I'm back on LJ after being away for too long. I've been on other sites, such as Facebook, Google+, Deviant Art, Fur Affinity and others, but I've missed the LJ commuity. FurtherConfusion (FurCon) is also here, and I've been on-staff as Science Track Lead since 2010. Many furry fans and Ratha series readers are on LJ, and I've decided to check in and post on a regular basis.
What I've been up to in this last year is realizing a long-held dream: adapting Ratha's Creature,the First Book of the Named, as a graphic novel. More info below:
Ratha Graphic Novel Kickstarter Page Now Live
by Clare Bell
The Ratha Graphic Novel project continues to bound along its trail, jumping into 2013 with new announcements and accomplishments.
I am very proud to report that the Kickstarter page is now live at :http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sheilaruth/rekindling-the-fire-rathas-creature-graphic-novel
Please help us realize the dream of a Ratha's Creature Graphic Novel by pledging on Kickstarter. You can also spread the word by sharing it on your social networks and blogs.
The artists ( Dani Long, Lew Lashmit, Tod Wills), Sheila Ruth, and I have been intensely involved in creating the various parts of this very critical portion of the project. These include the Kickstarter page text, a wonderful video, a striking sample character (Thakur) reference sheet, and an amazing sample graphic novel page, lettered and fully inked and colored. Every time I see this, I am knocked clean off my paws by the skill and dedication that everyone has showed in creating it!
This reinforces my belief that working with artists drawn from the Ratha fan community is working out well, far beyond our hopes. The unusual synergy and community I mentioned before continues to flourish, nurturing not only the participants but the spirit of the project. I hope this creative luminescence shines through via the Kickstarter page, encouraging interest, support and backing.
Our decision to choose three artists who could complement and back each other up has already shown that it was a wise choice. When one or more of the artists did experience a problem or disruption, another was immediately able to step in, minimizing delays, and smoothing out bumps in the trail.
This has given the project an unusual resilience and durability.
This ability was not confined just to the art. Everyone on the team jumped in with suggestions and ideas for the video, music, storyboards, the creation process and many other aspects. Before I release this latest announcement, I will be posting my draft on the Basecamp whiteboard site we use, expecting that it will be mercilessly and lovingly pummeled into a much better version.
I believe now more than ever that a team assembled in this manner, challenged and encouraged in the way we all have done, can grow an amazing maturity and strength that can bring it through adversity and complete high-quality work. This philosophy reaches out to the best in all involved. We are not only blazing a trail for developing the graphic novel itself, but for seeking the best possible way to mold and grow an alliance between exceptionally creative individuals. Again, I don't know of any other graphic novel that has been done in quite the same way (though, admittedly, there may be some).
Here is a list of the team's accomplishments so far, as drawn (and slightly modified) from Sheila's text on the Kickstarter page.
Clare Bell has completely mapped out the story into rough storyboards.We put out a call for art submissions, and selected the art team.
The entire team has begun collaborating, with an amazing synergy, using Basecamp as our online collaboration/project management tool.
The art team has been discussing big cat biology, prehistoric flora and fauna, California geography, characters, layout of the clan ground, and art techniques.
The team has made significant progress on developing character reference sheets.
Art tests to fine tune the techniques have been successful.
The team has done successful test runs of panel art created using our planned collaboration process, and based on the rough storyboards created by Clare.
Please visit the Kickstarter page and let us now what you think of it. We're pretty proud of it, and we hope you will enjoy what you see.
I also hope that the project catches the eye of an animation film company. I believe that the character designs are simple but striking enough to adapt well to 2 or 3D animation.
I will also be making more of an effort to post these progress updates on various sites every week at least (daily if possible), so keep watching!
Info and Publicity links:http://www.imaginatorpress.com/kickstarter_project_galleryhttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sheilaruth/95565920?token=fcadd84dhttps://plus.google.com/106303987558495192835/postshttp://rathacat.deviantart.com/#/d5rhb3fhttp://rathacat.deviantart.com/http://www.facebook.com/clare.bell.750?ref=tn_tnmnhttp://www.facebook.com/rathaseries