Today I finished drawing page 199 of Wonder Momo for NamcoBandai. I already started to colour it, and most likely will be able to get page 200 drawn tomorrow. After page 200, there'll be a break for a while.
You know, normally when I finish a large project, I tend to look back and see what all I have learned through it and how it evolved etc. This project is no different in that aspect, but it is different in another way.
When I first got the call to work on Momo, I thought not much of it. At that time I was working at Seneca teaching and had just finished one of the most rigorous stages in my life, work wise and also family wise.
Many of the first pages were blasted out super quick and not much thought was given to them at all. Momo was a thing that was in the way of 5th Capsule, and after a good deal of talk and after changing Momo's age to 18 for my own comfort, I agreed to work on it. The whole story and concept which was unknown outside of Japan seemed to have the potential for some thing I didn't agree with. I don't agree with much as you guys all know.
Still I have to put food on the table, and teaching was slowing down as the thrill was wearing off a bit for me as I had to teach more than expected the previous semester, so I kept going with it. Around page 50 or so I decided to make my best effort and see how good I could make it. I constantly tried tomake it as best as I could.
Later that year I went to Japan, fully paid for by Namco, as was the New York trip, and had a good deal of fun. By this time I had learned a massive amount that I soon used towards 5thCapsule that I would do in the following month that year.
By the time spring rolled around I stopped teaching on the supposition that I would be working on a film and other projects besided Namco /UDON stuff. That did not pan out, yet Momo kept going and evolving. I went one more time on a trip to meet with directors and animation staff in Japan on that making of the Wonder Momo short animations.
You don't have to love the shorts, it doesn't hurt my feelings. It's a far a departure as possible from the way the comic is written, yet it still is very cool to see your BGs on the screen and name.
Also there is a game that I have finished art for as well.
Essentially two years of my life, and it has no where near the amount of fame and praise that Ibuki /Sakura Legend's has. In fact, I would say that it would seem as though I have fallen off the planet for some as I have been working so hard to get this done with no influx of Capcom stuff.
It should be noted that UDON doesn't work the same way as when I started with it some 13 years ago. By now you notice that most of our product is art books and very little sequential art compare to the golden era back in 2004 - 2007.
So here I am at the edge of yet another huge chapter of my life. Soon, the emails will stop, the uploading will stop and the scripts will stop. I almost feel a little lost and astray, it's a very odd feeling.
I'm a person of routine, I love love love routine. I will eat the same cereal , same lunch , etc for a long time and not get bored of it as with many things. SO to have Momo ingrained in my work routine and then have it come to an immediate halt is a bit of a shock.
There's also a very ominous and odd silence that goes with it with my fans. My fans didn't really care for it at all. SO in a way I feel as though I have lost a lot of my original fans over the past two years.
Also , I think a lot of my fans just grew up and moved on. But there is a new thing I've noticed as well, a very positive one.
5th Capsule, has brought in a new batch of fans, and has given my old fans something new to consider, and now we come to the point:
Starting next week, I can say that I will be on a two month break. I told UDON no more work for at least two months, as I move on to the next 53 pages of 5th Capsule. I have the first batch of pages scripted out. I have a list of improvements I will make to the art, text, and general fit and finish.
I was debating colour for a while, but I will stay in BW tones. I am going to put more emphasis on the drawing of it, and simplify other aspects. I also plan to shade it at a higher DPI, and also reduce the text point as well to give more space for art. I have a few new features I will try as well as I try to experiment more.
So the stated goal is that I have 100 pages done before I go to Japan again in May. 53 pages in two months, maybe not, but I will try as hard as I can.
I will stock pile 20 pages first before I post anything, this way I can have time to edit and clean up things. It will stay at 1300 pi tall. I will not edit the previous pages unless this thing goes to print.
For now this is the route I will take.
As for you fans, I am not sure how many of you are still from before, or how many just came aboard, but thanks for you all must be given. I really feel I am at a strange crossroads, and that horizon in front of me is close. I am almost 40, I won't live forever, and I want to make 5th Capsule something special that no one else can offer you.
I read all of your comments, I don't look down on any of you, and never have. We all have something in common and that is we all entertain each other. I cheer you up with my art and you guys also cheer me up as well.
I look forward to all of your comments always. The reason is that I am a lonely person in point of fact. Yes I have my family, but as for outside folks , all my friends live far away. I don't have time or energy to visit, and life is very busy with my two little girls. I'm not whining, but I am saying that you guys are a source of happiness and support for me.
I really mean that, and I am thankful.
SO here's to Momo, the largest continuous strip I've done that no one really knows about hahah! Thanks to Rob Pereyda, Erik and Jim. Quite the project it was, I enjoyed it more than I thought, and I will miss it.
Here's a good ending credits track for you www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSQCX9…
Now, onto 5C!
So yeah, even though I've gotten a lot busier I'll always be waiting to see what you come up with next, which is why I'm so glad that you've finally gotten around to making progress on 5th Capsule. We've watched both you and 5th Capsule go through some major developments so it's cool that you're finally getting to share the world your story the way you wanted to and gotten some new fans along the way. Anywayz, best of luck and here's to continued success!
(As for the anime, I think the second ep was better than the first, but that's all I've seen.)
I hear you on the loneliness and crossroads... always rough to deal with that, at least at first.
At least we'll still see you updating here, right?
But I will start reading!
Your art is so flawless
I enjoyed streaming since I was able to vent and laugh and have fun. 5C will have a lot of the magic in the chat if I can contain it. If i can find a better palce to do it and my office woulpd allow I will start up agian. As it is where I am I have to be very hush hush as people are getting counselling and hearing me lauhgh riotously in the BG would be bad form. lol
I forget who said that. Some girl, i think.
If it helps, you have the kind of career i really envy.
I don't broadcast now, because if i did I would spill all the beans about story plots on 5C. It's very quiet in the office without it.
Momo's age stuck out when I saw the strip, in a good way. So thanks for that. I was happy to see that she wasn't a sexualized 15 year old since apparently there's a Japanese law requiring all main characters of anything be 15. That's always bugged me.
Is the strip taking a break with you or are they switching artists for awhile?
I hope you achieve success with 5th Capsule. I've been working on a comic strip since 2002 and anytime it has to take a full backseat to life (stops in production due to work, participation in the occasional war, work, moving to a different continent- again, work ) its been hard. With Momo cleared for a spell I hope you can put all the effort and focus into it that it deserves.
I will focus on 5C, almost there just anopther page to do and then on with it!