the cadence of a restless heart

In a house by the river, Cirrus and Jonas live under the tutelage of the enigmatic magician Solimin, thinking he had to be the strangest thing about their lives. But when they uncover the stony bodies of two kids and bring them back to life, all that they thought was true is challenged and uprooted. A world of jealous, vengeful element kings opens up before them. The four children are the children of the Ambassador of the Stars, a bitter woman named Cadence who was forced into her lonely position because of the wrongs of her slighted lover, the Sun King and black magician, Solaris. Cadence is out to bring the Forest King Syracrus and the River King Rycarieus to justice, for it was their feud over Syracrus’ love for Cadence’s oldest daughter, Cirrus, which sentenced her children to a 200-year-long magicked slumber. In a complicated world with vivid, beautiful images, the players of this story must struggle to find where they belong.


The story itself became a huge mess by the tragic conclusion of the second volume. However, this manga is the last I ever did (aside from tinkering with) and it shows. The art, while still pencilled, is incredibly whimsical, with long sweeping lines and tiny details and elaborate scenery.

I took another shot at this story beginning in the summer of 2012. In the fall, I started a hand-inked and computer-colored rewrite of the manga after getting halfway through a novel adaptation and realizing that it was a terrible novel compared to its strengths as a graphic novel. I got 46 pages into the graphic novel and set it down in order to focus on the last semester of my undergraduate. When I picked it back up again, I realized it’s not a style I want to work in right now, as I prefer being very free and loose with my art.

I did 12 more pages a few years later before I got married in 2017. At the point of a scene transition, I realized I kind of hated how complicated and over-the-top the whole story was, and knew if I wanted to continue working on it I would have to do some serious reworking of the story…which I didn’t really want to. So, Cadence in its new form has and will always have, 42 beautiful colored pages and that’s it.

recurring characters

Micah, Andrew, and Erik all make appearances in this story. Micah is Syracrus’ “brother” Colyn (horrible name) who gets engaged to the daughter of the River King I think? Andrew and Erik are black magician brothers Caiaphas and…something with a T. All the siblings and the Element Kings are original to the story; it was just ancillary characters where I recycled people.