Road Map to the Stars

There are lots of different ways to go about writing a graphic novel. Some people (like Matt) like to map everything out in meticulous detail before they begin, while others (like Chris) like to blast off and see where inspiration takes them. But because Apollo is based on true events, we both agreed that some kind of plan was necessary to make sure we hit the key beats of the story and did history justice.

map

Early on, we agreed that structurally our book would begin with the Apollo 11 crew blasting off and end with them arriving home 8 days later. As we follow the crew on their mission, we’ll ‘flash back’ to events that took place days or in some cases years before the mission.

Our rough story outline can be viewed below. Things are likely to change, but for now this will be our road map.

apollo-story-plan

One Small Step…

Shortly after we first discussed Apollo with Mike, he drew this ‘warm up’ picture to show us where his head was in terms of art style.

apollo-warm-up

This image represents the first step on Mike’s Apollo journey. If you’re wondering why there’s a house on the moon… we’ll explain later!

 

Introduction

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with Space Travel. The idea of men strapping themselves to rockets and blasting into the unknown never fails to excite and amaze me.

So when Chris Baker and I were on the look out for our next writing project, we realized that the true story of man’s first step on the moon contained more adventure, danger and emotion than anything our own minds could conjure up. The opportunity to unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to tell a story about the life, death, dreams and reality of human kind’s greatest achievement in exploration took hold of our inner-writers and wouldn’t let go.

Mike Collins joined the project after we met him at a comic convention. Mike is one of those artists whose work you’ve definitely seen even if you don’t know it. From X-Men to Star Trek, Doctor Who to Batman, he’s drawn everything, and worked with everyone from Alan Moore to Chris Claremont. We are blessed and honoured to work with him on Apollo, and the fact that he shares a name with the Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot can only be a good omen!

Now, with the help of SelfMadeHero and Arts Council England, all the pieces are in place and we’re finally ready to begin writing and producing Apollo,a full-length graphic novel recounting the story of the first men on the moon. This blog will keep readers updated on our progress and allow them to follow the book’s journey from start to finish, offering a front row seat as the story develops and changes over time, with sneak peeks of artwork in various stages of completion, video diaries giving an insight into our thought process and what it takes to make a graphic novel and, eventually, posts focusing on more practical considerations, including page layout and the production process.

So climb aboard, perform your pre-flight checks, and join us as we prepare to launch in five… four… three… two…

– Matt