J. M. DeSantis

On the Chadhiyana Graphic Novel

Writing Chadhiyana: In the Company of ShadowsIt’s been too long since I posted a proper update about the Chadhiyana graphic novel. Since announcing it in April, I’ve mentioned the story is going to be “fuller” than the first two short stories and (often) that progress is going slow and steady. Part of the reason I haven’t said more until now is because I’ve been busy with other things I wanted to promote (gallery shows, conventions, updates to my website, etc). The other reason (and more importantly) is that the process of creating this graphic novel is going much slower than I anticipated. However, things are finally coming together on the project (mostly). In light of that, I thought it was high time I said more about the book and how it’s coming along.

First, the title I’ve decided upon is Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows. It takes place at a different time in Chadhiyana’s life than the previous two stories and will introduce a few major characters in the series. What’s more, the story will delve more deeply into Chadhiyana’s troubled past. Because of when the story takes place, it will also feature a somewhat different Chadhiyana; in fact, I’ve redesigned her outfit for this story (don’t worry, I’m not getting rid of her recognisable red and gold costume; it just won’t fit in this particular story–you’ll see). I still don’t want to give too much away. Suffice it to say there are many moments in this story I’ve looked forward to bringing to life for a while now, and you may not have to wait as long as you think to start reading toward those moments either.

In the Company of Shadows sketchbook

Another thing I mentioned when I first announced the graphic novel was my internal debate about serialising the story as I looked for a publisher (mostly because I didn’t want readers waiting a long time–maybe years–for another Chadhiyana story). I had two methods in mind and months ago, I finally settled on one: publishing it as a web-comic. Now, while it’s not the way I envisioned this story being presented, I think going the web route offers a lot of possibilities and potential. It also means you can start reading it as soon as I’m ready to start posting pages; however, I’m not quite there yet.

Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows script bookAs I continually mention, progress is going slower than anticipated. I thought the script would have been finished months ago, and despite working diligently on it, I’m only a little more than halfway through the story and have been since early July (with little progress since). My plan has always been to start serialising the story before New York Comic Con 2013 (since the first comic debuted at NYCC 2012, I wanted a new Chadhiyana story available this year). Because of that, I spent less time writing this past month and focused more on character designs in order to speed the process (in a manner of speaking) and start art this month.

You have to understand, this is a completely different way of working for me. Though I am both a writer and artist, I don’t do the two simultaneously. Typically, I write a full story or script first, then I move to the art. In this case, however, I am making an exception in order to not further delay the graphic novel. Since the graphic novel is broken up into chapters (of varying lengths), I took the time to edit the Prologue section of the script so that I can begin working on art for that chapter while I continue to write the remainder of the story. The same will happen with Chapter I, if it comes to that. Either way, in order to get the book in your hands sooner (or on your screen, rather, in this case), I’m going to try something a little different.

Penciling Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows

So then, the question is, when can you expect to see it? I’m not entirely certain. I have no doubt I’ll have pages up for New York Comic Con in October, and I’m hoping to start posting pages even earlier in the Fall. That’s the goal. Essentially, it all depends on how the art for the prologue progresses (I began penciling page one yesterday) and how well the script moves along in the coming weeks. I know that’s vague, and I’m sorry, but it’s the best I can offer for now.

What I will promise is this: except for promoting any other publications or events (like my appearance at next month’s Baltimore Comic Con), I’m going to spend the next few weeks on this blog focusing on updates about the graphic novel. Script progress, pages complete, you name it, I’ll post about it, and as we head into the Fall, I’ll have a better idea of exactly what the date will be for the graphic novel’s launch. Rest assured, as soon as I know, you’ll know. So please be patient, sit tight and keep checking back each week for more updates. We’re almost there.

J. M. DeSantis

J. M. DeSantis is a writer and artist (Write-ist), best known as the creator of the Indian dark fantasy heroine, Chadhiyana (chadhiyana.com) and the humorous web-comic, Gentleman Cthulhu: Emeritus Moribus Monstrum (gentlemancthulhu.com). DeSantis has also authored a number of short fiction and artworks. Support his work as well as this blog through J. M.'s Patreon at: patreon.com/jmdesantis.

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