I’m certain there are many people who believe Chadhiyana is just another half-finished comic project, abandoned indefinitely by its creator (as is too common an occurrence with indie-comic). Yet despite her relative public absence (except for some social media posts), the Chadhiyana series is not abandoned and is far from complete. From Chadhiyana’s near-instantaneous conception, I felt compelled to tell her story, and there’s never been a project or character more important to me (as I’ve often said). Though I realise that may come off as strange considering the hiatus I’ve seemingly taken from Chadhiyana, so I’m here to set a few things straight and offer some hope and information to the Chadhiyana fanbase.
First and foremost, the story of In the Company of Shadows is only the beginning. The book serves as an origin story for Chadhiyana (as it were and which may be obvious by Chadhiyana’s costume change in that arc). Yet as the graphic novel was publishing in single issues, and despite careful planning, I was struggling both in my personal life and with the book, and in fact, I was becoming largely unhappy with it (though my publisher and fans alike seemed well-pleased).
(And this is a good time to mention that none of the fault lies with Rosarium Publishing. They’ve been a wonderfully supportive and understanding publisher. Any setbacks and pauses in publication have been the sole fault of this author.)
What most people probably know (if you’ve read some of my blog posts over the past year, especially on jmdesantis.com), is that my life and work habits were creating an unlivable situation for me. For that reason alone, I needed to take a step away from working creatively, just to recollect myself and make some adjustments. But given that these things were, in part, affecting the progress of Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows, and also clouding my judgement or even distracting me during its creation, there was yet another reason to take a step back.
As early as the 2016 Rosarium Publishing IndieGoGo campaign, I began to realise and admit to myself that the book was not as I intended it. For various reasons (including the things I was struggling with) I made poor choices about its creation, both on the writing and art end. To some degree, I even let my then limited vision of what a comic could be lead to further limitations of my own vision for the book.
In short, I began to decide the book needed to be reworked. I started with the prologue and worked my way up to the current issue. I also attempted Inktober in October and NaNoWriMo in November 2017 and those experiences helped me to understand some things about my creation process as well as hone new techniques that lead to further developments and feeling of potential for the book, rather than limitations. And thus, the real work began.
Since the beginning of 2018, I have been working very hard redesigning and further developing certain elements of the book. I’ve written out more lore and histories for the world, created more depth and a clearer direction for the story, and even began to work in some “new” elements into the book that I had originally wanted to include, but took out because of my feelings that I couldn’t possibly include them (again, because of my self-imposed limitations). Those additions, edits, changes are all for the better of the present arc as well as the future of the series.
The only downside is the work is not yet done. I’m trying to work out some ways of making up for lost time, as well as bringing my readers a better book–one I can stand proudly behind and one (I hope) the fans (old and new) will love. The good news is now that this information is out in the open, I can begin to post updates over time in order to keep the fans informed. Part of the trouble was, before this point, I just wasn’t certain how it would all develop. Now I at least feel comfortable enough with the direction to be a bit more forthcoming with information.
That said, my Patreon followers are getting a more in-depth look at the changes and additions that are being made to the book. Today they were already given a considerably lengthier explanation of all the above (titled Part I: A Thorough Explanation of the Hiatus). Then starting with this Thursday and publishing every Tuesday and Thursday through the end (about six weeks), my patrons will be treated to the following, smaller updates:
Part II: Chadhiyana vs the World
Part III: The Lore of the Sunlands & Aghal-Parag
Part IV: An Element of Horror
Part V: More of Magic
Part VI: The Tal-Ifatir
Part VII: The Shadows of the Tal-Ifatir
Part VIII: The Trouble with “Shadows”
Part IX: Style & Backgrounds
Part X: Some New (& Old) Ideas
Part XI: Parting Words
If this information looks of interest to you (based on the titles), then sign up for my Patreon (patreon.com/jmdesantis) at just $1.00 per month and enjoy the updates as they come (and no, I don’t mind if you simply join for a month or two just to read the updates, though I do hope you’ll remain a patron afterwards). There won’t be any story spoilers, per say, but you will get a better idea of what I generally have planned and am working on, and the chance to offer feedback as the information posts. Else, I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated as the work comes together, and you can just be surprised by the changes when they are made manifest.
And there it is.
My apologies for how long everyone had to wait for an update, and I do hope this has offered some explanation for not only why there was a hiatus from Chadhiyana but also why I felt it was necessary. And even more, I hope you’re all excited by at least the tease of further depth and detail being added to Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows and also all future Chadhiyana book. It’s going to be a much better book because of it, and being honest with myself, this needed to happen–even if it wasn’t convenient.
So until next time: May the Fire burn bright.