Indiana Jones Meets Harry Potter

Another day, another photoshop. After the warm reception to my previous post on Indiana Jones and the Halls of Erebor, I decided to put my favorite hero ever, Indiana Jones, into another franchise that is very near and dear to me, taking him to another realm of high fantasy and magic.

And giant snakes.

That’s right. Indiana Jones now finds himself at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is pitted against Voldemort, the Death Eaters, and his personal favorite, a deadly basilisk.

Now I know Indiana Jones was active in the 1930s and the main Harry Potter arc takes place in the early 2000s, but come on people! It is Indiana Jones meets Harry Potter! Granted, Indy could have gone to Hogwarts while Lily and James were going to school and that could have been fun, but I didn’t feel like doing that so here we are.

How does Indy get to Hogwarts? I dunno. Maybe he is invited by Dumbledore and becomes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. They switch that teacher out every few weeks anyway. Maybe he winds up on Platform 9 3/4 while fighting some Death Eaters and makes his way to the school from there. But who cares!? We get to see Indiana Jones fight a basilisk

So without further delay, here is my latest photoshop.

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Ah, such creative potential with this one. How would Indy get along with our three young stars? Would he and professor Snape actually find some common ground? How well would a fight between him and Delores Umbridge go? Probably not too well for Delores I would gather. One thing is clear. Voldemort is going to have his hands full with this muggle.

Hope you all like the eye candy.

Indiana Jones vs. Smaug

Greetings from everyone’s favorite wannabe author. As expected, the holiday party for my store left me with one more completed chapter for my book Never Heroes, forty finished pages on the amazing Salem’s Lot, and a belly full of salad, biscuits, chicken and potatoes. As for my free gift, I got an electric iron. Was unaware people still used those things, but I’m sure someone I know will find use for it.

I haven’t done much writing since the party given my increased search for film related work. I have four interviews this week, so hopefully that will lead to something. Given the paperwork I need to fill out tonight, I don’t expect to resume work on Never Heroes until tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t have some fun.

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I must once again state my undying love for the Indiana Jones series. To me, that is the standard by which I judge all other adventure stories. Like most of us, I always love to imagine how other favorites would be influenced by an outside character, in this case the Middle Earth saga.

Though I loved Tolkien as a person and learned much from him, I wasn’t really enamored with his work until this last year. Strange considering I’m writing a fantasy novel, but lets move on. Being a fantasy series, there will obviously be treasure, which would be fertile ground for a treasure hunter like the good Dr. Jones, but who could he fight? Not Sauron. I have no doubt Jones could pull off a gun vs. sword miracle in that case, but there was another rival that seemed more fitting. Jones is the ultimate treasure hunter, so he should go up against the ultimate treasure hoarder. Smaug the dragon.

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It seemed like a match made in heaven to me. I made the above meme as a giggle and shared it with friends on Facebook. We all hope a little meme we make will go viral. Apparently though someone already did something similar with Smaug and Kylo Ren. Not sure why other than Star Wars fans trying to stick it to Tolkien, in which case, shame on you Warsies. Stop trying to kick everyone else off the geek mountain. You’re making the other Warsies look bad.

Of course there was another way to indulge in my fantasy, and that is my habit of making fake movie posters.

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I love the art of movie posters, in particular Drew Struzan’s work which I always found appealing. Now I can’t paint to save my life…I think. But I do know a few tricks in photoshop to simulate the look of paint using photographs and a few filters. I did the above poster a few years back as part of my Everything Is Better With Carl Sagan series, and I’m still very proud of it. By the way, I’m a pretty religious guy, so I don’t want to hear anybody say I’m bashing religion with this picture.

I could clearly do a good fake poster, so why not a fake movie poster for Indy’s battle with Smaug? I even had the plot worked out. While studying artifacts in Eastern Culture, Indy is transported to Middle Earth where he saves Gandalf and Bilbo’s party from some baddies. Indy learns that an artifact that may have the power to send him back to his world is in the realm of the ferocious Smaug, so he uncurls the whip and joins the party on what may be the greatest adventure of his life. But some have other ideas. Evil wizard Saruman believes Indy’s world is ripe to be conquered, and wants to use him as a tool that will lead him and Sauron back to our world. Will Indy succeed in returning home and preventing the evils of Middle Earth from following him?

So, without further delay, ladies and gentlemen I give you….

indiana-jones-and-the-halls-of-erebor

This is easily my photoshop masterpiece, and it’s hard to say what will dethrone it in due time. Why did I do this? Just for fun. It felt good to take a short break from the land of Haiden to create a blend of the two series that jointly inspired my book.

