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    JaNanamation is a shared art blog between cousins Janielyn and Christina! While both have varying tastes in art, they share a keen interest in the world of animation.
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Throwback Thursday: On Comics

I am constantly resisting the urge to start new comics. I don’t know what it is, but I love drawing comics, even when I have no long term story planned. In fact, I have quite a terrible track record of ever finishing what I start.

After digging around my old files a bit, I found a few old comics that date back as far as 2005–and these are only the ones that were ever drawn digitally. (I’m sure I’ve got piles and piles of papers with comics scribbled on them…somewhere.) These are really embarrassing for me to even look at because they are a blatant reminder of my “weab” days (UUUGGGHH I can’t believe I’m even describing it like that), but I’m sharing them because (a) it shows progression and (b) when you hear me say that I have to fight the temptation to start a new project I want you to understand how serious I am. 😛

Most of these never even got past 2 or 3 pages.

Untitled, c. Jan 2005 (read panels RIGHT >> LEFT)

Page 1 Page 2

First digitally drawn comic, can you tell? XD I used stamp brushes in Photoshop for the “screentones” and backgrounds. And look at that Comic Sans! Ugh. I think I meant for this one to be loosely based on Antigone by Sophocles. The characters, Kiku and Aura, got a redesign not too long ago. (Okay, it was a year ago.)

Lost Myths, c. May 2005 (read panels RIGHT >> LEFT)

Apparently, I starting thinking about this one back in 2004. I got a better font (!) and started to get the hang of using screentones. Lost Myths was supposed to be something of a sci-fi story about a geneticist who was altering the DNA of normal animals to make them look like mythological creatures. One day all the test animals broke out of the lab and the male protagonist, who was the geneticist’s son (or something, I honestly don’t remember) has to go and bring all the animals back. The female protag, Hinoki, is just an average girl that stumbles onto one of the experiments and joins the guy (I don’t remember what name I gave him, if any) in his quest to find all the animals.

I just have to laugh at this one now because I cannot understand why I thought I would be able to draw all those complicated creatures. Like dragons. I mean look at that thing XD This comic was doomed to fail from the beginning LOL.

Shogun, c. March-April 2006 (read LEFT >> RIGHT)

This is the first comic I started in which I actually had a full, complete story to work with because it was a collab with another artist on deviantART. It was actually a short story using characters from another manga, but with her permission I switched to original characters. The story takes place in Japan, which is why the honorifics are included (the settings for my other comics are…indeterminate) and is about a book-smart guy who is constantly pestered by his childhood friend. One day he catches her in the library trying to study the book he had been reading. Touched by her interest in what he was studying, he offers to treat her to some pastries at a bakery on the way home from school.

I actually still like how these pages turned out. I really wanted to complete this one, but it only ever reached 3 pages because the fourth page contained a classroom scene. After many, many failed attempts to draw those panels, I gave up.

Favorites, c. June 2006 (Read RIGHT >> LEFT)

Favorites is about high school student Aya, a normal sort of girl who doesn’t stand out much and gets along with just about everyone. She works hard and gets good grades, but some of her classmates think that she gets good grades just because the teachers like her—they don’t give her a hard time about it or anything (they often try to use Aya’s “teacher’s pet” status to their own advantage and that means being nice to Aya), but it causes her to wonder if she actually deserves the praise from her teachers and the high scores on her tests.

This was meant to be an introspective short story, and a little autobiographical (the settings and backgrounds were actually based on my school haha ”OTL). I think I couldn’t finish it because at the time I couldn’t come up with a resolution or conclusion to the story. I tried redrawing the comic later on but all I ever did was redesign Aya. Several times. If I was going to pick up any of these old comic ideas though, this is the one I would redo and finish.

project Helix, July 2005 – November 2007 (read RIGHT >> LEFT)

Page 52

Page 55

Page 63

The longest running comic I’ve ever done, at a whopping 63 pages: project Helix! I’m only showing you a few of the later pages that I especially liked. This was a superhero story (kind of? I didn’t really make any antagonists…) with a return to the sci-fi theme I was tinkering with in Lost Myths. Four high school students start to notice that they have particular attributes that seem to have been greatly enhanced–one has suddenly become super intelligent, another incredibly fast, the third has super strength, and the fourth has a body that can repair physical damage more quickly (or something like that). Turns out they had been part of an experiment by an eccentric (and, um, unethical) scientist who altered their DNA to enhance their abilities. I was sort of basing this on the fact that every living thing is composed of DNA made from the exact components, so if one could rearrange the DNA of an organism they could conceivably change it into something else, or give it physical qualities of another organism.

ANYWAY. There was a problem with the main protag’s DNA alteration and she ended up with fox ears and a tail…which she could for some reason make go away at will? I know it doesn’t quite work with the science bit but I started drawing this comic after reading through Tokyo Mew Mew (which I am totally ashamed to admit I ever liked LOL) so I was probably just copying that bit |||OTL After re-reading pH (“project” is purposely lowercase so that I could abbreviate the comic this way haha) I found so many plot holes and inconsistencies 😛

pH had a good 2 year-run and it was the first comic I posted online for other people to read. Some of my friends really got into it which might have been why I stuck with it for so long, but as time went on I began to see that the story I was writing as I went along was becoming much bigger than I could really handle.

Garnet Blossoms (A Pokemon Ruby Red Nuzlocke), September 2012 – Present (sort of)

After pH, I didn’t draw many comics for quite a while, primarily for lack of time. To ease back into the habit I drew a short comic about making comics (same link as at the top of this post) and then started to casually draw a Nuzlocke comic. I figured that shouldn’t be too hard to keep up with, since the story (and even some of the dialogue) was basically already written for me. Plus I didn’t have to design all the characters! My goal was really just to start drawing a lot more than I had been for the past few years.

The challenge for this comic is the fact that it is much faster to play the game than to draw the comic. So I’d play the game in short spurts and then spend a bunch of time drawing comic pages…which gets tedious almost immediately. Because of this, progress slowed significantly after about 15 pages, but I still work on this one from time to time! It’s kind of fun to imagine what the main character is thinking during the events in the game.

Tam Team Adventures, August 2013 – Present (See it here!)

My current comic project has been updating every week for more than a year now (I wrote August 2013 as the start date because that’s when I drew the first comic; the site didn’t go live until Feb 2014). The consistency of the updates is what I’m most proud of, actually, considering how terrible I have been with finishing things >_> I probably owe that to the simplicity of style (really quite a departure from what I’ve done in the past) and the fact that the comic is not a continuous story. I mean, yes, some of the comics draw from previous episodes, but each page still functions as a whole unit. It also helps that I have a lot of great content to draw from (thanks guys! XD ).

And there you have it, a brief history of me as a comic artist! It’s kind of rough, but I’d definitely encourage all artists to try making comics. It forces you to develop many skills at once–writing, character development, composition, graphic design, anatomy, expression, paneling…just to name a few. It’s also a very fast and easy way to track your drawing progress! It always amazes me how much my style changes over just a few pages.

At the end of this very long post I still feel like starting a new comic. Or several. But experience tells me to plan more carefully before diving into a new project, so though it may be a while, you may finally see a finished, long-term comic from me. 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Hey, I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. 🙂

    Reply

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