The Field Guide To Magical Animals is a fantasy mystery series set in a magical world called The Verdant Kingdom. Each adventure features amazing magical creatures, and the problems their magical abilities can cause. Our hero, Lee, is an aspiring zoologist who wants to know everything there is to know about these incredible creatures. With her wits, cunning, and encyclopedic knowledge of animal facts, she is always saving the day.
Lee's partner is an ill-tempered ghost who used to be the greatest adventurer alive. Maddy wishes she could relive her glory days, bashing heads, swinging from vines, and stealing piles and piles of treasure. Now her restless spirit is bound to an ancient book, which chronicles the adventures she had while still alive. Maddy is always pushing Lee to be more of an action hero, and solve her problems with her fists. She is so bored every time Lee prefers to solve puzzles and outthink her challenges, rather than relying on a sword to fix everything.
Fire rages through this small idylic town. The villagers flee in terror as men in capes and hemlets kick in doors. With horror we realize these men are rounding up all of the children in the village.
I developed the visual style for this world with fairytales in mind. In this style, the details I choose to leave out of the background are just as important as the ones I fill in. What are the most important details to capture the energy and spirit of a city? If it were a city like New York it might be the windows and fire escapes. But for this charming little berg (which is called Foxquarry, by the way) I decided it was the rooftops. The details where the buildings connect to the ground, I decided, are less important, and I left them out. I like it because it feels dreamlike this way. The actual physical space of Foxquarry isn't important to the story I want to tell. This is a fairytale. Getting into actual three-point perspective, while completely appropriate for most other stories, wouldn't work in this one. At least, not to me.
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