Posts Tagged ‘Brent Weeks’
- - October 9th, 2014
The much-anticipated graphic novel of THE WAY OF SHADOWS, the New York Times bestselling epic fantasy of thieves and assassins by Brent Weeks, comes out this week from Yen Press and Orbit UK.
We interviewed Brent about the process of turning his classic fantasy tale into a comic book, and asked him all about his favorite examples of the medium:
JH: Was there anything that surprised you about having your work adapted into comic book form?
BW: The first time I saw Andy’s depiction of the Gyre estate, I had to stop for a second. The rest of the process had been pretty gradual—when we did character sketches, we went through a lot of emails, and a couple iterations of drawings, so they didn’t have the same surprise factor for me—but when I saw the Gyre estate, it hit me all at once. I’d described all these details; this was what I’d written about, but I’d never seen it as a whole. When your artist is talented, there are things about seeing a place that are simply better than reading about it.
The other thing that surprised me was how much little things can matter. Andy does great work with characters’ expressions, hitting just the right tone. That little extra extension on that line turns that grin from amused to sarcastic, or what have you. Similarly, something like how tight an alleyway is, can suddenly be important, because a character in a tight alley feels trapped, and acts differently than in a wide open street.
JH: Which particular character do you think has been captured most perfectly by Andy Macdonald’s art?
BW: I’ll go for a less obvious one. Roth is just the right balance of handsome and creepy.
JH: Was it a strange experience, going back so closely over THE WAY OF SHADOWS, or do you often reread and re-examine your older books?
BW: As little as possible! I always want to edit my old books. Hmm, that sentence could be tightened, couldn’t it? It was very challenging. One of the pleasures of reading my books is that there’s a ton of foreshadowing that looks like throwaway world-building on a first read that ends up being important two thousand pages later. So I had to not only load three books into my brain, but I had to anticipate how each necessary change of adapting the first novel into graphic novel form would ripple through the second and third books. “Okay, this doesn’t happen any more, and that was going to pay off in book 2 when this happens, so now, in graphic novel 2, we’re going to have to do this other thing instead… But does that cause problems in book 3?” Oh, and I was finishing a not-so-simple little novel called THE BROKEN EYE. My assistant, Elisa, was invaluable in the process of keeping everything straight.
JH: Comics and graphic novels are an essentially collaborative medium, requiring a lot of co-operation between the artist and writer. Have you ever worked on something that involved this much collaboration?
BW: Never to this degree. We made a book trailer for THE BLACK PRISM, and I wrote lots of emails and script ideas back and forth (far more than you would think necessary for a two minute trailer, I guarantee!), but that was over about a month. This was a different level entirely.
I should point out, too, that it isn’t just collaboration between artist and writer! The original script adaptation was by Ivan Brandon, and throughout my editor JuYoun Lee was invaluable in the process, not only in feedback and scripting, but also in allowing me to be the difficult artist from time to time. I mean, editors have to make the business work, so a few times I wrote to her, “Look I just added a page to this chapter. I know we’re already over, but we need a full page for this reveal, or it will lack punch. Here’s the new script.” I’m sure she knew exactly how much that was going to cost—art costs, printing costs, extra thickness to the book, possibly fewer books per box which can hurt ordering, and so forth if you do it more than a couple times—and she let me get away with it when we needed to.
That said, I try not to play the diva, especially when it’s a medium I’ve got little experience in. I was lucky to be joined in the journey by people who know a lot more than I do.
JH: Who are your favourite heroes from comics and graphic novels?
BW: Can I confess something? I’ve always enjoyed comic books, but for a long time I had a fundamental reservation about them as art. I thought they were bad art. Partly this is the fault of the whole Death of Superman debacle. Since then (if not before, I’m not an expert), but since then they’ve felt like the ultimate playground for Plot Armor. No character will ever die. No character will ever settle down with one girl, and that’s it for all time. There’s no final story, no closure, even though they pretend there is constantly. And the reason there can be no final story is because money. You can’t kill Wolverine for good, because no matter how many copies of that final plot arc you could sell, you’d be killing the goose who lays the golden eggs. Wolverine is your year-in, year-out steady earner, and he will be for fifty years. A hundred if Marvel has its way. So the story has to account for reboots, and refreshes, memory-losses and reunions. (In some cases, they do that far better than others.)
So, to purist, younger me, comics in the Marvel vein were the biggest examples of art prostituted to money I could imagine. And yet they got a pass somehow—because it’s fun and well-done, I guess.
