Episode 1 is my first graphic story that’s more than random experimentation. I have a queue of “Kira stories” that take place between first contact with the aliens and the civil rights movement that frees the Operators. These stories lend themselves better to visual media than prose, but I didn’t start out with good enough chops to craft them. There is so much new, so much I’m fumbly at, so much to learn. To keep learning curve as shallow as possible I pulled Caran and Djen, my oldest developed characters who would have intersected with Kira. Caran predates Djen by about a week, when she turned up in his backstory as I invented it back in 2003. Since I didn’t have to do their character design or history, I could focus on other parts of graphic story-telling mechanics.
The black and white pencil drawings are the earliest sketches I have of (adult) Caran; I sketched them in a notebook on the bus into work one day back in the early ’00’s. I don’t end up going full-on into the future-internet in episode 1, but if I had, the dragon is how he chooses to appear. Maybe he’ll make a guest appearance as Dragon in some later episode.
I don’t give him a chance to perform with the instrument he invented in ep1 either, but this more recent, more developed (still old, 2012ish) concept drawing shows what that ends up looking like (Live! On stage! At the Mnemosyne Theatre, Europa!).
I don’t give Caran a chance to do much of anything he really loves to do in ep1 because he takes over any scene he’s in unless I beat him back. Inventing a character to upend the social order seems to lead to that, er.
Episode 1 is edging toward done; I’m doing final art on p. 16 of 26. I’ve started applying what I’ve learned in the ep1 prelude/experiment to developing Kira’s crew and the first of the “Kira stories” in my queue. Here’s the first-ever picture of the lot of them–the space pirate protagonists of the Sheruta-Maru for episode 2 and beyond.
So there you have it: the character I’ve known for 13 years, and the character I first laid on paper three days ago (Rin, in the anarchy shirt). Onward to the unknown!