A quiet, wintry November morning enveloped me before I strolled into the Ramada Hotel lobby to scope out a location for setup. Eventually my girlfriend Debbie and my friend Glen LaValley joined me, Glen bringing his 10-foot tall beauty of a rock-em-sock-em balloon robot puppet. I’m not entirely sure what order those adjectives go in, but they definitely all belong there. I slipped right into my black morph suit, adopting the form of the robot’s shadow, and stood as Glen worked his magic to strap the lumbering form…

Also known as #LuchaLivre, this event brings together authors of all types for a single purpose: to destroy each other’s characters. From a glance, it might appear as though Luchadore masks have resurged and incurred a cult following, with garish colours rippling atop the mouths of sermonizing orators before an engaged audience. An MC wearing a chicken mask seems to be a mediator of some kind. When the brief readings are done, however, the gloves come off, and each of the two contestants articulates how and why their…

The distinctions between who’s right, who’s wrong–and especially who can be trusted–get increasingly blurred as Shepherds of Sparrows reaches its climax. What seems to be a straightforward matter of us versus them becomes a multi-faceted struggle for power, and even when Nestor thinks he’s got a handle on things, however tenuous, the situation spirals out of control once more. In this illustration by Debbie Ha, we see Nestor encounter a deadly surprise after putting himself in mortal danger. The trap is sprung and enemies surround him. Find out…

Pleo, the middle child of the Ald’erda family, has the most radical reaction to his parents’ murder. He seethes with anger toward his father for putting them in such an ostracized position, and flounders for somewhere to direct his rage. After failing to join the mob who would have him killed, he decides he’s on the wrong side, and needs to punish the hunters who think a child’s genetic make-up is cause for execution. Much like Olivia and Voltan, Pleo also wants his family to be brought back…

I launched “Shepherds of Sparrows” on Dec. 4, 2013, at Happy Harbor Comics. It was a BLAST. Jay, one of the co-owners, was extremely helpful getting everything organized, set up, and just in general showing support for the whole event. It’s very well set up, with a good space for someone to present and have an audience not jammed between rows of books. There’s also a projector and speakers, which I made use of to showcase a radio broadcast from the planet Monitum. On the projector I got…

I’ve been blessed to have Jeff illustrate a ton of content from Shepherds of Sparrows, and feel obliged to share his thoughts and insights regarding his creative process. His balance of colour and shadow is superb. His vision to bring life to words has made me giddy with excitement many times over. Read more about him below! This interview originally featured on Reality Skimming. *** Jeff has been drawing, painting and sculpting things since he arrived on the planet. So far he has been unable to stop. He…

Nestor Tark, the man Di Mon entrusts with the investigation of the conflict in Shepherds of Sparrows, gets pulled in too many directions as the story unfolds. He is forced to prioritize everything that he holds dear, and as a result, he and his wife Remei are separated. Nestor is familiar with being the lone wolf, a solo crusader, so when he hears that the lynching mob has caught Remei, he doesn’t hesitate to go alone into the heart of enemy territory, back to where the story began….

A somber sky looks down upon the fires of Grianach as the conflict intensifies. Voltan and Olivia overlook what was once their home, and feel lost in a world now totally alien to them. In this illustration, Jeff Doten has done a beautiful job of capturing the ominous atmosphere of what lay ahead for the children. They will have to carve their own paths, find their own ways of coping and moving forward after so much has been lost. The wind can blow these sparrows in many directions,…

In this illustration by Debbie Ha, we see the wonder of discovery through the eyes of Voltan, who has finally found a way to put his hyperactive mind to good use. He explores and manipulates protein structure using interactive goggles and gloves—which he masters immediately. Although Prokhor, his mentor, showed Voltan the door, it’s almost as if the mentor is clutching on, trying not to be left behind. The curse of Voltan’s genetics turns into an asset as he makes leaps and bounds in the research to end…

The genetically-enhanced citizens of Monitum don’t get to enjoy the benefits of their special blood. They are hunted and ostracized, and flee to the farmhouse where Nestor’s wife Remei takes them in. She’s overwhelmed and the house is full of starving, wounded refugees. The foster children, Olivia and Pleo, are neglected and the fragile strands holding the family together threaten to snap. It’s only when the murderous mob surrounds the house that everyone comes together, and it might be too late. In this illustration by Jeff Doten we…