The first draft of our dummy book for the Great Milkshake Heist is complete! It’s an exciting time.

Now Justin and I will collect feedback from industry professionals on how to improve the book. We’ll read it to kids to see how the jokes go over. After revising the dummy it will be time to submit to an agent for acquisition. We are still tossing ideas around about how to present the work to agents but I am sure we’ll come up with something creative. The important thing is that the dummy itself is the best it can be and we are CLOSE!

So much about the dummy is alive and changing. The title, character designs, and the plot are all evolving as we continue to work. Dummy books are not meant to be set in stone rather act as a starting point for publishers to work with us. Once acquired, the dummy book will go through a lot as it transforms into the final book that kids can read.

In my last post I wrote about beginning the “Storyboarding” process. Creating a storyboard for television is very different than paneling a graphic novel. Storyboards “spell things out” in a more detailed and step-by-step way. For instance, if I wanted to depict an athlete pitching a baseball then I had better show the wind up, throw, and follow through. That’s three drawings for one action. In contrast, a graphic novel is faster paced and you can get more across per per panel. The Milkshake Heist dummy book is paced right in the middle of the two art forms so we plan to reduce it’s 75 page count down to 30-40. 

As we wait for peer reviews I have taken on the task of employing my creativity in other ways! I became a little burnt-out developing this dummy so it’s time to refresh my creative storehouse. I’m filling my sketchbook with personal artwork. You know, when I was a kid, I wasn’t making a dummy book for publishers. I would take a blank piece of printer paper, a pencil and begin with “What Should I Draw Today?”. That has been my approach during this time away from the dummy book. I have been drawing skulls, doing collage, and making diary comics. That and playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild because it is the best Zelda game I have ever played.

I can’t wait to jump back in once we’ve collected our peer feedback. My mind is already churning out new ideas for how to improve it. When the time is right, my guess is in 2-3 weeks, I’ll jump back into revising the dummy book and preparing it for submission.

Be sure and follow me on Instagram, @instadoogie, for lots of cool artwork and on Twitter @nicmcdougal.