It's been a looooong time coming, but this week, Black Axe arrives in-stores as a hardcover collection! I wanted to take this blogpost to talk about the book and its extras. To the left is the wraparound cover, which I covered in a process blogpost earlier this year. For those who didn't follow the series in issue format, Black Axe is a prequel book that takes place about 40 years before my Fall and Winter books. My rule as I went about telling this story was "the only point of a prequel is to add insight, perspective, and weight to the existing books".
Then we have the extras. In Fall and Winter there were 8 pages (four two-page-spreads)....for Black Axe, there are 22 (eleven two-page-spreads). These make up location guides, multiple maps, better looks at artifacts, and ships. Below I'll share a few examples of some of the inked original art for the guides:
All six awesome pinups will be included in the hardcover. I love seeing other artists interpretations of my mousey world. So huge thanks to the following folks for their pieces:
Mike Mignola (colors by Dave Stewart)
The last thing I'll note is also the most unusual and biggest surprise (even for me). The Foreword was written by Monty Python's own Terry Jones! When Editor in Chief Stephen Christy asked me to brainstorm about who I would like best for that task and told me to "dream big" with suggestions, Terry came up as being a big longshot. I'm a big Python Fan, but Terry seemed like a wonderful fit also because of his background in medieval history and his work in children's books. I was floored when Stephen got back to me saying that through some connections, he'd reached Terry and that he'd be pleased to write something. Thank you,
Sir Bedevere, the Nude Organist, and Mr. Creosote.
Last week's pieces came from the basic principle that it's always fun to draw animals with clothes (I've made a career out of it so-far). I wondered what animal it would be fun to paint that I hadn't tackled already and I decided on parrots. I started with two, but after a friend saw them, he encouraged me to do some more. So last week saw 4 paintings.
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21
Boston Comic Con: August 3-4
Baltimore Comic Con: September 7-8
New York Comic Con: October 10-13
North Carolina Comic Con: November 9-10