For APRIL 2005


April 1st, 2005 

Almost The Kamishibai

 We are getting very near to the events of the Kamishibai story that started it all now. Once the portion involving the Gunships, which sets up the next chapter after the current one, is resolved, I can move directly into retelling the story of Heliotrope as Superhero. So far, we have seen something of each of the Triumvirate in turn, such as minister Morado's dream of taking over the government by eliminating his rival, religious minister Kelainos; Bister's dream of eliminating the government altogether as an act of vengeance for the loss of his beloved slave Fetchenevets; and of minister Kelainos himself, we have not yet seen what he is up to, but we have at least been properly introduced; and now we are visiting with minister Balanats, of the police-army hybrid, the Prots.

One thing to note is that since it has been made clear that Bister has been in prison until recently, he clearly, and reasonably, has no idea that Fetchenevets is still alive, and out there, a fact that the Prots do know - and are keenly terrified of. The resolution of this situation will occur later in the story, of course.

So now, we have quite a cast, it would seem. The troubled Triumvirate, the doctors Aoi, Hannya and poor lost Nakimono, the miserable Chartreuse, the awakening Fuschia, the mysterious CURSOR, and the various people important to these main characters. At the center of all of this is the mystery of the animated doll, Heliotrope, and the nature of the curious universe of Pastel, somehow connected with the Tryslmaistan of Unicorn Jelly.

I feel eager to see the way all of these elements play out to the conclusion I have in my mind.

But whew, a fullscale painting per page is a lot of work, I must admit. The next comic I is going to have a much simpler, and easier to make art style. Something more...cartoony, I think. Simple colors. Easy lines. Not a painting a page. What was I thinking?





April 11th, 2005 

Chapter Reorganization

 After some thought about how things have been playing out, I realized that some chapter reorganization needed to occur. Specifically, the redo of the original kamishibai tale needed to occur within its own chapter, and the insight into the Triumvirate needed its own chapter separate from the kami story. Thus, I went back and changed chapter eight into Velitational Triangle, and made Defender Heliotrope into chaper nine. The material about the Triumvirate really needed to have a unique chapter to sit in, as it has just exploded into something much larger than I had at first imagined.

I never had to worry about such things with Unicorn Jelly, which is interesting to me. Having a story write itself is very different than having to write it by conscious effort. There will doubtless be more times where I have to go back and change things because my planning was inadaquate...clearly I got very used to having things just work out automatically with Unicorn Jelly. Very interesting indeed.




April 23rd, 2005 

Reduxo Ad Absurdam

 I've found myself needing to invoke something from Unicorn Jelly, specifically the little 'Dr. Alchemist' cartoons I did there. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, since Pastel is essentially a side-story of the Unicorn Jelly cosmos, this usage is entirely appropriate, and even cute. On the other hand, the reason I have resurrected 'Dr. Alchemist' with a new face is because, in order to allow the reader to have some feeling of the unique physics of the universes I create, I need a pundit to pontificate upon short, I don't know how else to do it. At least do it easily.

Obviously, one way to explore alien physics would be to have it done in the story itself...I could spend several pages, for example, following Chartreuse being instructed in how to do her job in a Chatoyance Factory. My first thought about this was that it would be dead real life we get far too much of that sort of thing, and I did not want to drag the story with the weight of how dull Chartreuse's job was.

Of course, maybe what is dull in one universe is exciting when it happens in an alien one. Maybe I missed an opportunity back when in the story to have a novel exploration of Pastellian physics within the story proper, and it would not have slowed down the plot that much. Frankly, I don't know. I keep debating that one with myself.

After a conversation with a friend of mine about Pastel and it's physics, I realized that I have never properly explored any of it in this story as I did in Unicorn Jelly. Since the first pages of Pastel Defender Heliotrope, I have been showing things of enormous fascination and pride to me, such as the Concretonic Black Chatoyance collecting monoliths, and, while I may have written about what they mean in the Forums,  anyone who simply reads the comic alone would have missed out entirely.

I am way past the chance to use Chartreuse's misfortune in an explanatory manner, if even it would have worked, but I really wanted to let readers know some of the details about the cosmos of Pastel. Indeed, my original physics are one of the things I feel most proud of in doing my stories, yet I sometimes fail to share them effectively, I think.

Well, "Wordfull Worklab" - a take off on the wonderful "Wordless Workshop" of 'Popular Science' magazine on earth...I was so very sad the day they decided to cancel that feature, indeed I stopped reading 'Popular Science' because of its loss... is a way to begin to rectify the lack of physics fun in Pastel Defender Heliotrope. It may not be the best method, or perhaps it may, but in any event, at least it got done.

I wish I was much more knowledgeable about what would work and what would not with regard to how much plot can be toyed with to allow expounding on unusual physics. I guess I am just too worried that what fascinates me would utterly bore most readers. It is very difficult to tell!


By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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