Tag Archives: children’s books

A Selkie Goes for a Swim

A Selkie Goes for a Swim, by Bryan Beus

A Selkie Goes for a Swim, by Bryan Beus

This takes a lot more time than I thought! Going to be fun and I’m still going to do it, but I may have to double up some days in order to cover for other days where I won’t have time.

First one’s up!

“A Selkie Goes for a Swim”

A selkie is a legendary creature, originating I believe from Norway. I’ve always wanted to write about and draw them.

She is half human woman, half seal. The majority of the time she lives in the seal in seal form, but every so often she’ll take off her seal skin and come to the beach to sunbathe.

If a man can steal her skin while she is sunbathing she will become his wife.

Selkies reputedly are beautiful and wonderful wives, being agreeable and supportive, and bear children that are blessed with fairy blood.

However, if she should find her skin the call of the ocean will beckon so strongly she won’t be able to resist. Even if she has children, she will still snatch her skin, race to the ocean, and disappear forever.

Posted on Vine here: https://www.vineclient.com/v/cGwvs86zLtb

The Shortcut proofs

Shortcut proofs

The Shortcut proofs

The Shortcut graphic novella proofs have arrived.

Shortcut Update

Pretty fun to see a graphic novella come together for my first time.

I’m excited to let people read it—you can buy it from me already at fairs and conventions—and I will at some point in time make it available to read via PDF for free. However, the latter option is going to have to wait.

Unfortunately, though I have tried to make it known that this is not the novel on which I’ve worked with my publisher for the last few years, people are naturally busy and don’t have time to read every detail of my posts.

Already when I run into people in person who follow my blog I’m getting comments such as, “I saw the cover for the book you’re doing with Shadow Mountain!”


I certainly don’t blame anyone. If I were in their shoes I would probably make the same mistake.

But this project was just a blitz done between drafts. It’s a fun novella, but it’s not a full and finished novel, and I don’t want to present my work as such.

Until I have more novellas and things with which to totally confuse people (or at least until I start releasing illustrations for my full-length novel) we’ll be keeping “Shortcut” on the convention tables only. You’re welcome to grab a copy there!


Provo Farmer’s Market

Provo Farmer's Market

Provo Farmer’s Market

Here’s one place you can grab it…

As of last week I am at the Provo Farmer’s Market each Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. I’ll be selling prints etc., and I’m also learning the art of onsite caricature drawing. Come sit! Last week I did them for free as I’m brand new at this. Eventually I’ll start charging. Not sure when.


My Belated Blog Hop from Merdith

My good friend, Meridth Gimbel, asked me about a month ago if I would like to participate in her blog hop. There’s a particular reason why I’m still waiting to answer the interview questions, but for the time being I do want to thank her for including me and show you where you can check out her blog!


More posts coming soon.


Shortcut in the Sky – The Finished Cover

Here it is, The Shortcut in the Sky – the finished cover.

I’ve renamed it, you might notice.

Sound better? I think so.

And—thanks to my wonderful cousin and volunteer editor—we’ve corrected a bunch of grammatical errors.

The Finished Cover - The Short Cut in the sky

The Finished Cover – The Short Cut in the sky
Created for the graphic novella by Bryan Beus


The semi-final cover for "The Unwanted Short Cut"

Short Cut – Semi-Final Cover

Last night around 11PM I got a hankering to paint, so here’s the Short Cut – Semi-Final Cover.

Short Cut - Semi-Final Cover

The semi-final cover for “The Unwanted Short Cut”

I put up a few video blips of the painting while in process. It’ll be up online for a few more weeks, and then livestream.com automatically deletes it.

Hope to release the story online soon.

I’ll probably let the graphic novella itself be free, and then have a paid version with a few extras up on Kindle and a print version up on Amazon.

Short Cut – The Decision to Climb

Here are a couple of panels from where she makes the decision to climb.



(As a reminder, this is just a side project that I’m doing in my free time. It’s not associated with my publisher)

We’re closing in on the end. I should have all the revisions made soon, and then I think I’m going to bind these together by hand.

The way I think I’m going to release these at Salt Lake Comic Con is that I may hand-stitch them together, along with several portfolio paintings.

They’ll be signed and numbered in a limited edition release. Most likely there will not be more than 40 all together, so if you’d like to buy one and you can’t be there, be sure to let me know. I can provide a way for you to pay by credit card and I will ship it to you.

