The all important opening scene- part 3

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:


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

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…


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

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.

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.

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:

final pencils

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

Author: James Foley

James Foley makes children’s books for children who read books. If you’re a child and you’re eating his books, you’re doing it wrong. His books include Brobot, Dungzilla, Gastronauts, Chickensaurus, Toffle Towers, My Dead Bunny and There's Something Weird About Lena. James lives in Perth with his wife, 2 kids, and a labrador. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd and comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at .

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