Monday, April 25, 2011

How it all started

Hello Readers!

Belated Happy Easter by the way and I hope the long weekend did you some good. Since Easter is about new beginnings (an implication I adopted throughout my private school education), maybe it's time I shared the Naermyth origin story. Well... not THE Naermyth origin story, otherwise I'd be giving off most of book two if i discussed that here (book two: yey!), but the story of how my story of the story began. Take your time.

It all started with an old Linux Operating system. Very old. And I mean Gulf War, heavy duty laptop with the blue boot up screen, where the Prince of Persia was still a 2d pixelated character with a crooked pixelated dirk and moved like he was doing jumping jacks down the limited 16 bit game scenery. That old. But no, I didn't start writing Naermyth in 1995 (I think i was 9 then). My dad handed me the laptop to toggle with when I was in my senior year, college. He thought i could figure out how to get the system to recognize the floppy drive (Yes my friends. A FLOPPY DRIVE!). It was sort of "homework" from the father who wanted at least one of his daughters to speak Techi-nese.

At that time i was interning as a sort of paralegal in Makati. It was good, educational work but very routine. And i didn't think i was very adept at it so my mind wandered off in between finished and unfinished stacks of documents, searching for a mind mattress before I got back to work. Sometimes i took out the 20lbs laptop and tried to make my father proud. But i had to face it. Computers weren't my thing. Lucky enough, the OS had a very simple word processor and a modest memory i could make use of. So i started writing, "Dear ten year old laptop with a 500mb memory,". Lines of rants went on, from the summer heat to the hundreds of pages I had to read that day. I wanted to go home, or get the work to stop coming in... forever. Then the "what if's" started bubbling. What if I didn't have to be a lawyer? What if something got in the way? I looked at the nooks on the laptop before me. It reminded me of how old this thing was. It reminded me of a military grade processor. War.

What if there was a war? And i mean, a big one that would lead to the apocalypse. But it couldn't just be any apocalypse. It had to be different; twisted. It had to be more world changing than a fight over earth's depleting fossil fuels but unrealistic enough as not to mark me as the pessimistic warmonger. Then, my mind resolved to kill mankind with the dawn of mythical creatures.

The first scribbles of the story didn't start the way it did. It didn't even start in prose form. It more like this:

Page 1: Half page panel with ruined cities. Panels go by with different shots of dark alleys, clouded skies and blood stained fences. One or two speech boxes positioned in each panel. Last panel dark. Text only.

You guessed it. Naermyth was a comic! I mentioned it before in previous blogs, but in the spirit of Easter, i want to share some of it with you!

So here's the first page, reflecting the prologue from the book:

Why didn't i finish it? Because it was a lot of work! I was in law school then, and though it was heaps of fun (The drawing, and NOT law school), it ate into hours of study time. Eventually, the script was wasting in my hard drive, waiting for more panels to be drawn in. Panels that i would never have the time to do. I was going at the rate of one page a week! There was no way I could finish a comic version while studying.

So, the script was there - mostly done. I knew i couldn't do it as a comic and i still needed my creative outlet. So i wrote it out. Since i couldn't draw, I described everything in detail. Instead of bubbles, i had quotation marks. The dialogue prospered in novel form, actually - i didn't have to worry about how much space they'd take in a panel!

Here's page 2, chapter 1 starts:

A lot from the beginning is unchanged, no? Well actually, i used to change the comic text while i edited the book. Just in case i decided to go with this instead. heeeee

Here was another wall i had to face with the comic: i couldn't draw the same face over and over again. I like drawing people, but if i have to draw the same person over and over, I've got a problem. I think i needed more practice in that department, and i felt that my art wasn't polished enough to be out there. (but I'm still showing you readers because i labs you!) Notice how Athena's face changes each time:

I think the inconsistency is because i don't have a concrete idea of how Athena should look like. I don't want to. I don't want to force my idea of Athena on readers either. I want you guys to use your imagination. Who is she to you? a friend? a sister? An enemy? I dont want to destroy the character image in your mind.... like castings for movie adaptations of books. It's a bummer. 

So. Do i plan to make a graphic novel of Naermyth, you ask? Maybe. It's still out there and it's only a matter of how much extra time I have to dedicate to it. That, and if anybody's going to read it! Maybe i'll make a webcomic that takes place in the same universe (*wink).  Am I going to show you more pages of this comic? Not now.Should you expect something more in the line of Naermyth illustration from me? Of course! I'm always ready to take a step away from the real world and do something for Naermyth. But right now, the real world is broken and i have to fix it. If you bug me enough I can drop the real world and get working on Naermyth!

I hope you enjoyed my little Easter treat followers! Maybe next time i post, I'll have something juicier.

Till next time, friends.



Cai said...

love it miss K <3

yobi10 said...

miss rock...i take my hats off to salute you and your work...

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