I decided to post some of my in-progress pages for Track 5 of 'The Ballad of Toby & Sara: Meetings & Greetings.' It's been more than a year since I released Tracks 1-4, and while I can give you multiple excuses for the long delay, ultimately, I think it's been beneficial to the comic. It gave me a chance to really think about where the series should go in terms of storytelling, and how the artwork would be integrated with this. If this analogy helps, Tracks 1-4 set the chess board for the story, and Track 5 is where we see the first moves of the characters.
Overall, Track 5 centers on the former archangel Raphael, known to the people he meets as Ray Azzarus. He arrived in Omaha at the end of Track 3, and we discovered the first impressions of his true identity in Track 4. While the mystery surrounding him won't be completely solved in this chapter, the connection between his past and present situation will hopefully be more clear to the reader, and how his presence will prove fateful to both Toby and Sara.
Also, one of the challenges that I faced in this chapter was portraying the ancient city of Nineveh, which plays a part in Raphael's past. I didn't want to treat it as some uber-exotic Oriental land of wonders, but give the city some element of plausibility . I've made every effort in my research to present it with a degree of accuracy, but I've had to take imaginative and artistic liberties in some places. Any suggestions for sources would be helpful, if you have any.
And of course Toby and Sara play a large role in the chapter. I tried to enlarge their respective worlds while not distracting too much from the main narrative force of the story, which is the introduction of Raphael to both Toby and Sara.
So, when will this chapter be complete? I'm aiming to have the next book ready in time for the MoCCA Art Festival in April. When it's ready, I'll let the readers of this blog know, and the finished comic will be posted to my Web site. Stay tuned...