For October 2007


October 17th, 2007 

The End Is Nigh

Pastel Defender Heliotrope began on January 8th, 2004, three years ago. Three years... goodness. And this will be the last year, the end of 2007 is going to be the end of the story. Finally, the end is not only in sight, but nearly upon us.

At this time, I am unsure exactly how many more pages will be needed. Could be eight, could be five. We are close. Very close. Worst case, ten. It seems like a good time to reflect on the whole thing.

PDH sprang as an expansion from a Kamishibai story, done for our Otakuworld website, a story fairly short, direct, and cute. The comic of Pastel has been rather different in flavor and tone from its origins, much to my surprise. I definately did not expect what you have been reading to happen the way it did.

The last three years have seen a dramatic change in my art, from the first few pages to those done today. Of course, along the way, a lot was attempted, from old comic book style, to 1800's Punch And Judy.

A lot happened to me, too, during this time, including a heart attack. Eeek.

Pastel has been a hell of a lot of work, but it has also been very rewarding. Nothing improves art like practice, and doing a multipanel painting a week is serious practice, if nothing else.

I wish Pastel were better than it is; I feel sadness that it was predicated on a false concept. The original Kamishibai was very character oriented, and that made it sweet and memorable. Somehow in doing the comic, I found myself gravitating back to the stories I read as a youth, golden age science fiction stories from far before my time, which were all idea based, where character was perfunctory, a means to express the ideas.

There is a reason that such stories are no longer written; people want to hear about people, ideas -however expansive- no longer can stand on their own. I would have done vastly better overall, I think, if I had kept Pastel a simple character-focused love story, rather than falling in love with vastness and lonely strange ideas instead.

I have learned from this; I will only do character driven stories from now on. I shall not repeat the mistakes of Pastel Defender Heliotrope The Comic. At least I did a lot of experimentation throughout the comic. Still, it is no Unicorn Jelly, that is for sure.

Oh well. What is done, is done.

Nearly done.

A few more pages.



October 31st, 2007 


Since my last news post, where I disparaged my idea-comic of Pastel, I have received an astonishing amount of mail essentially telling me that I am really very wrong. Some messages were consoling, others more of a kick to my head, all basically insisting that some folks likes their idea-based stories just fine, thank you.

I relent. I will look with more joy upon Pastel Defender Heliotrope.

I have been making sure I understand the ending, now that we are upon it. That has been a bit of a challenge, actually. I had not fully considered how convoluted the ending actually is. I needed to draw a diagram to make sure I got all the looping time lines correct. This made me realize something that might be just a tiny bit profound -

Causality is basically a computer program. Time travel stories are programs with a lot of subroutines.

Or maybe just one big subroutine. In any case, for such a story to work, all the loops have to be coded properly, and not end up as spaghetti code, or as an infinite loop, or in conflict with other routines. It reminds me of the days I played with basic, actually.

Maybe this is really obvious to other folks, but this is my first time to realize this comparison. So I'm going 'cool!' right now over it.

I only have two true temporal / causal loops in my ending for Pastel, but it was still tricky for me to work them out right. It is fun to bend one's brain around such things.

I just hope everyone likes the ending. Goddess I hope that.

We'll see, I guess.

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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