f@nu fiku: online hard science fantasy manga

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contact the author at centaur at dresan dot com


it all starts with a pilot v5 extra fine and 8 1/2 by 11 printer paper...

Seriously, the process starts with any piece of paper I can find and any writing materials at hand. Usually I'll start with a receipt from buying a book or coffee and scribble down some ideas. The ideas germinate for a few days, ending up in one of the drawing/sketching notebooks I carry with me almost everywhere I go. I don't use any particular notebook - in fact, just before I finish a notebook I try to find a completely different kind for my next one. Xiao Dreamweaver's Livebook has the same form factor as a black sketchbook I picked up at Barnes and Noble a year or so back; since then, I've moved on to a Drawing/Writing notebook from Michael Roger Press that I picked up from Binder's on a recent art supply buying spree. The kind of notebook doesn't matter - the only thing I've found I really need is a notebook large enough to carry 8.5 by 11 printer paper.

Once an idea has taken hold, I try to find a piece of music to help me think it out; for f@nu fiku that's included The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack, Darwa: More Life More Trouble, the Superman soundtrack, Sandra Collins' remix of Junkie XL, and Evanescence. Eventually, the plot jells, and I write the script in Microsoft Word.

The next key phase is turning the script into a storyboard. The key inspiration for me was a comic book artist who gave a talk at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2002 and 2003, who divided artists into two kinds: real artists and BS artists. Real artists create art - BS artists just talk about the art they want to create.

More to come:

  • the script format
  • the storyboard book
  • storyboard blowups
  • the little and big black books
  • the layouts
  • inked pages
  • scanning
  • cleaning
  • lettering and effects
  • the rants
  • postproduction with Eclipse, Ant, Python and fiku.py
  • ftp
  • QA

The Software
- Windows XP
- Microsoft Word
- Scanner and Camera Wizard
- Microsoft Photo Editor
- Corel Painter
- Xara X
- Windows Picture and Fax Viewer
- Microsoft InterDev
- Internet Explorer
- Java
- Eclipse
- Ant
- Cygwin
- Python
- fiku.py
- Windows Explorer
- Leech FTP
- Mozilla
- Mac OS X
- Safari