Sunday Sketch: Sato Dojo

Sunday Sketch once again, this time it’s a location sketch. So this is a sketch area map of the Sato Dojo, of course the main setting for the Japanese arch. I always try to map out locations, though kinda have a bad habit of not double checking sketches when I start drawing them in the comic.

There was supposed to be a lot more plant life around the dojo, including Cherry Blossoms at the training ring. But I kinda forgot to draw them in there, or maybe I just thought it would be easier not to. I actually looked back on these for the pages that will be uploaded this week and forgot about the location of the lower servant housing.

Also looking back on it, I cant believe I put the servant hot spring so far away from the housing area. This would mean a long walk from the hot spring to the housing, especially if a servant wanted to walk with only a towel. I really got to better use these sketches in the future for new locations.

Old Art Dump

Lunchtime break and I sadly brought the wrong art bag today, so I can’t draw in the old sketchbook today. So here’s a little Art Dump of some old images previously put up on the site. I think all these images can be found on the gallery section of the site. The first one might not, just be the last page of chapter 23. Anyway, enjoy the mini gallery!

Kalwa Bathhouse
The Pack Hunts at Dusk

BEHIND THE SCENES: CH 24 PG 22

So I mentioned a little while ago that there was some behind the scenes story with the recent page 22 and I want to share as a note to future comic artists. So when I’m doing pages, I tend to try to break up the actual drawing process and the inking process. I will usually strive to get the drawing done one night and then do the inking another. The reason being is so I can dislodge myself from the drawing and take a second look at it before finalizing it, as I might be tired and unable to properly judge immediately after drawing.

A primary example of this being the recent chapter 24 page 22. Initially I had a different angle for Kalwa in the original drawing of the page, which can be seen below on the original pencil drawing. However during inking I felt it looked real boring and not very dynamic at all. The viewer couldn’t get a sense of her strength or really absorb the power of her weapon. So in the 11th hour during Inking the pose was changed to what we have today as also seen below. So in my closing statement, I say to all that it’s always good to break up the drawing and the inking in order to properly judge situations such as this. Give yourself some time to gather your thoughts and better judge your work, don’t be so obsessive on timing if it means turning in a product you won’t be happy with.

Tribe Sketches

Back now for some more production sketches. Today we got sketches of the tribe from chapter 22, which was quite a task to draw. As this was a group design, the main issue faced here was designing A LOT of looks. I didn’t really have a particular idea of how the Tribe should look as all the characters come from different backgrounds and have different lifestyles. For certain characters like Carol and Mikela I did have a bit of an idea in mind for how they should look, but for other characters it was mainly a free for all with no specific design in mind.

So as such, many of the designs were simply character designs I wanted to draw, and in a situation like this I’m usually drawing in the sketchbook while looking at various anime characters on my iPhone. Characters such as Liz were actually inspired by characters like Samus Aran, a few others were just drawn freely such as the short hair man with the glasses. Also in a situation like this when you have no real concept of design, you can always go playing with the characters and get some really weird looks, a primary example of this being the eyeliner guy you see below.

Most of the characters essentially got off with the first design and only a few minor tweaks before getting into the final pages. The one exception being Carol, who can be seen in both sketches below. When I was initially drawing her, I was basing her design off of Sora from Digimon Adventure, as somehow she came to mind when I needed a headstrong female second in command. My first design for her came out looking too young (as seen in the sketch group on the left), probably because I was looking at Sora’s design from the first season of Digimon as I drew her. The second attempt seen in the second group of sketches came out more along the lines of what I initially wanted. Though I might flex up her hair in the future, it’s a little tricky to work with as of now.

Cell Phone Collection

So I decided it was time to show off my “cell phone collection” and give you a little more of a behind the scenes look. Now before anyone points fingers I am not a phone collector, however I find them rather difficult to draw with all their buttons and tilted ends. So early in the comic I realized that I needed some reference, and since my family had a bunch of old phones just lying around I decided to use them and I’ve sorta gotten myself a collection right now. The phone Kalwa uses is actually based off the red phone in the middle, though I actually use the silver phone in the bottom left as reference for thickness and color. I actually just got the phone in the bottom right today after saving it from recycling, so maybe I’ll work that phone into another character in the near future.

Rachel Face Chart

This was a character chart of made of Rachel quite some time ago. Even though I like her design, she’s possibly the most difficult to draw of the Desert Vixens. It’s mainly due to her hair, I find it really difficult to draw her hair consistently over the course of several panels. Usually when I draw characters in the sketchbook I tend to draw them once or twice just to have a note of their hair and I can form other angles while working on the comic. However every so often I wind up doing a character that I do need reference for, hence the heavy footnotes in the chart.

Zack Sketch Practice

This was sketch practice I did of Zack shortly before the second Greece story arch. This was actually the finalization of his hair style. As I was working through on edits of chapter 1 for the publication, I was really thinking back on the initial design of Zack’s hairstyle. The first design was more straight up spiky, with his points actually going straight up. This initial design was actually based off another character named Bervo who I had made for another comic I had initially made in high school

Chapter Look Back Chapter 19

So we come now to the final chapter of the whitechappel arch, and this chapter is split into two sections: explaining away the mystery, and horrible terrifying chase.

