Hiro at the Park Gates, Part 1

Jul 17, 2021, 11:52:39 PM


Natsumi continues her journey through Tokyo, and stopped off along the way to get herself a Mister Donut (or maybe a few).

One's for her Hiro, a man counting the number of floors of a mysterious building situated near a mysterious park where a bunch of yokai (unbeknownst to him) hang out.

We are once again seeing the world through Natsumi's eyes.

It looks like Hiro's onto Natsumi's tricks as this isn't the first time she's proffered him a donut for something questionable, but what's her game? What's she trying to get him to do? Or is Natsumi an eternal troll doing as she pleases?

As for comics... I'm working on the next few pages. My buffer is drying up again (big shocker), so uh, it'll become one of those "you'll get what you get when you get it" type of deals. I may have some more pinups and other random things to toss onto the site, but one day those things will dry up too and then I'll be in a real bind.

It takes a while to draw a comic, and lately I've been going all out. Quality over quantity unlike before. Maybe I'll have to go back to single square images or sketcher looking work. You don't mind do you? I certain do have another idea to bring back yonkoma (four-panel) comics down the line as well as a faster way to generate some new content.

I've also been engaging in other hobbies and activities (i.e. exercise) so it's not like every waking moment is spent drawing the next comic, which is probably detrimental to my goal of publishing every weekend.

Comic Script

Panel 1:

A small park in downtown Tokyo found in the backstreets between Roppongi and Shibuya. We're viewing it from Natsumi's POV and there are a bunch of yokai and strange animals sitting around sunbathing or having an outing together. In the middle, before a lone torii gate is a homeless man named Hiro counting something off screen.

Natsumi Narration: For our next stop... This random park. It's cool. You'll see.

Hiro: (sitting before the Torii gate in the middle of the park, counting) One, two, three...

Natsumi: ~Hiro-san!

Panel 2:

An up-angle view, fisheye lens to capture what Hiro is counting in front of him. There's a building but it's ghostly and seems to be faded and wrapping in front of him.

Hiro: ...four, five, six, seven.

Natsumi: ~Hiiiiro-san~, I bought you a Mister Donut!

Panel 3:

Hiro: ...eight, nine, ten...

Natsumi: How many floors are we at today?

Hiro: Fourteen. Yesterday it was eight.

Panel 4:

Hiro: It's weird... The building's never got the same number of floors.

Natsumi: Doesn't that pique your curiosity?

Hiro: No, It don't.

Natsumi: Not even a little?

Panel 5:

Hiro: I know, you're trying to lure me in there. Sometimes, I wonder if you're the devil in disguise, and this place is a trap. ...But, thanks for the donuts.

Panel 6:

Natsumi: No prob, Bob.

Hiro: Actually, my name's Hiro...

Behind the Scenes

To build the background I used Blender.

I found a torii gate off of Sketchfab that was under creative commons. Here are the details and credit for the work:

If you use this 3D model in your project be sure to copy paste this credit wherever you share it: This work is based on "Torii Gate" by ArunIniyan licensed under CC-BY-NC-4.0

Blender mockup of park and Torii gate.

Blender mockup of park and Torii gate.

If you're curious where exactly this park is modeled after, it's Kobukicho Park in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. I wanted to find out-of-the-way places to set Magical Girl Kamiko's story. This park is down some narrow streets lined with shops. If you view the map, there's no torii gate. I did the minimal work to replicate the park for my needs.

A lot of the 3D buildings I created using an architectural plugin for Blender called Building Tools. It allows you to very quickly add windows, doors, floors and construct buildings very easily. It was pretty intuitive for me to use once I got the hang of it.

Website Woes

Oh, I didn't realize, but it seems that some of the comics were broken this past week -- and maybe they have been for some time. It's hard for me to know. It has something to do with how the site is built every time I update it. I managed to fix the problem. If you happened to come across a broken comic, it might be fixed now. If not feel free to contact me.

I've also made some fixes to the RSS feed which might work better if you prefer to view the site's new comics that way. It's surprisingly hard to test RSS feeds since they don't update in realtime when you make changes to the RSS feed itself. Anyhow, it used to not include the comic image, but I found a way to insert it with the html text, and I hope that it makes it better for you.

I also realize, while I love large scale images, last week's comic maybe too big! I'm still playing around with comic size so bear with me.

Anyhow, please enjoy today's comic and have a great weekend!