DAVID LILLIE has been working on the Dreamkeepers story since 2008. After three graphic novels, and a few extra projects along the way, he shows no signs of slowing down. With his partner Liz, they make the core of Vivid Creations‘ independent publishing. David took some time off from drawing 432 individuals in front of 112 minarets to include some concept art in our book, Myriad Song, and to share with us his thoughts on creativity and art.
“I have this nagging belief that when passionate, dedicated creators are in charge of their work, the results are often better than what comes out of the Hollywood board rooms. So we’re having a blast making our own stuff, and seeing just how far we can take this roller-coaster of far too much color.”The source of the desire is simple — cartooning is potentially very powerful, and it’s nearly always treated by mainstream culture as a medium for patronizing idiots and children. Even the word ’cartoony’ is synonymous with unserious, simple-minded caricature. But cartoons are a powerful tool. They’re inherently evocative, appealing, easy to empathize with …. Used well, they focus on the details that matter. We see the sorrow, despair, joy, frustration, action, dynamism of a character….”[W]hat if we used it for something with more adventure, more life, something more vibrant and honest and interesting? Everything else has kind of flowed from that desire, to see cartooning used at its full potential.”
The main characters from Dreamkeepers, Vivid Creations’ graphic novel of science-fiction and fantasy.
Their powers were outlawed long ago… but our heroes find themselves the targets of the nightmares of legend, evil forces who know only the powers of the Dreamkeepers can stop them.
“A lot of people — a whole lot — want to do their own personal project for a living. It’s an enticing idea. But it’s very difficult to achieve. It requires a stupid amount of commitment. … I can’t tell other people how to make choices, but for me I sat down and thought about the worst case scenario. What if I spent my life trying to create what I love, and failed to ever make a living at it, winding up fifty, broke, and struggling to pay the bills with a job that I had intended as temporary thirty years before? What if I failed? Would I regret spending my time making my books?”Nope. I love this so much, I’m willing to see my life jump the shark over it.”If you have that kind of passion and commitment- then, really, you don’t have much choice over whether you’re going to be a creator or not. It’s in your blood, it’s just what you do every day. For those folks, don’t give up. Keep failing, keep learning, and eventually you’ll get somewhere.”
“The biggest frustration over the years has been how much time it takes to render what I had in my head — but, in retrospect, I think it was one of our greatest assets. I had time to get to know our characters better, let them grow and develop more, refine my understanding of the world, and develop my writing and artistic abilities. Dozens of story choices changed. We kept the same roots, the ones cemented into place within Volume 1 — but the tree they are growing into has juggled branches and twigs, pruned itself into different forms.”I’m thrilled with the story taking shape. It’s not that we’re creating something different from the original vision- but rather, conveying it more effectively than we initially could have conceived.”The magical thing is that progressive edits don’t feel at all like we’re making new stuff up. It feels exactly like making a discovery, uncovering something that was there all along — like the perfect Dreamkeepers story exists independently in the ether, it always has, and the more we develop and focus our efforts, the more clearly it shows itself.”
The world of Dreamkeepers is home to wondrous architecture, fantastic creatures, and terrible monsters… and all of it is rendered with joyful, colorful energy.
Be sure to check out the official Dreamkeepers website, where you can see a gallery of the artwork and you can order your own copies of the graphic novels. You can read more about Dave, Liz, and their exploits on their personal blog at the Vivid Creations webpage.
Thanks to everyone for your support! We’re excited to be bringing you these new stories, so we’re happy to present to you these new rewards levels.
For the first time anywhere, the epic Fire Shrine Trilogy with rare exclusives such as the out-of-print The Anti-Chair newsprint edition and the never-seen-before This is Heat 11×17 poster. Starring Those Annoying Post Brothers and Hiroshima, the Nuclear Earth Mother, in a battle that threatens all possible realities.
The first volume in the long-running Keif Llama: Xenotech series, about a diplomat who must deal with the strangeness of alien life-forms.
