this calls for a celebration

October 7, 2012 10:15 PM

This is going to be a long post since I didn’t dare to blog during home stretch Q__Q for some reason blog posts take forever to write, I suspect a correlation between that and my poor communication skills + tendency to talk forever once I start. In any case, as of Thursday or Friday book 3 of CP is completely finished! The proof was made and approved yesterday so it is off to printing right now :D There’s still a healthy amount of extra time to account for any delays so I think I will be able to make it to have it at everyone’s doorsteps by xmas. I can’t believe I did it HAHA because the schedule I calculated out in advance was pretty ridiculous at about 10 pages of inking ALONE per week, and still the estimated completion date was Oct 1 for inks only. Somehow I managed to get hella ahead in the last 2 weeks of inking and finished inking, toning, and preflighting by my self imposed deadline. I’m so lucky to have the help of linguistically competent friends like sepia, kris, and juby, to help me proofread ahead of time during the rush, though at this point I’m still worried there would be problems none of us caught BUT WHATEVER it’s too late now.

I also managed to force myself to go back and fix some of the things I wasn’t happy with rather than winging them, like faces, poses and paneling. They were minor and I was really tempted to ignore them since I needed to be doing far more important things with the time I had, such as preflighting the book. In the end because they were minor, they didn’t take much time, and I really hope this set me up for a good habit of making sure everything is how I want them to the best of my ability, because had I not done it, the little problems would have bothered me for the rest of the story since it would be even less likely that I’d go back and change these things in the future.

In the end, I am both very happy and very frustrated with this book. the making of this book was another huge step forward for me, even if it was almost unintended. Quality aside–since I can’t trust myself with this at all anymore, having stared at these pages every waking hour of the day for the past 3 months–being able to crank out this book this fast when necessary opens many options for me with the extra free time. I was always concerned that if I had to keep up the way I live right now, having to spend an entire day to finish only one page, I would certainly get exhausted or fall sick easily when I’m older and not be able to keep up anymore, but I’m relieved that this is not the case. I am pleased with how the art came out as well, there weren’t many places where I wish I could’ve had the time to redraw, and a lot of those places where I felt that way, I actually did spend the time to redraw them. But I know how these things are, when you look at it for so long without being able to look away, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that I lost something in the art in exchange for finishing everything in time.

The frustration came mostly from the story… because whether or not the story is actually good and/or interesting to other people (if I cared about making a work that can live up to some external standard, I would’ve enlisted the help of an editor instead of going at it blindly on my own),  the most important thing about CP is it is a very endearing story/world to me. I only want to get better at the art to do the story justice in my mind and tell it like I want to, and to give it enough charm to get others to read it. The page count limit really force me to do what I don’t want to do, and what’s more I had very little time to change the story in a way I’m happy with. I don’t know how well I would’ve kept up this feverish production pace if there weren’t an actual emergency, but half of me wished I could have tried this production speed at another time when I had room for failure, then at least I could pause everything and spend as much time as I need to set things straight, like revising the plot. This is an especially infuriating thought because the whole point of self publishing is so that I can do all of that whenever I feel like, but I let my moment ambition strap myself down. I guess I can’t always have everything the way I want them, as much as I try to be in control.

In the end, book 3 is over and I gained lots of experience that would help me prepare for book 4.

In the past week of grind I’ve accumulated these goods!

page3-125.jpg
toning (:

cover3-3.jpg
I tried to go ahead to see if anything changes during rough colouring of this version, and although I do like how it came out, many of my friends whose opinion I trust agreed that the first version is more effective as a cover piece in relation to my other covers, and covers of other people’s publications. I might use this for something else if I end up wanting to finish it, otherwise, good game version 2

cover3-4.jpg
The version 1 that I ended up finishing. Made the background darker. The finished cover is posted on the manga site and will be posted on other sites as well when the book is released ^^

cover3.jpg
everythang glowing c:

lakeshore.jpg
First scrap after finishing print stuff! I didn’t want to resort to a starry night but I was like whatever I can’t be assed to care too much for the first relaxation piece I’ve drawn in too long. I’m happy I could make the stars look nice this time around. SHITS HARD even though they’re just dots… I wanted to write a short cute dialogue of feeling immersed in the world, or the act of immersing oneself in the world. After so many years of looking out from your eyes, the body can give such a strong feeling of separation, but maybe in a reflection, you can see more clearly how close you are to everything around you.

stab.jpg
Why wont you fight back?
And this picture… I saw typhoon rain on Mayday, and I remember I always loved the look of heavy rain waving in gusting winds like enormous curtains. I just had a little fun with the rain and left the rest to UST yayyy ^u^

Lastly Prokofiev’s 2nd piano concerto (: I was feeling really shitty that week, thank god I came across this piece because for some reason that cadenza made everything better. It felt good and satisfying to listen to, I can feel like I was playing it! It sucks that it will/has lost its effect though so I’m trying to not to overlisten this time HAHA

I think I’ll go ahead and finish an illustration before moving onto tidying preorder things and working on things I agreed to work on for other people.

