news ceroblitz

Summer + Teaser

Summer is already running out.

This summer so far, I have learned a lot of things that I didn't want to know. Boy reality sure does catch up with you on your senior year of college. Getting things done is the most difficult thing ever, and time speeds up like hell.

 

Anyways, since I've been really slacking on getting on my goals, I thought writing a journal would be the #1 way to get back on track. I've kept promising a comic to present to you guys over the summer, but never got around to doing it. So instead, I'm gonna give myself a deadline of certainty. Over the next week, I will begin to release something, no matter what it is, even if it is incomplete or not. Quality will be kept high though, and keeping in mind everything I've said before is of importance! Either way, I feel like gotten to a point where when, and if I look back on these first few panels, hopefully, I won't say they're atrocious (ha ha). Either way, if you follow me on twitter, you have already seen my concept of what I plan to create. I shouldn't be afraid of failure, changing my creation, ideas, developing, or originality, because these things are really chaining me down.

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Starter Characters!

 

Too much planning is fun and always good to get the idea ball rolling, but if the idea never starts, it never gets off, and my responsibility and desire to start it disappears. I have started about 3 different ideas between this blog and the last blog, but none of them made it to the creation stage. They did have lots of development, and one even reached 16 pages of script, and 6000 words for planning and ideation. I apologize again for not actually releasing anything. But this will be different. I will start this one for sure.

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the theme and style!

 


See you guys in a week!

 

-ceroblitz

Gallery!

Just a small update, or decent update to the site.

I have added the Gallery to the website! I will be consistently updated with new works and the like, as long as they are good enough by my standards. It is just starting out so it still needs work, but it will become more active and a lot better over time.

Otherwise, you can just follow me on other stuff to get everything!

I'm most active on twitter

and you can follow my tumblr

I really don't like using facebook that much for news updates, unless they are major, or else it just feels like I'm spamming you guys. As I am still kinda busy and getting busier, it may be difficult to work on large projects, especially since I feel like I still have a really long way to go to improve in art. This is something that will be the ultimate endgoal.

Anyways, In the gallery, you may notice a lot of "Skyshot" related things, which is a game I am working on, in a team. It will take over my life for the coming year so I may talk about it a lot, depending on how interesting it is for you guys. Either way, I hope to try and keep up a bit more, but if that fails, follow me on those other things.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

ceroblitz

Medibang

So, as of late, I have discovered this website, called Medibang. It's essentially a free drawing program on mobile and computer devices, and its very in depth with unique tools catered to making manga. I have been experimenting with it as of late, drawing on it, and I discovered the Medibang platform for creators.

The medibang platform is a very exciting prospect, and I'm very excited and happy that their company does what it does. Connecting a widespread audience for comics, writing, and illustrations, (between English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese languages) It's almost like a dream for me. I feel like the opportunity and upkeep that the site gives can open up to much more by working hard and getting involved with this website, to promote across a level that can allow more people to access your work. But translation and the language barrier was the biggest issue to do this independently.

That's what Medibang does. If you are successful and are able to make something interesting enough, you can get your works translated to each of those languages with a partnership. With such a thing, your work has just been opened to a whole new international audience, and that just is so very exciting! Not to mention, the tools that Medibang provides gives more flexibility and are simpler than any other drawing program. It has many different shape rulers, which makes impact effects easy, drawing backgrounds in perspective much less of a hassle , unique brushes for more easier ways to do certain things and effects (symmetry brush, edge brush, speedline brush), materials and textures provided from the get-go, and so on. While it has a few issues with how in depth the tools and options for brushes are, the unique tools and options already provided from the beginning are good enough to use from the start.