The complete Star-Crossed, a classic story about two lovers… except one is a genetically-engineered post-human and the other is a sentient rock. From the late, lamented Helix Imprint of DC Comics.
Rare Albedo books, such as back issues and the critically-acclaimed Platinum Catalyst role-playing game, exclusive to this Kickstarter!
The fusion of comics and music with rare compact discs from Ozone Player and Quarkspace, with booklets designed and illustrated by Matt Howarth.
Science-fiction artist MATT HOWARTH brings you a graphic novel of two star-crossed adventurers braving the dangers of the Myriad Song.
When the alien masters left the Myriad Worlds, great wars raged between the planets, until the Syndicate of the past was no more. Now that an uneasy peace has settled among the stars, fortune-hunters go seeking the lost treasures of ages past. When two adventurers search for a lost trove of weapons and riches, they will have to brave the trackless void of space, the mysterious defenses left behind … and each other.
Myriad Quest will be a self-contained, 48-page graphic novel written and drawn by Matt Howarth and produced by Sanguine Games, makers of the Myriad Song role-playing game. Matt Howarth had so many good ideas, we couldn’t fit them all in one book. With your support, we’ll be producing this all-new story in both print and electronic versions.
This new Kickstarter has fantastic awards such as unique artwork and bonus features. You can even get both the RPG and the graphic novel in one package.
Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life! As part of DriveThruRPG‘s New Year’s Values, MYRIAD SONG is available for 50% off. This offer expires January 12th, so live just one more day and do the thing you should have done — click here to get your own copy of the game that offers hundreds of adventures on ten thousand worlds!
A supertall supernerd, LYNN HOGAN has been working since 2000 on a wide range of apparel, merchandise, card games, video games and comics … as well as artwork for our science-fiction role-playing game, Myriad Song.
“After suffering from a repetitive stress injury to my drawing arm, I’ve formed Fat Loot Games with my partners Laura Goldstein and Jason Lust and been slowly recovering while focusing on putting together teams and producing projects instead. I live in Seattle with my husband and 2 corgis, and drink too much coffee.”
MONSTER STACKER, a game for mobile devices by Fat Loot, with art direction by Lynn Hogan
Unused concept artwork by Lynn Hogan for STAR WARS video games.
“There’s always the challenge of achieving the look you want as an artist within the constrains of the system and art style you’re working in. Also, in the early stages of a project an art style might completely change, or all the art you’ve been working on for months gets thrown out with a defunct feature. Games are constantly evolving, it’s a constant challenge to keep up!”
“I also write and draw a fantasy comic called Prydwen, available as a web comic. Orphaned at a young age and raised in a Sui monastery, Prydwen settles into a peaceful life tending the gardens, never knowing who she is or where she came from. When disturbing dreams give way to waking up in patches of ash where flowers used to be, she flees the safety of the church grounds with her friend Auric, looking for answers. But, things rarely go as planned when Gods are involved, and Prydwen finds that she is a crucial part of the plans of both Gods and Monsters.” [Click here to listen to a podcast interview, courtesy of Indeed.]
Known for his THOSE ANNOYING POST BROS comic-book series, author/artist MATT HOWARTH has produced countless other works and worked with many independent and electronic musicians. He has designed album covers, illustrated comic books, and written novels, where he frequently uses science fiction as a means to comment on our culture.
“My mind is prone to pursue strangeness when it comes to storylines, and in the real world there are strict guidelines (i.e.: laws of physics or social conventions) that act as limiting parameters. In storytelling, the writer is supposed to focus on an aspect of humanity as the crux of the tale… but my personal inclination is to get lost in the weird trappings that surround the characters, whether it be an alien world or a completely unrealistic scenario. I struggle to guide humanity back into the story, but often find myself constrained by the indigenous situations. Political or theological ramifications of our time have little bearing on a character’s motivations if they live on a gas giant planet halfway across the galaxy a few hundred years in the future.”