Come on guys. This would be awesome. Indy and Gandalf would undoubtedly have much to talk about, Indy could call Bilbo ‘Short Round’ all the time and lots of orcs get shot and thrown under carriages. If you wouldn’t pay to see that, you either don’t have the money or don’t have the soul.

Hope you enjoyed today’s random post. Feel free to whore out-I mean share my posters at your leisure as long as you link back to the site here.

Catch y’all later.

Life and Times of a Big Dragon Illustration

Completing this latest illustration for the fantasy/action novel Never Heroes was a very rewarding process for all involved. The drooling villain here does appear to have quite the craving for the young 15 year old deuteragonist.

Heavy the Dragon and River

I do appreciate all the love this picture has received. But as with any picture, it was quite the process to finish it. Linked below is the latest concept art page detailing the step by step creation of this stunning image. I hope you all find this article as interesting to read as it was for my artist to draw.

Chapter 19 Illustration Concept to Completion

Big Dragon Picture!

Well, it’s finally done. Another illustration for my first novel, Never Heroes, has burned its way to completion.

This picture, showing one of the action sequences later on in the book, is a personal favorite of our artist, and it’s not hard to see why. The detail here is stunning, from the hungry drool dripping from the monster’s maw to the still bleeding whip marks on our young hero’s back. Hope you all agree, this pic is a winner.

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Feel free to check out Joe’s other stunning illustrations for this book for chapter 1chapter 3, and chapter 15 at these links. The progress page showing the step by step process by which this illustration was made will be coming shortly.

Thanks for reading and keep watching the skies.

Giant Dragon Illustration Preview

Big news everyone! This week has been most productive, with a script almost completely revised and a new illustration on the way for the Never Heroes series. Below is a preview of the image showing it’s current progress. Expect to see both of them live here very soon.

never-heroes-dragon-illustration-preview

New Big Dragon Illustration Coming

See this right here? This is a happy dragon. This is a smug and satisfied dragon who is most mug and satisfied at some big big news. What is this mysterious big news? Well it just so happens to be one of the biggest stories ever! In the history of this tiny little blog.

Okay. Maybe the news isn’t that big in the grand scheme of things, but give me a break here people.

Okay. Moving on. Not too long ago my artist and I started work on another illustration for the book. With some time needed to get all the required elements to complete the cover of our fantasy/action epic, we’ve put that on the sidelines and moved on to some other illustrations that will decorate the manuscript. We aimed to make it similar to the Dark Tower series, having one illustration every few chapters. So far we have completed three that show off our massive red leading lizard of fire and death.

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We’re pretty happy with all of them so far. More recently, we began work on another illustration that would show off one of the more tense sequences in Chapter 19. This was the picture’s humble beginnings.

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Last night we made massive progress on the picture. It is easily one of the most quickly progressing illustrations of them all, with great attention to detail, nice moody lighting, and a nice pants fudging subject matter for all to enjoy. Now, I won’t go showing off all of it just yet since there is still some work to be done, but I do hope this little snippet of the picture will be enough to satisfy your curiosity.

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Barring any major setbacks, this picture should get wrapped within the next seven days. Hope all of you are just as excited as we are. The world is going to get one more Big Dragon, and that’s something we could all use a little more of.

Meet Major Celice Arietta

It has been a treacherous walk through the mythical land of Haiden, but another step has been completed in the creation of the cover for the first book in the Never Heroes adventure epic.

Major Celice Arietta of the Paladin’s Guard, the tough heroin who masterminds the plan to blackmail an unwitting dragon to aid her is here.

celice-completed

Our artist, Joseph Buehrer, once again did a stunning job, with great detail on the armor and weaponry. He did especially nice work on Celice’s unusual crossbow bandolier. Out of all the supporting players, she’s among the most complicated to draw due to all the gear she carries.

Joe captured the Major very well in all her grizzled armored glory. We originally had another sketch drawn up for the cover, this one here.

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Joe however was not satisfied with that picture, feeling it didn’t adequately capture the Major’s character. He persuaded the usually stubborn me to allow another attempt at her, and drew up the stunning sketch at the top of the page.

It is a major relief to us, because Major Celice is the last of our supporting cast that needed to be drawn. Everyone else is done.

Never Heroes River Cover illustration

The fifteen year old Flatlander orphan River.

Professor Graga 'Blondie' Kelpla Completed Illustration

The orc professor Graga ‘Blondie’ Kelpla of Ravenwood University.

