Posted in: Comics, Image | Tagged: , ,

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later

Steve Uy is a comic book creator we haven't seen for a while. But over the years, he has worked on X-Men, Legion, Eden's Trail, The Hollows, Grumpy Cat, Avengers, Iceman, and plenty more. But it's his first love Feather he keeps returning to. He writes,

It's been 16 years since I released my book, Feather, through Image Comics. SIXTEEN YEARS. Cripes, where has the time gone? Feather was my first creator-owned book back in 2003, but originally a black and white book I did as my senior year college project, which was picked up for publication by C.B. Cebulski's Fanboy Entertainment around the time I was to graduate in 2001. But the company folded right before that happened, and Feather was left without a homeÉ, which absolutely ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.
Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.

Immediately after graduating college, I ran into Mike Marts, who gave me my first shot at Marvel, doing pinups for Marvel Millennial Visions and doing the covers for the Iceman mini-series. It was an exciting year, just out of college, the world laid out before me, everything was happening so fast, and man was I arrogant for it! Later on that year, I would do covers for Uncanny X-Men, Black Panther, and even create and fully illustrate Eden's Trail for them – it was too much too fast, but that's another story entirely.

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.
Iceman page.

Long story short, I needed to do my own project, and Feather was where my heart was. I pitched it to Image a year after I started working for Marvel (I followed the Image submission guidelines in their website – no shortcuts here), and within a week, I got a callback, and things were well underway! Feather wasn't the same book I did in college. I reimagined, reillustrated, and fully colored it from scratch. Even though only two years had passed since I drew it in college, I still felt like I had made enough progress that my college work was too embarrassing to put out. Feather was only my second fully colored book, and I was learning everything as I went along, but for the most part, there weren't too many complaints. I did not do this book like any other book in the market. I drew everything separately, all the characters and objects, scanned them in, colored them in photoshop, and put them together, piece by piece, like an animation cel. Some people thought it was CGI, but it was all hand-drawn, just very carefully done. And since I didn't have a tablet, I colored everything WITH A MOUSE! A lot of people were saying it was one of the most beautiful and well-told stories of the year – all I ever saw were my mistakes and shortcomings, but I'll take what I can get.

In hindsight, Feather did pretty well, with sales numbers that we'd be envious of in today's market, but I still needed to try more things and experiment while the going was good. My next project, Jova's Harvest, was a 3 issue experiment told entirely in rhyme, and I published it through Arcana. It was directly connected to the world of Feather, but I was world-building before that was a thing to do, so I didn't let anyone in on it. I then did a few more experimental personal projects, like Mortal/ Immortal and Titan's Tears, which were only released digitally. I wrote the followup to Feather around 2006 with Feather Rex, but I never finished it in favor of doing some work for DC and then Marvel, and then around 2012, I started doing work for Dynamite doing books like Doodle Jump and Grumpy Cat. I would later work with Mike Marts again in 2018 as the artist for Betrothed for Aftershock Comics – but still, where did the time go?

Now, as I sit here in the middle of the pandemic with no end in sight, I wonderÉ should I go back to my creator-owned stuff? How in the world would I even publish it if I did anything now with the way things are? I certainly have no shortage of ideas and books I've developed over the years, and now I finally have the time to do it – I just have no outlet for releasing them. Is any publisher even looking at submissions now? Should I try a Kickstarter? I wouldn't be able to publish my books to as many people as print, but those who do back me, I would be in direct contact withÉ, which sounds pretty cool, actually. Is it better to release a few thousand copies of my book into the direct market, or just to a few hundred who are passionate enough about it to back me? And, if I do try the Kickstarter route, which of my projects should have the honor of being my guinea pig in this new market?

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.
Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.

Feather Rex, I nominate you! The followup to my most popular book, but 16 years since the original was released, let's see if you can rekindle that spark from so long ago! The world of Feather is something I've been wanted to revisit for so long, and with the world, the way it is right now, the themes of innocence, racial divide, and friendship are probably more relevant than they ever were back in 2003. Or, at least, that's a tagline I can use.

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.
Feather page.

Feather is the story of a dragon girl named Leeka and her best friend, Sehven, a half-breed with dreams of becoming a dragon slayer. Feather Rex, the followup to that story, stars a new cast of characters in a different part of the world, about a human struggling to survive in the harsh climate aided only by his half- breed girlfriend, Mehna.

Feather has always been about character relationships in an intimate world. There are no vast armies, kingdoms, or pages of lore to sift through to make the world seem bigger than it is. This is, effectively, the opposite of Game of Thrones. With my return to Feather with Feather Rex, I hope to rebuild the world slowly I started creating so long ago, and I have many more stories set in the same world just waiting for an outlet to be told.

Creating a Sequel to My Own Image Comic Book, Feather, 16 Years Later.
Feather page.

Unfortunately, I suck at social media. I never go to Twitter, barely post anything on Facebook, and I feel weird promoting myself in any way. How in the world can I possibly succeed with Kickstarting a project with an IP as old as last Lord of the Rings movie? Should I just throw it out there and see what happens? If the Kickstarter fails, is it because the book just looks bad, or just because no one knew about it when I threw it out there?

Well, go ahead and check it out, and let me know your thoughts.

(Oh, and if you become a backer, message me that Bleeding Cool sent you, and I'll send you a signed mini print if the campaign succeeds, regardless of what tier you back!)

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!

Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
Comments will load 20 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.