But I had an idea recently of Wolverine (a favorite since I was young), as a mythic character, rather than as a disjointed franchise. When you read Homer’s Odysseus, he’s a complete man, perhaps the ideal man in the Greek understanding of virtue. When you read Virgil’s treatment of the same character (Latinized to Ulysses, but ostensibly the same character), you realize they have very little in common. Virgil is trotting out the Greek hero to make him look tawdry next to the real stud, Aeneas. (Who just so happened to play for the home team, Rome.) They aren’t the same character—when Virgil handles Odysseus, he handles him as a mythic type, there to be useful in setting up the story that Virgil really wants to tell.
So when you ask “Who is your favorite character?” I have to politely say I don’t believe Wolverine as Wolverine is really a character anymore. Mark Millar’s Wolverine isn’t my favorite, but the idea of Wolverine is.
That said, things are simpler where we have only one writer and artist: I really like Bode and Tyler Locke of Locke and Key by Joe Hill (amazing art by Gabriel Rodriguez).
JH: Can you recommend any comic books which are ideal for fantasy fans?
BW: If you’ve never read a graphic novel and are skeptical about the kind of stories they can tell, check out I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly, which features a fifth-grader named Barbara.
Marvel’s 1602 is a fun re-visiting of the Marvel characters if they’d appeared in Elizabethan times (and goes nicely with my thesis above!). Locke and Key is a little more on the horror side, and though I don’t enjoy horror, I thought it was amazing. Literally the best graphic novels I’ve ever read. Peter V. Brett (of The Warded Man fame) has done a 6 comic book arc for Red Sonja. As for others… well, I’m always looking!
JH: The ultimate comic book question: who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?
BW: I think Batman would know better than get in a simple fistfight with a bulletproof flying alien, so I like to think he’d change the rules of the engagement—a fight over who makes a tux look the best, perhaps, or who can destroy a villain first. Then I’d give an edge to the subtle thinker of the two.
- - September 4th, 2014
THE BLACK PRISM (US | UK | AUS) by Brent Weeks is a New York Times Bestseller*, a Barnes & Noble Bestseller, a USA Today Bestseller, and it was the bestselling fantasy hardcover in the US and UK last week!
Congratulations to Brent from all of us at Orbit—so well deserved!
If you’re not familiar with the Lightbringer series—read a sample of the first three chapters of THE BLACK PRISM (US | UK | AUS) here!
Brent’s still on tour, so catch him while you can! Visit his Facebook page for more information, and if you’ve already finished THE BROKEN EYE, head on over to Goodreads to chat about it with other fans.
*List goes live on Sunday, Sept 7th.
- - August 26th, 2014
It’s not just another day…It is August 26th and for those of you who are waiting desperately for the next installment of the Lightbringer, today is THE day!
THE BLACK PRISM (US | UK | AUS) is the first book in the Lightbringer series and it’s the best place to start if you’re new to the world. It is, in a word, EPIC. His second novel in the series was the The Blinding Knife, and if I can steal a quote from Staffer’s Book Review: “It isn’t only the best book he’s written; I consider it one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read.” To paraphrase — THE BLINDING KNIFE (US | UK | AUS) is just AWESOME. The first two novels focus on Gavin Guile, who is the Prism — the most powerful man in the known world. He is high priest and emperor — a man whose power, wit and charm are all that holds the various nations at peace. But Prisms live on limited time and Gavin doesn’t know how long he has left to live. When he discovers that he has a son, Kip, he must decide the lengths he will go to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
So, this now brings us to THE BROKEN EYE (US | UK | AUS). The third novel in the Lightbringer series, and the biggest one yet. So what does THE BROKEN EYE have? Let me see…how about an enormous leviathan in the first chapter —sorry! I meant two leviathans!!!! And that’s only in the first chapter. Did I whet your appetite yet? If not, let me continue: Secrets, betrayals, assassins, ancient gods, warring princes, — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg (literally!). Gavin and Kip are both at sea, with very little hope of escape.
A bit about the novel:
As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find the only man who can still end a civil war before it engulfs the known world. But Gavin Guile has been captured by an old enemy and enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse still, Gavin has lost more than his powers as Prism–he can’t use magic at all.
Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will face a master of shadows as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins called The Broken Eye.
Enough? Want more? Go buy the book — but only if you’ve read The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife. Start there. THEN read THE BROKEN EYE. It is not just EPIC & AWESOME — it is MIND-BLOWING.
And if I’m not enough — perhaps you’ll believe these three?