So the last chapter revealed that there was actually two Jack the Rippers, however this chapter indicates there may have been many more and that in reality there is no LEGITIMATE Jack the Ripper, but rather it is merely a name floating around the paper. As I was winding this story down in writing, I felt this was ultimately what it would lead to, and give a reason as to why this case has never actually been solved. Indeed according to history, the infamous letter that was found at the crime scene was proven to not have been written by the killer himself, but rather an anonymous reporter who really just wanted to draw attention to the crimes. In fact it is highly possible that Whitechapel murders were really no different than any other crime, they were just overly exposed by the media. This particular fact was played for both the story and the reader.

Indeed in the modern world, media tends to always hype everything. Possibly things in the real world are only made worse by media coverage, which only can help fuel the fire. While I am not trying to say that all media is bad or fake, I am saying that it’s coverage can heighten certain things to the worst, in this case the Whitechapel murders. As explained in this chapter by Victor, his murder of Martha Tabram drew great attention and led to imitators and more murders throughout the town. In addition this arch has stated that there was also growing mistrust amongst the police. With so much going on around town and the fact that there wasn’t one particular individual committing all the murders, it would come as no surprise that this case was never solved.

As much as we tried to follow history with this arch, one small fictional fact was created in this story, the fact that Martha Tabram was jewish. This fact has never been stated in real life (course much of Tabram’s life is unknown), it was our one forged fact in order to draw racist individuals into the pool of chaos. It should also be noted that even though we explained who killed Martha Tabram and Mary Kelly, we never explained who specifically killed the other canonical victims, whether it was Victor, Mathis or someone else. As noted there were many imitators who took after Victor’s crimes, it could’ve been anyone who may have been able to properly copy his work.

Getting off the historical side of things, it’s worth talking about Victor himself and the events he set in motion. Victor was in a way based off my own feelings as an artist, with a dark twist. His character was actually based more on an article I read some time ago describing and amateur artist and a real artist. The article noted that real artists will stick to their craft and keep working, while an amateur artist constantly seeks attention and tries different things. Many of these qualities were actually transferred to Victor as a character. While Victor has the passion and the drive to be an artist, he never really works hard at it. He keeps changing his craft and never really hones it to the point of perfection, rather he is constantly concerned with making a living and getting attention. He finally started to get the attention he always wanted with his murders and that’s ultimately what led him down the path he was on. In many ways, Victor is a mentally ill individual who craves attention more than he does making something beautiful. More will be said on Victor when he comes to the Creating Kalwa journals and his future appearances in the story.

Finally worth noting was the impact of this chapter. As seen is later chapters, Kalwa is constantly haunted by her deadly encounter with Victor. With this chapter, it was meant to mark the end of an era, in which Kalwa meets an opponent that she CAN’T defeat. Kalwa has now experienced real danger of owning a time traveling phone and it’s left her in a terrible state. So this would be the set up to the long running arch that would shape the remainder of the Kalwa story. But more on that later, thanks for sticking by our chapter look backs on the Whitechapel arch, and we will be doing more chapter look backs in the future.

CLICK ON ANY OF THE THUMBS TO READ THE CHAPTER!

Chapter Look Back: Chapter 18

So now we come to chapter 18, the near conclusion of the Whitechapel story arch. This chapter of course reveals the big twist of the entire story: there’s more than one Jack the Ripper. Although this isn’t the full explanation of the case, see us for the next chapter look back on that.

The idea of there being two killers eventually evolved into a mandatory plot line as we faced several issues when writing this arch. First and foremost is that Kalwa is NOT a historical comic, it is by no mean meant to be educational. Kalwa is an ADVENTURE comic, which uses time travel as a canvas to tell a vast array of stories. Each era is more of a setting which allows us to do different stories and styles for the adventures that Kalwa embarks on, me and my co-writer have no interest in educating people about historical events unless we find them interesting, this Jack the Ripper case actually being a rare incident.

To give a little more of a clear view to this last statement, we didn’t necessarily want to the be bound to the facts of history and have our creativity stifled because of what historians have dug up in recent years. Adding onto this fact, everything I read on the Ripper seemed to be conclusive evidence that he was in fact targeting prostitutes which presented a major problem. Kalwa being a sixteen year old girl who would most certainly not be working in the profession (for more than one reason) thus the Ripper would really have no reason whatsoever to target her in the first place.

Another major obstacle that brought on the plot twist, is that I wanted this to be a murder mystery. Possibly getting the reader to try and deduce who the killer was. Yet at the same time, I wanted an unexpected twist that readers wouldn’t see coming. I was actually inspired by the first Friday the 13th in which the movies killer Pamela Vorhees was introduced into the film so late that viewers didn’t have time to suspect her, and thus I wanted to pull a stunt just like this. However doing so I felt would be a complete betrayal of the mystery as it would simply discard all the readers efforts just to reveal a new face in the last minute.

So with all these factors taken into account, the only logical conclusion was to have two killers. One would abide more by historical facts and the reader could attempt to solve, while the other one would be more free to do what we initially wanted. And speaking of history, this chapter features yet another historical note in it. When Kalwa breaks into Mary Kelly’s house, you can see smoke coming from the fire place with clothes thrown in it. This is actually a real determined fact from the murder scene, it is believed that the killer threw clothing into the fire place in order to provide enough light to carry out his horrible act.

But this is not the end of the historical notes or the development of this arch, you’ll see what we mean in the next call back on chapter 19.

CLICK ON ANY OF THE PAGES BELOW TO READ CHAPTER 18!!!