July Insight | Netherrealms was supposed to be a graphic novel
Above is a short test I did in Clip Studio Paint to try the tools for graphic-noveling. What amazing specialized software!
I dove into the archives for this one. Netherrealms was first conceived as a graphic novel instead of a series of illustrations. Why? Because comics and graphic novels have always been the way I told stories, from when I first drew my horse character Roebel when I was around 10 years old.
After that I found new inspirations like Jessica “NeonDragon” Peffer and her comic TimeScapes, and started drawing more comics of my own. Here are some pictures of comic projects I started when I was young, until I went to college: A TimeScapes clone (there’s a pad with lots of pages somewhere), Lost Trace Mission, 3 Dimensions, another Lost Trace Mission (the Reboot with about 100 pages completed). Unfortunately, the mantra “write what you know” hadn’t really stuck yet, so the projects were flimsy and never went anywhere (apart from the fact that I was just having fun).
Ximena, Clovis and Avyola from my first incarnation of Lost Trace Mission
Mezukashii, from my 3Dimensions project
100+ finished pages (I colored and lettered them digitally) and storywriting from my rebooted version of Lost Trace Mission
After that, I let go of graphic novels for a while. College classes kept me way too busy to have any side project. It was mostly eat work eat sleep repeat, especially the first couple years.
I can’t seem to keep away from creating stories, though. After I’d finished my graduation project in 2012 or so, I started thinking about another incarnation of my black-haired girl from Lost Trace Mission. This time, she would be close to my age, and I’d be writing about things I had already studied a lot: fantasy realms, dreams and early adulthood. Netherrealms was born.
The first sketches I made for Netherrealms as I was brainstorming.
My friend Chris has been pretty vocal about wanting to see the story in comic pages instead of/in addition to illustrations ever since I told him about the Patreon. I have to admit I’m getting excited about the idea again, so for Augusts’ Netherrealms piece I’ll be creating one or two comic pages to test the workflow and what the comic would look like.
It’s been 9+ years since I drew the first sketch for Netherrealms. Before I start creating the story as a graphic novel, I want to do a couple things differently compared to my previous projects:
- Make sure I have the full story written and most of the characters and settings designed
- The story was written in 2016 and has had a couple rewrites since then.
- Make sure I can keep up with the schedule without other obligations getting in the way
- Your support helps me do this
- Create a buffer of pages before I start posting the story in earnest.
- I’ll be sharing some tests with you, Netherrealms Patrons. But before I start committing to Netherrealms as a graphic novel I want to have a buffer of 10 pages to 1 chapter.
I have to say, with Patreon and social media, the landscape is very different from when I first started creating stories. I’m curious to see where this goes!