Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Zen and the Art Of Random History Comic - Inspired by Mizuki's SHOWA

Thinking about another attempt at a comic, and this was the first step in scratching that itch. No super heroes. Inspired by Mizuki's SHOWA Manga which mixed recent Japanese history with his own activity of the time. I found it really interesting.. The alternative was to start a CARtoons car related comic, but I haven't found any of those stories as interesting as Miyaks work, and some bits about music production stuff and synths is what I spent much of my career working in. So this randomly starts in 1984 in Sydney.... but the first CD player went on sale in Japan in 1982 which introduced the world to 16 bit sound. That the Series III had 16 bit sound is significant. The Mac hit this year too, but it would take a bit to be musically significant. Was playing around with reference images, a grid of up to 3 x 4 panels and a long text I was writing, and put this page together to see the size of the font vs content and panels.... very little of the text I wrote fitted on this page. Actually haven't drawn anything here, but it is my intent to actually draw it all. A rapid prototyping approach to use a tech term for a dummy page. A lot of Mizuki's Showa has panels that are processed photos and that does work quite well. Clip Studio Paint has tools to do that too. He also has lots of simple cartoon characters that may be on such processed photos. That all helps to get something finished in a reasonable amount of time. This is more NON SEQUITUR than I was planning, but the font size and panel size, when using this NARRATIVE CAPTION style means I need to use less panels a page to do that... the reason I did this to see how it looked. The Narration takes up too much of each panel and that is way too much. The font is too small too to be printed at A5 for me.
After doing 5 pages in this style and showing it to a few people, the reaction I've received is that this is really interesting the way it is. The photos add proof or validity that would be taken away by line art of this true story. That is encouraging. I seem to have stumbled onto something interesting. It is a bit terse, but that would be elevated with more panels on each mentioned topic, but that might also change the energy it has.

Update: Jul 21 2019
Have made CBR and KindleComic versions, so have that process down.  Also changed the name. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was big when I read it and a book on philosophy, which isn't quite what this is, so a name based on a memory makes more sense. 

To see if I can actually generate any interest, or comment at all, I have made the first 20 pages a free webcomic and put it on our website at this link,  This Is Where The Smoke Comes Out - A Collection Of Memories

Have a look, and leave a comment. 

This is the same as everything else. Finding those interested in it is very hard, as there are 6 billion other things screaming for attention, so no one will notice. "The Long Tail" ended up being not true either.

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