hello Ryan how are you today? I suppose the first thing I need to tell you is that I thought I got rid of all the text that referred to lion and replaced it with manticore, image attached. I think I plucked the chapter from an old version. So I will check my final version and make those corrections, but otherwise and I very much welcome any corrections that you managed to catch, thank you very much! I am in the process now of doing that kind of proofing and am amazed at how much time I have spent and how long it has taken and I am only up to page 200.
on another note, I like the scene with Dorothy better than I like the other. The lion is really quite excellent by the way and expect you might could use your drawings fine face in the manitocore's body. However, there are a number of issues with this scene...Text Follows:
She is not unconscious
Her posture is not natural if she were unconscious which she isn't
She is seated, not lying
I would show her with severely damaged clothing, partly exposed back.
The manitcore should look vicious, scared, defensive, something other than smiling/relaxed.
I would consider going with this scene, but would like to see Jim being nudged by the Lion, Dorothy turning back to talk to him and Toto being carried by the scruff I guess the wolf has him.
Also, the characters would have to look like our existing characters
The scene would need to be more of a drawing of their surroundings...which it is pretty close compared to the bantam scene.
Regarding the Bantam Scene
It is too abstract and will be totally inconsistent with the current scenes and those under construction.
(I understand this is a draft - however )The characters will need to look like the existing characters
I would like this scene to be created as it is seen in the eyes of the characters who pass by the caves as if they were to take a snapshot of what they see.
I hope this helps. I am attaching characters as an fyi
“Ouch…let go of me,” she cried. “I am a mess…where is my make up?” Dorothy giggled and sat up. The Lion stopped pulling her and looked about for spines tearing through the Valley floor.
“Climb onto my back now,” growled the Lion.
“Yes sir,” she said with a salute. “You sir, are a real drag.”
As Dorothy mounted the Lion, a couple of the wolves bared their teeth, snarled, and after a few nips at Jim’s bottom, managed to persuade him to join us.
Jim wobbled as he walked and rubbed his eyes. “I git it…I git it…back off or I be making rugs of ye when I’m a feel’n better.”
Traveling was not easy for me. I hung by my scruff, and swung like a pendulum. Seasick, I longed for William’s saddle. The thought of her made me sad and helped to sober me up.
After a bit, Dorothy looked down from the back of the Lion and said, “Look at me. My clothes are worthless.” She wrapped herself as well as she could with her shredded shirt.
“I am filthy. My back is a trough of scratches, each filled in with forest floor gunk. Dorothy folded her arms across her chest and with a grimace said, “Jim Johnson, have you no decency? Quit staring at me.”
“But you just said…for me to look!”
“Jim,” she cried. “You just need to be quiet and keep your eyes to yourself.”
“Take my shirt,” Jim said as he removed it. He kept his eyes to the ground as he waved it about.
“Put your shirt back on…”
Before Dorothy could finish, a wolf snatched it from Jim’s hand and trotted it to her. With a deep sigh, she shook it out, sniffed it, and said, “This is really a sweet thing for you to do Jim.”
OK - I am not sure what this means but if I misunderstood something, it is just that. I intend no offence with my comments.
OK, let's proceed slowly, because I don't want you to get the wrong idea at all. Please read my response with a polite tone, and I am not wishing to come off rudely or in a stand-offish manner in any way:
In response to the characters looking like what you have already: I will absolutely try my best, (match the shirts / clothing that you want / faces & builds as best as I can possibly do) but my medium is vastly different than the flat-ish, less-detailed comic-panel-esque paintings you have so far. In no way do I mean this rudely, but what I do is far more time intensive and more highly refined and finished than what you have thus far. My samples show this. The work comes out of me per the artist that I am, and I can only tilt it a little bit, try as I might.
In response to the scene looking "too abstract" compared to what you have already: This critique is hard to fathom for me. Compared to the scenes that I've seen, or others that I haven't seen that are in the works? I am a bit puzzled, because you gave me a large swath of the story (even before I asked for the whole shebang) and I have responded with my professional instincts. You asked me to encompass "the horror" and I chose the vine consuming the little girl. The "snakelike" shape of that vine makes it the best candidate for a dynamic print that people might actually want to own. Those round archways (blue pencil) are Bantam cave entrances, described as "ornate." All of this exists in the scene that you wrote, and is not abstract, but used for a "lyrical" and flowing composition. So, I will need exact direction if this scene isn't right for you. Which passage over this one do you want? (plus, see below about isolating elements--especially for horror)
Before we go any further, I gotta level with you about the pre-existing art work. I only have seen what you've sent thus far, but, it's not highly finished. It's not art that will be an easy sell for limited edition prints. The work has to be fully realized and "iconic." I don't believe in stuffing in a bunch of characters into a scene, just because they appear in the passage. *What makes a precise translation from text to art, is not necessarily what makes good art. It's better to freeze the moment between Dorothy and the Manticore alone, because it's very stark and "iconic." There are plenty of pages / illustrations with which to show the other characters. There is a "direction disease" we artists talk about, called "Everything-And-The-Kitchen-Sink--itus." It's a well-known misstep that authors and green directors try to shove in too many elements, per scene, just because they exist in the writing. Never be "literal" with your passages vs. your art. Let the art have its own life and breathe, and be the best that it can be.
If you can trust my 23 year, + 4 year degree illustration experience and multiple awards, then I will deliver artwork that is far better than what you have.
So, if we move on, if you want the Manticore piece, to maybe be our first, I can add a large wolf to the left side, holding Toto (and please picture a lot of mist around the ground), but I'd rather not add in Jim, here, as him being pushed by the Manticore changes the tone from ominous to somewhat comical. I think that scene is about "ominous" in total, no? There are plenty of scenes in your writing with which to depict the characters being comical.
As for the Tinman in the Valley scenes, I don't recall any dialogue or presence from him there? I am hype to depict him, if he is prominent for a scene, but I don't see him in these, per the illustrations.
You wore me out a bit, with the stipulations added to the contract, Peeky, but I never minded that you simply wanted clearer terms. But, I was assured that I would be "able to do my thing" as an illustrator.
If this is not the case, and you aim to wear me out the entire time, then my worst concerns are coming to fruition, and we should talk about dissolving the agreement. As per what I've seen so far, I have no doubt that my work would outsell any other prints, 3-1. I know it sounds arrogant, but it's just that I've been doing this a long time. I have an 8K and a 9K children's book slated ahead, and I guarantee that your other artists are not that much in demand. Do you want to allow me to give you some awesome work, or do you want to pick it apart and make it cluttered or literal?
When I agreed to make changes / revisions, I wasn't expecting them to be about micromanaging my base instincts. I was expecting "change the shirt color a bit here" or "tweak her nose there," etc.
Unless there are some awesome bits of work that I haven't seen, I'd say I am kinda your headliner. If you want me to lift this project up a bit, I would be happy to produce your best art work, but you've got to let me do my thing , so it is good.
What do you think?
Do we have any chance of working together?