Adventures in inkPublished 5:01pm Sunday, May 5, 2013
It took Sean E. Williams a little time to find the right medium to tell stories.
The Austin resident used to be a film producer and writer in Los Angeles for a number of years, but now he’s finding success at comics and graphic novel writing.
Williams writes his own digital comic called “Artful Daggers” with partners Adam Knave and Andrew Losq. In addition, he will be responsible for the upcoming arc of “Fairest” a spinoff of the Eisner Award-winning comics series “Fables” by Bill Willingham.
Williams didn’t always think of comics writing as a profession, however. It was during a slow period in his producing days that he turned to writing, after trying to option “Fables,” a comic showing fairy tale characters finding ways to live in the “mundane world” instead of their own fantasy land, as a TV show.
He met Willingham at San Diego Comic Con several years ago, but it wasn’t until about three years ago that he thought of a story idea using one of the minor characters from “Fables.”
He brought his idea to Willingham, who had let other writers work on arcs and side stories in the “Fables” universe before. Willingham was willing to listen to a pitch, and Williams took the initiative.
“I spent all night writing something out,” he said.
Several months later, Williams met up with Willingham to discuss the project.
“He said, ‘OK, ‘Fairest’ is happening … and we’re going to roll this into that. Would you be willing to do a different character?’”
Williams immediately accepted, working with Willingham to map out how his arc, concerning the journey of Nalayani, a princess originally from the Sanskrit epic “Mahabharata.”
“Basically, in the course of a week, I had to come up with a story about a different character I hadn’t even been thinking about,” Williams said.
The first issue about Nalayani was released this week, and Williams will be responsible for five more issues under “The Return of the Maharaja” arc.
From the screen to the page
“Fairest” is just another sign of the switch Williams has made, however.
Williams had worked on several smaller films when he was living in California, but had found more writing opportunities as time went by.
He had worked on several independent movies, including “Blues” with Brandon Sonnier, and several Internet shows. When his wife, Lindsey Williams, took a job as theater director at Riverland Community College, he decided to make the switch full-time to writing.
“I had a few TV series in development around town, and nothing ever went anywhere,” he said. “So when the comics stuff started picking up, I said OK, let’s go with it.”
He has been busy since then, working on various novels and comics projects, including “Artful Daggers,” a series inspired by “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”
It began as a joke between himself and Adam Knave over Twitter, however, but has grown into a serious project.
“Adam made a joke on Twitter that … it was something to the effect of, ‘OK Universe, someday Sean and I will write a dark medieval fantasy spy series together,” Williams said. “I messaged him five minutes later saying, “Let’s do it!” and he said, ‘What?’”
Williams and Knave have released two issues of “Artful Daggers” online thus far, with the third coming out on May 8.
The latest arc of “Fairest” won’t be the last project for Williams, who is pitching several projects to DC/Vertigo Comics and other publishing companies. Writing is paying off for Williams, and he’s looking forward to the future.
“I kind of went all-in and committed to it, and here we are,” he said.