AK’s New 4-koma Project: Sinduin Saga

OK, I’ve had this project around in my head for a while and I’ve finally decided to make it happen.  It’s a 4-cell comic strip called Sinduin Saga.  I made a brand-new blog just for it.  HERE.  Now let me talk a bit about this project..

The biggest problem I have is that I’m terrible at art.  What I have done is rely on images that are in the public domain: copyright-free clip art, old illustrations, plus photographs and art released for use/adaptation on the condition of attribution etc. (I will credit the sources whenever known).  One of my favorite 19th century illustrators, Arthur Rackham, will feature prominently.  Basically I arrange some images, create others with Photoshop and, yes,  MS Paint, then put in speech bubbles and that’s about it.  I have seen similar projects around and the result can be quite funny, which suits me well [some examples: 1 2 3 4 5]

The second problem I have is that my plots tend to be convoluted and introverted.  My main measuring rod is my own taste, with potentially disastrous results for any prospective readers, as I’m sure you can imagine!!  The convolution I cannot help (it’s who I am!) but I am working on writing so that the audience won’t need to be (my) mind readers in order to enjoy themselves.  It’s possible that I will fail, but I am trying 🙂

Since I’m already having a lot of fun with this project, it will last for a while, until I get myself Comipo! maybe?

Initially I thought of posting the strips on this blog, but I didn’t want my treasured readers to be alienated by the constant stream of bad storytelling (hopefully I’ll be posting 3 4-koma strips per week for weeks and weeks) so I decided it was best to keep them separated.  Also, up to the last minute I was going to use a flip gallery format by way of Slideshare, but I noticed that there was a small but annoying drop in resolution quality so I ended up just uploading the original images themselves.

One last thing, the matter of the story itself.  Well, I can tell you that:

It’s about an alien observer stationed on Earth who likes anime, especially Leiji Matsumoto’s work.  The story starts off very innocently but eventually goes, to borrow the immortal words of Soji Mikage, deeper…and deeper still.  The tale is meant to read like sci-fi but feel like fantasy with a large dose of comedy thrown in for good measure.  Sound appealing?  OK, let me tell you the truth: don’t let this post get your hopes up.

True story: I once tried to get something published.  I sent summaries of my work to several places, and a number of them asked for the manuscript.  I was rejected everywhere, and one agent was happy to explain why: she said I was amazing at describing what the story was about, but the story itself was lousy.  God bless her~

~ by Haloed Bane on September 17, 2011.

17 Responses to “AK’s New 4-koma Project: Sinduin Saga”

  1. This is certainly one of a kind. I’m interested to see what kind of story you can weave with public domain images, so I’ll be checking in every now and then.

  2. It seems like it’s off to a strong start! Looking forward to reading it.

  3. I love you ak. I really do.

    Public domain images is probably a lot smarter and easier to get away with than my own solution to my inability to draw, which is taking images and tracing over them in MSPaint, which I’ve been doing for illustrations in this story I hope to begin soon: http://shovelrock.wordpress.com/ (see characters page for some illustrations).

    • Oh, I see I see!

      How do you work different poses? Will you manipulate your traces or will you trace a different image for each pose and then tweak it to look like the same person? My solution to our problem is easier, but yours will look much smoother.

      Canaan Justice is a great name, so is Letty’s. Is the premise a catch or is it literally what the series is about??

      • Well, it’s not a comic so the poses are less a concern. It’s more like an image, and then text below, like a picturebook (or like the mspaintadventuers, which inspired it: http://www.mspaintadventures.com/ )

        So far, I’ve been finding an image that looks like what I want and then tracing it, but I’ve thought about manipulating the traces as well and possibly trying my hand at animation. I think as things get more “out-there,” if I still do as many illustrations, they’ll be increasingly original.

        I can’t help but still feel a little uncomfortable about he tracings, even though it takes hours of work to do them lol.

        All of the character names have meaning, though Canaan has the least (she’s just kind of named after Canaan, because I tend to name things after the characters I have figures of, since they’re in my line of sight). I’ll share in a separate comment.

        The plot, well, that’s a spoiler! It’s not exactly a catch, but it’s not really honest in the grand sense, either.

        • Hmmm…. I don’t know what the status of more or less tracing actually is (especially considering you credit the original). I think mangaka get in trouble because it’s considered devious, not for legal reasons. Then again, yeah, I’d feel uncomfortable too. You wouldn’t want to be halfway through the thing and then suddenly have someone tell you to take it all down. I’m sure you could find public domain anime character designs just to be absolutely safe, but then it might not fit the particular style you’re looking for. I don’t know…

          Not really honest in the grand sense.. Great, that’s the way it should be~

          • Well, I already planned that if I have to take it down or listen to too much bitching about it, then I’m going to print the images and trace them by hand, but changing them enough into my own style that it doesn’t infringe anymore (I’ve considered doing this anyway but it just makes the amount of work seem staggering).

      • Name meanings~

        Letty Excalibur

        Letty is the younger sister of Cirno Excalibur from Cirno and Purple Steve (http://cirnoandpurplesteve.wordpress.com/ ). The names in CAPS are all combinations of names from my and my brother’s favorite characters—in this case, Cirno from Touhou and Excalibur from Soul Eater. The joke there is also that Purple Steve is a powerful sword-like entity with a purposefully normal name, while Cirno’s last name is shared with the most famous and powerful sword ever.

        Letty was also going to be named after a Touhou character, and it happened that the name I wanted to use was that of Letty Whiterock, who is fanonized as Cirno’s mentor/friend/relative because both of them have ice powers. This leads into the next character.

        Rumia Tomoyo

        Rumia is another Touhou name, this time another of Cirno’s fanon friends, Rumia, whom I like to imagine is Cirno’s best friend in the franchise. The Tomoyo part comes from Sakura’s best friend in Cardcaptor Sakura, Daidouji Tomoyo, IMO the greatest “best friend” character in history. Rumia’s design is also heavily based on Tomoyo.

        Chris Holy

        Chris is names after the main character from Garzey’s Wing, which will be seen as no coincidence in the story. Garzey’s Wing will play an important role as Letty’s favorite show, and she constantly gives Chris shit over sharing his name with the main character.

        As for Holy, this was a pretty bold move on the part of The Hsoulverse (http://thehsoulverse.wikia.com/wiki/The_Hsoulverse_Wiki ) because Dark Holy is the name of my “omni main character.” This is the first time I’ve given anyone the last name “Holy” besides Dark (which isn’t her birthname), implying that he’s in some way related to that character from a lot of totally different stories (that don’t exist).

        Canaan Justice

        As I mentioned, this time I took the name Canaan from the character Canaan simply because I turn to my figures for names a lot. I actually don’t remember if there was any logic behind the last name Justice or if it just sprang from my subconscious somewhere. Either way it’s pretty great.

        • Just how many creative projects are you juggling?? Wow! You and ghost could run Madhouse just by yourselves (run it to the ground, I meant [no, I’m kidding, run it to great new heights]).

          So it seems like this project is the tip of an iceberg that you have lodged somewhere in your brain, and then the task will be to try to make this accessible to those who have no notion of this iceberg. Kind of a similar situation I find myself in..

          • The situation that all of my stories ever are in, you mean? Yeah. You’ll notice that the only story on that wiki with any content is CAPS which had about 14,000 words before going on indefinite hiatus. I am the worst writer (because I don’t write).

  4. Ooh, I look forward to seeing more of this project. Best of luck! ^ ^

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