Monday, December 10, 2007

The Layouts are In

Last week I got my Ninja layouts from the Viking Art Director. For those who do not know, these are page layouts - with my rough art - in the actual size that the book will be with the text placed on the page in the size and font as it will appear in the book. This is like a formal dummy book. It helps make sure the story is clear and well paced, and lets me know where the text will be so I don't put anything too detailed behind it.

I'm happy to say that – for the most part – they kept my page breaks. Which means that I did a pretty good job in the first place. Yeah me!

There are many pages with little notes on them like, Can Grandmother be wearing a one toe sock here instead of bare foot? That kind of thing. No problem. I had to do a couple character re-designs because the facial hair looked more Chinese than Japanese and they were totally right to catch that.

When I started this book -YEARS ago – I didn't do such a fabulous job in the research department. I just drew things how I thought they looked. Over the revisions with my agent, I did a lot more research so things like architecture got cleaned up – but the issue of facial hair never emerged. Until now. So I did a Google search and sure enough – the Japanese are not known for long mustaches. (And can I just say how much I love Google?! Books are great too, but there's nothing like the internet to help you find obscure little things fast.) So I have to alter the grooming styles of two characters.

And there's 2 pages where I need to redraw from scratch. I finished the first one. Now I'm on the second.

I should have the changes back to the art director tomorrow – THEN – I think – I can begin the final art.

However – the release date has been pushed back. It was Spring 2009 – but in order to meet that due date, ALL the finished art would have to be in by March 1st! That would be pushing it. And I want to do my best work. I don't want to be stressed out about this. So I guess it's best to push things back a bit. Now the book should come out in July 2009 – which means I have until July 2008 to finish. Ahhhh.

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