Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

  The Flight anthology may have ended last year, but that doesn’t mean we’re done! Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is the spiritual successor to Flight. The first volume features stories by Emily Carroll, Rad Sechrist, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Jason Caffoe, Johane Matte, Stuart Livingston and Kazu Kibuishi. Each story represents a unique take on the idea of a “mystery box”.  Check out one of the early reviews for the book, over at Wired.com’s Geekdad blog. The book has also earned a starred review on Kirkus, and received another glowing review on Booklist.  You can also see what people are saying about it on Goodreads.com. Explorer: The Mystery Boxes will be in stores March 2012, and it will be available in both soft and hardcover formats. My hope is that the book not only entertains the readers, but that it helps inspire people to create their own stories, in any medium.

Amulet 4 in Stores Now

Amulet Book 4: The Last Council is now available at your local bookstores and online retailers. The crew and I worked harder on this volume than any preceding it, and we learned a lot in the process. This is the first time I feel the team as a whole really hit its stride and the story itself means a lot to me, as I had to weather a very difficult year while writing it.  I sincerely hope you all enjoy reading the new volume, and know that I am working very hard to make the next volume even better.  Thank you so much to all the readers, retailers, librarians, teachers, and parents who have supported us over the years and have given us the opportunity to create more fantastic places and characters for readers of all ages to enjoy.  Here’s hoping the best is yet to come!

Amulet 4: The Last Council

Amulet 4

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.

Crunch Time

New setup

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…

Amulet Internship

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

Beast Boxing 3D

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!

Here is a feature article on the game at TouchArcade.  And again, you can check the game out for yourself right here.

Comic-Con 2010

Juni after SDCC

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.

Flight Booth

Flight booth 2