Today the Amelia team is back together after a short break. Over the last few weeks, Josh went to Canada to do a show, Mike went to Florida to visit the fam, and Chris colored a bunch of comics for the big M.
But now we’re back. While they (Josh and Chris) are in the other room drawing and coloring, I thought I’d (Mike) take a moment to blog about Amelia’s origins.
And away we go…
Amelia was written in a burst. The inspiration, best I can recall, came while lying in bed. The title “Amelia Chang Alters the Course of the Universe” came all at once, and I knew it was about a little girl playing piano.
It wrote pretty fast (over a few days). The story ended up typing out at 50 panels exactly, which for some reason I found amusing. So much so that later, during the editing process, I would struggle for hours trying to keep it at exactly 50 panels. This is known as writer’s insanity.
Originally, I think I was planning on drawing it myself, but pretty quickly Joshua Boulet became a serious candidate because of how busy I am, and how easy he is to work with. If I drew it, it would languish for a year and probably die halfway through getting drawn, but with Josh, it had a much better chance of getting done in a reasonable time frame. And it’s always more fun to work with your friends anyway. Chris came on to the project later, as explained in this post.
Josh read the script on the way to Austin on night and loved it. The two of us are always down to work together anyway, but he remembers really wanting to draw this script on first read. The story also got great feedback from the handful of people I passed it around to. Deborah Driscoll, who read it first, was particularly helpful with feedback.
These sketches are from our first few meetings, and you can see that the character design was still in it’s infancy. At this point we sketched a bit and talked about Amelia once in a while, but weren’t really committed to doing anything about it yet.
It was actually a few months later before we got serious. For some reason on May 14th 2010, we got together and started working on it for real. That’s the day I started this blog.
My hope was that the blog would lend some stability, because it would document our progress and be a constant reminder that we were moving forward. An added benefit would be that we could use it to take people along with us on the journey and the book would begin to build an audience before it was even completed. I think it’s worked out pretty good.
If you want to know what happened after that first day, just got down to the first post on this blog and read it in chronological order thereafter. You can walk every step of the way with us. I think I’ve posted pretty much everyday that we’ve worked together since then.
That’s the story. It’s still going. As I type this, the book is nearing completion on the drawings, and Chris is only about 10-15 panels behind that on the coloring. The progress has been amazing.
And the feedback from people who’ve read this blog has been WONDERFUL. You don’t know how helpful it is to know you’re not creating in a vacuum.
We’ll keep you updated on progress. The plan is still to complete and release the book in time for you to buy it for someone as a holiday present.