For me personally the most painful part of the failure of the project as it was originally planned was the loss of the Webcomic before it had even really begun.
Without funds coming in to pay for the artwork and the withdraw of co-writen Rayhan Alfatta, the original storyline as planned has been decimated – but I enjoy the creative process so much, and have so many other ideas on directions it can take that it does not matter. Behind the scenes, the story is being re-written!
Originally the plan was to weave the story of the Last Thane and Denisia together with that of Aofie. Lad and co – but instead the story will focus entirely on the characters from chapter one – with the tale of the Thane and Denisa being split off and to be worked on at a different time.
Behind the scenes, I have spent many hours of my free time redesigning both the ultimate enemy they will face and introducing a new anti-hero. Many of the scenes themselves will be re-used, but extra scenes will be added for smoother transitions and more captions will be added when its not exactly clear what is going on by the pictures alone (in the beginning, I overused captions – then removed them almost entirely. Now, I hope to strike the right balance with captions only there when add to the scene, not just describe the what is obviously going on – a big should out to Mikko Kuusirati for that advise).
So here’s a preview of one of the new additional scenes to help the action flow better.
Another important element that will set this webcomic apart from other fantasy comics is the inclusion of real world historical fighting techniques from both Eastern and Western Sword fighting styles. No oversized or swords with superfluous flourishes that would make it less effective. Realistic injuries – few opponents just killed outright but many rising several times or fighting on despite hideous wounds.
The trickiest part is that the swords and the heros have the element of MAGIC that allows certain actions or fighting styles that would not work in the real world. For example, Aofie moves much faster than is possible in the real world – and this plus her confidence and aggressive fighting style allow her to take risks or outmaneuver opponents in ways that would get her killed in the real world. But the principles of her combat style are all realistic – unpredictable timing, feinting and sudden changes in direction, using her speed to prevent being surrounded – and extremely confident. Perhaps, at times, a little too overconfident.
But it is her aggressive fighting style, the sharpness and momentum of her sword, her magical shield and years of combat experience that make her more deadly than any historical real world hero could ever hope to be.
The best fights will be when opponents are more closely matched. Then we will see actual Historical Martial Arts techniques from Europe, Japan, China and even South East Asia – and realistic fights, with lots of footwork, setting up an opponent for a fight ending strike and terrible wounds that don’t actually stop the fight but may enrage and opponent or send them into a berserk fury..
So stay tuned.. The story has just begun..