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 The Ravens of Odin

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PostSubject: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:12 am



Welcome to the very first League sanctioned real-time, completely interactive, virtually endless, interview:

Let me introduce you to the authors of a great new book, THE RAVENS OF ODIN, and then follow us to the League message boards where any and all registered League members are invited to join me in our informal interrogation of these two talented creators.

THE RAVENS OF ODIN is a new book of poems and images from the Viking age. Fifty poems written by Alex Ness, illustrated by Ed Quinby, two of the most talented people I know, but for the readers sake, in their own words, who the heck are these people?

ALEX NESS
Quote :
"I am a poet. I know that to some people that is a pretentious title but I've written poetry since my earliest of memories.   I've spent a life filling my mind with ideas about the world, about life, understanding what has gone on in the past and what beckons for the future."

ED QUINBY

Quote :
"Just like Alex, I discovered my passion at a very early age, but in my case, it
was illustration and comics. In fact, I learned to read from Flash Gordon and Prince
Valiant Sunday comic strips. Not a bad thing at all, the material was more
challenging than ' Dick and Jane'. But, it was the beautiful artwork of those strips
that set me on a path I still walk today. It's a fortunate thing to devote yourself to
a skill in which you can still improve well into middle age. For an athlete, it would
be like loving to play golf, and I am a very happy golfer."

You can buy the book The Ravens of Odin, online from CreateSpace
https://www.createspace.com/4147081 

You'll find more poetry by Alex Ness at his blog, Alex Ness Poetry
http://alexnesspoetry.blogspot.com/

and you can see more art from Ed Quinby at edquinby.deviantart.com/gallery/
http://edquinby.deviantart.com/gallery/


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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:34 am

Ed, Alex, I have a bunch of questions, as I'm sure does everyone, let me get started with some basic questions, and anyone else feel free to join right in as well.

Is this your first book together?

What attracted you most about the other's work, what made you want to work together?

Alex, this isn't your first poetry anthology, but it seemed to me to be more focused than most, do you prefer one over the other?

Were you guys surprised by anything while working on the book, what was CreateSpace.com like? It looks like a pretty user friendly site to buy from, what was it like to publish?
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Alex Ness

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:00 am

The book was a result of my meeting poet from Sweden Thom Olausson. He and I were quite close, and decided to work together. We wrote our poems about something we had in common, an interest in the Vikings, and since I am 25% Swede and live in Minnesota, and he is 100% Swede and lives in Sweden, it seemed a perfect match.

We've had at least two publishers say yes and then fall away due to the market's cruelty. But Createspace is a way to be heard, regardless of what the small publishers are doing.

And I prefer to work in collaboration with people, Lancelot was such, this was such, and so it isn't so much different, just solely on a single subject.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:07 am

Thom and I decided since he had opportunities to publish in Sweden and I could do Createspace with Ed to address our readers separately despite it beginning as a group project. Sadly most projects creative end somehow without the whole team aboard.
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kurt wilcken

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:51 am

Do you find yourself more drawn to the history of the Vikings, or the more mythic aspects of the Norse Sagas?
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edquinby001

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:09 pm

I see I am somewhat late to the party, were you guys up very late or very early?!

To address Joe's and Kurt's questions, Ravens of Odin is the second book Alex and I have worked on. The first book, Sacred Ground, dealing with the Roman invasion and occupation of Celtic Britain, will come out second, just the wacky nature of publishing.

It was an easy thing for me to decide to illustrate Alex's work. I'd been writing my own stories the last few years, primarily because the scripts I could get my hands on were, frankly, nothing special and there is a lot of that in comics and elsewhere as we all know. And then, along came Alex, a certified historian and an accomplished poet, not a dabbler, but the real deal. Well, what's a girl to do?

As far as CreateSpace, given my tech limitations, I'd have to say it is very user-friendly. I had practice with it on one of my own books and the proof copy looked good, so I knew what to expect there. For a publishing process that I'm sure didn't have illustrated formats as their main focus to begin with, it's remarkably good for color and grayscale work as well as text.

Kurt, your question is more targeted to Alex, as he is the initial well spring of the book. I would like to say, however, that while I hoped and tried very hard to get technical aspects of the drawing accurate with the Vikings' history, I really wanted to be true to their mindset and world perspective. That, I thought was spectacularly well delineated by Alex and his main strength, so I had a lot to live up to.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:07 pm

I deeply dig the idea of people challenging the open blue of the sea and finding whatever is on the other side. The Vikings were and are more than that... They had culture, and more.

