The Last Viking Returns

The all important opening scene- part 3

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Over the past two weeks I’ve shown the development for the opening scene of Last Viking. Here’s the first roughs, and here’s some more developed ideas.

This week I’ll show the final rough and pencil outlines, and how I got there.

I’d decided the scene would take place in Josh’s bedroom. He’d be in a cubby house with his dog at night, and there’d also be a panel on the right set in the morning.

Here’s the closest I’d got so far:

p2-3-v10_4-text

My next experiment would be trying a more dramatic birds-eye perspective. I did some smaller thumbnails:

p2-3-v11-thumbnails

a small note on the post-it wonders if Josh might yawn like a lion in the morning: to go with the phrase, "But other than those things, Josh was as brave as a lion".

Then I tried a rough. It seemed to work. I filled the room up with other details from my own childhood bedroom- a bedside table with books in it, a big bookshelf, a cactus and some rocks I’d collected on the windowsill, a teddy with a swagman’s hat, and a box construction from kindy. As I mentioned last week, the chest of drawers and the treasure chest were also in my bedroom as a kid.

p2-3-v11-rough

The rectangle at bottom left is for the bulk of the text, which I thought could appear within the light of the nightlight next to the treasure chest.

Here it is with the daytime panel added on the right…

p2-3-v11-full

…and a little variation where I moved the right-hand panel.

p2-3-v13

I thought the colour from the nighttime panel on the left could bleed across the gutter and fade, to indicate the passing of time and also to create a pause between the bulk of the text on the left-hand page and the punchline on the right-hand page.

Here’s the final pencils for page 2.

p2-pencils-final

I added in a few more details to subtly reference the text: the box of dinosaur toys, the pirate hook and eyepatch next to the treasure chest, the vampire doll on the bedside table and a book about dragons on the floor beside it.

And here’s the final pencils for page 3.

p3-pencils-final

I changed Josh's expression to happy, so that he wasn't always afraid. It also shows the warmth between him and Wolverine.

Here’s both pages together:

p2-3-pencils-final

final pencils

Done! Finally. It was time to colour it in. I’ll show you how that went next week.

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Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016) and Dungzilla (2017) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The third in the series, Gastronauts, will be published in late 2018. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015) In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta @jamesfoleybooks, or at www.jamesfoley.com.au .

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