Melody Peña: local sculptor and graphic novelist
Melody Peña, local sculptor and graphic novelist, has developed a new way of promoting art work. Peña has created a graphic novel designed to accommodate the customers of her fantasy sculptures in a way that will interest them in following more of her sculpture art work. Her novel, “Reptangle” introduces fantasy characters such as winged lions, unicorns, flying fish, and griffin type animals.
Melody Peña, a local Corvallis artist, has found a unique way of promoting artwork to the public; through her graphic novel “Reptangle,” Melody promotes her sculptures sold through her family owned company Windstone Editions. Peña originated from California and moved to Corvallis with her family after stopping in the city to see friends on her multiple travels up and down the states. Peña is primarily a sculptor, but has also held a strong interest in graphic novels since the young age of 14.
Peña’s present book of the Reptangle series, “The Veligent,” is a fantasy novel filled with flying fish called “aircarps,” winged lions called “Flions,” griffin type characters known as “L’eagles,” winged meerkats, unicorns, and bird type creatures called “poads.” The story follows its hero Kade, a young graduate of the academy aspiring to become a Veligent. The fictional world is described by Peña as a place that “everything seems normal, but isn’t,” and that the novel is a “cross between Chronicles of Narnia and Gilligan’s Island.”
The novel depicts a world that uses no currency or machinery and is not very violent or bloody unlike many other graphic novels. The storyline is more about how people live and interact in the world and could be described as socio-fiction. Readers do not have to worry about what bad thing might happen at the end of a chapter or in the end of the novel; readers simply understand what life is like in the world that the hero Kade lives in.
On the novel’s website, reptangle.com, Peña posts two pages of the novel per week as she completes them. Here, fans can follow their beloved character just as easily as one can watch a new episode of their favorite show every week. Furthermore, the website has a comment space below the posted page, allowing readers to provide feedback or ideas back to Peña.
Many of the novel’s characters, such as the poads, are also created as sculptures by Peña, produced by Windstone. Fans of the novel can easily order a sculpture from windstoneeditions.com which is also where the novel’s website is connected to. Interested buyers can also go to Northern Star in downtown Corvallis for Peña’s work.
The purpose of “The Veligent” was not to publish a novel, but rather to help promote Windstone Editions, as Peña states the goal “is to enrich the Windstone website with interesting content.” However, the novel is still extremely important to her regardless of the underlying purpose. The directed audience of the novel was not readers of comic books; Peña directed the novel towards customers of her sculptures sold at Windstone Editions. The novel provided a perfect outlet for creating a fan base for the sculptures that Peña creates. Peña’s sculptures include the “poads,” which look like small pigeons in various detailed colorings, Warrior dragons with metallic coloring in varying styles, as well as many other interesting creatures with creative painting details.
Since the novel is being uploaded piece by piece on to the website, when the novel is officially published it will not be the same as a normal book publishing. The biggest excitement for the publication will be for ongoing readers who can then purchase a hard copy of their favorite graphic novel. Peña says she hopes to have it published within the next two years.
Once “The Veligent” is completed, Peña will begin writing the prequel to the storyline. She hopes to continue her graphic novel venture through her career.
Reptangle, Poad and Flion are trademarks of Melody Pena
By: Cristina Himka