 25,000 to 40,000 words. She also felt that I’d likely learn a lot along the way on all of the elements, which goes without saying. She also said that I should post them to Wattpad. Because I need to get feedback on what I’m doing right and what I need to work on.

    So, I have a task to do. 11 books. Challenge accepted.

  • Thanks guys! The first story came to me while I was coming home from the convention. In some ways it's cheezy but I still like the idea:
    Someone must weave stories in order to repair the fabric of reality and essentially save the world. The story would be about how she learns to become a chronicler (reality weaver).
    Afterwards, each of these other stories that I am writing will be her weaving reality together but will be it's own story as well.

    Do you ever have one of those moments when you write something out, look at it and think that it may not work after all? This is one of those moments. If I can't write out a basic plot outline today detailing what happens, then I'm just going to assume that it isn't going to work and will move on to another story idea.
  • Slowly trying to get caught back up on everything. I still have to report back about Calgary Expo (I have awesome pictures about that). Which I hope to get done this week.
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