Closed Circle Titles

Gate of Ivrel Graphic Novels

Morgaine and Vanye in living color!
No C.J. Cherryh (or Jane Fancher) Collection is complete without them!

claimingritesss feverdreamsss bw1700
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CJ and Jane will be happy to personalize these, if you’d like. In the PayPal checkout screen, right below the listing of  the Gate of Ivrel Graphic Product, there’s a “special instructions to the seller” box. Please enter in that box exactly how you’d like it signed (to whom, personalized, dated, special event (birthday) etc) and we’ll do our best to comply.

You want to know a secret? This is the true origin of Closed Circle. This is the project that linked the three of us, me, Lynn, and CJ together, in a curious set of looped passages.

At a time when I was still a fan doing a bit of artwork for the occasional convention, Carolyn and Lynn were already good friends, having worked together on Thieves’ World and with Merovingian looming on the horizon. That was the first link, but it took Gate of Ivrel, CJ’s first book, to make it, er, a “felicitous” three. In the early/mid 80s, following my stint with WaRP Graphics, where I got a taste of visual story-telling, I took this notion of doing a graphic novel adaptation, (not yet realizing I had my own stories in me.)  Gate was my immediate choice. Well, I’d have loved to do the Faded Sun, but somehow, a graphic composed primarily of two people in black robes with most of their faces covered seemed like it might be beyond my limited experience.

Besides, Carolyn had been my favorite author, hands down, from the time I read Gate. It was a relatively simple story and exceedingly visual. So…I sounded her out by mail, (snail mail) did some sample pages…actually, the last scene in the book, and took my pages down to a Baltimore convention where she was guest of honor. We immediately hit it off, spending most of the convention together, going over the samples and talking about the possibilities. Carolyn swears that she asked me at that time whether I had any interest in writing, insists I said “Yes”, but I think she’s hallucinating. I didn’t write. I drew. That was the way of the world. I was a sibling and my sister wrote, not me, and sibs don’t invade creative territory—and survive.

However, that was the second link in our logo. I produced and tried to market the first issue of the black and white graphic on my own, (while working a full-time job, mind you). It was brutal.  Donning, who had produced the Elfquest color graphic, got wind of the project and approached me about doing Gate in color. I waffled a bit, having no idea what I might be getting into—and Kay, the editor there, suggested that, since Lynn Abbey was going to be in the Seattle area for a convention, that I get together with her and talk about working with the company. (Donning was publishing the Thieves’ World graphic.)

I remember a small, extremely bright and well spoken young woman and a dim hotel room. I didn’t know it then, but that was the final link in our circle. Years later, after GroundTies came out, Lynn and I got to know one another much better, but this was the start. All thanks to CJ’s Gate of Ivrel.

I already had a ton (actually, a couple of tons) of the Black and White (have I mentioned I didn’t have much time for marketing?) and when Donning went out of business, I found myself the confused owner of a whole lot more graphics. A small storeroom full. (Evidently they didn’t have time for marketing either.)

So, bottom line, we have, here in Spokane, the motherload of Gate of Ivrel graphic novels. So don’t pay those ridiculous “collectors'” prices. Get them here, individually, for cover price plus a bit for priority shipping, or the entire set of three, with free priority shipping.

My one regret is that I can’t offer you the whole story… Donning went out of business just after the second book came out. But if I can sell enough of these to prove solid interest, I’ll start turning my layouts and sketches into digital images, and we’ll see the rest of the story at last. In the meantime, for any Cherryh collector, these are a colorful addition to the shelves.