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So today’s update is the entirety of my six-pager. I thought about splitting it into two updates, but there’s really no point, so instead I split it with a “more” function.
Dream took about a month to do, and I think it is a rare series in which the art quality goes up slightly toward the end. I actually drew a lot of panels first and then shaded them on a second pass so if I got into a “rush to finish” mood, I would only be screwing with shading. One benefit of the darn thing being so sort is that I didn’t really need a storyboard – I could basically keep everything in my mind. There is also effectively only one reference sheet.
The freighter and crew are a cameo! The modular container ship Mage of Black Chaos is named after a Yugioh card and appears before and in Starcrossed; her captain, Albert H., also appears before and in Starcrossed (he just really can’t catch a break, either). According to Starcrossed – and I didn’t know this either – Albert was formerly the captain of the Comet. Why he switched to the private sector is beyond me.
Some time ago I was having hard time falling asleep last time, and I had some thoughts.
The entire BKS/CL universe doesn’t actually have that much purely original content. From the very beginning when Bradly and Marsha came out a Calvin and Hobbes strip, it’s been a lot of Rule 24 spun together in a me and J way. Not that this is necessarily good or bad.
The ships in the last painting are primarily “classic” BKS ships. The aluminum foil and electrical tape ships that J and I made in elementary school gave birth to three of them. In retrospect, the foil and tape construction doesn’t really make much sense. I seem to recall that there was an even earlier paper and masking tape ship too.
In some strange way, the Comet is actually the oldest “character” in the BKS universe, given that it still shows up relatively frequently, and that the original drawing predates Episode 1. Vehicle classes like Crusades or Slick Wheels don’t count.
Kind of like how Professor Marril and White Fang made it out of the legacy era, I think a surprising amount of original BKS content “survived” the numerous re-spins of the universe. I don’t think anything from my 2D days ever made it into BKS, though.
Now the somewhat relevant part: I’ve written about drawing paradigms time and time again, but I’ve never really considered story paradigms until recently. In the beginning, during the early BKS days, there wasn’t really much of either. When I switched to “new style” in 2003, most everything comic related was still drawing driven, without too much concern for the story (I thought that was the easy part).
Starcrossed is basically the first corny, cliched story that came to my mind. Reflection is J’s idea. Even the Directorate story (arc), while revised innumerable times, was largely “see where it goes”, as was TIAIIS.
In retrospect, I think the first story driven thing I planned was the unfinished Back to Square One, which probably didn’t satisfy me due to the egregious lack of planning that went on in those days. The difference between “story driven” and “drawing driven” really comes down to wanting a “story like so and so” rather than “drawings like so and so”.
I will at some point probably elaborate on the BtSO setting. It’s eventually going to be relevant to the BKS/CL universe.
Only with Pieces, many years later, did I actually finish a story driven something. Whereas I tend to think of art paradigms as “by author”, I tend to think of story paradigms, well, “by story”; in much the same way that I feel Akamatsu was a strong influence on my early art, I think Ga-Rei Zero was a strong influence on Pieces. Interestingly enough, when I was in the middle of doing Pieces I watched the one-episode BRS OVA, which I consider a very good example of a compelling story in a compact package.
Even though it’s been a while now since then, I do consider the BRS OVA a primary influence in my drive to trim fat and cut down on story length. I was just telling J that if I could attempt to draw a compelling story in one page, I would do it, but I haven’t been able to be that clever yet. I do feel that there is still conceivably clutter in the 6-pager.
I’ve also been trying to tap my dreams for original content. This thing started out as a dream, turned into a painting, and then turned into this one-shot. I was mentioning to J that I thought that we were a lot more creative when we were younger because logic didn’t get in the way so much and in some way dreams share that same characteristic. The difficulty here is that dreams are either rare or just very difficult to remember, or, as things always go, a combination of both.