Anyways, here are the two drawings I've completed on it so far. I've yet to get used to this program, But I see a lot of potential with this idea and company, and will focus on it immediately. (sorry about that story promise, but I think this substitute will be good)

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As of now, I'm working on a new comic in a one-shot (lead off) format, and will link it here when it is ready. If you want to check out my profile there, here is the link.

https://medibang.com/author/557661

If you want to download the program, check it out here.

http://medibangpaint.com/en/

 

Thanks for reading!

ceroblitz

WRITING IS HARD

Well it sure is, when you consider everything, it really is hard to write something with everything you want and in a solid block. Sometimes, I feel the need to just block off the rules and formalities, in order to write, and sometimes I feel like if I don't follow them something will result in a flaw, and cause problems later on (which is why I want this next story to be entirely written out before I begin)

Being constantly influenced by many things also adds to the difficulty, especially when you want to take the elements of things that you like, mesh them together in a new way, and present them to the world. Just the sound of that sounds hard, but it sounds so fun, and so fulfilling.

Recently, I just binged about 300 episodes of anime in the past 1-2 weeks, to get a grasp on what I was writing, and to chew out the flaws and good points other creations have made (notably popular ones, and things I've been generally avoiding). If you want to see what I've been watching, you can check it out here: 

my list of anime

Another thing that is creating this writing block, is no less the result of wanting to capture an audience to an enticing story. So many manga, and stories, can have bad starts, and appear as generic, no matter how much effort is put in to make it dynamic. Ignoring the rules feels too dangerous here, but following the flow of the medium, and the rest of the tropes and ideals seems to also lead to a swift death.

Either way, I want to experiment with how I can get people to read a text, without being to overbearingly scary. So I want to appeal in this order:

1. An interesting, unique cover page. 

For example, Let's take other manga as an example. Of the cover pages here, which one are you most likely to read?

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Without personal Bias, the fourth one seems the most interesting, but the overall level of these title pages seem to draw almost no attention to what the manga is about, except the fourth one, and possibly the fifth one (ignoring the titles).

In their own right, they are trying to appeal to certain audiences, such as the first one, would tend to appeal to people going after shoujo romances. But they are also general enough to leave a wider audience wondering what it is about. More specific targeting cover pages, would use elements such as sexual appeal, an item of interest ( sports, weapons, magic, school clothes) , or anything of the like. But what I would like to make is something that is either shows an original style or representation, that would pique a potential reader's curiosity. Colors, design and overall conveyance are all important. I think the consistent style of Assassination classroom's cover pages brings a curious reader to try it, while bright colors or unusual colors that draw attention that highlight the context of the story, (or does not) does well to bring attention. It is not to say to judge a book by its cover, but people easily judge a book by its cover, nearly all the time.

For my OH MAN covers, I had experimented with this in itself. With an appealing title logo, and ensuring the content of the title pages itself are interesting. Subtitles were also used to help the impression and increase the curiosity levels.The first one, calls out the curiosity factor for this odd looking character in the world. The second cover page, brings in the new characters, which has an appealing factor, working in tandem with this odd character. For cover page 3, I used complementary colors, and an element of the story to bring out interest. For cover page 4, bright warm colors were used to highlight the new world, to create an eye popping sensation. For cover 5, I experimented with a newer style and a more scenic composition and a variety of colors and a misty feel to highlight the fore coming and current elements in the story. I actually considered these elements a little, but composition was more important before most of these creations. Check them out here ( and see how bad they are.. ). Which one do you think is the most interesting?

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Aside from cover pages, next would be..

2. Plot summary and Synopsis

Generic plot lines, generic names, and synopsis covering only the beginning scope of the story, are what I dislike the most. Things that do well to leave the reader in thought of the characters and potential elements, instead of summarizing the beginning of the story do much better to present the work. Many works have misleading synopsis of what the actual content of the anime, or manga actually holds, because it doesn't look to the meat of the story, but rather the tip of the iceberg. If you were to go to a fancy restaurant, and order a steak, you would rather want a superb delicacy over a pretty piece of rock. It is much more important to tell you about the taste and texture of the meat, rather than the decorations that present itself for your first impression.

3. Introduction and Beginning events

In line with the synopsis, must work well with the actual beginning of the story and its function. If people can't get curious or interested at the first chapter, it has already failed. People read the synopsis in order to prepare their expectations of the work, and if you make it too specific, what you are limited to do in presentation starts to diminish. Highlight what people seek, and lead them on. Presenting all your cards will limit the ability to do things past the first step.

