Category Archives: art

Cover art process

AucklandAllies_Cover-ChrisHoward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent a good chunk of the weekend painting, most of it on the cover art for Mike Reeves-McMillan’s novel Auckland Allies. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my original concept sketch and something close to the final painting on the right. I’m very late on this one, but I love the way it’s turned out!

Category: art, Books, steampunk

SaltwaterWitch.com Update

SaltwaterWitch.com – New background art, with some cosmetic changes, and links to new works–the new edition of Nanowhere and the latest release, Mermaid.

SaltwaterWitchCom-Update

 

Saltwater Witch Chapter 17 Update!

Saltwater Witch Comic

I know. I know, it’s been too long. I’ve been busy working on the Salvage comic, and left Saltwater Witch to just sit there for a couple months. Well, I’m back in business on Saltwater Witch, with three more pages–the rest of chapter 17 scripted and storyboarded. I just need to do the art and lettering. Soon. Very soon! In the meantime I’ve posted a new page for chapter 17, Kassandra and her grandmother still discussing the coming problems with Tharsaleos. The talk’s getting a little more intense.

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New Complete Seaborn Cover

ChrisHoward-SaltwaterWitch-CompleteSeabornCover

Salvage on Goodreads

There’s a day left on the Salvage Goodreads giveaway. Still time!

Enter to win!

To tease you a bit, here are two more panels from the Salvage comic, the opening page of the next chapter.  That’s Martin in the Knowledgenix control room, and below that, a kilometer off Moss Landing in Monterey Bay, it’s John Andreden chatting with Theo–who’s starting to look like a cyborg killer whale.

Check out the Salvage comic preview on the Salvage site.

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Category: art, comics, Salvage, web comic

The Wine of Ravens is live!

I’m happy to announce that my story collection, The Wine of Ravens, is live! (I have to add that I love this cover!)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks

Like a lot F&SF readers, D&D players, and geeks in high-school and college in the 70s and 80s, I was into Norse mythology, Vikings, longboats, and everything that went along with that chaotic, and often violent, world–although I probably went a bit far, and thought Vikings so passé that I changed my focus to the Saxons, Angles, Jutes, and Frisians instead. Enter my character, Aldred the Saxon, a sort of geeky version of a teenager living at that time, among the chaos, expansion, tensions with a fading Rome, and other territorial disputes.  If you ever liked Robert E. Howard’s Cormac Mac Art stories, or Andrew J. Offutt’s Cormac books, you’ll be a fan of Aldred.

From the back cover:

If you can see into the future, gods will take notice of you. Aldred’s brother is killed unjustly, and Aldred is forbidden to bury or honor him. He defies the decree, and makes a pact with strangers, an old man who won’t show his face and a giant who requires a final battle before he lights the pyre for Aldred’s brother. Aldred returns to face his doom and discovers that an agreement he has made in life pursues him after death.

The Wine of Ravens is a set of six stories that cover a good part of the life of Aldred the Saxon, from his first meeting with old One-eye (Diminisher of Peace), his journey across Europe, tangling with the unjust, with various forms of death, to the Near East exploring belief among the ruins of the once great Roman city of Caesarea Maritima (The Breaker of Gods), and then back north to his homeland and across the channel to Britain.

The story “Diminisher of Peace” was originally published in The Harrow, and later as part of the short story collection Always Becoming. The other five stories, “The Witch of Khoreios”, “The Breaker of Gods”, “The Feeder of Ravens”, “Wonderdeed”, and “The Wine of Ravens”, along with Diminisher, were serialized in Sacred Twilight. Together they form a fairly complete tale of the life of Aldred, a Saxon who can best be described as a researcher with a gift, working around 420 CE for Wodan, a god who gave up one of his eyes for wisdom. This apparently gave him a leg up on how to deal with the Ragnarok, but also gave him the drive to spend a good deal of time trying to plan and prepare for that final battle of the gods. Aldred was presumably just one of several people Wodan gathered up from an unfortunate end to send on dangerous missions.

I started writing about Aldred in the early 1980s, and wrote the first drafts of most of these stories around that time. I refined them in the mid-1990s, and did a complete edit pass before sending them to Sacred Twilight around 2006. Look for the comic edition of Diminisher of Peace in 2015!

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A give-away question for you…

Would you be interested in winning pages from my sketchbooks? Here’s an example pic of a typical page: couple quick and creepy vampire dudes, apparently I was contemplating the weirdness of the human ear, and a front-facing Kassandra with her crown. Some of the sketching is years old, but there’s usually a mix on the pages. I may also cut up a few as well, and give away just a sketch of Kassandra, Kallixene, or some of the Rexenor soldiers from Saltwater Witch.

This is part of a plan to do a couple book giveaways for the print edition of Salvage—outside of Goodreads. I usually include a few art prints and stickers for GR winners, but now I’m thinking of including some hand-drawn stuff.

Good idea? Let me know! I’ll take likes/pluses as a good sign!
Check out Salvage here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED0081O

sketchbook-ChrisHoward.

Category: art, Contest

Nanowhere – Comic Edition

Did I tell you there’s a comic edition of Nanowhere in the works? (Right now it looks like a December 2014 release for Vol. 1). Here’s a concept sketch for the opening page, with Kaffia breaking the top panel to flip off the annoyingly loud gunships going overhead. They’re on their way to capture Straff, who’s hiding in the woods that surround the skatepark.  In the book (Get it at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, etc.) Kaffia and Alex come in on the second scene of the first chapter, but I want a mood-setting intro into the story.  This may be it, or It may not be it.

Nanowhere… it’s a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts. Oh, and Kassandra from Saltwater Witch makes a couple appearances.

Kaffia and Alex, Opening Page of Nanowhere Comic

Kaffia and Alex, Opening Page of Nanowhere Comic

 

Sketching for Saltwater Witch 16

Spent some time sketching in Art Rage on the iPad, character studies for the House Rexenor soldiers that are going to start gathering now that Kassanda’s on the scene. These are for Saltwater Witch chapter 16 and 17.  http://www.SaltwaterWitch.com

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Mermaids with crowns

Not just Starbucks… Kassandra from Saltwater Witch, Seaborn, Sea Throne…with her buddy, Ephoros–he’s the guy with the sharp teeth. Spent a long time on this one, working in a lot of detail, about eight hours in CS6 and AR4. I’m probably going to use this for the intro page to the Saltwater Witch Comic 16. This is also a good one for those of you who want to know what the Wreath really looks like (her crown).
http://www.SaltwaterWitch.com/