New Graphic Novel

Artist Sarah Graley tells us about the Minecraft Graphic Novel!

Whoa! Watch out! Nooooo, it’s The Wither! *turns page* Run run run! Oh thank goodness, they made it… wait, more mobs! Arghhh! *turns page* Ha! Huh? Eeek! Yeah! *turns page* *ignores angry shushing from other people in the library* *pretends not to notice librarian tapping ‘SHUT UP’ sign*

Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just reading our new Minecraft Graphic Novel! I’m also now banned from the library for life. Oh well, guess that gives me a chance to tell you all about it.

Our first official Minecraft graphic novel is 80+ pages of storytelling joy that’s so addictive it’s amazing I got around to writing this article at all. We’ve got the talents of writer Sfé R Monster and illustrator Sarah Graley to thank for that. I spoke to Sarah about how this Minecraft graphic novel came together!

Mojang Tom: How did you become an artist and get involved with Minecraft?

Sarah: I’ve always been drawing and stuff, I really like writing and I really like drawing so going into comics just naturally happened, I suppose! I got an email from Dark Horse [publishers of the graphic novel, not an actual horse] asking me “Hey, do you want to do a Minecraft book?” and I was like “Yes, I do. I’d love to!”

Mojang Tom: It’s nice when life works out like that sometimes!

Sarah: Yeah! *laughs*

Mojang Tom: So are you much of a video game fan yourself?

Sarah: I love video games. I mean, before comics, when I was a kid I just wanted to go into making video games, so getting to do a comic about video games is pretty awesome. I’ve played Minecraft – usually in creative mode though, so I’ve learned so much. I need to play survival mode more but I’m very good at dying in it.

Mojang Tom: Your style is very... round. That’s a rubbish way of putting it, but because Minecraft’s obviously a load of blocks, was it difficult getting your style to fit with ours?

Sarah: It was quite hard, but I was told “They want you to do characters more round”. *laughs*

I was like “Oh, good!” It would have been so tricky. Drawing the Ender Dragon I was constantly checking the reference, being like “is that where the block goes?” But it’s really cool that I got to draw the main cast in my own style because I just married the two together. So it’s Minecraft, but I got to do my own spin on it, so I’m really happy with what happened.

Mojang Tom: Was there anything from the game that you really wanted to get in?

Sarah: I mean, Creepers are my favourite, so as soon as I saw the Creeper page I was like “Yaaaaasss!” – I was very, very happy with that.

Mojang Tom: How did the collaboration with the writer work?

Sarah: I got the script, and I did meet Sfé R Monster at Emerald City Comic Con and TCAF [The Toronto Comic Arts Festival] last weekend. We got to hang out and it was really cool because it’s like “Let’s meet!” and I was like “This book! Your book is so cool!” and “Your writing’s amazing!” and they’re like “Oh, your art’s really great!”

Mojang Tom: So this is the first time you guys have met since you made a book together?

Sarah: Yeah!

Mojang Tom: That’s a lovely way to meet anyone!

Sarah: Yeah! I was following them online before the Minecraft thing came about, so when I was sent over the script, I was like “Oh! It’s Sfé and I get to work on their book, that’s really cool!” So that’s been really nice.

Mojang Tom: Is this your first time drawing from someone else’s script or have you done stuff like that before?

Sarah: Yeah it’s the first time I’ve drawn from someone else’s script which has been really fun and different.

Mojang Tom: So is there a little back and forth in that? What’s the process like?

Sarah: I just worked from the script but I did put my own spin on things, because I feel that you have the script and then with the art you tell more of the story, or just kind of put in background stuff for your own jokes *laughs*

I got a double page spread where they’re just going through the terrain, and got quite a bit of leeway on that. I really enjoyed drawing the bedrooms, but probably just in a lot of the character’s expressions, I made some of the characters look really, really goofy. There’s quite a few of them so I’ve been able to slip in a really, really over the top face here and there and it looks natural, it looks like it should be there!

 

Want to know more about the Minecraft Graphic Novel? Too bad, because the rest of this interview was just me raving about how much I love Sarah’s amazing graphic novel, Kim Reaper.

But don’t fret! Because the Minecraft Graphic Novel is out now on minecraftshop.com!

Written by
Tom Stone
Published

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