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The cheeky elven wizard Hunter ‘Sparks’ Nightshadow with his glorious mullet. They’re all now in the till and ready to go.

You can read the bios for all our heroes in this link.

Now all that needs to be done is our leading man/fire breathing lizard of death, the tweaks to our background, and then comes the final collage.

Hard to believe at long last this cover is almost done, and it nears its end with the dawn of a new draft of the book, forthcoming next month. Here’s to it being an eventful and productive writing session, andI promise this cover is going to be worth the wait.

We’re going to knock your socks off.

Mullet Elf is Completed

Big news from the magical chaotic land of Haiden.

Well, after much work, another character for the cover of the first book in the Never Heroes series is finally completed. Elven wizard, Hunter Nightshadow, with his magic staff/pruned tree branch and glorious elf mullet is here in both color and Mullet-O-Vision.

As with all the characters and elements, some details will be further added once the composition for the cover has been figured out, because every mullet can never get enough love, especially an elven mullet. For now though, Hunter, like his cohorts, is looking as sharp as ever.

Hunter_01

With Hunter in the till, this marks three of our five main characters that have been completed. Now we just have Major Celice and our leading ma/fire breathing lizard, an extra run through the background, and we can finally start putting this cover together. We may not be able to master the Struzan style, but we’re going aim as high as we can. This cover promises to be even more epic now that it includes a much needed elf mullet.

All is not quiet on the editing front as well, as our editor has turned in those final five chapters. For the moment I’m taking a breather from Never Heroes writing to hammer out another draft of a horror script. I aim to put the lid on that today. Next week however I plan to power through those editing suggestions and figure out which ones I’ll keep and which ones I’ll discard. We aim to have this book all ready to go by Christmas, and then comes the search for an agent.

As the search for an agent gets underway, I plan to make good use of the time and get back to writing book two in the series. With the promise of more elven mullets, it should be a blast to return to Haiden.

Hope you all enjoy Hunter Nightshadow, and I’ll be checking back soon.

What Would You Say to an Elf with a Mullet?

Let me start this by saying I’ve nothing against how elves have been portrayed in fantasy fiction up to this point. The general appearance of elves with slicked back hair and fair features has been a staple of fantasy for some time, and remains a a tried and true topping on this sweet genre.

But I didn’t want to write every other fantasy story. I wanted to write something that was truly mine. Something that had a special personal flavor that set it apart from the rest, so when someone read it, they’d say “Oh yeah. That’s one of his.” If the fantasy genre was ice cream and the tried and true methods of the past were sprinkles, I was going to use Gummy Bears.

So I gave our elf a mullet.

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Took my illustrator a bit to fix up our elf’s hair from the old slicked back look it had in previous illustrations, but looking at Mel Gibson’s heavenly 80s hair was a revelation to me. Those long, manly curls dig into my skull and formed over and over again two words which would repeat continuously for days.

“Why not?”

The only way to satisfy the mullet beast was to grant its desire. So now our elf has a mullet, and we can tack that up to another Gummy Bear on the scoop.

Hope you all enjoy this preview and you can expect to see our mullet-ified elf completed either this Monday or next.

Our Book Cover Now Has an Orc

More Never Heroes news. The pre-final edit final edit of the first book is nearing completion. We’ve two chapters to go which should be wrapping up this weekend, and then it’s on to the regular final edit. The team hopes to have this novel ready for query letters come December.

I will say this, editing these last two chapters has been a chore, considering they largely consist of two dragons punching each other. It can be exhausting to work so extensively on such a long action scene, but that’s what the story called for. I wanted the finale to be as spectacular as fantasy literature has the potential to be.

In other news, our book cover is edging ever closer to completion. Our illustrator created this stunning picture of Professor Graga ‘Blondie’ Kelpla, the well educated orc who often finds herself at odds with the novel’s abrasive protagonist. This picture will be featured on our cover in the final Drew Struzan inspired collage.

You can read the summation of her and the others here.

Blondie_Cover_04

Also completed is the secondary hero of River, done in striking detail by our artist.

Never Heroes River Cover illustration

Up next we will be completing the colors on the elven wizard, Hunter and Major Celice Arietta, the final two supporting players to be added.

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Currently in the works is our fire breathing star, and some additional work will be done on the background the characters will be placed in front of. This cover is looking better by the day, as is the story it will be wrapped around. It is my hope that the work I’ve done can live up to the stunning artwork my team is providing.

Thank you all for reading and I’ll keep you filled in as the updates come.