M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Konomancer: Jarom's Senior Project

 I've mentioned Konomancer before, but as a DnD setting. It actually started as a manga project between my brother, Jarom, and I. I had the idea for the whole story down, and through Jarom's creative art and ideas, it grew in depth and breadth.
Jarom was still in high school at the time, in his senior year. For his high school though, in order to graduate, seniors need to complete some sort of 'senior project'. This is something new to me, because when i graduated from the same school they didn't need anything of the sort. Basically it's a project where the parameters are meant to be vague, and it's supposed to encourage students to think outside the box and do something challenging. Most students do things like fundraisers for whatever or service projects. Jarom wanted to do something different.

Since his art is pretty much his career choice, he wanted that do be part of his project. His project was get a manga printed. We discussed several options, but settled on Konomancer, because i already had a story lined out.  Getting volume 1 of the story printed was our goal. And quite a goal it was.

This was a very informative experience for my brother and i, with just how much work it takes to make something like this. He did all the sketch work and page layout, and i did the story, dialogue, and digital inking.

It started out with thumbnails. These gave us a basic idea of the page layouts and what happens therein. Jarom did all of these. I critiqued them, had him redo them, etc. With all of those done, we started doing the final pages.

Next were the actual art pages. These are where Jarom spent the majority of his time. He drew all the art and shading and location of dialogue boxes. Several times i had him redo pages because the placement of some things just didn't work. I'm sure he hated me at some points. We did fight over things on occasion.

But once the first page was done, it was then up to me to scan it in, and begin the inking/toning/chat bubbles.

This was the hard part for me. I used a program called Manga Studio, which did make it easier, but by no means made it easy.

It was a very grueling project. What was great about it though, was knowing that if we didn't finish it, Jarom could not graduate. At a few points we were worried we wouldn't get it done in time. Near the end we worked night and day, crunch period extreme. So much work went into the project. This couldn't be one of our many other projects that we started, got bored with, and moved on. We NEEDED to get it done. We had to push past the exhaustion. Then we got the book completed, submitted it to Lulu, had them print off some copies for sale at the project fair (where the seniors show off their projects for judging) and we were done. It was a serious undertaking. But extremely rewarding. Back then i held our printed book with pride, knowing the hard work and dedication that went into it.

Fast forward to today, Jarom is doing a 2 year mission, and he will be back next week. I am so excited. To celebrate his homecoming, i will be posting periodically weekly pages from the manga we did. I will still be making posts about my other projects and things to break up the monotony, but it is with great pride i present to you: Konomancer, Volume 1

Front and back cover for now. Next time I'll start getting into the actual pages.

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