With chapter 4 now in the back end of production––meaning that all the writing and drawing is done and now it’s just a matter of coloring and lettering––I can feel comfortable doing the first major reveal for this next book: the cover and the title, of which I combined together above.
The only difference between this and what will be the actual cover is that the title––”Dead Words”––won’t be on there (although, now that I see it, it looks pretty good).
This does feel like a bit of a cheat as the image for the cover itself was used as a Sketch Friday, but it worked so well, I couldn’t help but use it.
But it isn’t laziness that drew me back to it, for it wasn’t a random sketch at all. I knew the tone and scenes Chapter 4 would have and that it would contain some of the darkest and bleakest points of the character so far. With Chapter 3 done in 2018, I wanted to do some drawings to help find that tone, especially with the added coat Long John wears in the chapter (spoiler alert, I guess).
This idea was the first sketch I did––and was my first drawing of 2019––and I liked it so much I made it into a full drawing, scanned it, and colored it. I liked it so much I even made the passing comment about its future use in that January post:
“The result, actually…could likely become the cover for Chapter 4, so don’t be surprised if you see this image again down the road.”
So, it was meant to be, and I hope you like it, especially in the context of the chapter when you read it.
The Title –– "Dead Words"
I can only say so much about the title––"Dead Words"––without spoiling things, but if you've seen how previous chapters were titled then you can make reasonable assumptions about this one. What I can say is that––unlike the previous chapters––this one took a long time to come up with. For all three chapters, they came to me pretty early in the chapters' development. Chapter 2 had the biggest delay, going from "Upaways" to "Bird's Eye", but that was still really early on in the process. Both "Sunza" and "Making Smoke" had their titles from the start.
This title didn't come to me until a few months ago, when I was going over the script for a scene and the phrase popped out from the page––initially meant as just a piece of dialogue (as they have all been so far). Up until that point, it was being created under the working title "Goodman" and I'm really glad that "Dead Words" fell out of my brain along the way as it fits the themes, plot, and character development much, much better.
My initial goal was to have this ready by next month's Reno Pop Culture Convention, but life and work got in the way of that. However, it'll be incredibly close to done by that point. So, though I'm not going to make any hard promises, I plan to have it ready for sale in December and updating it online in January once everybody is back from vacation and holiday.
While that may seem like a long way away, for me it seems frighteningly close and you can guarantee I'll be working hard to get this book to you as soon as possible.
There are more announcements to come regarding this book that I'm quite excited to reveal. So, keep your eyes on the website, the Facebook page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram page to stay up to date with the remaining production of "Dead Words" and for the announcements that are soon to come.