Saturday, July 23, 2011

Eisner Win!

Last night, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard won the Eisner Award for Best Anthology - turning what was already an incredible thing into something far beyond anything I'd ever hoped for. David Petersen pulled together a veritable dream team of creators for Legends, and I am humbled beyond description to be able to share in this accomplishment.

Three years ago, I met David Petersen in person for the first time, two years ago I introduced him to my friend Sean Rubin, and less than one year ago Sean and I were at the Archaia booth in New York Comic Con signing copies of Legends of the Guard along with several of the other creators. I am truly honored to have been a part of the Legends experience, and I'm confident that Legends: Volume 2 will be just as incredible, if not better, than the original Legends.

In addition to this Eisner news, I figured I would share a little bit of "BWD" stuff with you! A couple posts ago, I brought up our intention to create languages for the different races. Well, Rachel went and actually created a script for the Felis race that we can use in the introduction of the story and beyond. 

It's a pretty simple letter-swap, but it looks very cool! There will be a couple minor tweaks to the appearances of certain characters, but for the most part this is pretty accurate to what we'll be using in the comic's pages.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunsgrove Sports

Happy Fourth of July, folks! We've got a handful of pages in the bucket now, and things are starting to fall into a nice groove. Instead of tossing up an in-progress page, I figured I'd show a fun series of sketches that Rachel put together that show some experimentation with Dakkan's design, as well as some notes about a possible Lutren/Tamian sport that resembles baseball.

This is the sort of stuff I love to brainstorm - Rachel will just crank out one of these sketches of her own accord and we'll start imagining the rules for a game like this, how it would've been played, who invented it, or whether it's a sport for kids or adults or both!

While the sport doesn't have a name (yet!) we've got some variations on the rules depending on who plays - either Tamian or Lutren. Being a bit more acrobatic, the Tamian variation involves a batter, a home base, and a series of five "bases" located throughout a series of trees. Think of it as a kind of 3-D baseball or cricket - where the Tamian batter hits a ball with a bat and has to make their way to home base by leaping across the trees as quickly as possible avoiding the 11 strategically-situated defenders. However, unlike baseball, the Tamian batter is able to run to any base they want in any order, so long as they don't get tagged out by a defender carrying the ball.

No batter can occupy the same base at once, but they can run to any base they want as soon as the ball is in the air. This means you could feasibly have five Tamian on base at once. So, why not just immediately go for the home base? The strategy here is how scores are made and counted - the at-bat team gets additional points when they get multiple runs to home base on a single hit.

Stacking the bases, then, proves a risky but potentially useful strategy in grabbing extra points per run. A single run on a single hit nets 1 point, two runs at once nets 3 points, three runs in a single hit gets 5 points, four runs gets 7 points, and getting a full five runs in a single hit offers 10 points.

If a batter is unable to hit the ball after three pitches, the batter is out. When an at-bat player is deemed to be out, either by striking out or by getting tagged, they are permanently out until the teams switch. To switch the in-field and at-bat positions, the in-field team must tag out the entire 11 person at-bat team. Games have 3 innings that can stretch into overtime if necessary.

Similar to cricket, there are no foul balls in the game, however. There are numerous optional field positions that the team captain can deploy their defenders to use to catch balls flying far left, right, even up and behind the batter. If the ball is hit with the bat, it's in play 100% of the time.

This sport probably won't show up in the comic, at least not the story we're going to be starting with, but it could always show up in other stories!