“Brent Weeks has a style of immediacy and detail that pulls the reader relentlessly into his story. He doesn’t allow you to look away.”—Robin Hobb
“The Lightbringer series is great fun. Nobody does break-neck pacing and amazingly-executed plot twists like Brent Weeks.”—Brian McClellan
“Weeks creates a rich blend of politics, culture and character in the
Night Angel Trilogy, then throws in magic-using assassins. Brent Weeks is
so good it’s starting to tick me off.”—Peter V. Brett
The Official Lightbringer Pronunciation Guide read by Simon Vance, the narrator for The Blinding Knife and The Broken Eye (available in audio now)
THE BROKEN EYE Book Tour: RSVP on Facebook today!
“I, Night Angel” and “Gunner’s Apprentice” are now available worldwide!
- - August 8th, 2014
Hey Lightbringer fans, we know you’re eagerly waiting for the next Lightbringer book. Good news, over the next couple of weeks we’ll be releasing the first 50 pages from THE BROKEN EYE (US | UK | AUS). Follow Brent Weeks on Wattpad to receive an update when new chapters are available, and get a head start on the next exciting installment of The Lightbringer series.
Residents of the US, UK, and Australia can still pre-order THE BROKEN EYE and claim a free signed bookplate, plus gain access to two exclusive short stories written by Brent Weeks! A couple of reminders:
1.) You must provide proof of purchase. This can be a picture or your receipt or copy of the confirmation email you received if you ordered online from your preferred retailer.
2.) You must fill out this form to qualify. Sending us your information by any other means does not qualify you to receive the bonuses.
3.) If you experienced any technological difficulties during the download of the short stories, please contact us so we can help you out.
4.) Supplies are limited. In fact, supplies are nearly gone. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet but want a bookplate, we suggest you pre-order soon. Once they’re gone, they are gone.
Full details and entry form can be found here.
- - July 18th, 2014
Going to San Diego Comic-Con next week? Here are some things you should definitely put on your schedule.
THURSDAY, JULY 24
11:00 AM: Mira Grant signing in the Orbit booth (#1116)
3:00 PM: Seanan McGuire (a.k.a. Mira Grant) on the “When Magic & Myth Meet Main Street” panel, Room 25ABC
4:00 PM: Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, and Sam Sykes on the “Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy” panel, Room 25ABC
SATURDAY, JULY 26
11:00 AM: Joe Abercrombie signing in the Orbit booth (#1116)
2:00 PM: Brent Weeks signing in the Orbit booth (#1116)
2:30 PM: Mira Grant on the “The Art of Fear” panel, Room 8
4:15 PM: Joe Abercrombie on the “Rules of the Realm” panel, Room 6A
We’ll have giveaways and books for sale in the booth (#1116) all weekend! Stop by and say hi.
- - July 1st, 2014
One of the hardest the things about being a fan is the waiting, especially when it’s something you really, really, really want.
Well, Brent Weeks fans, you have less than two months of waiting until the big release of THE BROKEN EYE, but those two months don’t have to be completely maddening. Join us on Goodreads for a Lightbringer Read-Along! This month we’ll be reading and discussing THE BLACK PRISM followed by THE BLINDING KNIFE in August.
In other news, Brent Weeks announced THE BROKEN EYE Book Tour on his blog yesterday! Mark your calendars and don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook or Goodreads!
- - November 1st, 2013
We’re thrilled that Brent Weeks has won the David Gemmell Award for Best Fantasy Novel for his book THE BLINDING KNIFE (US | UK | ANZ).
New Orbit US author John Gwynne was also honored with the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut for his novel MALICE (US), which will be released in the US in December.
Congratulations, Brent and John!
- September 9th, 2013
Another summer has come and gone, and here at Orbit, we’re already hard at work on next year’s exciting line-up! Here are some of the jackets we have ready so far with more to follow over the next few months.
Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory. Pin, tweet, and comment away with reckless abandon. Let us know which books have already piqued your interest!
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Baptism of Fire: Illustration by BARTŁOMIEJ GAWEŁ, PAWEŁ MIELNICZUK, MARCIN BŁASZCZAK, ARKADIUSZ MATYSZEWSKI,MARIAN CHOMIAK , Design by Lauren Panepinto; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
- - September 9th, 2013
As Summer comes to an end, here at Orbit we’re already looking forward to the amazing selection of books that next Spring brings. We’re very pleased to present a selection of covers for some of our exciting releases in the first half of 2014. It promises to be a very good year.
Click on each of the covers to see a larger version, and let us know your favourites.
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff