Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Okami, Illustrator, Comic

Man, I'm tired. Last night I installed the Illustrator 10 CD that my father gave to me, and I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning drawing and tweaking the latest Repiphany strip. For those of you who don't know, Illustrator is an Adobe program that allows the user to draw in vectors, instead of pixels. That sometimes results in a few complications - in version 10 there's no eraser tool, for example - but the trade off is that all lines drawn, especially with a WACOM tablet, are smooth and crisp, and heavily customizable. I had no idea how some artists did their work until I sat down and played with this tool. Now I feel like a whole new realm of options is open to me.

Anywho, here's the comic.

As usual, the full scale comic is here!

I'm trying to improve my pacing in these strips. I'm trying to get across that the professor is taking a long, LONG, time to get everything written out, and that the course moves at a snail's pace. (This is definitely a case where art mimics reality, by the way. The Politics of Religion course will destroy me with boredom.) I'm considering editing the strip and changing the sound effects, but after all it may be best to be content and work on the next strip, which I think I'll enjoy.

But enough about boring webcomics! I've recently thrown myself back into the game of Okami and I am rediscovering what it is about the game that makes it so enjoyable. The sound track, first of all, is phenomenal. I've always been a big fan of Japanese movies, especially the old Samurai flicks and traditional themed stories. Okami's music, captures a lot of that old flute, drum, and shamisan vitality.

Obviously the game has great artistic appeal as well - the watercolor themes are lovely to look at. But I don't want to be redundant and revisit all that has been said about the original Okami art sty1e so let me simply say that the detail work in Okami is half of what makes the game fantastic. The flowers that sprout up and die under Ameratsus feet as she runs, the facial expressions of the demon doors as you aproach with an exorcism key, the animations of the various gods as they greet you, the simple, abstract mountains off in the distant blue sky... It's art. It's art, and I defy Mr. Ebert to say otherwise.

That's mighty pretty.

The story strikes me as distinctly japanese as well. That makes up the other half. I enjoy it more that the typical JRPG - something about the translation into English, the semi-european protagonists and villians, and the steam punk knighthood settings of many of today's modern Eastern RPGs satisfies me less than Okami's legend-themed story. Of course it is not accurate to any particular japanese legend, and of course there are modern elements interwoven into the story. But at its heart the game is so distinctly a product of Nippon that I find myself enjoying it in the same way I enjoy the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

Oops, off to the Philosophy Society meeting. We're discussing Hegel today.

Happy... what is today, Tuesday? Happy Tuesday.

(PS: I've decided to ask Jesse to give things another try. Being the great girl that she is, she said yes. She asked me to make a webcomic with her in it as a symbolic gesture, so prepare yourselves!)

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