Working through Time: Evolution of a Character

I’ve been thinking stories for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I drew some of them, sometimes I planned them, sometimes they just evolved episodically within my mind.

Either way, the stories have always been there.

But there was never a proper way to express them.

The relatively newer ones, I am self-publishing online.

Punto Ciego is one of them, an amalgam of ideas from various previous stories, rolled into one package with a new cast of characters that ended up twisting the story beyond what I originally envisioned (Which is, to me, the first sign that the story is Good Enough For Me, as a creator).

The other one is Dreamless, which started out as one thing, then morphed into another thing, then bred with another stranger thing and is now beyond even my own recognition. It has a plotted beginning, middle and end, but it’s not quite what I originally envisioned four, five years ago when that story first started taking shape. The main lead was first a man, then a woman, and now…

Well, that’s for me to know, and for you to find out. I’m gonna try to write it and release a small “Episode” every Friday, barring the unexpected (Which is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence in the life of the Common Anatole Serial). I am not abandoning it, though, not this time. It’s the other precious child I have, and it needs to grow.

But I’m not here to talk about those stories.

I’m here to dig deeper in time.

Continue reading Working through Time: Evolution of a Character

Punto Ciego: Preliminary Work and Other Artworks

(Note: This is a partial repost from an older blog I had, and was written way back in June 2009)

I started prelim work on Punto Ciego around September 2008. Many of those early sketches are lost deep within the many sheets of paper I’ve used, but like many projects, it all started with a simple idea. From that idea, a visual component was born, and this visual component influenced the story, which influenced the story, and so on. It all started with Alva and Greg.

The idea was to, somehow, get together a stereotypically shy, artistic “long-hair-covering-her-eyes” kind of girl, with a cool, handsome, adventurous, daring kind of guy. Of course, this basic setup wouldn’t work, so it became necessary for both of them to have a couple of skeletons in their closets. It was also necessary to bring more characters into their lives: Thus, Meche and Julia were born. Armando would come around November, when I was writing the Chapter 0 script, in order to give more coherence to the world. Meche and Julia, though, were created shortly after the concept for both Alva and Greg was more or less set.

Julia and Meche exist as a complement to Alva: Julia is a rebellious, playful figure, more sociable as a way to contrast with Alva; Meche, on the other hand, represents a motherly figure, responsible and hard working. Originally, they had different personalities from their current incarnations; these changed soon after I developed both of their backgrounds and realized their personalities should be coherent with their past experiences.

(End of Old Blog Post)

Here’s some more old sketches from that Preparation Stage:

Since then, there have been other Non-sequential pieces of artwork related to Punto Ciego that I’ve done for multiple reasons.

For example, here’s a winter-themed pic of the entire cast from the beginning of Chapter 1:

There’s also this other pic I did for reasons I can’t remember (Probably a flyer or card?):

She also appears as a toy, along with other toy-ified characters of fellow local artists in a poster I did for a local Toy Charity Drive in which we would give away sketches for people who donated toys for poor children.

There’s the colored Chapter Pics I’ve done for each chapter:

And then there’s more… Experimental work:

All in all, I think there’s been a lot of progress since that “Stereotypical Shy Artist Girl Meets Daring Adventurous Boy” first emerged in my head.

Next week, we’ll take a dive into the memory lane, and see if I can dig up some really, really, REALLY old character sketches, and how some character’s concept has evolved over the years.

Prologue

There is this recurring dream I keep having.

I am a child again, back in my grandpa’s old town, playing with the local kids in the forest. It is your stereotypical old forest, with trees as tall as the sky, dark as a moonless night, and all the creatures big and small in the world.

A dangerous place, but one we could call ours: The townspeople ran us off their ceilings, backyards and streets. We lacked our own place. So, we played in the Old Forest.

Tag was our favorite game. And if you’ve ever played Tag in a Forest, you would know that the game feels more like a matter of life and death than simple child’s play. Hiding is easy, everything is a natural hiding spot; running is another business entirely, nature’s obstacle course, overgrown vines and roots at every turn, creepy and dangerous animals small and big, crawling, running, growling, flying, breathing, living. It’s a frightful game.

So, I’m back at the Old Forest, playing Tag with the town’s kids. I am It, looking for the other kids behind every rock, log and stump, up in the treetops, down in the mud pits, can’t find any of them.  Ultimately, I just give up and wander around, pretending to be a spaceman exploring an alien planet.

It isn’t until I reach a clearing in the forest that I realize I have spent the entire day lost in my own games of pretend, and now the moon, full, illuminates this brief pocket of treeless forest.

I am not alone.

Another kid is standing at the other side of the clearing. Her skin almost transparent, barely sticking to her all-too-visible bones. She is looking at me, with wild eyes that seem to flicker like a brilliant blue flame and impossibly long crimson hair.

She begins to walk towards me. She intrigues me, and deep down it feels like she’s boring into my soul, invisible chains pulling me towards her.

Gravity.

She speaks, but her voice comes out grabled, as if spoken backwards. She extends her hands towards me, and I do the same. That’s when I notice her hands.

Her hands. Dirty with mud and dust. And behind all that, blood red.

I looked at her hands, then at the floor.

Faces.

Children.

The town’s.

Bloody, lifeless.

I take a step back.

then another.

Look back at the girl, the floor, the girl again.

Tears. Mine.

I panic.

I run.

The girl just stays there, staring in disbelief, arms extended with dirty, dusty, bloody hands.

