Trial & Terror Column Relaunches!


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Welcome to the relaunch of Trial & Terror, the behind-the-scenes production blog for the upcoming graphic novel, American Terrorist. It was a blog I had originally started during the Kickstarter campaign for my supporters, but now I’ve opened the blog up to the public and I’ll be syncing it up with this column, so you’ll be able to read the updates right here on Broken Frontier. There will be new posts every week from now until the graphic novel is published later this year.

I’d like to take this first post to fill everyone in on the project and what we’ve done so far. And you can also go directly to the blog to see earlier posts from back when it was only for my supporters. Next week, I’ll start posting new pages and talking about the process we go through.

Actually, here are a couple of updated versions of pages I showed in some earlier blog posts. I never got a chance to show how they finally looked in issue four.

I wrote American Terrorist as a way to capture the climate of mounting anger in the U.S. towards political corruption and social injustice, especially as it relates to post-9/11 reactions to terrorism. I pulled together a fantastic creative team that has, frankly, exceeded my expectations. First off, I’ve been working with my wife Wendy, who’s been helping me with the script. Andy MacDonald, from NYC Mech and Dark Horse’s recent Terminator series, has been doing the artwork. Matt Wilson, who’s been coloring a number of Marvel comics including Thor: The Mighty Avenger and The Uncanny X-Force, has been doing the colors. And my fellow Kubert School graduate, Fabio Redivo, has been lettering the book as well as placing in numerous graphic elements like computer screens and websites. I have links to their own webpages on the left if you want to see more of their work.

As for the book itself, American Terrorist was written as a 200-page, stand-alone graphic novel. I didn’t write it as a collection of individual issues, but it does contain four distinct chapters. It wasn’t until the digital age of comics got underway that I decided to serialize the story.  I broke each chapter into two parts, making them about 25 pages each. Doing this allowed me to make the first half of chapter one free for people to read as a preview.  I then put the second half of the first chapter out as issue two, and then split the second chapter into issues three and four.

Those issues are out now through the digital distributors comiXology, Wowio, and Ave! Comics. And you don’t even need a smart phone or iPad to read comiXology comics anymore; they have a web-reader, which means you can read the first section of American Terrorist by simply clicking on this link.

I might join up with more digital providers once I release the full graphic novel. There are a growing number of them, but for now I’ll stick with these three options.

Having the digital comics out ahead of time has been a nice way to get some exposure. I’ve appreciated the positive response from readers, many of whom have emailed me or come up to me at conventions to tell me they like the comic (please keep that up).

I’ve also gotten some good press out. Funnily enough, in the first issue of Wizard’s new digital magazine there was an article that mentioned a few new small press comics they had discovered through the digital platform. The author of the article, Casey Seijas, mentioned American Terrorist as one of them, but someone else doing the page layout put in an image of another comic: Alterna’s American Terror. I do appreciate Casey’s coverage, and both titles deserve attention, so no complaints there. The confusion is completely understandable given the similar titles.

So for next week, I will begin with some new pages from the third chapter, or what will be digital issue five whenever it gets put up (I can’t control the length of time of Apple’s or comiXology’s approval process). Then I’ve got lots of other great things to show you from the rest of the book as it’s being developed, including the cover for the graphic novel.

I’m going to try to make the posts more about production and publishing, but I will also be showing pages from the rest of the book. I’ll do my best not to spoil much of the story or give away plot points. This blog will be more about seeing what goes into making a graphic novel than telling you the story.

See you next Thursday.


Tyler Chin-Tanner started his own publishing company, A Wave Blue World, where he wrote and drew layouts for Adrenaline, its flagship series, Adrenaline, and wrote its latest graphic novel, American Terrorist.
© 2010 Tyler Chin-Tanner.  All rights reserved.
Email: tyler@awaveblueworld.com


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