Monday, October 26, 2015

Raising Dragons Graphic Novel- Bryan Davis and James Art Ville

Raising Dragons was one of my favorite novels growing up and is the first book I ever convinced my brother to read as well. Now that it has been made into a graphic novel, I'm excited to share an interview with the book's illustrator, James Art Ville. If you have any questions for him, please leave them in the comments.

1) What was your favorite part of working with this story?
Storyboarding Example
My favorite part was drawing the thumbnails for each panel/page. This is also called “storyboarding”. Although I have the script to determine the events of each panel, I still muster a lot of creativity when composing each panel to depict each scene in the best and most interesting way. I like to keep them dynamic so that no two panels are exactly alike.

2) Can you tell us about your experience with Kickstarter for this project?
Although I didn’t create this project during the early stages of Kickstater’s existence, I feel like since then I heard more and more news about Kickstarter’s growth and success. It was very easy to create the project and manage it through the Kickstarter project dashboard. The funding period was very tense for me because it was at a time of my life where I had recently become self employed, and the outcome of the project would have had great impact on which path I would take next in my career. Every day I would check to see if more backers had pledged. It was pretty tight in the end and looking back now I can breathe a sigh of relief and I am grateful for where it has taken me, professionally speaking.

3) Which of the illustrations was your favorite?
I always love drawing people more than anything, so my favorite part was drawing the characters. Even more specifically, the more mythical the character, the more I enjoyed it. Bonnie Silver, Clefsphere, and knights in armor were much more enjoyable to illustrate than normal people (sorry Walter :P).

4) How did you come to work with Bryan Davis?
My wife was a fan of Bryan Davis’s books. One summer, Bryan was making an appearance at my local bookstore and Shiloh wanted me to draw something to give him as a gift (fan art, you know?). Bryan was pleased with the drawing. We asked him if he ever considered having his stories adapted as graphic novels. He said it was something that he thought about and I offered to do it, half jokingly. I was quite surprised a few months later to receive a message from him asking if I was interested in drawing Raising Dragons. I was just as giddy about the project as any other die hard DIOM fan. It was a project that the two of us wanted to see happen, even if it meant self publishing.

5) Do you have any other works or webpages you would like to share?
There is another book that I illustrated for Bryan Davis. It’s a children’s book called Beelzebed. It features a young Walter Foley from Raising Dragons as he literally battles with his bed in a humorous tale about bedtime and the battle of the wills. My books and my personal gallery can be accessed by visiting I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and the other socials.

Short Biography:
James Art Ville is a digital illustrator and graphic designer. When he’s not designing
websites for clients, he’s illustrating book covers, children’s books, and graphic novels for both the young and old. He loves super heroes, playing video games, and reading fantasy novels. He and his wife live in Oregon with their three children.

Raising Dragons Description:
Graphic novel based on the bestselling book Raising Dragons. This book brings to life in 150 pages of colorful illustrations the beloved fantasy novel by Bryan Davis.


  1. I was a backer for this project! I can't to get my copy. I love the series. ^ ^