As a thank you for pre-ordering Picket Line, please enjoy a preview of my upcoming graphic novel, Oaks! I have been working on this story since November of 2010, first writing the script, then story-boarding, and now illustrating. I am nearing the 1/3 mark, and hope to have the entire project finished in 2012. And, to be more precise, I should say that this is a preview of the artwork, as the story/dialogue is still under some revision. So, feel free to treat it like The Snowman and add in your own dialog!

The characters of Oaks are mainly animals, though not without their human character traits. These animals live in a deciduous forest and enjoy a relatively peaceful existence among the oak trees.

The animals enjoy a good party. It’s a chance to show off their neckties. And listen to Peggy Lee.

But as you might imagine, it wouldn’t be much of a story without some conflict. Once the story begins, they encounter a human, and their peaceful existence is disrupted. I learned once that there are essentially two ways to begin a story: “The day that everything changed…” or “A stranger comes to town…” This story could probably be considered both.

I don’t mean to be so vague, but I really don’t want to give away too much of the story this early! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a sneak preview of the artwork, though. I’ll close this preview with a page from my sketchbook where I originally developed the characters. More than any conscious brain-storming session, it was in those initial sketches that the characters, and this story, came to life.

Thanks again for ordering Picket Line, and for your interest in Oaks! I’ll be sharing more information as I move along with that project, but you have been among the first to see pieces of it!