PROGRESSION, a fantasy novel for fans of progressive music
WIPEOUT, a graphic novel with C’thulu, Ron Post, and other Bugtown characters
“I have recently completed CHANGES 2, a sequel to my graphic novel from 30 years ago, further chronicling the misadventures of the Post Bros and the other eccentric denizens of Bugtown. Also just self-published KEIF LLAMA: WALLWAY, the fifth color digital graphic novel following the exploits of Xenotech Keif Llama–deep space with lots of weird aliens.”
“During the 70s, I started in self-publishing, but I swiftly spread out to working for a variety of publishers. This diversity has continued throughout my career, doing work for Fantagraphics, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, DC Comics, TMNT, Aeon, Rip Off Press … Yet all along I continued to self-publish things–mainly because my output is far more than any group of publishers could possibly handle. Since 2000, I’ve adapted my work to computer technology, which allows me to self-publish in digital form and avoid printing and warehousing costs. But during the last decade, I’ve still done numerous series and oneshots for a variety of publishers. I’m like a water faucet that’s stuck and can’t be turned off; things just keep on gushing out.”
In the darkness of ages past, our universe was visited by aliens strange and unknowable. They enslaved hundreds of people and they conquered thousands of worlds. Their empire became known as the Myriad Syndicate, and they were called the Syndics. For untold generations, the Myriad people served them, and worlds were stripped of all resources, and left barren and dead. Pollution was rampant – some planets became furnaces of waste heat and greenhouse gasses, while others became poisoned, radioactive wastelands. Many resented the rule of the Syndics, but no uprising was successful for long.
And then, a century ago, the Syndics were gone. Did they retreat to another universe? Are they hiding on undiscovered worlds, in radio silence? Interplanetary factions spread their philosophy from place to place. The Solar Creed offers the people free energy . . . at the price of their freedom and liberty. The technologists of the Concord push forward with their new science, for better or for ill. The Averlini Merchant Group promises greater wealth . . . by indenturing people in ways more oppressive than the Syndics ever did. Strange alien masters, such as the Malmignatti Queen and the Colligatarch of Apparat, threaten the livelihood of millions of people across the ten thousand worlds. And what mysterious dangers lurk in the unknown voids of space?
A complete game in one volume, Myriad Song is a science-fiction adventure where you will play as a brave adventurer traveling in the strange legacy of an alien empire. You will travel to primitive worlds with savage monsters . . . to high-tech stations of amazing technology . . . to derelict worlds where people scrounge out a living among the ruins . . . and to places far stranger. You will find lost treasures . . . and you will find horrors best forgotten. The risks are great, but the rewards are greater. Are you ready to heed the siren song of the further stars?
Sure, you’ve been enjoying our podcasts, and you’d love to participate, but what if you’re a sapient alien who can’t communicate through auditory vocalizations? Well, if you have a computer, ansible, teletype, xenharmonic demodulator, or another kind of compatible device, then you can use internet relay chat!
Join Jason Holmgren, the Fearless Imperator of Sanguine Games, creator of “Joe Genero”, “Ironclaw”, and “Myriad Song”, for an IRC (text-based chat) on Thursday, May 23rd, hosted by Dan Davenport of The Hard-Boiled GMShoe. The show starts at 7pm Central Standard Time (GMT-6).
Myriad Song is game of science-fiction adventure where you will play as a brave adventurer travelling in the strange legacy of an alien empire. You will travel to primitive worlds with savage monsters … to high-tech stations of amazing technology … to derelict worlds where people scrounge out a living among the ruins … and to places far stranger. You will find lost treasures … and you will find horrors best forgotten. You will tangle with dangerous people, from desperate lowlifes out to make a quick buck, to dangerous soldiers of imperial armies, all the up to monstrous entities both alien and terrifying. The risks are great, but the rewards are greater. Are you ready to heed the siren song of the further stars?