Monday, December 26, 2011

New Projects

I figured I should probably update this blog, since folks keep linking to it when my name comes up.

Things have been keeping quite busy over here - in addition to various Venan-related projects such as Book of Heroes (available now on the App Store for the awesome price of NOTHING!) I have been keeping busy with a multitude of side projects:

Dust: An Elysian Tail has been a pretty big project for me. For starters, it'll be the first script I've worked on that includes a fully-voiced cast, but it certainly goes beyond that. Having played recent builds of the game, I can say that Dust plays as well as it looks. Imagine, if you will, a combination of Metroid and God of War and you've got an idea of what the gameplay is like. Working with Dean "Noogy" Dodrill has been an awesome experience, and I'm looking forward to working on more projects with him in the future.

Beyond the Western Deep is a webcomic that I've been working on with Rachel Bennett for quite some time now. The idea for the comic materialized while we were both still in college, and after many years of planning and pitching, we finally settled on a webcomic as the medium to go with.

The comic is inspired by our love of the Redwall series, but also pulls in inspiration from The Elder Scrolls series, Lord of the Rings, classic animated films like "The Secret of NIMH", and other sources. Beyond the Western Deep could be considered a love letter to our childhoods, and we're finally ready to start posting pages online. The comic's website is

Lastly, I've been working on a novel pitch (that is, a pitch for a novel, not a pitch that is novel) for the last few months now. I can't really talk about it, but I can say that I am collaborating with an artist for the pitch illustrations and the work that has been done thus far is very promising.

It is my hope that by the time my next post rolls around, that mystery third project will be able to materialize a bit for public consumption. In the meantime, there's always Dust and Beyond the Western Deep!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brian Jacques - 1939-2011

This was posted over on Rachel's and my webcomic blog, but I think it's important to put it here as well.

Matthias and the Tapestry of Redwall (by Rachel)
It's not very often when somebody creates a world so imaginative, so influential, that generations of creators call on it as their inspiration. This past weekend, the creative world lost a giant - a man who crafted a world of woodland creatures living in an Abbey in the middle of Mossflower Wood, and created a community of fans and admirers that I sincerely hope will continue to be influenced by his incredible body of work for years to come.

In a world that changes on the whims of focus groups and sales charts, here was a man who honestly did not care about any of those things. The Redwall series transcended reviews and bestseller lists. The Redwall series simply was - and every year, almost like clockwork, another book came out that you could read, each one offering a simple guarantee that for a short amount of time, you would be whisked away to the world you'd been reading of since childhood, and it would always be the same, always safe, always familiar, no matter how dark or dreary the real world became.

Despite the fact that my one personal meeting with Mr. Jacques did not go very well (it involved a Redwall video game pitch back in 2004, and interviews have since proven that this was not an idea he was very keen on), I owe him so very much. To thank him for the Redwall series itself seems insignificant - instead, I look beyond it to see that Rachel and I would probably not know each other if there was no Redwall series, and this comic tale, this world, these characters - they simply would not exist without the Redwall series as a guiding light in our early years.

My long-standing and irreplaceable friendship with Sean Rubin began with that Redwall video game pitch - and other friendships I cherish (Kristen, Vero, Zach, everyone - too many to list) began with a common interest in the Redwall series. My work on David Petersen'sMouse Guard series would not have come to pass either, without the series' incredible impression on both his work, my work, Sean's work, and our friendship. Truth be told, most of my personal creative endeavors are due to Brian Jacques and the fantasy series he created.

I don't know what the future holds for the Redwall series now - but I know that regardless of what happens with the series proper, that it will continue to evolve and improve in the hearts and minds of the creators it inspired. Redwall was more than a book series to me - it was and always will be an idea; a creative spark that, as long as we continue to hold it with us, will never die.