By Cassie Nantais (Studio Manager & Community Manager) – It’s June 2016, I just started at Borealys Games. My first job in an independent video game studio! With the announcement of our first game, Mages of Mystralia, in April 2016 at PAX East and the presentation of our trailer at the upcoming E3, we were in marketing mode. We wanted to find a way to make the lore of Mages of Mystralia known to the public before the release of the game in 2017. So why not deepen this universe that we had the chance to create in collaboration with Ed Greenwood, great creator of Dungeons and Dragons universes such as The Forgotten Realms.
Our marketing guy, Dan Adelman, had the best idea in the world, producing a comic. This is how we knew George Rohac, President and Strategy Master at Bread Pig, a company that promotes the emergence of artists by allowing them to remain independent. He allowed us to get in touch with some artists from the comics world. After some suggestions and phone calls, we chose the best possible people for our project, Brian Clevinger (writer) (Atomic Robo, 8-Bit Theater) and Carey Piestch (artist) (Lumberjanes, Adventure Times). We were already aware of Brian’s work and we knew we would be satisfied. Then when we saw Carey’s drawings. We immediately fell in love with her style! It was a perfect fit with the artistic direction of our game. We couldn’t really find better to represent the universe of Mystralia. And we weren’t disappointed, working with them was just fun from start to finish! We also met Tess Stone (Not Drunk Enough) who took care of the lettering of our comic. He was referred to us by Brian since he already did lettering for Atomic Robo. We really had the best team and we would love to do another comic with them ^^
For the production of our comic, our calendar was pretty tight. But everything went very well without any delay. We had to have the first 8 pages ready to put online on Hiveworks‘ website for August 29, 2016, and we also wanted to print the pages in a booklet to give to the players present at our booth during PAX West. It was precisely during this event that our adventure with Dark Horse began. Dark Horse is one of the few if not the only comic book publisher who also specializes in video games. They have franchises like Zelda, Tomb Raider and many others. It’s therefore not surprising that they have a booth at a video game event such as PAX. So I told myself that we could very well take advantage of the situation and bring them some copies of our first 8 pages.
So I gathered all my courage and head to their booth. Luckily, the first person I talked to was the Sales Manager. She was super friendly and I was immediately comfortable. I presented her our comic book explaining the context and mentioning the people involved. She knew them already, of course. So she flipped through our comic and she loved it right away! She gave me her card and also the one of the Vice-President of Licenses. She told me that she would personally give him copies of our comic book and to send her an email if we didn’t hear from him within a few weeks. She wanted to be sure he took the time to look at our project. That’s how about a month later we wrote to her and she put us in touch with the Vice-President in question. Our communications with Dark Horse were officially started! Subsequently, it took a lot of time since we had to finish the comic first. Our goal was to add two pages per week on Hiveworks until March 2017. What we accomplished well 😉
We had an average of 5,000 people who followed our comic online <3 Now it’s available in a trade paperback issue through Dark Horse since January 17, 2018. We’re really proud of the path we’ve traveled and our adventure in the world of comics. Hoping that this is only the beginning!
The Steps Behind the Creation of a Comic Page
The Team Behind Mages of Mystralia’s Comic
President and publisher at The Ed Greenwood Group and creator of the Forgotten Realms® and a myriad of other worlds, universes, and shared settings is the New York Times best-selling author of literally thousands of works that have sold over a quarter billion units (250,000,000) in a dazzling array of formats in over 40 languages in more than 120 countries.
Brian Clevinger lives in Richmond VA and writes comics all day. He’s worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and now the good folks at Borealys. He’s mostly known for Atomic Robo and his cat Charlie.
Carey Pietsch is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist. She drew Lumberjanes 29-32 and is currently working on The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins. Carey also makes original comics about magic and empathy, plays too many tabletop games and listens to a lot of good podcasts about them.
Tess Stone loves all parts of comics. He dabbles in art, writing, lettering and most anything else creative he can get his grubby hands on. He’s worked with companies like Boom!, Oni Press, IDW and now Borealys and Dark Horse! He works on a horror comic online and enjoys good food, beer, and sloths.