The myths however, KICKED MUCH ASS.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:59 pm

Angie Lisle posted this question to the blog...

Angie Lisle wrote:
Do you identify with the Vikings? Also, what are your thoughts about people who think that Vikings were culturally-inept killers? Why do you think this idea about Vikings persists?
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Alex Ness

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:04 pm

Angie is awesome.

I do not identify with some of the aspects of Vikings such as the perceiving of others as a source of economic gain. But I do think they were fearless, had notions of honor and democratic choice, and they might not be who we think they were, but what they were was something unique.

I have said to people asking about my wife and I, that my wife is a Vulcan and I am a Klingon. She is a Scientist, I am a Poet warrior. I think that I identify with the ideal of Vikings that they lived and died with a certain joy and gusto. I hope to as well.

And I think the notion of Vikings as invaders and killers versus explorers and thinkers comes from two things, the cultural propaganda of the people who's ass they had just kicked, and the desire by the Vikings in general to make the people they were about to kick the ass of fear them.

Thank you Angie!
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Terry M (Ditko Fan)

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:35 pm

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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:47 pm

Ditko Fan TPM wrote:
Vikings are very popular lately.

http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/Vikings-review-It-takes-a-pillage-4317405.php
I had read somewhere that the History Channel was doing a show about Vikings

(not that I'm purposely trying to get the words "History, Channel" and "Vikings" clearly imbedded in the conversation)
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:00 pm

Alex Ness wrote:
...I think the notion of Vikings as invaders and killers versus explorers and thinkers comes from two things, the cultural propaganda of the people who's ass they had just kicked, and the desire by the Vikings in general to make the people they were about to kick the ass of fear them.
Not that they weren't tough guys. But wasn't much of the ornamentation on their armor and even the large dragon motif on the ships and such, part of the pr campaign to create and play into an adversaries fears?
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:03 pm

What I understand is that some of the perceptions of what they appeared as has been exaggerated but the horned helmets, which have roundly been dismissed existed in some way, perhaps as a high officer or religious leader wearing them. Or so I've been told.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:05 pm

edquinby001 wrote:
For a publishing process that I'm sure didn't have illustrated formats as their main focus to begin with, it's remarkably good for color and grayscale work as well as text.

Ed,
What techniques and medium did you use? Your grayscales are very clean and precise were they done electronically?

Do you have any sample art you can post? Any works in progress?
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:10 pm

edquinby001 wrote:
...Ravens of Odin is the second book Alex and I have worked on. The first book, Sacred Ground, dealing with the Roman invasion and occupation of Celtic Britain, will come out second, just the wacky nature of publishing.
Are there any previews you guys can share with us?
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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:57 pm

Ditko Fan TPM wrote:
Vikings are very popular lately.

http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/Vikings-review-It-takes-a-pillage-4317405.php


It's in the air, the salty sea air! Seriously, I'm looking forward to this despite the lackluster review it gets here. Since it's a series, maybe it can build the story and characters to a deeper level even with slow pacing?

Let me post a few entries from The Ravens of Odin, hope I can find drawings without the stereotypical horned helmets!
This should get us in a party mood:



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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:01 pm

and the accompanying drawing, hey no horns!



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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:09 pm

Possibly my favorite of Alex's poems in the book deals with Odin. He gives a
very intimate portrait of the Norse chief god. Here is the drawing:



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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:12 pm




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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:15 pm





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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:23 pm

another favorite was The Return:



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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:26 pm






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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:35 pm





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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:38 pm

and a preview of Sacred Ground recounting the Pict, Roman wars:




Joe, I usually get my gray tones from a sizable array of Prismacolor cool gray markers for areas and Tombow brush pens for lines, then into Photoshop for things that were too difficult to do with the markers. But, this drawing was completely colored and I just converted the mode to Grayscale in Photoshop! The contrast stayed surprisingly good and I just had a few tweaks to make it a gray toned work and a heckuva lot cheaper to print.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ravens of Odin   Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:42 pm

Great interview guys! You guys are really building something here.

I really like the cover image. What is the significance of the Raven itself?
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