I’ve been slowly building up an OPDS feed, because I added support to KNewStuff, and I wanted to make sure I was able to make an OPDS feed myself.
Of course, the biggest problem is content. I have some fan comics lying around, and I have some Krita Resource Bundles that are all over the place… But there was a thing missing. Back when I was fifteen, I started work on a comic named Streets of Ganjet, an urban fantasy comic about the people living in the city of Ganjet. I have tried to rewrite it, but never got far enough for it to publish new chapters.
Those old chapters were made traditionally. I made them with Royal Talens east-india ink, using a small Conté nib, fineliners and of course pencil and eraser on A4 paper, upgrading to A4 Bristol board. On the computer I then cleaned up the pages with Paintshop Pro and later Photoshop, and posted them to the Narutofan forums. These pages are at my parent’s house. But I had another place where I kept the digital files: My old backup hard drive. Which I thought had broken, given it stopped spinning up somewhere in 2012. I tried spinning it up again, and lo and behold: It worked!
So, without further ado, Streets of Ganjet:
A boy in a soldier’s cape has been sighted, bringing the various factions of the City of Ganjet into a tizzy.
I started writing this comic when I was about 15, following the logic of “Hey, I like stories, I like drawing, let’s draw a comic!”. I don’t really know how to feel about that nowadays. On one hand, this comic has given me a lot of practice, but at the same time, in that period I was ‘the person good at art’, which I am not sure people know me as today. The comic was largely pantsed, meaning that like 90% of all the plot points brought up in the first 3 pages were ones I had NO idea what I was going to do with them.
This first issue is also interesting in that I remember having a lot of fun trying out all sorts of panel layouts. I have since greatly reduced the craziness I do with them, and try to focus on composition, which is pretty hard in itself. Another thing that I find interesting with this comic is that there’s a pretty decent action scene in there, which surprised me, as I had later comics die literally on an action scene. But good lord, are those first few pages cringe.
While Miloor is still trying to find a place, someone else gets in trouble…
I remember this one being the one that was most well-drawn of the bunch, and it still holds up today. Back in the day, people over at the art section of the Narutofan forums were super excited about this one (“more character relationships explored, more plot development”, I recall being a comment).
Anyway, some thoughts: “Why is everyone so mean to one another?”, “I still don’t know who Alan is…” and “Hey, again a decent action scene, good job 16yo self!”.
Laurens, kidnapped, tries to escape while everyone searches for him.
Don’t recall when I made this, but it must’ve been in the summer of 2006 somewhere, I do remember managing to make this comic within a month, something quite obvious from how poor the art is compared to chapter 2.
Other thoughts while making the acbf: “Gee, this comic is pretty violent (I am not a violent person at all in real life)”, “People are still not nice to each other”, “Ideh is much more cringe than I remember her being…”, “Marianne, chill, you don’t have to choke the kid to get him to cooperate, I know you’re a bitch, but still…” and “Huh, I didn’t realize Ideh originally had a pretty good idea of what was up with Laurens, did he tell her?”
Marianne and Miloor get to know each other, while Ideh heads their way…
So, 3 wasn’t the worst drawn, 4 was. I seemed to have an obsession with making everyone’s heads really round during this period, not sure why… Notable is that this is the first entry that has relationships that are truly non-negative, maybe related, but also the first comic where people actually sit down and talk instead of running away from bullets and stuff.
Other thoughts: “Ideh will never fulfill that promise to Isabel, because the comic never gets that far…”, “dialog is slightly less cringe, but people keep stating the obvious”, “Oh, René, I had seriously totally forgotten you were even in the plot at this point”.
As a complete aside, I strongly remember drawing page 13 while my teacher was showing us Verhoeven’s The Fourth Man, which at that point had hit an Verhoeven sex scene, and I remember being too embarrassed to watch.
Other things I remember is my mother telling me that she didn’t understand certain scenes, so I had to add a couple of caption boxes to them. In one instance, she complimented me on how my characters looked subtly older between chapters… This wasn’t the case, I just got better at drawing them. My eldest sister told me she tried to read it, but profusely apologized that she didn’t really understand it. My father complimented me on the amount of work I had managed to do, which is a rarity for him. My other siblings never read it, as far as I know. Maybe for the best…
Eventually, the comic kind of died because of two reasons: 1. I was trying to do chapter 5 in A3 format, which slowed things down (as I couldn’t draw on the go anymore), but what also happened was that when I looked back I realized that all these plot points were going nowhere and all the characters were rather mean towards each other, so I wanted to fix that. Shortly after this realization I ended up doing a game design course which burned me out, and for a few years I was convinced I could not draw at all.
Nowadays… I am not exactly cat-vacuuming by working on Krita and Peruse and such, but rather, I now know what the conclusion to this story is going to be. However, the conclusion isn’t being signaled ahead of time in any of the earlier chapters, so it ends up coming out of nowhere and not really feeling cathartic. I want to fix that first…
In the meantime, here’s the old comics. I sometimes feel like I might come across as kinda know-it-all when there’s no comics to back it up, but I do have experience with drawing comics, and I have the comics to prove it. Even if they’re very cringey and written by a very edgy teenager.
And here’s the OPDS feed.