10 Comments

  • Congratulations on finishing book 3! I guess it's true, for comic artists, the longer they keep at it, the faster their process tends to be (No matter how gradual the work is at first)

    One thing I love though about Carciphona, it's constantly evolving. Of course, this is true for a lot of webcomics in general, but you seem to always take the time to analyze what you didn't like in the past installments and improve it as you make each new volume. It's super cool!! Keep up the great work, Shilin! I'm a long-time fan (since around ashen ray II I think, or when you had pencilled pages with comic sans in all caps for dialogue, whichever was earlier) and I looove the progression now and I look forward to future story arcs and the eventual conclusion c:

  • Oh yay! Gonna order book 3 soon xD I love your work, but stay healthy okay ^-^;;

  • Story and plot are two different things (according to my Character and Narrative teacher in Uni) she told me that story is driven by the characters, and if you have well executed characters that makes for a good story. I believe CP is like that, the characters have come a long way, you've rounded them out and fixed the kinks in not only their personalities but also their own background stories, you try to keep them different, and fresh, you give each their own want/need and that drives the story forward (even when the want/need of the character isn't always as obvious to the reader).

    As for the limitation of page count, that's always going to happen. For Uni I had to write a narrative script for an animated feature film (but had to be an original narrative of my own), and only had 6 pages as my limit. Had to fit the entire plot & story into 6 pages (opening, act 1, 2 and 3), it was hard, but it also put into perspective what I needed in my story and what I really didn't, and it was most definitely a great assessment, because I got to know my main characters so much better and not just that but the overall story that I've had stuck in my head for years.
    So yeah, if you ever get frustrated with your story or find it to not be interesting, sit down, write it out as if it would play out before you, but keep it to a limit of 6 pages (or more depending on how you feel) and you'll discover stuff you don't need/wish to cut out, and even stuff you want to change to become more interesting.
    Really though it all comes down to the basic structure of the hero's journey though, whether you use all 12 steps or just 6, every story follows it whether on knows it or not, it's what makes stories apparently good. And CP is good, when I used to religiously read it when I was younger (nowadays with Uni, my health and work I have minimal amount of time to read though), I really enjoyed it, and I know that if I picked it up again, I'd very much enjoy it more because of the developments you've done to your characters and story. And geezus i'm sorry for the essay of nonsense you probably already know Dx

    • no no, I appreciate you taking the time writing this to me ;-; But as much as I recognize the importance of being able to identify what's important and what's not, and even though a rerouted story is but a brand new story with its own charm, the frustration came from the fact that I felt like I was eliminating vertebrates from the spine. A lot of things I could not stretch out to give them the pace they need, and some scenes that are crucial to keeping everybody's time in synch had to be removed/moved. All not even because of publisher standards or the importance of chapter page count, but because of the fact the book will be too heavy to ship under a certain weight class and thus cost more, and that has nothing to do with any properties or benefit of the story which made it feel unfair ):

    • can't reply to your comment directly shilin so I'll just respond to my original haha.
      But on a serious note that honestly sucks :'D Especially when what your remove is as you put it "part of the vertebrates from the spine" it means one has to find a more easier/convenient way of conveying what you've removed or, the cheap option which is not bothering and just removing it and leaving it at that. And the fact that you have no choice to remove stuff because it'll affect shipping costs is also unfair and a little sad, but it also means you have to become very clever with how you present the story I guess?
      Regardless though, you have done a good job until this point and I'm sure will continue to do so. Not many people can make their story into an actual physical manga/book that others are willing to buy.

  • You're my hero, Shilin. >: When I grow, Imma be just like-…

    Ok, ok, weird cliche aside, looking forward to buying book 3 (just so I can bundle it with book 2 and maximize the shipping, nyahaha~)!

  • Kidami-chan

    Oh Gosh, these are so pretty… I'm really proud of you! I'm kinda really sad that I don't have the opportunity either to read, or to buy… But one day I will for sure! :D And I kind of envy your dedication… I can't even bring myself to finish anything normally. ]:

    • haha why don't you have the opportunity to read? The story is free online even if you can't buy the actual book and see the bonus material :D

    • Kidami-chan

      'Cause I don't have a laptop yet, and on the dormitory's computer, one can't just read such awesomeness ever so casually…

    • oh I see ;;