UPD July 2016: Please, support Sparkler Monthly Magazine: Year 4 Kickstarter! Final days!
Off*Beat Volumes 1 & 2 being available on comixology leads to me buying them which leads to me re-readying the series which leads to fan art.
Featuring onmyōji!Tory, possibly(?)-shinigami!Paul and the absence of kitsune(I think?)-spirit!Colin, this drawing depicts a moment from the 1st chapter (you can read the first chapter of 'Off*Beat' right here: sparklermonthly.com/comic_issu… ) and is a sort-of tribute to that dream of Tory's, but also it's my way of working through some of the feelings Volume 3 caused (as suggested by the title).
(Also, it must be stated that my perceptions of anyone dissolving into sakura petals is forever going to be colored by CLAMP, doesn't help when there are onmyouji-es involved >__< Undoubtedly, it influenced the mood of this piece.)
UPD 22.10.2014 Yay! Now Volume 3 is also available on comixology =^__^=
UPD 07.11.2014 Be warned, everyone who hasn't read Off*Beat Vol. 3 yet, there are now spoilers in the comments to this deviation!
All fights to Off*Beat belong to Jen Lee Quick,
P.S. This is also my Inktober day 3 (20 oct, 2014) drawing. On Tumblr. - tmblr.co/Zm9qHm1TmyTlu
P.P.S. I am enjoying being a VIP member of Sparkler Monthly - the awesome digital magazine of comics, prose and audio where Off*Beat, among many other wonderful stories, is published - immensely. =^__^=
Hey! Why don't you subscribe too? Being a paying member is $5/month and there is a Membership Drive running right now with cool prizes to be won ^_~
Tory seemed to be dressed like an onmyoji and Colin had a kitsune mask, I think.
And Paul was sitting on a tree, wearing all black and smoking, in a Japanese-themed dream, so I sort of assumed he was a shinigami... But I don't know what shinigami are supposed to look like traditionally, so I'm not sure about that one. I might have had Yami no Matsuei-like shinigami when I assumed that. Maybe he was the spirit of the Sakura tree instead? I don't know...
I did not really mean anything by it, aside from indicating that they are versions of Tory, Colin and Paul that come from that particular dream sequence of Tory's.
Do you think they were someone else in that dream?)
An onmyoji is a "Master of Yin-Yang", a traditional Japanese
And kitsune are fox-spirits from Japanese folklore, they are shapeshifters and can turn into humans, they are often cunning and mischievous. They are also often character in manga and anime.
So, in a Japanese-mythology-and-popular-culture-inspired fantasy setting - like that dream of Tory's - it is not strange to see an onmyouji, a kitsune and a shinigami interact. So, onmyoji Tory is chasing after kitsune Colin, because a kitsune is a mischeavious spirit and chasing after them is what an onmyoji does, it's like the natural order of things ^^ And if Paul is indeed a shinigami in this setting, it makes sense that Tory can hear/see him, because he's a shaman/medium. Also, Paul being a shinigami - or some other kind of spirit - explains how he apparently appeared out of nowhere, surprising Tory.
And... I'm doing relatively fine, thank you! How are you? ♥
Yes, Colin has just vanished or rather he is vanishing at this very moment, sort of. He turned into a cloud of sakura petals that's flying away. The petals are flying up and to the right of the picture and they are the thing that's supposed to be casting shadow on Tory's head and shoulders (and a part of his arm). That was my intention, at least. But instead, it just looks weird, right? >_<
"Every Beat" is a quote from Vol. 3, Chapter 18: The Conclusion. From: "...and for a while, every beat was painful..."
Oh! But maybe I do have one thought about that line, after all. This is something that occurred to me yesterday. This line stands apart from all the other non-dialogue lines, like so: all the other "narration" lines have exact time and place specified (like: "5:21 P.M., Friday, December 23rd, 2005. Colin Stephens left Woodridge, Queens...") or are in the present tense (like: "The commute is fine, because it gives me plenty of time...") - and they are entries from Tory's notebooks, right? But this line - it can't be something that Tory wrote about the current events, it's a look back on a past part of his life after a long long time. Every beat was painful "for a while" - it's something you can't really know before that while has passed and then some more time has passed after that and you are able to distance yourself a little.
With this last line, what appeared to be a series of journal entries turns out to be a memoir, sort of. And I think it gives a sense of closure, I guess?
And what do you think about that line?
On the last page of Chapter 18 we see his journal open with all this info on Grow Pak. He may have stopped his journal for a bit and when he started researching Grow Pak he may have made that his first entry when resuming his journal.
You're right, that feeling in your chest, the emptiness... I think that line and that emotion drives Tory to find Colin. Did you notice in the epilogue that Tory is being led to the DOMESTIC wing?? That tells me there's a chance they're married or at least very close if Tory has come to live and work with Colin.
Also, the project must be going well since, at that point, Grow Pak has been backing the project for some time in the story line.
I love talking about this stuff!!!! I've needed to for some time
Though I'm not convinced that's what's going on there - but that's the beauty of the ambiguity, no? - I really really really like your version! *_*