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A bold, uninhibited graphic novel about a post-apocalyptic family, integrating live action photos with detail-drenched miniature environments.
A bold, uninhibited graphic novel about a post-apocalyptic family, integrating live action photos with detail-drenched miniature environments.
102 backers pledged $7,078 to help bring this project to life.

In The Thick of It

Dear ISNESS Backers,

 I hope you've had a good summer. It's been a productive one for ISNESS

As the visuals get richer with the addition of backgrounds, so do the story and characters. It has occurred to me lately that what I have under my hands is first and foremost a novel. As I write the dialog I feel the powerful tug of each character demanding more and more fleshing out. This is not an easy task, particularly with some of the hard-to-explain actions that take place in the story.

  At least one mystery has been solved and that's the question of the culprit who's been streaking the beach diorama. He has been caught again and a mug shot has been taken. Alas I believe it is the work of many many more of the little vandals and I've given up on fighting them. The beach will be streaked and you will all know why.


The largest room that contains both the kitchen and living room is completely finished. I shoot it in order of the events so as to keep track of the changing light and the migration of objects. Some favorite corners below: 

 A friend who has access to a professional print proofer ( ) printed a few large test sheets for me. This is a first step in understanding how my images will travel from RGB to CMYK. They made this test run really well and gave me a deeper understanding of what I need to do to get better results. 

 You may be wondering if you'll ever see your thank you cards, here are some images of them almost finished. Each is a completely distinct collage using authentic print media from the 60's mixed with materials from ISNESS' production. Each has a tiny image of Lil' and a piece of fabric from her dress. The thank-you notes will be hand written and personal! 

Below is a snapshot of my miniature photo setup. After testing many setups, I defaulted on the simplest option: One powerful light coming from the outside and whatever fill comes in naturally through the open side of the maquette. On rare occasions I will use a small reflector to enhance the fill. This gives me the closest approximation to natural daylight conditions. The only drawback is the long exposures that are susceptible to the slightest motion and also a certain strange saturated look which I'm not quite sure I like yet...

Since the story unfolds over a 24 hour period (plus a few flashbacks), the light will need to change gradually until it cycles back to early morning light. I suspect the most challenging will be the night lighting since it will be so dim and they only have candles and car battery powered lights. That's when I get to hook up my miniature lights from the dollhouse store and see what they can do...

Your continued support is instrumental in bringing ISNESS to fruition.  Your "Likes" on my brand new FB page will help me find a publisher, because a wide fan base is one of the things publishers look for before committing to a print project. So please go to and "like" me! 


Also, check out my most recent blog post which has different pics!

Happy winter!




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    1. sharmenhope on

      I just moved to Tampa yet cant wait to see the final project. How can I update my delivery address?