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Monday, Friday

Brief Premise:

Anatta is a neuro-sci-fi webcomic. It is set in the near-future, where people have the technology to switch minds between each others' bodies.

If you are curious, Anatta means "not-self" in Buddhism. For more info check it out at wikipedia.

Updates will be made every Monday and Friday.

Page 2, The trip through the downtown east side.

This one was a difficult page to colour, mostly because of the details and ambiance that the downtown east side has. It was an interesting learning experience.
MMM! The roasted ducks in Chinatown. The reference pictures used while drawing this made me hungry.

I tried to make the transition from this page onto the next one as interesting and representative of the technology as possible. Hope you like it!
So, this is the beginning of the comic I'm doing with my partner and boyfriend, Wei. I get even pages to do my commentary about my side of the production.

I'm the co-writer (of sorts) and colourist. Wei does the main writing, drawing and inking. I've drawn my own comics, but I have a passion for painting and colouring, so he asked me if I could help produce his master work about a future where people can switch minds through a burgeoning technology. We hashed out the characters, world and sociological climate of our story together and Wei pushed the main plot and dialogue through. I do the final edit, because spoken dialogue sometimes needs two eyes to keep it from sounding awkward.

I hope you like how we've began. I look forward to getting into it later. All comments and critiques welcome!
Here's the colour page. I'm not sure about this whole posting the black and white pages first because I want people to have the opportunity to look at my coloured pages... and I just put so much work into it, I don't know how many readers are going back through the whole comic.

I don't know, what do you think?

--Wei's Original Commentary--
Okay so we've decided to post black and white versions first and replace them with the colored versions once they are done. This is both because the black and white is done faster than the colored as well as because I would like some critique for my black and white drawings.

Here's page 5. Man oh man... Feeling the clogged arteries of another dude must suck. Oh well, we all got to make money right?

Would you rent out your body and experience someone else's body (perhaps a terrible experience) for money?

Would you rent it to THIS person? And for how much for, let's say 8 hours?
And so... The switch. Alex is now an ugly fat dude!

I found this fantastic photoshop plug in for flat colours that I started using. It cuts down my colouring time to almost half, which makes me a happy artist with more time to play video games and get drunk with friends. If you make a colour comic, I highly recommend you check out the BPelt filter, google it and you will not be sorry.

For anyone wondering where our comic takes place... I challenge you to figure it out! The way that Wei and I tend to work is to point to things and give clues through our art, but we also want our readers to be engaged in what they're looking at.

I've enjoyed colouring these "fat guy" sequence of pages, they have wonderfully bland base colours and I get to change the lighting every panel because of the television. It has a nice effect, I think.
Here's the colour version, I liked doing the full page spread. Page 8 will be up on Monday, see you then!

--Wei's Original Commentary --
This was one of my favorite pages to work on. It was also probably one of the most difficult to write. The difficulty lied on trying balance subtlety and exposition in the story telling. It is my hope that the audience will notice the details and also get a sense of the complicated history of this person through the few pictures I am showing.

If you don't read Chinese and is curious, in the background of the first picture, on the building, it says "Shenzhen University".

can you tell what city her husband was in?
Yay! An early update!

I wanted to make this page simple, and I wanted to make some of the face slightly "glitter", as if they are underwater.

Now that we've put in our initial installment, we're going to settle into our regular update schedule. I will post full colour, complete pages on Mondays and Fridays, before 5:00pm PST.

I hope you like the story so far. I find that narrative often starts out a little awkward, it's like meeting a new person for the first time and you're trying to find something in common. The best thing with character driven narrative is the reader grows with the characters and develops a relationship to them, to the point that we become invested in the decisions they make and the relationships they experience. I find that North American comics often lack this, especially the graphic novel genre, but that Japanese manga can do it quite well. The only exception I've experienced recently is a comic series called "Y: The Last Man", a fantastic endeavour into creating diverse characters with diverse relationships in an incredibly stressful situation.

I hope to work with our characters in a similar way, I already feel invested in Alex, but mostly because I've worked with her character for a long time. Now I want to open her up for our readers to develop a relationship with too.

If you are interested in a more extensive commentary on Anatta from myself, feel free to visit my blog:
Yay, page 9! Wei will write commentary for this page shortly.

I am soooo sick right now, all I could do was paint. It was a strangely productive day for head cold day.

I hope you enjoy! See you on Friday.
Please give a vote at TWC if you get the opportunity!  We would greatly appreciate it!
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Anise Shaw ||   

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