Tag Archives: graphic novels

A future Salamandra

In the summer of 2020, Dr Abbey started drawing Salamandra with green hair. I knew as soon as I saw these interpretations that there was no way Salamandra could have green hair during the graphics novel arc we have planned. Life is dour on Hopeless, colours are muted, and Salamandra has her attention focused on less-fun things.

I wrote the first draft of the graphic novels more than ten years ago. Since then there have been stories set before and during that time frame. Nothing had previously turned up that belonged after the graphic novels.

One of the things that happens with the island, is that pieces of the story turn up all over the place. They don’t come to me – we’ve got a hugely important story from Merry Debonnaire in the next graphic novel. Hopeless is strange and magical in its own ways, and sometimes it happens to people.

I looked at green haired Salamandra and realised that Dr Abbey could see something of what might come next. So earlier this year I sat him down and started asking about that. He had a lot to tell me!

I’ve been in the exciting process of developing those storylines for some months now. It will be a while before any of it makes it out into the world, but I can confirm that while there are two more graphic novels to come out, the story continues beyond the graphic novel arc.

We have to stop doing graphic novels because they are so labour intensive. We’re going to move into illustrated fiction and maybe poke about in light novel form hereafter, because that will be much more sustainable for us. There are some huge changes on the island by the end of the graphic novels. I feel very comfortable making it obvious that Salamandra survives because I am never going to write a story in which the magical girl does not get to grow up and live long and well.

(Green haired Sal by Dr Abbey)

Hopeless, Maine returns to North America with Outland Entertainment

Hello people! (and others)

We can now reveal that Hopeless, Maine is returning to North America with Outland Entertainment! The first two volumes will be printed and released soon, along with illustrated prose novels by Nimue Brown and Keith Errington and the Hopeless, Maine RPG is in development and may well be out at the same time. Here is the press release! 

Cover art – collaboration between Nimue and myself.

Hopeless Plotting

We are indeed, plotting, and at the moment, the plotting looks a bit like this –

At the moment, Tom and I are working on Optimists – the penultimate book in the Hopeless Maine graphic novel series.  Next year we will be making the final book in the series – Survivors. Our plan from this point had been to stop doing graphic novels – Tom has just had his sixtieth birthday, and comics are labour intensive the way he draws them, and the decision was to move into smaller pieces and more illustration.

Note the use of the past tense.

Right now we’re not sure what the plan is, but experiments are under way and I’ll post updates as we have them. Which is likely to be soon, because one of the implications here is that we might be able to work a lot more quickly on some things, while giving Tom time to really dig in with the more elaborate illustrations as we go.

We might be able to have the best of many worlds, with time for the kind of art Tom does, and more of a manga style for Hopeless some of the time, and enough time to tell more stories.

We’ve known for some time now that Doctor Abbey would be more involved with Hopeless Maine as we move forward. We’re still figuring out how that works, and we’re collectively excited about the possibilities.