The Voice in the Desert

Graphic novel, 6x9"
Ink, Adobe Photoshop, Indesign
The Voice in the Desert tells the story of the life of John the Baptist. I was excited to illustrate a biblical narrative since these stories tend to include dramatic plots, a variety of settings, and intriguing characters. The story of John the Baptist promised a particularly interesting challenge since it is not told as a continuous narrative in the Bible; rather, John's story is fragmented. However, I wanted to embrace this challenge and create a graphic novel that made John the Baptist's confusing story more accessible. My hope is that The Voice in the Desert is an engaging graphic novel for all kinds of people, particularly to Christians interested in considering John the Baptist in a new light.

This book is now being reworked to be published by Pauline Books & Media in 2019!

 
 

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Process

I started work on The Voice in the Desert by pulling out all of the bible verses that mentioned John the Baptist, and then I rearranged these verses to put them in chronological order. I found that many pieces of John's story were left out of the Gospels. For example, the reader gets no information about what happens to John between his birth and his preaching in the wilderness. What drove John to embrace his role as a prophet? I decided to fill in the gaps in the story with my own speculation on what could have happened. Once the script was completed, I began drawing.

The art of the book started with a dummy that included rough sketches for the entire book. Most of the compositions were far from finalized, but I wanted to get my ideas down as quickly as possible to see which scenes communicated well and which would need reworking.

baptist 15.jpeg
 

Once the dummy was finished, I started work on the final art. (Another stage of sketching may have been useful here, but working on a strict timeline, I wanted to move on to make sure I could finish the project!) The final drawings each started out as tight pencil sketches, which I then traced over with ink using a light table. These ink drawings were then scanned, edited, and colored digitally. 

 
 

While I could have made the drawings entirely digitally, I wanted the comic to still have a loose, more hand drawn feel. In order to do this, I not only used a brush and brush pen to make all the drawings, but I also made various textures with ink and gouache that I later added to the drawings in Photoshop.