Archer of the West, Page 3

Jan 24, 2015, 4:00:46 PM

How It's Made: Archer of the West, Page 3

Here's the behind the scenes look for the next page of The Rabbit and the Moon.

Archer of the West - 3 Pencils

Archer of the West - 3 Pencils

Above you see the pencils.


So this page was originally two pages, but in my zeal for condensing as much as I can on a single page, and doing some last minute edits and cuts, I compressed these two into the page you see above. I think it shows more. You get the duel between the wolf and Tachibana-san, and then Natsumi's reaction and hopefully something to keep you interested for the next page.

I also removed just about all of the dialogue. I liked the idea that the pictures showed the action. The frames I really like the most with this page are the ones of Natsumi's fist and then Hana reaching out. Instead of drawing them in their entirety, I thought it spoke volumes to see her angry and then to see Hana try and hold her back.

Here's the original two page script:


Frame. Tachibana won't turn away from him. He has to fire at the wolf. He has to kill him, because if he doesn't, the wolf will probably go on and hurt Natsumi and everyone else he cares about.


(Draws his bow. He's scared and his mind is racing. The arrow is quivering in his hand and he won't be able to fire straight.) I can do this...I can do this... I won Nationals. Hit him between the eyes.

Frame. We view his hind legs kicking up dirt as they spring him towards Tachibana.

Frame. We see the concentration on Tachibana's face as he has the arrow pulled back.


(View of his paws as they are drawn back ready to fling him forward at Tachibana)

Frame. The wolf's open maw.

Frame. Tachibana releases the arrow.

Frame. Pull back to a long shot with the two of them now past one another.


Frame. Natsumi runs upon the scene. We have a dramatic low angle shot of her with her pupils shrunken and her mouth open in horror.


Senpai... (The word dies in her mouth)

Frame. The wolf turns his head and looks to the side at Natsumi and Hana. His mouth is covered in Tachibana's blood -- we never get to see his body. He growls at the girls. He's smirking at them.

Frame. Natsumi is in tears but full of rage. So is Hana and she's scared out of her mind. She's trying to hold Natsumi back by pulling on her shirt.




Natsumi! STOP IT!

Frame. Tachibana's still alive. He raises his arm to Natsumi.



Frame. The wolf grabs Tachibana and he's dragged into the darkness of the woods.

Frame. Natsumi runs across the field with Jade in her arms. His eyes are wide and he's trying to escape her.

Frame. As she gets to the dark part she stops and freezes. Hana does too. The fur on Jade's back stands straight up. He's freaked.

As you can see I also removed Jade.

Some Other Notes

I recently did some restructuring to the story overall. I needed to kill my darlings and cut hard. There was too much story. In fact, by my previous storyboards 108 pages of story left. I have to admit, The Rabbit and the Moon is way to long, and if I were to release a page per week, that's over two years. I'd be done in early 2017.

So I spent a week and went back through my script. There's two ways to finish the comic: 1. finish pages; 2. cut down the story. Finishing pages is hard work. Cutting pages in a script view of the story is easy. I've been eyeing several scenes to cut and then the ones that remained I condensed and with my deep cuts I got it down to 52 pages, which means The Rabbit and the Moon, if I go one page per week, will be finished around January 2016. That's less daunting, and I think each page has more impact than it did before, but these numbers aren't set in stone. In fact there's one whole set piece I haven't entirely figured out yet, but you know... as they say... "Spoilers..."

So, this brings about another issue: if I'm to ensure any kind of future for This Mortal Coil, I need to start piecing together the next episode. I definitely think I want stories to be less than 100 pages, less than 50 pages even, and retain more of a loose episodic nature to the series. So, I've started to do some creative writing inbetween working on pages. Just writing scenes here and there and hopefully after time I'll accumulate story-stuff that I can use to build something bigger. I've got plenty of notes and ideas already to go on so the bank isn't entirely empty.

I've also been thinking of doing some stories as actual prose text -- short stories anywhere from 5000 to 12000 words and presenting them with drawings on the website as a new section of "light novels" or short stories.

Well that's it for this week's installment of How It's Made.