Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Origins of 'Halo: A Fistful of Arrows'

I've been creating a Halo: Reach-inspired web-comic in my free time for the last few months.  Recently, I just posted page 23, which should be around the halfway mark (at the least, I hope).

The comic had started out as something I was doodling while waiting for the next Halo multiplayer match to start.  Originally, it was going to be between 10 and 15 pages long (around the same length as an older Halo fan-comic I had done some time ago) and was going to just be a fun little story showing a super-soldier named Jun and Dr. Halsey, an important scientist, getting to a secret base.  It was a loose end that the game did not tie up... so I thought I should try my hand at it.

It was going to be simple, really, more an excuse to doodle spaceships blowing up and super-soldiers shooting at aliens than anything.  I was also going to try and make this real quick, with a hasty-but-pretty style.  I originally felt that I had already made too much Halo fan art - I needed to spend my free time doing other things, perhaps (something that could get me a job, for example) so this would be might last, great, Halo-fanart farewell...  So I sat my sketches down next to the computer and opened Photoshop and started to draw/paint

And then I made this:

Which is NOT a simple or quick style, nor the first few pages I had sketched and planned, nor pertaining to the story I had originally set out to do. Nope, I had created a monster...

Now 23 pages later, I'm still only halfway done with a story that 'grew in the telling' and now encompasses flashbacks and flashforwards (thank you past-Levi for watching hours and hours of Lost), main plots and subplots, themes of sympathy and honor in warfare, and personal character development delving into guilt and cases of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder... Yep. What the hell is wrong with me?

... But I'm just having too much fun. :)

I'll be posting again sometime soon about the process of making these pages, going into the planning and thumbnailing, to getting references and then the actual digital-painting.