487 up; 512 complete. Yes, I am 26 pages ahead and slightly pulling away. This entry actually being written a bit early. There isn’t actually an overarching theme to this entry either, just a couple of story tidbits I mulled over whilst working on the latest pages.
The first thing actually starts two weeks back at 485; there’s this horizontal line shading that comes into play and is still being used up through 512. This is, as far as I know, the most consistent thing I’ve been able to figure out with the shading business for a long time now. This in turn has given me the most consistent run of pages (with respect to drawing quality) for a long time as well.
If you go backwards in 20 page jumps, 485 is hella different from 465 which is hella different from 445 which is hella different from 425 which is hella different from 405; but I think I can safely say that 485 is pretty much the same as 505. With respect to shading that is. 485 sadly has a bit higher art quality than 505.
This story will be done by the end of 2009. This isn’t a goal. This is a fact. The current 512 is within 20 pages of the end. It’s not the end in the sense that the story could keep going, but by the end of 2009, the Directorate will conclusively have taken over the world or failed to take over the world. I think even now one can see which end is more likely.
At the estimated end of 535, the directorate storyline spans 159 pages which is (sadly again) more or less the length of a thin volume of manga. Even sadder, Starcrossed, which had a “mere” 60 pages (albeit also something on the lines of 10 slash pages) took just six months to draw. Assuming that last 535 is drawn in the next six months, the three times longer directorate storyline will have taken taken FIFTY FOUR months to complete. That’s NINE times as long.
However, if you don’t count the pages that won’t appear in the compilation (aka the pages that were re-made), it comes down to about 36 months, six times as long, but still kind of unreasonable. I mean, granted the quality is ultimately much, much better than that of Starcrossed, but I’ve still been hacking away at this thing for three years. The worst of it is that the quality jump from Starcrossed to say, 400, is a lot greater than the quality jump from 401 to 500, despite the second time gap being 1.5 times as long.
Interestingly enough, I think colored illustrations have come a much longer way in that same 400 to 500 timespan.
The last thing I was thinking about is a matter of character development; refer to C050119 and “spe1jpg”. Also illustrated by the first couple pages of part 3, there was originally supposed to be an Aerith x Derek pairing and a Chikara x Justin pairing; the former even goes back to the pre-storyline era, but that’s another entry. My point was that it’s somehow gotten switched around between now and then. I don’t really know how that happened. Aerith seems to have a tendancy to become a super-minor character here and in TIAISS.
I would also go so far as to think that Chikara is the only dynamic character in the current storyline. Jack and Tho kinda go through a phase at the start and Derek has his little change of heart, but for the most part I think end-of-story Chikara is significantly different from old Part 2 Chikara and even start-of-part-3 Chikara. Or it might just be me.
Ok I think that’s it for this one. Til next tiem.