AND HERE WE GO. Pitch artwork for The Nameless City. A couple of illustrations, the main characters (designs not final, ugh, forever designing these characters) and pitch sequentials, which will be redrawn for the final comic. Of course. ;)

Back in 2010, after finishing Friends With Boys and before starting Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, I had a long talk with my publisher First Second, where they asked me what I wanted to do, long term. I said I wanted to do a comic like Bone. Meaning that I wanted to do a longer form story in a non-contemporary setting that focused on character and gave me the chance for me to draw things other than school lockers. ;) I was feeling really burned out on drawing contemporary stories (with a couple exceptions, The Last of Us, and Ice, all of my comics have been set in a contemporary environment), and I wanted to try something different.

I’d been developing a story idea while I was working on Friends With Boys, something to just mess around with, and it was starting to go from something I did for fun to something I was interested in pursuing. It was about two kids in a sprawling multicultural city, one an educated member of the ruling elite, one a damaged street kid. I imagined this giant sprawling story inspired by parts of the history of the Silk Road, where commerce forced enemy nations to work side by side … First Second took one look at that pitch and was like, nope! XD 

So I went away for a couple years, drew The Last of Us: American Dreams and two volumes of Bigfoot Boy, and re-developed the story from the ground up. During those years I spent a lot of time with my three favourite stories, Bone, Fullmetal Alchemist and Avatar: The Last Airbender, taking them apart and looking at what parts I liked best. In the end, it all came down to character.

I stripped down my very long story and returned it to its roots: two kids, opposite worlds, one city. 

Its been a very long road to get to this point, but I’m so happy it’s finally happening, and I think this story is SO MUCH BETTER for those additional years working on it. Thank you so much to my agent, Bernadette Baker-Baughman, who really encouraged me to pursue this project, and to my editor Calista Brill, who pushed me to make this story so much better than it was at the beginning. I am so lucky to be able to work along side these women. 

So! This will be a huge project for me. Probably the next 3-4 years of my life. It’s a little (A LOT!) scary, but I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting to do something long and challenging for a while, and I think I’m ready. I hope you will enjoy it. :)

I’ll be posting more Nameless City stuff this week. I’ve been developing this comic for 3 years, so I literally have piles of development work. Hopefully it’ll be interesting to you to see where the story started initially and where it ended up.