a new project and a humble request

I haven’t been blogging much over the course of the pandemic, but despite challenging times it has been a productive year for my studio work. I made a conscious choice to step away from illustrating nonfiction graphic novels, the bread and butter of my freelance, in pursuit of fictional storytelling and worldbuilding, a desire I’ve had since I started out as a freelancer about 18 years ago.

One project in particular has taken on an unexpected life of its own. I met a writer online just before the summer of 2020 and we started having weekly zoom meetings. It started as a work-for-hire comic illustration gig, but the organic nature of the collaboration allowed me to invest more heavily into the way the story was being told mainly because I wasn’t working off a script, but rather ideas for scenes and story ideas.

A long story short, the project has evolved into a passion project for me. I’ve put hundreds of hours into bringing it to life and even flew out to Chicago to meet the writer in person. Seven White and I have completed a 40 page Part One of the story we’re telling and the time has come for us to start sharing it with readers. I ask that you consider helping us realize our dream to continue the journey of this project. It’s going to be self-published and creator-owned, so we need the support to make it happen. Please sign-up for the email list and follow the instagram page to stay up to date with our progress. I can’t thank you enough for your support.

May the Fourth Be with you in 2021

I notice I’m getting traffic on my website for the Star Wars in Ancient Greece illustrations I drew in 2015. If you are new to my website, welcome! Thanks for your interest. If are interested in getting a print or t-shirt or a mug or doormat or shower curtain or various other items with my Star Wars drawings, I can direct you to my Artist Shop. I currently only have two images available. If you would like to see some of the others made available, please leave a comment. Thank you and remember : “The Fourth surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Fourth around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”

https://aamcconnell.threadless.com

10th Annual NYCC x MCM Metaverse Charity Art Auction

Please join us 10th Annual NYCC x MCM Metaverse Charity Art Auction to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!Have Fun. Get Art. Save Lives. You Can Make A Difference!

11″ x 17″ original ink drawing on archival bristol board.

I’m contributing this piece to the auction going on now. If you’re a fan of the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Baby Yoda (and really who isn’t?), and have the means to donate to this worthy cause, please check it out! The details are listed below including a link to all the impressive art available.

Auction Starts: October 2 – 12:00 pm EST

Auction Ends: October 11 – 8:00 pm ESTLocation: https://vfundraise.net/NYCC20#page=1&category=29361

Thanks you for your attention and consideration!

Repost from Pelgrane Press Announcements

The following is a repost from Pelgrane Press Announcements as described by my art director Rob Heinsoo:

A funny thing happened on the way to the Crown of Axis arena. Wade’s request for a cover image featuring two powerful female gladiators had been executed in style by Aaron McConnell:13Age_CrownofAxis_MockUP_Aoriginal sketch

For a change, Aaron decided to hand-paint the piece, old school instead of digital. That turned out to create a delivery problem. At first, the paints wouldn’t dry. Well, they dried a bit, but the yellow was taking a loooooong time. Then Aaron’s scanner tech couldn’t pick up the colors he’d painted with properly. Neither could Aaron’s photos.

EaselView-scaleddrying on the easel

So Aaron went over to Lee Moyer’s house, since they were working together on a different project and Lee has a Serious Scanner. And if you know Lee, you know Lee’s super-power—he had suggestions. They got the piece scanned and then worked together on the paints, turning a high-noon situation into an evening showdown. Aaron held onto the piece for another couple weeks, but he has overcome separation anxiety and is calling it done!

13Age_CrownofAxis_NightPainted_A-scaledCrown of Axis cover by Aaron McConnell, with paints assist by Lee Moyer

Adventure Time Comics #21

This issue is a surprising delight. “Ricardio Arrythmia” turns a simple concept into something simultaneously unusual and slightly moving. McConnell’s art and lettering is a unique twist for Adventure Time, and while some panels almost look like something out of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, that only adds to the charm.

— Jenna Anderson (for Comic Book Reviews at Comicbook.com)

Adventure Time Comics #21 has been available at comic shops for a couple weeks now.  This is the first comic work for a licensed property that I’ve written and illustrated.  I wasn’t too familiar with the expansive universe of Adventure Time a year ago, but my son and I watched many episodes and had a good time following Finn and Jake through the rich tapestry of the world and its various dimensions.  The Adventure Time Comics series, for those not familiar, is a monthly comic book anthology that allows contributing creators to play with the source material and interpret it in any manner they prefer.  Once my pitch concept was approved, I was given cart blanche with very little editorial interference.  I’m grateful to Matt Levine the assistant editor at BOOM! who thought I’d be a good candidate for the book.  I’m also thankful for my sounding boards during the writing process, Jim Berry and Dan McConnell, both of whom contributed ideas to the story.

Now for some preview pages from the 12 page story, and below the color art are some of the original pages for those interested in the process.  Further below are some sketchbook drawings that were done in the early stages of development along with rough layouts and miscellaneous scribblings.  Cue the intro song to Adventure Time and “come along with me…”

ADVTime_Sketching01ADVTime_Sketching02RIS_Composite_01_bADVTime_Sketching03RIS_Composite_06_aRIS_Composite_07_aADVTime_Sketching04

13 to 1

Here’s the conclusion of the 13th Age countdown in one swift post.

13…Attack on Boltstrike Pillar: the color version and the original charcoal drawing.

BoltstrikeAttack_Color_RGBBoltstrikeAttack_Pencil_100dpi

12…Unpublished early concept drawing of Sorcerers of The Three (see the 13th Age GM Screen for an updated version)

The3Sorcerers_Pencil

11…Pencil drawing of 2 halflings sharing a pipe in Twisp (toned final art on page 280 of the core book)

Twisp_Pencils

10…The drawing for the cover of the core book on toned watercolor paper and a detail from the concept sketch.

13thACover_Pencils13thACover_Sketch

9…Detail of the original charcoal art for the Gnome class in the core book (page 68)

GnomeBards_Pencil_Scan02_2012

8…An unwelcome guest in the king’s court. The painted version by Lee Moyer (found in 13 True Ways) and the original drawing.

DeathofThroneDeathofThrone_Pencils

7…Adventurers went to heaven…after some faerie trouble. (Illustration on page 121 of 13 True Ways)

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6…Original drawing on toned paper (color version in 13 True Ways)

ElfVLich_72dpi

5…Dance of the Dead. A drawing from 13 True Ways with some recent color alterations.

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4…Revised color on an illustration in the core book (page 40) and detail of the original drawing on toned paper.

Kasarak_Painted_100dpiKasarak_Pencils_100dpi

3…Kobold guardians of Drakkenhall.  Original acrylic painting for the illustration on page 127 of 13 True Ways.

Kobolds_100dpi

2…Darkness Horses from the forthcoming 13th Age in Glorantha.

BlackHorses_E_RGB

1…Unused concept drawing for the Battle Captain  seen on page 29 of 13 True Ways.

BattleCaptain_Concept

 

Day 17

Day 17 of 13th Age at bundleofholding.com. The Island of Omen original charcoal drawing and the final art found on page 276 of the 13th Age Core Book (with some unusual yellow streaking in the photo…I can’t explain it other than to say strange things happen when you’re dealing with the Island of Omen).

IslandofOmen_72dpiIMG_2913