Back in 2009 when I first conceived of "Pianeta" I was all alone in the creative process trying to come up with something that I personally had never done before. I had worked on other original characters and stories with friends, but I didn't think that my art had evolved to the point where I could effectively tell the story that I wanted. I started with "Ace and Ethan" a sci fi comedy where two bounty hunters cross the galaxy capturing dangerous fugitives from the law, then sometime before "Pianeta" was conceived as a web comic my buddy and I started work on "South of Town", a modern day film noir esque story. Both Terrence and I are still involved creating South of Town on the side but I had always been a fan of the stories and art in Young Adult Graphic Novels.
Some of the books that really pulled me into that space were the "Flight" books, these were all compilations of visual storytelling in the form of Short stories with no or very little dialogue. This genre piqued my interest even more and I kept seeing a familiar name pop up, it was Doug Tenapel. Doug is the author and illustrator of such award winning books as "Cardboard", "Tommysaurus Rex" and "Ratfist" just to name a few.You might know him better as the creator of "Earthworm Jim". I became completely amazed by the amount of books he was putting out in such a small amount of time.
I would always feel really bad about not finishing every idea that I had experimented with, there were many reasons as to why I would not finish, or start the process over. Most of the time I would get going on a few pages and not be happy with the way they looked, and just stop. Because this was not my fulltime job it prevented me from working on it on a regular schedule. I had completed several one shots for Bluewater Productions and had a very short turnaround for those books and always felt that I could have done better.
Now to back track a little, Susan and I met through a mutual friend to work on a comic project together for the Atlantis Resorts, we worked on those for a few years before the project ended. We worked so well together on these mini comics that I was interested in showing her the side projects that I was working on, one of them was called "Pianeta" I had originally started posting the first few pages on "Comic Space" it was a pretty cool community of web comics, unfortunately it is no longer around. I was creating each page with a loose outline beginning, middle and end, and just filling in the blanks as I went on page to page regardless of the corner I would write/draw myself into. This is where Susan came into the picture, I was never really clear on where the story would go, I just had a lot of visuals accompanied by a very rough outline.
After showing her everything I had up to that point in 2010, she ran off and wrote an amazing outline for an entire story arc, complete with my existing characters and a few new ones. Susan had basically turned this tiny "sketchy" visual story into a full blown world. I worked and reworked until I couldn't take it anymore, I was just going to get it done regardless of the outcome. Over the next 4 years life got in the way and the book was put was put on the back burner until January of this year. I got the old pages out and began re inking every page that I had up to that point and roughed out the rest of the book. I am writing this in July of 2014 a full 5 years after I first drew the sketch for the idea for what we now call "Awake".
There are still things that I would love to redo and rework but I need to move on and get it this out there. And if we can get enough people interested we will finish this story and hopefully tell more beyond this first chapter.