Black Womb, the original novel from Matthew LeDrew, has gained #1 Bestseller status on Amazon, in both the ‘Superhero’ and ‘Coming of Age’ Fantasy categories. The novel peaked at #86 on the Amazon.ca Free Kindle Store ranks. Engen Books would like to congratulate LeDrew on this achievement.
The Engen Universe — a shared fictional continuity between three different series of novels and many short stories — is host to some strangeness: monsters, demons, and unbelievable turns of circumstance. But some things about the Universe — and how it came to be — are weirder and more shocking than others! Here are the Top Five weird things about the Engen Universe, we think. [Some spoilers ahead.] Continue reading 5 shocking / weird things about the Engen Universe→
We were going to keep it secret, but Ellen Curtis spilled the beans to a local YouTuber at a recent show, so it seems like we should maybe get out ahead of this one. 😉
At Sci-Fi on the Rock 11, to help celebrate our 10th anniversary, Engen Books will be releasing the first of 3 Black Womb hardcover Ultimate Collection editions.
These massive hardcovers will collect entire Black Womb storyarcs, with the first edition collecting Black Womb, Transformations in Pain, and Smoke and Mirrors, forming the pivotal events of Xander Drew’s origins and introducing Engen, Adam Genblade, and Julie Peterson.
The collections will be available only direct through Engen Books and the author and limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, each with certificates of authenticity.
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Join Kevin Kendall, artist on the amazing international cover for Black Womb by Matthew LeDrew and Song of the Mockingjay by Erin Vance, in Stephenville today from 11 am to 4 pm at the Kindale Library.
“Set up in the Library Boardroom – just to your right when you enter the Kindale Library,” reminds Kendall via Facebook.
Local artists from Bay St George Artists’ Association will be displaying original art for sale at fabulous prices — from small to large in size and just in time for the Christmas season.
There will be over 75 creative pieces of original art for sale, representing all mediums: oil , acrylic , watercolor , photography and mixed mediums .
This piece is by yet another Ink’d Well Comics alumni, Kraig Nicol, once again proving the deep pool of talent that Ink’d Well has. Kraig’s been working with Jay Paulin on his charity anthologies and he does a great job.
Like all the artists in this series, I gave him the standard pitch and he came back with probably the closest sketch to what’s in my mind for the character of anyone yet. Whereas with others I can look at it and think of specific moments within the series when an image might have been captured from, this image really could have happened anywhere. It is the Womb. Not the Xander-in-control-Womb either, this is the full fledged Black Womb. You can see it in the eyes.
The teeth and the claws are great, as well as that one tendril whipping off the arm. It’s interesting how different artists handled the tendrils. Some ignored it completely, some focused on it, Kraig here has split the difference. It seems like this is right after the transformation has taken place, with the ooze having whipped its way around his whole body and then snapping in the join at the wrist again. Really top notch stuff.
I feel the need to thank all the artists, not just Kraig. It’s been a while since I’ve been actively writing Black Womb (not due to block, but due to the sheer amount of time other writing projects have been taking up). Since I got back from Hal Con I’ve been going mad with it, and in the last two days alone wrote almost 10,000 words. I think it’s because artists like Kraig inspired my thought processes back into the character.
This is a great piece, and it’s bigger than it looks here. It’s going on my wall. I’m glad I asked him to draw it.
This is the last post in my Artist @ Hal Con 2012 series of posts, and should be one of my last regarding Hal Con 2012 in general. As much as I loved it and as much as I could devote an entire blog just to the awesomeness of this convention and the people that run it, the ride has to end sometime. It’s amazing every year and I can’t wait until 2013, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.
I won’t say I saved the best for last. Art is too subjective to say this is the best or my favorite. There were pieces I loved because they were exactly what I would have had in mind, and pieces I loved because they were the opposite of what I had in mind. But this is definitely my favorite anecdote.
