The Shelby Bly Project is my in-the-works graphic novel project that I’ve been working on (and off and on and etc.) since 2009. I am writing the story and will illustrate the novel completely by myself. It is a labor of love that I hope will pay off in some small way financially once I finally have it published as both a physical book-form graphic novel and a digital e-book. I do not yet have an exact ETA on when the novel will be finished because it is still currently in pre-production.

I started brainstorming for the original story back in August of 2009. I later finished a sub-par version (in my own opinion) of the novel online that was released for free in 2012. It was at that time entitled Journeys of Shelby Bly. I decided to completely rewrite the story and start anew in December 2013 rather than fix what I saw as a very flawed first try. The new graphic novel will have a new title (which I haven’t come up with yet) and will probably be one of at least two in a series (I have plans for only one sequel, so far). I am still in the process of writing the new story and am about halfway through writing the third draft of the story. I would like to go through several drafts (at least two, maybe three more) before I’m ready to begin illustrating. I hope to have the graphic novel finished and ready for sale to the public by sometime in the latter part of 2018.

The graphic novel will be fully illustrated using 3D models and digital painting. I am utilizing the programs Poser 11 Pro by Smith Micro and Photoshop CS6 by Adobe for the most part though I do have other programs I will use from time to time for various smaller jobs. Most of the models I will be using will be created by others but I am using them under license. Many of the textures and character morphs plus a few props will be/have been created by me. All of the scenes will be constructed and the figures arranged/posed by me. It’s a lot of very painstaking work but, as I already said, it will be well worth it.

Here are some recent concept art renders of a few of the main characters. For more information about the project, it has its own website at www.shelbynovel.com

Shelby Bly
Current concept art of Shelby Bly

Joel Rio
Current concept art of Joel Rio

Maia Avanti
Current concept art of Maia Avanti

Here is the current version of the story introduction summary:

Shelby is a twenty-something university student in Northern California who is about to go on her summer break. Although her father, Dr. Robert Bly, was once a famous globetrotting archaeologist, Shelby is studying to be a simple historian with the goal of one day working in a temperature controlled museum. She is well on her way to achieving her quiet dreams when shadows from her father’s past re-emerge. When Dr. Bly is taken prisoner by the notorious Rita Nimway of GEEVA, Shelby must trek around the world to find the mystical substance known as Vril. Her only chance of seeing her father again is to discover the Vril source and trade it for his life. Along the way she will have the aid of Dr. Bly’s left behind research assistant, Joel Rio, who will help her to become the adventurer she never dreamed of becoming. Her best friend, Maia Avanti, helps her out using the sources she’s acquired in her pursuit to become a journalist to get Shelby all the information she’ll need to complete her quest. Shelby and her friends must battle the GEEVA mercenaries hired by Nimway who intend to find the Vril on their own and a third party that has yet to reveal themselves.

Do the guardians of the Vril, the Vril-ya still exist? Did they and the Vril ever exist or are they just another fanciful myth? Will she be able to find them before GEEVA before time runs out? Can she truly trust the people she considers her friends? The lives of those Shelby loves, and her own life, depend on the answers.