Journal Entry: Fri Feb 22, 2013, 4:59 PM
I don't feel as if I utilize this page as well as I could be, so I'm going to make a relatively long post here about what's been happening. I may also make a Youtube video later, but for now, this will be the explanation.
So let's go back a few months, post-receiving my copy of Book ONE. Obviously, there was an overwhelming sense of pride. I had never managed to finish something before, and my first time getting a book, of all my own stuff (minus fan-art) was..it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience. As far as when I was in High School, I had made my dreams come true! But..something was off. I still wasn't happy. It wasn't nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be. It wasn't like the world had suddenly stopped for that moment..it wasn't like I wanted.
That moment came when I finished the last page, by hand. I'll never forget that night. I had inked something like 9 pages the day before, and shaded 14. Which was an absolutely amazing thing for me (or anyone really).
It's a pretty well known fact that I live with depression. My friends know that, I put something about it in the book (for those who have it) and I've made a few posts about it. But something many of you may not know is that the very depression I was able to work through, and managed to utilize as motivation at times, was also breaking me down, making me nearly unable to work on it for many, many times. Most of that reason, I believe is because I let myself get confined within my art. I didn't let myself experiment, I sat down and put myself in this 'box', where I allowed myself to only do one style. That..was a fatal, fatal mistake.
Coming that conclusion set me back. It really, really did. And I hate myself for it. It made everything tons more difficult, and if I would've not been in that mindset, I'd probably be a lot further than I am. But because of my 'dedication' to the last version, well, it took longer than expected.
The past few weeks, when I started the 'announcement', I had rebooted Ryu's Krew. This shouldn't come off as a huge surprise, as that's something I'm relatively known for. The reasoning? It sucks. I finished it because I knew I could, but I think deep down I really didn't like it. But I wanted to finish something -- to know I was capable of such a thing. I suppose being able to finish it made me realize that I could finish anything if I wanted to. It's all about battling the negativity and getting the thoughts of "I'll never get done" out of your head. But I knew that it was too dark, too dirty..too messy..and overall just..like that for anybody to really like it besides me, who also didn't like it that much.
And because I didn't really think -that- much about the writing, didn't bother to bounce ideas off of anybody, or anything like that, a lot of the things I wanted were confused. Loki that appeared at first was actually Cronus, as I planned on having the main villain be Cronus after everybody complained that I was crossing mythologies, but I realized that it should be what I want, and not care that much about what others want, so I changed it back, and didn't want to redo ALL those pages again. That's why he looks so much like Zeus.
Cleaning up those pages, by the way, was incredibly difficult. I couldn't do too much without sacrificing the integrity of the pencil shading. So it really put me in a bind when I wanted to go and clean stuff up I hated, like messy shading/bad inking, whatever.
So with all that negativity i had, I knew I had to redo Ryu's Krew. And this began my depression cycle anew. I spent many days sitting here, playing guitar, thinking, "What the fuck can I do now? I hate it. I hate this. I hate comics. I hate everything." Because I had to start over AGAIN in order for me to be happy. So I contacted a good buddy of mine, and we talked on Skype for about 2 or 3 hours, just bouncing ideas back and forth. A lot of what we came up with made sense, and really strengthened the writing. That was one of my biggest flaws, my writing, so focusing on my weakest point would obviously have to come first.
We talked about the ideas I had wanted to implement in the last version but didn't get too that well, or at all. We talked about how to make the story stronger, how to make it bigger, better, and come across as I want it to (as the last version didn't have the strength I wanted it to). This conversation is one of the reasons I'm so proud of what I'm doing, and Brad, I just want to say thank you so very much for that.
For another week or two, I talked to different people from Comicfury (and friends I know in person) about different concepts and ideas, and got their thoughts on different matters. I took all of this into mind, and began writing it all down. I had an idea of what I wanted, but still wasn't sure. So, one faithful night, I had went to the gas station to get some Monster to drink, because I knew I had wanted to make some sort of push (keep in mind, I don't really drink much of anything pertaining to energy drinks anymore) for the night ahead. I sat and stared at blank pieces of paper. Nothing was happening. So. I popped in No More Heroes 2 in my Wii and began playing. I turned the volume down, and sort of talked myself through the different ideas I wanted. This night also changed everything.
I came up with new concepts for old characters. What I wanted the comic to be. What I wanted EVERYTHING to be. Taking old ideas and making them new and actually DOING them. This, my friends, got me out of my depression almost single handedly. The best part of the way I'm going about all of this -- is instead of focusing on story first, I'm creating characters and building the worlds around them. This way, it'll be more character-driven, which is more or less what I want. Despite that I want a huge, open world, I still want these characters to be the main focal point of this story.
So with these new concepts, I split the comic into two different entities.
Ryu's Krew: Loki's Reign and Ryu's Krew: Godkiller.
Loki's Reign will be the idea I've been wanting to do since high school. It'll follow the Soldiers of the Gods on their adventures throughout the worlds. This'll allow me to build the world around them, and have a lot of fun with it as well. It'll show the different ways of the worlds of the characters and introduce you into a ton of characters.
Godkiller is a focus more on, obviously, Godkiller. Which is essentially what Ryu's Krew -was-. It'll be the 13 or so books long story, while Loki's Reign is more or less open ended.
Just wait and see how awesome it'll be, my friends.