Siegfried: Dragon Slayer – Kickstarter

Siegfried-Kickstart

Mark Allard-Will is a smart writer, caring person, and has neat tattoos. He sounds cool right? Yeah, he is, why haven’t you backed his Siegfried: Dragon Slayer Kickstarter yet!?

Concept image of the three main characters: Fafnir (left), Siegfried (centre) and Regin (right).
Concept image of the three main characters: Fafnir (left), Siegfried (centre) and Regin (right).

The Story (pulled from the Kickstarter)

A Danish prince, Siegfried is raised and trained by a Dwarf loyal to the King. He comes to learn of his family’s exploits; their successes, failures and tragedies, of wars between the clans of Germany and the decline of great nobility. 

These stories ignite a fire of longing inside of Siegfried, a longing for claiming adventure and renown of his own. 

Inspired to rid the coast of Denmark of a wretched Dragon (Fafnir). Siegfried will find that adventure might not come as advertised.

Sound familiar? This book is an adaptation of The Völsunga Saga, the surviving piece of Norse mythology that inspired both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Richard Wagner’s Der Ring das Nibelung.

Promotional art of Siegfried (right) and Regin (left)
Promotional art of Siegfried (right) and Regin (left)

The Team

Mark Allard-Will – Writer/Author: The writer responsible for the Kickstarter success, The Burning Black: Legend of Black Shuck. Numerous comic credits and award wins on the indie film circuit with various short screenplays.

Jasmine Redford – Artist:  Jasmine hails from Saskatoon, Canada. Graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a post-graduate of English at the University of Saskatchewan. Jasmine is both a scholar and a talented artist.

Elaine M. Will – Letterer: Elaine is the author and artist of the critically acclaimed, Look Straight Ahead (I LOVE Look Straight Ahead!). Producing comic strips and illustrations for Canadian magazines, ranging from Ryerson Review of Journalism to Feathertale Review.

Page #18 - finished artwork
Page #18 – finished artwork

Siegfried: Dragon Slayer is definitely a project of passion for Mark. Over coffee, he passionately explained the mythology. Adding context of history, diving deep into this story, which he obviously loves. I’ll level with you, I’m not a history buff, but I am a fan of Mark’s work. Burning Black is a great book, and the quality of his past work has already sold me on Siegfried.

SpiderRed/Emily Chibi Art

SpiderRed

The fantastically talented Dre Throne (follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/art_thirst44/ ) created the awesome SpiderRed. Then he created this fun SpiderRed/Emily Chibi mashup. Thank you kind sir, sorry it has taken me a while to post this.

Dre and I met on DeviantArt, he was nice enough to let me practice lettering on some old pages of his. He didn’t have any dialogue, just sound effects, so I ad-libbed. I dug them up to go through them, and want to talk a little about the lettering process. A lot of mistakes were made…

SpiderRed page 1
  • The positioning of the lettering is a mess. Good lettering should push they eye across the page in a giant Z pattern. The first narration box should have been in the top left corner.
  • The font size is far too large.
  • The crossbar ‘i” should never happen inside a word.
  • There is too much white space inside each text box. There should only be enough room for an additional character.
SpiderRed page 2
  • The errors I made lettering this page are similar to the last.
  • The balloon tails look terrible; inconsistent, with one being far too fat.
  • The font size is all over the place! I think I was trying to show volume with the sizes, which can look good if done right, but lettering needs subtlety.

The point I am trying to make about lettering is: good lettering, like makeup & basslines, does best when guiding the audience, not distracting them.

Want to learn more about lettering? The fine folks at Comicraft are a great resource.

Preview:The Burning Black: Legend of Black Shuck

The Black Shuck

The Burning Black: Legend of Black Shuck for Pre-Order on Kickstarter!

This post is going to be a little different, I’m doing a preview!  Mark Allard was kind enough to provide me with his script and a couple pages of preview art for his upcoming comic, The Burning Black: Legend of Black Shuck.

Art

The line work and inking is to be done by Ryan Howe, known for excellent books such as the HenchmenSpacepig Hamadeus and Daisy Blackwood (check out the CEK Review).  Ryan is obviously skilled (see the pages below), and where he excels the most is as a story teller.  All background work, character expressions and clothing help to immerse the reader into the wold he builds.  Panel perspectives are always changing, keeping the story engaging and the pacing up.

Elaine Will is on colouring duty for The Burning Black.  While I’ve read all of Elaine’s work (please pick up Look Straight Ahead, it’s an important book about mental health), I’ve never paid close attention to her colouring work.  Here I see some great choices which elevate Ryan’s line work, giving his art a new stylized, cinematic feel.

Burning Black -page 1
=”http://www.cekcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/burning-black-p01-BIG.jpg”> Burning Black -page 1[/capti

Story

This is a preview, and full disclosure, I did not read the entire script.  I do not wish to ruin my first experience of reading Burning Black’s printed version.  Mark explained, during a coffee, the Black Shuck is an icon of folklore across the British Isles, with recorded accounts of sightings, blending with fairy tales spun by communities, adding to the legend.

Mark’s goal is to explore a fictional background of the Black Shuck, speculating on how this monster came to be, and what this could imply under the scope of real world history.  Furthermore, Mark explores the dark side of humanity, in the context of Cognitive Dissonance, and the potential for a Mr. Hyde-like result from the stress this can cause on one’s mind.

Burning Black -page 2
://www.cekcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/burning-black-p02-BIG.jpg”> Burning Black -page 2#blackshuck

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Where to Buy?

The Burning Black: Legend of Black Shuck is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter.  All of the funds raised from pre-sales are going directly into paying Elaine and Ryan their page rates. 

While CEK’s focus is Saskatchewan based, this project reached across the Atlantic and lead to an article with the BBC.  I am certain The Burning Black will become something special, do not miss your chance to pre-order your copy!