Thus we reach the end
Part 14: What I learned…and The Future
It has been said that true wisdom comes from the realisation that you really know nothing. I suppose after all of this, the main lesson I have learned, is that I have an awful lot more to learn.
I had entered my course with Nao and MSN with a misguided sense that I was already well on my way to may goals, but I soon learned that there was a lot I still needed to understand in order to reach them. Being a true cartoonist involved something a little more than a desire to tell a story, and being a manga-artist has a lot more going on under the surface than just starry-eyed magical girls and bomb-basic mecha battles.
In the 15 odd years that I have practiced this style of cartooning, all that I had previously learned was that if I studied a style, and copied it, I could make a ‘manga-style’ comic. But it wasn’t really manga, not is it should be at very least.
Nao has taught me many things in my course with her. I had already learned from her before, and no doubt I will learn more from her in the future. But my main lesson has been learned, and I now know that to go forward and to reach the levels of manga abilities I dream of, I must be ready to begin again.
…and so the Future?
I’m sure you have been all itching for a return to the normal-continuity Bata Neart, with the Ashling, Aine and Aoife you all already know so well. I have been too, and I am pleased to tell you that Chapter 6 is on it’s way. But there is a small difference; I will be applying all of the new things I learned in the course into it.
The biggest difference that you will notice is that all chapters will follow a uniform 20-page format. What that means for you the reader (if I can manage it), is that you will get 2 whole Bata Neart chapters per year. This is important in keeping the story moving and preventing the likes of Chapter 5 from taking a whole year (or more) to complete.
But that’s not all. Back Office is about to finish it’s ‘Office Party’ story thread. When it returns for its next story, Back Office will reformat from its strip format, to long-form pages (like Bata Neart). I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and my training with manga paper has settled my mind for me. Back Office didn’t really make sense as a strip comic once I started into long-form stories, and the format has very often given me layout problems. Back Office will also follow the 20-page story format. More details to come when that relaunch is due.
Until then, I would like to push my luck once more, and advise of a break in this comic. This time, it’s a planned break.
Bata Neart is due to return on Friday 1 January 2016
A new year, a new method, and for the first time in over 5 years…a new chapter of Bata Neart. This isn’t a redraw folks, it brand spanking new. I would yet again like to thank you for joining me on this little experiment, and for your unending patience with me & my nonsense. Thank you.
The future is now unknown, mostly unwritten, and exciting as hell & I’m looking forward to it. Much like Aoife suggested back in chapter 5; Let’s run to tomorrow!
Oooo OOO! A bit of a PS.
One of the things I have been working on during the break has finally come out. Using the skills I learned in this course I collaborated with Nao and a group of international cartoonists to make a book.
You might recognize my drawing style in one or two of the characters on the back cover 😀 (Can you guess which?)
I produced an 8-page mini-manga for the book as well as helping out with the English proof-read of the entire book. In addition, Nao has used this as a 20th anniversary special to celebrate the release of the Wedding Peach anime (thus the Wedding Peach styling on the front cover). So the book might become a bit of a collectible for Wedding Peach fans.
Stocks are limited, but click on the image above it’s possible to order a copy directly from Nao herself! While stocks are available she also throws in an original piece of artwork as a ‘thank you’ gift.
I’ll also be getting a limited stock of the too, if you are interested in getting a copy from me.