Page from chapter 20 where Kalwa visits her first nude beach. It’s a little funny because every time I touch on nude beaches with Kalwa I always get some kind of praise for acknowledging Finnish Culture. I had originally touched on this subject for one of the young Kalwa mini comics and even though it was played as a joke, people were thrilled that I was addressing it. I’m really not obsessed with nude beaches, they are just a basic European piece of culture different from america.
As usual, you can check out the rest of the chapter by clicking the page.
A call back to chapter 4. This was really the first time staging a real action scene and need for coordinated movement. Rachel’s whip in particular was a unique experiment to play with drawing it in various positions and trying to draw in ways that could feel natural. I seriously don’t have that many comics where people use whips (or at least I didn’t back then) so a good portion of the portions came from either videos about whips or imagination.
This emotional page from chapter 14. I’ve really credited this page as being a major turn around for the story as this is the first page in the series where we see Kalwa emotionally break down in tears. The second to last panel was the major vocal point which was a vitally important part of the page. I think when drawing it there were about three versions of this particular pattern before settling on the finished one.
The script for chapter 22 has been sent to my co writer, I will begin the cover later this week. We’ll be introducing a whole cast of characters in this chapter so these last few nights have been spent sketching in the sketchbook, these are just a few headshots that have been drawn up. Look for the new chapter later this month.
Straight from the sketchbook this is the first sketch of Orestes, the first enemy that Kalwa encounters on her travels. Mostly the character went unchanged from the initial design, the only real details being his footwear and his toga being made shorter mainly to accommodate him running. The wrinkles under his eyes were also added later, though they were purposely held back until after his true nature is revealed. As the character was meant to be very minor, his design was meant to be somewhat unique from background characters, though a little less detailed than more important characters. When he was first introduced, there were no plans to have the character return, this was added later to give the character closure. The return actually gave me a chance to redesign the character to look much more villainous than the first arch, which couldn’t initially be done as we were trying to make the character look innocent until his ultimate reveal.
It’s time for another chapter look back, and today I’m reflecting back on chapter 14. Chapter 14 marked a major turning point in the story. Up until this point, Kalwa’s adventures had been mostly small and moved in a simple way, Kalwa and occasionally Reko traveling to some distant era and dealing with whatever peril came about them, they would go home and do it all over again.
With Chapter 14, it all changed as this issue brought a whole lot of new to the plate. This was the first time in the entire series that Kalwa’s happy demeanor is ultimately broken and she sheds tears for the first time in the entire story. The ultimate theme of this two part story was “fun and games” illustrated as now Kalwa faces an even greater danger than just her own life… her brother’s.
The bond between Kalwa and Zack was actually based off of the bonds I had seen amongst the siblings of my friends in high school, in which the two siblings tend to share a great deal of common interest and treat each other like best friends. More importantly this type of bond would probably be most valuable to Kalwa given that she didn’t have very many friends herself having just moved in from America. Thus this chapter allowed us to give Kalwa an even greater challenge of not only having get home, but to clean up a mess that SHE HERSELF created.
Zack himself went through a notable change since the first chapter. In the first chapter Zack was shown to be somewhat of a “typical” younger brother, notably being bit snarky to his sister and vise versa (though this is ultimately revealed to be a simple interaction) in the first chapter. This was changed in this chapter to so that Zack is much more cowardly and fragile, this was done to set him on a character arch that will be further carried throughout the story, which we will once again talk about as it progresses.
Possibly my favorite part of writing this chapter aside from the emotional moments featuring Kalwa and Zack are Zack’s interactions with Alexander. When writing these scenes I based them off interactions between “special needs” students and instructors. As an aspie myself, I know first hand how hard it might be to connect with people with special needs and that brute force and toughness doesn’t solve the issue. Every time I was drawing Zack and Alexander’s scenes I nearly cried myself, plus it was also a great way for people from the past to learn about the future and it played a roll in the overall search, see the pages below. As for the antagonists… we will get to them when we discuss chapter 15.
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