The story for my comic is based around the creation of Japan story taught through the Shinto religion. The main elements for the visuals are a mix of modern Japanese manga, and ancient Japanese painting and inking.
Note: This comic is read from right to left as it has been inspired by Japanese comics and art.
For this comic, I spent a lot of time researching and looking at Japanese art and culture for inspirations for my comic. I saw that many ancient Japanese paintings are filled with light, earthy tones and that the Japanese inking has varying line weights. Those lines having thick outlines with thin inner lines for shading and texturing. It was also very common for their art to be watercolor, which is something that is still practiced to this day. Based off of these observations, I used thick outlines on the second panel to emphasis the power of thrusting the spear into the water. Staying with traditional coloring style, I also had my character’s skin tones blend into an almost white color.
Moving onto the influences from modern Japanese manga, there are stylistic choices like cross hatching, and the use of patterns that I let influence my design choices. The coloration of the spear is an example of this as the colors are not only contrasting, but they were also chosen to help convey the emotions behind it and demonstrate its importance. The proximity of the cross hatching determines how dark something will be, in order to portray shading in black and white images. I used this technique throughout my comic to once again show a connection between my style research and final product. For things like backgrounds, patterns are used in order to give them texture, which is what I did for the clouds and the tops of the mountains. The motion lines are also something prevalent in manga, bringing the motion forward and putting it in the same panel.
Based on my knowledge from “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art” by Scott McCloud, I made the gutters have varying widths in order to show the amount of time that has passed between each section. The larger gutters have more time passing through them, while the smaller ones show more immediate action. This is why the gutter on the thrusting spear into the water panels is so small, because of how direct and quick the action is.
Looking at my character designs, the woman, whose name is Izanami, has a very pale complexion to the point where it is almost white. This white color is reference to her purity as a goddess, while simultaneously foreshadowing her eventual death. Alsong with her the images I found depicting Izanagi, the man in the story, are colored with general browns and other earthly tones. Thus, not only did I use these colors blend with the image, but also to connect Izanagi with being the one who created the earth and reference the source culture some more.
Something I’ve learned from this is the difficulty that comes with taking a medium and recreating it with another. Trying to create watercolor paints on a computer based program has it’s problems, but it is never impossible to accomplish. While it was quite difficult and am pleased with what I was able to accomplish.
Donald L. Philippi, trans., 1969, Kojiki: Princeton, Princeton University Press, 655 p.,
and Joseph M. Campbell, 1962, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology: New York,
Viking Press, 561 p.
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. HarperCollins
Publishers. 1993. Print.
Merob6. “Ancient Japan.” Emaze presentations. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Schabbi. “Izanami e Izanagi.” Blog de lquipe franaise. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.