Today marks the last day we officially work on Amulet 4. All revisions and additional materials are complete, and the book should soon be ready to send to the printer. I think this volume is by far the best one in the series, and it is definitely the one that we have put the most effort into creating. It features a large cast of new characters and a large collection of beautiful new environments, including various locations inside the flying city of Cielis. The story delves deeper into the history of the stonekeepers, and the characters grow quite a bit during the journey. I did a lot of work to try and fit as much as I could into the 224 full-color pages of the book, and I think it shows. Be sure to check with your local bookstore and ask them to order it before it hits shelves on September 1st, 2011!
Special thanks to the Amulet 4 crew for doing an amazing job down the stretch. Jason Caffoe and Zane Yarbrough did an outstanding job on the backgrounds and colors, while Denver Jackson, Jonathan Chuan Ju Lee, Stuart Livingston, Rikki Simons, and Michael Regina helped us with the flatting and file preparations. Thank you so much, guys!
I’ll be sure to post preview material for the book in the coming months. In the meantime, you can click on the cover image above to get a high res version of the full cover spread.
We’re preparing for the final push on Amulet 4, so I decided to re-organize the workspace to maximize efficiency. I also recently replaced my old Dell workstation with a Mac Pro tower, and we added an iMac for the scanning/printing station. We’re almost completely running on Macs now. This new office arrangement allows for two artists aside from Jason and me to work alongside us in the same space. Zane Yarbrough and Jon Lee will be helping us on the final stretch. Looking forward to the long hours of drawing and digital painting ahead…
We’re currently looking for an in-house production intern familiar with Photoshop. Duties include scanning, flatting, and some digital painting. While we will require some light production work on Amulet 4, much of the job involves work on an unannounced Amulet-related project. You must live near Alhambra, CA and be able to commute to the studio. Please send resumes and work samples to: info (at) boltcity.com
My friends and studiomates Gordon Luk and Khang Le just finished their first big iPhone game: Beast Boxing 3D. Gordon handled the programming/design while Khang provided the artwork and 3D models/animation. Additional animation provided by Chris Lalli, Adam Gillespie, and Chris Cannavo. We’ve been playing the game at our studio for a long time now, and I’m happy that more people will finally be able to see how much fun it is. Beast Boxing 3D is now available in the app store, and you can find it here.
Beast Boxing 3D’s back story…
Gordon and I actually met while playing Halo 3. We played regularly with a small group of friends that included “Emotion” Eric Wu, Richard Pose, and my brother-in-law Tim Ganter. While playing, we found out that Gordon (who was just quitting his job at Yahoo) was moving to our town, so Tim invited him to come visit our studio. Soon enough, he was working here in our space, consulting for clients like Etsy.com. During this time, Gordon showed an interest in developing games. My friend Khang Le was also just leaving his job at Intel to move into our studio to begin working on his own games. Gordon and Khang met, talked about creating a boxing game for the iPhone, and the production process began. Jason and I happily provided them with hours of game testing while working on Amulet 3. During this time, we grew to be real fans of the game and have been eagerly awaiting its release. Now it’s here!
Please go and support our friends on their first independent game release. Not only will you be supporting the studio (and two of the nicest and most talented people on the planet), but you’ll be getting what I think is by far the best boxing game on the iPhone. It also looks great upscaled on the iPad!
We had a wonderful time at the San Diego Comic-Con 2010. In fact, we had such a great time that I decided we have to come back with the Flight booth for Comic-Con 2011. The one week out of the year where we get to spend time with so many of our wonderful friends is just too special to pass up. We already have a huge group of Flight artists planning to attend next year, so be sure to get badges as soon as you can (they sell out quick!) in order to meet all of us and help us celebrate the final installment of the Flight series. Click here for more pictures from the event, taken by master photographer/emoter Eric Wu.
The FLIGHT 7 preview is now online. I think it’s a very strong volume, with some of the most beautiful artwork we’ve ever had in the pages of Flight. The book arrives in stores mid-July and we will be attending Comic-Con to sell and sign copies of all Flight volumes. We’ll also have Copper, Amulet 1 & 2, Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Jake Parker’s Missile Mouse. Our booth is #2235, and we will be sharing the space with our friends at Gallery Nucleus once again. This will likely be the last Comic-Con where we will have a large booth presence for Flight, so be sure to drop by and say hello. Next year, I’ll only be at the show for a day or two and probably take Juni to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World.
Here’s the cover for Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers, which will be on shelves in September 2010. We think the book came together nicely, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon, but you’ll have to search for the subtitle “The Cloud Searchers”. Scholastic is currently working on getting the Amazon listing updated with the new cover and “Amulet Book 3” in the title. In the meantime, I recommend acquainting yourself with the local comic reseller and place an order with them. I actually buy all my comics at The Comics Factory in Pasadena. Hanging out with shopkeeper George and his crew is one of the great things I look forward to when there’s a new book I want to purchase.
On The Road Again…
I’ll be heading back out on the road tomorrow, beginning with a stop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I will be speaking at the Michigan Library Association Spring Institute on Thursday, April 8th (my birthday). From there, I will be visiting East Woods Elementary School in Hudson, Ohio on Friday, April 9th. Soon after that, I head out to see Steve Hamaker, Jeff Smith, Vijaya Ayer, and the rest of the Cartoon Books gang in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, while I’m near Cleveland, I will drive through Chagrin Falls, the home of Bill Watterson, to have a coffee and to HUNT HIM DOWN. Just kidding. If I see him, though, I’ll let you know. If I disappear, you’ll know where they’re hiding me.
The Columbus leg of the trip is what I am most looking forward to. I’ve been wanting to see Old Man’s Cave and the Cartoon Research Library, but most of all, I’ve always been wanting to visit Cartoon Books. Jeff Smith and Bone are a big part of why I do what I do for a living, both directly (because Amulet follows in the wake of Bone’s success) and indirectly (because Bone was a huge inspiration for the creation of Amulet). I may even have to work on Amulet 4 pages while I’m there. So, I’ll be traveling through Bill Watterson’s hometown on my way to see Jeff Smith while promoting my own fantasy graphic novel series. Now if I somehow run into Hayao Miyazaki during this trip, my brain will explode. It’s moments like these that, despite the difficulties of my day to day operations, reminds me that I am definitely living my dream.
On the last leg of my trip, I will be flying into San Antonio, Texas for the Texas Library Association Conference. I will be on the Maverick Authors Get Graphic panel on the morning of Friday, April 16th. I hear it’s a good show, and the folks at Scholastic were pretty adamant that I attend this one, so I’m looking forward to it!
Okay, I have to get back to work! Lots to do before I get on that plane.