One of the questions we always get asked at cons is “How long have you guys been working on this?” It seems like that would have a simple answer – but no!
Those of you who have followed our artist Aaron Minier for some time may already know — this is not the first incarnation of Black Rose. Aaron actually started working on Black Rose back in his college days, along with classmate Christopher Studabaker as his writing collaborator.
Chris Arndt and I met Aaron in college a year or two later (Aaron a senior, we lowly freshmen) and became part of the same circle of friends. I dug Aaron’s art and recall proudly purchasing a copy of Black Rose #1 from their small initial print run back in 2004. (Technically, Black Rose dates back to circa 2003, making it 12 years old this year!)
Aaron will probably kill me if I start posting his old art – I’ll risk it and just show you one, the inks from the cover of old issue #1. As you can see, his style has changed a lot in the past ten years!
That’s Arion and Aliyana on the right. The central idea of the story was similar to the current incarnation of Black Rose: a brother and sister in trouble because the sister is a clandestine magic user. Other than that, though, the plot and world were quite different, and the tone of the story was much lighter, more akin to a Final Fantasy game.
Aaron and Studabaker worked on Black Rose off and on for several years, developing an overall plan for the story, with 4 or 5 issues scripted — the first 3 of those fully drawn, inked, and lettered.
After a few years, Studabaker left the project to pursue other opportunities. Aaron still wanted to do Black Rose, but needed a replacement writer. That’s where Chris Arndt and I entered the picture again…
And promptly burned everything to the ground. More on that next week!