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2012/03/03: Other Artisty Stuff


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I mentioned before that I was going to need a new artist, since Shintear has entirely vanished into thin air, and I kind of gave up after two weeks of prodding at his email. With respect to Villainmad, this isn't a problem; Villainmad is basically a commercial venture involving my own IP, so I can hire someone to do that, and I already have a couple of leads as far as that goes.

What is a problem is that Shintear was primarily/originally helping when I needed extra art for Create.swf Adventures,1 and we also had plans to make "real" (i.e. non-Create.swf) comics based on the setting and stories of Touhou Nekokayou, including adaptations of my terminally-unfinished fanfics, with me writing the scripts and him doing the artwork. I also had another friend who had expressed interest in translating them into Japanese for the purpose of putting it on Pixiv, but this is basically just academic at the moment, because without an artist, this half-completed script I've got is pretty much never going to see the light of day. I can't draw, and one cause for sleep-dep-induced-depression lately is that everyone I know who can draw is at least one of 1. has ideas of their own, and therefore would have no interest in drawing comics written by someone else, 2. wants money,2 3. has commitment-issues, or 4. would otherwise be unsuited to a long-term comic project.

I dunno. I'm not even sure if this is a call for help, or anything. I mean, with CSA, my future projects can pretty much do without anyone else's help (depending on whether you count the audience participation which is built into the premise), and I guess I could drop the "real comics" idea for good ... even though I've kind of been mentioning it for months. Just sort of "ehh," really.

1Yes, #2 is still in the works.

2Which is made even thornier by the fact that Touhou is someone else's IP.

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Well, if they want money, there's a solution right there...

...if you had the money.

Maybe it might be best just to give it up? I mean, who would work on a comic for free?


I would say to just screw the quality of artwork and go for a serious story with what you have, since it at least looks good enough to be on the level of "won't hinder good writing"... but I suppose it's not so much quality here as style. Create.swf is good for cuteness or comedy, but not really suited for drama. The characters are colorful but effectively poseless and have comically exaggerated facial expressions. Basically the most you could do with them is a story with a comedy foundation that branches into drama (aka Create.swf).

So I'm afraid you really have four choices. Either find an artist (not easy), give up on those storylines you can't do at present (probably not the best option for escaping a funk, unless you have something equally cool you could be working on), just write them with sentences and paragraphs (something you can do right now, and demonstrably aren't bad at, but which will probably limit your exposure in this fandom--the best written stories seem to fare as well as the average visual ones, far as I can tell)...

or to learn to draw. That classic option which takes time, effort and lots of other annoying things but ultimately earns you the power to write whatever you want in a visual medium, without relying on others. Provided you already know how to write of course, but you do.

I don't mean to sound like I'm pressuring you (I certainly can't draw, and I've more than once wished I could), but I am throwing that option out there. You don't have to be the greatest artist ever if your writing is good enough to carry you (just look at ZUN!), though you do have to become fairly decent.


Darn lack of edit button. The second "Create.swf" in that first paragraph was supposed to be followed by "Adventures".

Dizzy H. Muffin

Meh. The thing is, there's all sorts of reasons why "learn to draw" isn't an option. I can't even articulate all of them properly. One of the things is, my brain literally doesn't work "visually," my hands literally don't work "precisely" or "consistently" ... it is flat-out not something I can do. And anyway, they were meant to be an alternative to prose-only fanfiction, since I'm atrocious at maintaining the focus needed for "all text, all the time."

The comics weren't even meant to be an "at present" prospect to begin with (though I do have "something awesome" to work on in the short-to-medium term) ... blah, this is just making me feel worse right now, I didn't get enough sleep last night to have this conversation, and now I'm not even sure if there is an "enough sleep."


Ehh, now that I've thought about it some more it seems obvious that the reason the visual medium works tend to do better in this fandom is, in fact, probably just because they're "less" amateur than the written ones (if that's a thing). Since most of them come out of Japan and you can actually, you know, SELL those things at the right places there. Even when they use someone else's IP.

I'm sure if you set your mind to a words-only story you'll do fine. You're a good enough writer.

Dizzy H. Muffin

Mmm, I dunno. I think it's a matter of perception. It's easy to have your attention drawn to art or comics at a glance. You can judge the quality of the art, the structure and setup, the pacing (to a degree), and so on, all in a matter of seconds. The cover of a comic will also give you a basic idea of what's going to be in it: Reimu and Yukari (or whoever) sitting together in a manner which is only a few shifted muscles away from kissing whilst surrounded by sakura petals floating in the breeze, versus what appears to be the entire cast of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil about to have a free-for-all brawl, or Buront with Reimu-dressed-as-a-Final-Fantasy-XI-class ... All this basically gives you filter with which you can go "I will like this" or "I won't like this."

None of this applies to fanfiction; you kind of have to actually commit yourself to reading it to get a sense of whether it's good or not, and the author's short blurb, if there is one, says a lot less about it than having a cover. It also takes a lot more time to read through a 24-page comic than it would to read the equivalent of 24 print pages of text.

I'm not saying comics are better than textual fiction. I'm saying that, to a certain extent, they're a lot more accessible. I mean ... Name three doujin-comics that have been translated into English. Now name a single text-only fanfiction from Japan. No, things specifically written by ZUN don't count. Did you even want to read this wall of text?

As for the other part, I think it should be fairly obvious from the ridiculous amount of time between updates that just "putting my mind to" writing text-only fiction isn't as easy as you seem to think it is.