For the actual story itself, the power of presentation of information has to lull the reader in to ask questions and have them answered, in time and in cycle. Just like a manga, cliffhangers are presented to lead people on to ask a question, and have it become answered in possibly the next chapter. However, it is not just limited to chapter by chapter, but, page by page, event by event, panel by panel, or even text by text. Of course, the smaller the element, it needs less impact, and needs moderation in how important the dialogue is. Set up people to understand what will happen, and try to read the expectations by what has been set up. With this, you can control the reader and the story both, to have a very good time, or a bad time. Its all up to how well it is written and executed.

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Those would be my main 3 focuses in creating my new work. But before all that has to even take place, I need to write and ensure that a fantastic, interesting, surprising story can even be made, before introducing all of the extra elements. For my next post, I want to try making a super short story ( or at least an intro to one), and see if you guys are interested in it, or think it sucks.

 

Anyways, thanks for reading!

ceroblitz

 

 

 

 

Creativity and Exciting Writing

One of the hardest things to do when creating something is not just learning the skills, taking the time, or the assets and polish. Rather, starting it and finishing it is what is the hardest thing to do. However, there can be many qualities that determine a "finished" or "incomplete" project. If you were to write an essay with a missing paragraph in the middle, but had a strong introduction and conclusion, would that be a completed essay? If you were to complete an art piece but not add any value to it, would that be completed?

Instead of questioning the value of completion, it's better to know what yields the best result for yourself as a goal. To reach that goal and achieve it satisfactorily, and to know that your best effort went into it, doing it without any regret... That is what you can consider complete. It isn't bad to have incomplete projects, but completing a project and allowing it to rest is great. It becomes wholesome, and can reach out to many.

Now, creating something good and refreshing in this day and age requires something new and original, but that becomes harder and harder to do. How do you be creative and original, without scaring away the audience, or confusing yourself? Particularly, the most important things are to stay away from what is normally done, and / or execute it differently. But how do you do that?

First off, creativity is something that you create yourself, a spawn of your ideas to share. This doesn't necessarily have to be original, but happens without a consideration of outside influence. Originality is where you stray away from other successful tropes and cliches, and try something that people either don't expect or don't know what to expect when going into it. The former will tend to cause some to stray away from new, unknown material, while the latter, will innovate old things through new ideas. The best of both worlds would contain both original content with creative execution.

Considering this, we have general formulas that stories, manga, and anime tend to follow these days. These patterns become so recognizable, that they have even coined a term for them, as "flags". For example, a death flag would be an event that happens in the story that causes or gives reason that the character would die. For example:

Girl 1: I've finally realized it! What Boy 1 was telling me all along!

Boy 2 "So you've finally realized it?"

Girl 1: Boy 1.. likes me!

Boy 2: Heh.. you finally get it.

Girl 1: I must go tell him now!

Boy 2: Hold on, it's a bit late for..

[Girl 1 has already left]

Boy 2: Oh boy..  [turns on weather channel]

TV: It seems storms are coming to town. Please seek shelter as soon as possible! It is expected that a high risk of death will happen.

Boy 2: Oh..

 

Now, this pattern suggests that (with a bit of exaggeration with the weather event) the girl had finally realized it, but this certain event tells us that there won't be a full on realization between boy 1 and girl 1 just yet, and there may even be some tragic event coming up. This creates a reader to tighten up their guard for the incoming, which allows the writer to manipulate the reader. Usually there is no manipulation to satisfy the readers. But with proper usage of these flags and more subtle hints in progression, you can throw events that would either surprise or become unexpected, rather than predictable and boring.

If you were to set up for a boring event to come forth and instead present an exciting development, that would instill far more excitement than if it was consistently set up to throw out exciting events on every odd chapter. It's the same feeling of discovering something for the first time and uncovering a new aspect in something you thought you knew. But, this is all a part of execution. Even if you can set up original and creative situations that betray the reader's expectations in a good way, it still must be contained in an immersive and reasonable state to happen within the story. Either way, this is all a part of understanding the balance within a story, shifting from event to event and giving the reader a shifting progression instead of constant. If it's constant, it is static, it is boring. Playing these event right is what creates a good story and makes it interesting.

