If you’ve been following The Wormworld Saga by Daniel Lieske, you’ll know that he completed drawing Chapter 2 at the end of 2011, releasing it online December 25. With his successful Kickstarter campaign, he was able to quit his job to work full-time on The Wormworld Saga to complete the second volume in a fraction of the time the first one took. Due to some glitches, Chapter 2 didn’t appear on the iPad app until mid-January.
Aside from the Kickstarter campaign, creating the app, and working on the comic itself, Lieske also won a Publishing Innovation Award in the comics apps category, at the Digital Book World Conference & Expo. It’s a pretty new award, but I applaud Lieske for the way he’s challenged conventional comics publishing — and creation, even. His comic is actually designed for the screen, to be scrolled from the very top of the chapter to the bottom, sans page breaks. It allows for different panel sizes and arrangements, and looks absolutely gorgeous on the iPad.
I just finished reading Chapter 2 in the app, and it’s very cool to see the preliminary sketches and read Lieske’s notes about particular scenes (despite some misspellings in the notes). I particularly liked the way two frames recall some of the earlier artwork Lieske had done of the Wormworld universe, before the story was written. Above, you see Jonas playing in the forest, and the pose he strikes recalls the “Trapped!” painting.
This image, near the end of the chapter when Jonas is finally about to enter Wormworld, is a reflection of Lieske’s earlier painting “The Journey Begins.” There’s even one little scene that is inspired by “Saving the Alien Girl,” a digital painting that isn’t actually part of the Wormworld universe.
Whether you read the comic for free online or get the The Wormworld Saga app, you’ll be enchanted by the story and the artwork. The chapters are available for $2.99 each, which buys you the ability to look at the preliminary sketches, the artwork without dialogue and text, and some making-of notebooks. Correction: You can also get the chapters for free without the bonus material: the paid portion is just for the extras.
I can’t wait until the release of Chapter 3, currently scheduled for April 2012. Of course, Lieske has his hands full, because he and his wife were expecting the birth of their first baby in January. (I hadn’t seen any news about it yet, but I would guess he has more important things to do…) Hopefully that won’t delay his comics-creating too much, but if there are any delays we’ll understand the reasons why!