So across from me in the dealers room was this one little table with nothing on it but this cool little drawing table. There weren’t any pictures up around it or posters or flashy ads. Just a cool guy in an orange tee-shirt drawing things. I walked past him like eight times because I wasn’t even sure if he was doing sketches. Finally I stopped and asked him if he was doing sketches and he said yes. He was very personable and polite and came over to the booth to study all the art and prints I had of Black Womb. He asked about the character and the story and got all these great little tidbits, really dug in deep, then walked back to his drawing board and got to going.
A moment later I brought over his money and noticed an old battered graphic novel sitting on the table: Men in Black. There were two agents on the cover, and one looked a lot like Kay. The other was a skinny white guy, clearly not Will Smith. I stopped and kind of looked at it for a moment, then went: “Naw.”
Because it couldn’t be, right?
Well, wikipedia proved me wrong. This nice little guy way Sandy Carruthers, and he basically invented Men in Black. THE Men in Black. He did the art for the first graphic novel, the story that launched the entire franchise.
I couldn’t believe it. It absolutely blew my mind. I walked over to him and was like: “You’re YOU. I went to see a movie with your characters in not three months ago. Like, dude.” And he chuckled and was like, “Yep, I’m me.”
I still can’t get over that people didn’t know who he is. That I didn’t know. I mean there were dozens of fools walking around that convention dressed up as Men in Black for the costume contest, not realizing that one of the creators was right next to them. That they were passing him by without giving him a second look. I mean LORD. That’s like someone dressed as Spider-Man walking by Stan Lee’s table and going “Stan Who?” It boggles my mind. I just don’t get it.
So I was excited for this piece. Really excited. The guy is a legend. I read Captain Canuck, he was great for that too. The man is incredible. I stopped over when the day was winding down and asked him how it was going, and he said the craziest thing: “I’m getting there. Would you mind if I took it home and worked on it?”
I think my jaw just about hit the floor. I mean, that’s a commitment right there. Props to all the other artists on my blog here, but most gave their pic back to me in twenty-minutes or less. Nic and Ariel I know for a fact really gave it their all, but it’s a $20 sketch. They’re not supposed to be painting the Mona Lisa. And here was a professional, a legend, asking to take my sketch home to work on it.
I clearly said yes.
He comes back the nest day with the above sketch. Holy lord. It could not be more perfect. Some of it was his insightful questions (looking back, it’s clear he’s worked with writers before), and some a very happy accident. I mean, that looks like Xander. And then the middle character is a great representation of the Womb when Xander is in control (and kind of superheroic, still) and then the top one is full-on crazy Womb-mode. It’s just amazing. He couldn’t have known there were three stages to the character, and yet here they are. The proportions are perfect. It’s electric and exciting and the tones are perfect. He actually took something that was in my mind and made it better. I could never have thought of this pose and image myself.
Thank you, Sandy Carruthers. You are a true gentleman.
I gave him a copy of Black Womb in thanks. I hope he reads it and gets back to me. He’s such a nice guy.
And now in the “artist @ Hal Con 2012” series we come to something… totally different. And totally awesome. This version of the Womb was done by an artist I only know as CK. She did some work for the Fearsome Fables charity book over @ Ink’d Well Comics (something I only found out after she did the piece) and is apparently working on a very cool-looking web series called “Colt,” which she provided a character book for.
This picture is beautiful. And I mean that in a genuine, aesthetic way. I think all pictures of one of my characters are beautiful in their own way, but this one actually has a grace and elegance to the tone and the shading and the positioning. It’s not a snarling battle pose or a scary look like other artists I pitched to did… she took my design of the character and make it her own. And it is lovely.
I love what she did with the swirls going around and the musculature… and the eyes, the way they’re correct but unique and somehow look alien. This is a very, very elegant version of Black Womb. I imagine this being what he’d look like in those sections of the series where he’s described as graceful… like when he’s taking on a lot of enemies and instead of focusing of the violence (which gets tiresome for a writer to do all the time) we focus on the grace of the movement of the character… like a ballet dancer.
I’m very glad CK did this. She picked up a copy of one of our books (I can’t recall which one), and I can’t wait to see if maybe, just maybe, some imagery in that book (whatever it is) inspires her to do another piece. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see more from her.