UNINTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS COLORS NO TAMA
Finally done with this thingamajig. :sigh: 12"x9", cut paper, colored pencil, marker, microns, acrylic paint, unhealthy amounts of rubber cement, blood sweat tears love. I'mma be sellin' this at Anime Boston in April, so's if you'd like one... well, er, there's only one, so come by early! Say hi. Stay for tea.
Inuyashaaaaaaa. I know, I know, it was everybody's first and we all grew out of it and it dragged on for about eight years and sixty volumes too long and the plot never went anywhere and I - I don't care. This manga changed my god. Damn. Life.
I am barely even kidding.
Don't believe me? Well! February 11th, 2004. I was thirteen years old, my family and I were visiting NYC, I was wandering around in a four-story Barnes&Noble near Rockefeller Center. Third floor. Comics section, for no particular reason. I picked up a book because the spine was shiny and bright yellow and it caught my eye. The first page had things on fire and cute things with fangs. Second page had beautiful kimono patterns and a dynamic composition. Third page had lady priestesses with arrows! More fire! Trees! Tragedy! Death! Baby Yutaan was horrified by such violence, but intrigued by the cute and the pretty and the horrifically long legs, and liked the character design for Mistress Centipede, and had an artistic interest in figuring out why the first few pages of the book looked different from the rest. (Answer: Watercolor. The first few pages were watercolor rendered in black and white, whereas the rest was done in screentone. Why Baby Yutaan found this so odd, I cannot say.)
But then. Oh hot damn, then.
About twenty pages into the first chapter, there's a double-page spread. It's just this one shot of Kagome standing in the forest, looking across a clearing at Inuyasha pinned to the god-tree by the enchanted arrow. I don't know what it is about this spread - just... the delicate hatching in the leaves to show light filtering through. The gesture of Kagome's body. The wide angle. The scale. The line quality. The sheer amount of detail and variety in the plants. The vines twining around Inuyasha's body. The fact that he's higher up the trunk because the tree has kept growing since he was shot. The stillness, the expectation, the atmosphere of the moment, like everything in the world is holding its breath. I don't know. I don't know what it was. But I have never once, in the years since, been as struck by a single image, as eager to see where a story would go, been as amazed by what art could accomplish. I literally lost all strength in my legs and sat down on the floor of Barnes&Noble and decided that I was going to draw comics for the rest of my life, so I could make other people feel exactly the way I did at that moment.
:head in hands: ...because of a two-page spread in Inuyasha.
..........So yeah, that's why it's the first thing I made this year in anticipation for Boston. I outgrew the series, but I still have a giant place for it in my heart.
WELL THAT WAS KIND OF EMBARRASSING WHAT ARE FEELINGS OKAY THEN I HOPE YOU GUYS ALL HAVE A GOOD BREAK FROM SCHOOL SEE YOU IN JANUARY BYE
[EDIT] Alrighty, this piece has actually already been sold ahead of time! I'll try my damndest to get another one made before Boston, though. And of course, the offer to stop by the table and have tea still stands, yo!
[EDIT AGAIN] Replaced the file with a cleaned-up version!
[AND AGAIN] A better cleaned-up version! Plus some Photoshop swishy hair strands, because why not.
[*ANOTHER* EDIT] You can now get prints of this at my INPRNT shop! --> www.inprnt.com/gallery/yutaan/