Saturday, May 4, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013!!
Today was Free Comic Book Day. In case you were not able to get out and pick up the Archaia offering with a Mouse Guard/Rust cover, here is a video of me reading the story to you.

Mouse Guard: The Tale of Thane & Ilsa from David Petersen on Vimeo.

I've done videos like these for the last two FCBDs and can still be viewed online:
The Tale of the Wise Weaver:
The Tale of Baldwin the Brave:

The Tale of the Thane & Ilsa Story details:
For this year's story I wanted to continue the tradition of a younger version of a Mouse Guard character being told a morality story. This time around, it's Sadie. I'd drawn Sadie's father Thane once before for a commission, which was later included in a sketchbook. Sadie's Mother I had only listed in the RPG, but I had a real person in mind for what kind of person I'd imagine Sadie's mother to be. A family friend named Bonnie Venn  is a renaissance woman. I've known her my whole life and think of her as an unofficial Aunt who I'd see each summer (at their cottage on an inland island lake here in MI). Bonnie can do some of everything, she's a potter, a painter, a mechanic, a business woman, a welder, a decorator, a name it, and Bonnie is probably good at it, and a really lovely person to boot. That's the kind of woman (mouse) who would have raised Sadie...and taught her to do well at some of everything as well.

So now that I've explained the Isle of Venn & the character of Ilsa, I need only tell you where the story and visuals came from. I had originally thought of a story where Sadie is taught to get in there and play just as hard and well as the boys, but I thought that message was too obvious and predictable. Instead went in the direction of parents trying to explain a better path for what to value in love...I could also make the 'just as good or better than the boys' as a part of explaining Ilsa's (and in turn Sadie's as well) character in the story. I was also inspired by the part in the part in the 6th Harry Potter book where Fleur Delacour, upon seeing her future husband's scars and disfigurement says "What do I care how he looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us...All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!" I thought I'd borrow that sentiment from JK, to examine what the woman who 'has everything' will use as a litmus test for quality of love.

For the visuals, I wanted to do illuminated manuscript illustrations, but stay away from the style of the book of Kells and similar real world examples, since I'd already used those in Mouse Guard for other stories and documents. I looked at Moorish & Islamic illuminations and thought the stylization would give a clear distinction to this story and also make it a bit more of a fairy-tale quality over a historical-document quality.

The original pages are available for sale in my online store:

Hope you all enjoyed the day, tried new books, encouraged non-comic readers to try something new, and had fun with the new Mouse Guard story: The Tale of Thane & Ilsa!

Green Brain Free Comic Book Day shirt:
Today in the Headspace Gallery at Green Brain Comics tee shirt artwork was featured & could be purchased as a shirt printed on-demand. The gallery exhibition will be up through August 31st and shirts can be printed on-demand by visiting* Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, MI. For my design, I went with a Mr. Toad style animal character reading not just comics, but graphic novels as well.

*These will not be available by mail-order, but only by purchasing in person at the Dearborn, MI location.


Candace Trew Camling said...

I picked up your free comic today, and I totally gravitated to your artwork! Gorgeous!

Billy Hogan said...

I always make sure to pick up the FCBD edition of Mouse Guard. This story might be my favorite. I've given them to my young cousin, who I've also given the first two volumes of Mouse Guard as gifts. I'm thinking about keeping this one for myself. An excellent story, as usual!

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