Hope to see you soon!

Short Cut – Discovering the Staircase

A recently completed page from Short Cut – Discovering the Staircase!

Short Cut - Discovering the Staircase

It would seem that this project is following true to Murphey’s Law: A task will expand to fill the maximum amount of time allotted to it.

There are two and a half spreads left to go, and then I’ll go back and do some corrections.

Otherwise, things are going great! Thanks for following along. I’m looking forward to releasing the entire comic.

Short Cut – Cover Drawing

Here’s our Short Cut – Cover Drawing.


I’m debating on whether or not to release this graphic novella as a standalone novella or as part of a collection, which would include a few of my paintings as well.

For SLC Comic Con, most likely it will be a standalone, but afterwards I’m leaning towards the other option.

A question for you, if I were to make a coffee-table quality collection of my work, which would include paintings, sketches, this graphic novella, and had a nice cover, would you be interested in purchasing a copy? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Short Cut – Panel 1 – Act III

Here is Short Cut – Panel 1 – Act III

"Short Cut" - Panel 1 - Act III

Things are almost finished. I’ve just got a few more frames of Act III left, and then I’ll be working on Act I. (We’re not going in chronological order when we illustrate.)

Getting this ready for Comic Con is gonna be tight. I was hoping to paint a unique book cover for the novella, but it’s gonna be hard right now. Act I is going to take at least the first half of next week, if not the whole week entirely. That leaves me with only a few days to revise and layout in Adobe InDesign before we need to go to press.

If I don’t have time to do a full cover, I think I’m going to put a few of my other paintings in the book so that there’s some finished work for would-be purchasers as well.

This year at Salt Lake Comic Con I will be located in the Artists’ Alley, seated at table “o1”.

That’s supposedly a corner seat. Not sure whether which direction exactly.

Hope to see you all there!

Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Note: I just added Part 5 of the Thieves documentary.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those stories that warms its way into your brain, makes itself comfortable, and purrs softly for decades.

A brief synposis: When dishonest sea traders kill the men of the island tribe to which young Karana belongs, her tribe is forced to sail for the mainland or die from starvation. The day to leave comes and all the natives climb aboard the ship during the midst of a terrible storm. As they are sailing away Karana looks back and, with a great shock, sees that they accidentally left her little brother on the beach. Because of the storm the ship cannot return, and so, against the protests of her family, Karana leaps into the sea and swims to her brother to stay with him. Believing that everything will still be alright, she begins to set up a new life for herself in which she will take care of her brother, but it is not to be. A few days later, a pack of wild dogs—emboldened at seeing the adults gone—attack and kill her brother, leaving her all alone on the island.
Now on her own, Karana embarks on an inward-journey of self-discovery and survival that may last the rest of her life.

One thing I love so much about stories is how we can follow a heroine through trials which only she, and she alone, can face. Yet, in her heart she conquers the things that each of us must face on our own, too.
This is Karana’s story. I was touched by her search for a sense of inner-security, of self-worth, trust, and, eventually, a desire to share her love with others.

I recommend.

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Review: The Golden Key

The Golden Key
The Golden Key by George MacDonald

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book tells the account of a little boy and girl who find a golden key in fairy land and follow a trail to the door the key unlocks.

I did like one particular quote immensely. The dialogue is spoken to the little girl who at this time in the story is lost and has come far down in a cave and there she meets ‘The Old Man of the Earth.’

“Then the Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down.
That is the way,” he said.
But there are no stairs.” [said the girl]
You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.”

I liked this quote because I think that’s how faith works. If you want to find out if God is there, you’re going to have to accept the fact that there is no staircase: There aren’t any scientific methods, any dialogues of reason, or any living persons that can give you a sure testimony of Him. In His wisdom, God seems to have designed it that way. He expects us to throw ourselves in, giving up all that we have to Him, even our free will, and trust that He will catch us at the other end.

All that being said, while “The Golden Key” really is full of beautiful imagery, it’s really not much as a story.

The environment and secondary characters (such as the Old Man of the Earth above) by themselves are wonderful, but as a whole there really is no plot, nor do the central characters have any interesting motives. The story ends before anything interesting happens.

If you’re looking to see some poetic imagery, then it’s worth a read. Otherwise, I would recommend one of MacDonald’s other books, such as “The Light Princess.”

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