Today and Thursday, we’re offering a little insight into the creation of Namesake.

Isa says: Some of the first sketches of Warrick. As you can see, the feathercloak and attitude was always there. I did a lot of sketches trying to get the cloak to look more realistic and/or medieval, but in the end, since it’s magical, I just went with the really empty and huge look that it has today.

When Namesake was just budding, I was still in school (University of Ottawa). I drew Namesake sketches all over all my notes. The most interesting character design progress I did was all over my business class notes. Honestly, drawing in class kept me focused on the class. Otherwise, I kinda just plunged into daydreams. Thank you, Namesake, for keeping me as a straight A’s student. Alice and Warrick still kinda look like themselves. Emma went thru 10 different hairdos before we decided to go with her ponytail-on-the-side look. Warrick went thru about 20 different noses. Alice about 100 costumes.

Meg says: We went through a number of different formats for Namesake before deciding on a webcomic. We went from a straight graphic novel to a prose novel with illustrations by Isa then to the current webcomic format that’s compiled into a graphic novel.

The first draft of the prologue was handwritten when I was working an overnight shift at Bank of America in 2009. It’s actually one of the few things that didn’t change from the first draft to final form. The big difference is that the prologue was written in prose. The original draft of chapter 1, which I’ll talk about Thursday, also was in prose form. Here’s an excerpt from the original prologue. It reflects a lot more of the research I did into Dodgson’s life when we were just starting the story:

He cleared off some of the worse of the mess, placing torn scraps of paper in a rubbish bin, straightening the corners of a lecture he was to give the following week. His gaze landed on a framed photograph of the Liddell girls, taken five years earlier. He ran his finger over the glass, over the young Alice’s solemn face. Even at age 6, she looked as if she had already lived a hundred lifetimes.

“I’m sorry,” he told the photograph. “You weren’t meant to go so soon,” he added as he set the frame back in its proper spot. He thought he’d had more time. Months, even years. Alice was still too young for such an arduous journey, he thought. Four years of meticulously documented research had led him to that conclusion. Those books were safely tucked away in a lockbox that was hidden on a shelf he had affixed to the inside of the unused chimney in his guest bedroom. They had escaped the frantic search by police, who had grown convinced that the eccentric mathematician desired a mere child for his bride.