Playing into this with outside elements is also important in appeal, to appear as original and creative as can be. In the age of anime and manga about school, action, harems, and self-insert fantasies, having something outside that circle is unexpected and exciting in itself. A wave of new and old comes along slowly, just like progression within a story.

But that's for another time

thanks for reading!

ceroblitz

Creations and Execution - Manga

I just have the need to get my thoughts out on all this story crafting nonsense, and what I'm considering for the next thing I'm working on. We certainly have many of our own tastes and dislikes, and general quality of a subject will improve the creation in question. But even quality, isn't directly related to it's ultimate reception. People come across crappy creations all the time. But does that mean they aren't good?

Lets say you have an idea you want to get across to people. Before you worry about format and what you plan to include, is it the best conveyance of the idea? Let's take a look at some examples of manga, namely, scenes that are high in execution.

Manga is about conveying a progression of a story from a particular perspective across the time it takes to read though and enjoy the moment. If the time and pace of the manga or story isn't believable, people can never get immersed or want to engage with the world. There needs to be a balance of presentation and understanding, alongside time for the reader to understand what is going on.

So lets take a look at this page, from the manga Helck (which you should read, it's really good, but I can't say it is perfect. But super enjoyable! Also, spoiler warning):

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Chapter 36 - Helck

Revelation scenes like this, are built up with worldbuilding throughout the story. The less expected the element of revelation, the more exciting and interesting it is. The pace of this page, is overall slow, and the spacing between each bubble and panel is big enough for people to understand there is some huge relevance behind the sword. Keeping it brief and expressive, slow and steady is important in scenes like these, and a good grasp must be held, and gets the reader to understand: "Hey, this thing has some big relevance for upcoming events!"

Of course, manga isn't built just on scenes like these, and need to have a balance of scenes that get a lot of information out through text and scenes that give a lot of time to connect with pictures and pacing.

A lot of text can easily alienate the viewer from reading a scene, but if it is well spaced, and well worded, people won't be even able to tell.

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Lets take a look at this text panel from Hunter x Hunter, which has overall great paneling, and a moderately fast pace. (Though the art is inconsistent, it's easy to understand, which is important)

At a glance, the text is easy to receive, but it's density can easily drive away people from taking all the details in. This brings up the question of how many of these words actually matter to the plot, if the reader should even have to read it all? Compared to the majority of the manga, which has spaced text of no more than 15 words per bubble, taking in fewer lines in less dense formats allows people to take in the information without really thinking about it.

But is there a way for people to take in larger amounts of text more easily?

If we have a different format to perceive information in relation to the picture - text format. Most words are contained within bubbles, and in manga, sometimes is generally hard to follow who says what without knowing the conventions. (I made this mistake in OH MAN quite often, with bubbles being squashed everywhere to fit in tons of lines of text).

When people are confronted with many chapters to read in any subject medium, people will tend to want to read in the least amount of time as a result of the overwhelming amount of chapters ahead. But if you follow a weekly release, you may find yourself re reading chapters that send out a certain feeling, and read it slowly compared to starting a new release. This doesn't apply to everyone, but I know people that read very quickly through manga. Of course, if it's really good, it warrants a re read as you didn't know what you were getting into before. But if it's mediocre, you'd be glad you didn't spend a lot of time trying to read something that you wouldn't have understood in the first place. A fear of the second option and a desire for the first option is the reason why people try out almost every different manga, and read through it very quickly.

If I can get readers to read through something slowly, while still maintaining enjoyment, would be the most optimal form of execution in a work. However, since everyone is different, to devise a form that is best suited for everyone is a difficult task. A format I had in mind are here:undefined

Richer Dialogue will be presented almost in a forum like style, while phrases in action oriented scenes will still be in bubbles. These will have a max limit of 15 words, while the dialogue will have 15+. Since scrolling will the major form of progression still, the use of vertical spacing will be utilized a lot more to direct pacing, instead of cramming every panel into a page by page format.

 

If any more formats come to mind I'll try and post them.

 

Thanks for reading!

ceroblitz

 

 

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