“Help me”, I hear behind me, but I am no longer listening, overcome with horror.

“Help me”, fainter, but no less convincing.

“Help me!”, barely audible. Is it the girl, or…?

If the forest was a dark maze during the day, at night it had become a world of absolute darkness. Nevertheless I run, run with all my might, away from the confusion and the girl and the lifeless eyes of the children I used to play with.

That’s when I wake up.

And I always wake up feeling…

Sad. Nostalgic. Lonely.

I wonder why…

“La Rosa de Guadalupe”, or “How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the LULZ”

Mexican TV is awesome.

And by “Awesome” I mean TOTALLY EFFING WEIRD MAN.

Most of what you’ll find is “Telenovelas”, programs similar to Soap Operas that feature lots of drama. Most are serials in which a long-form story is told, usually through over-dramatic acting, ridiculous camera shots and mostly amateur acting that makes serious appreciators of the performing arts flinch in existential Lovecraftian horror.

There are other types, though, which feature individual stories. “La Rosa de Guadalupe” is one of them. Its basic premise is this: There’s a situation that is very dramatic. The situation evolves and becomes something that the people in the episode can’t seem to deal with; one of the characters offers a prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who in turn creates a miracle through a white rose, that manages to solve the entire situation.

Essentially it’s an entire “Telenovela” dedicated to the concept of the Deus Ex Machina, and as such, it’s incredibly HILARIOUS: Bad Acting + Bad Scripting + Bad Argument = LULZ, LULZ EVERYWHERE. Of course, every episode also ends up being a story about family values and ethics, but for most of us it’s more about the unintentional laughs than the very intentional lecturing.

So it comes as no surprise that when an episode deals with Otaku culture, some people in Mexico would get up in arms.

Continue reading “La Rosa de Guadalupe”, or “How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the LULZ”

Weekly Video Throw-down I

I tend to find A LOT of videos on the Interwebs. These are some of them.

La Rosa de Guadalupe – Cosplay: Salvemos el Mundo

So, a national TV station in Mexico has this program called “Rosa de Guadalupe”, which dramatizes… Essentially everything. They’ve tackled social issues like drug addiction, rape, emo culture and getting run over by cars.

This time, they’re tackling COSPLAY. What you see up there is the preview, the full episode ain’t coming out until… Later today, apparently!

(Dumb) Mexican Otaku are up in arms due to this “offensive” portrayal, not realizing that by complaining as vocally (Or as the Internet would call it, CAPSLOCK-LY) they ain’t doing anything to make the Mexican Otaku NOT look like a bunch of immature bonkheads.

Obviously, I will be watching this, laughing my ass off.

Most rational, mature people are doing the opposite: Instead of complaining, we’re embracing the absurd, making it ours. There’s fanart, and remix videos, and comics that ridicule and criticize both the preview and the people who can’t seem to shut up about it.

Personally, I think that the Show is so absurd it will fly under everyone’s radar and it will come and pass without any relevance… Except for Those Damn Mexican Otaku.

Continue reading Weekly Video Throw-down I

This is one hell of a hot summer!

It's Summertime!

In all honesty, I don’t like summer.

It’s hot, and having to walk to school under the scorching sun ain’t anyone’s idea of a FUN SUMMER.

And yet one thing everyone can agree makes summer a special thing is how everyone seems to be wearing thinner, more revealing clothes.

Sometimes it’s not that good, but when it’s good it’s GREAT.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t change all the “Walking under the sun” part, which often gives me delirious ideas, like promoting a redesigned Elle (A.K.A. Penellope)  to AnatoleSerial.net’s Official Mascot Character, while making a slightly more risque drawing of her.

So, yeah, I don’t like summer.

But still, sometimes it can give you THE BEST ideas.

Brief Thoughts (II)

 

Currently sitting at the lab, reading about linear programming and trying to connect it with this half-baked constraint solver I have to re-bake into something useful (And potentially awesome).


I got my Google+ now.

It’s… different.

It’s like Facebook, minus all the things that make it Facebook.

In other words: Much better. Thank you, Google! Lots of love.


I want to do a drawing Livestream, with an Open Mic and everything. To that effect, if you wish to follow, check my Twitter account. Or if you know me on Facebook or Google+, I will announce it there as well.

Let’s have a jolly good time, folks.


Did some changes around the site.

Mostly Social Networking Stuffs.

It’s been considerably easier than I thought it’d be.

Which means I still have my legs intact, but my pinky hurts.


Currently experiencing some technical difficulties, of the “No Internet at Home” kind.

This is particularly annoying, to tell the truth.

So far, my hypothesis is this: The rain fucked it up, with its wetness and humidity.

It’s been so hot and desertly dry, it’s not even funny.

Yes, I know desertly is not a real word.

I just made it up, like a boss.

It’s all my fault in some way or another.

It all started in New Mexico. More specifically, in Las Cruces Anime Days, a small convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I went because I had nothing better to do, and needed pictures of trash bins to compare with the other pictures of trash bins I’ve taken in Mexican cons. The biggest surprise was the schedule: A Touhou Project Panel? A brief introduction? Let’s see what they had to say…

Mmmmmh. Nothing.

Seriously, for an introduction, it lacked… Impact.

It lacked emotion.

It lacked PASSION.

That’s when I thought, “Maybe I could do better”.

And then, “I have to do better”.

Continue reading It’s all my fault in some way or another.