Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eldest Daughter's work

Or maybe I should say, "Eldest Daughter's gift."  :-D

I can't figure out how to say this -- I feel so dorky, because really, it's bragging isn't it?

But here's the deal. She's a storyteller and her favorite medium is manga, which is Japanese-style graphic novel.  Graphic novels are really hard for me because I'm not fast visually and you have to read the pictures, not just the text.  If you move too quickly through the pages, just reading the text, you'll miss things because so much of the story is in the details of the pictures, the ultimate "don't tell me -- show me" technique.

Her first project as she was learning the software she uses, was meant to be just a few pages about a little girl and the monster under her bed, but it received so much positive feedback that she extended it into a ten chapter story.

That story was released over the course of 2013, and can be found here:

My second daughter is working with her for this current project.  Online they go by the names "Elaienar" (el-LAY-en-ar) and "Key."  The story is something they came up with together, and they both research customs, locations, and, well, everything, and develop characters.  Elai does all the drawing and text, Key fills in the colors.  The novel is black and white, but it's amazing what you can do with black and white to suggest color and shading.

The story is set in Japan and there's a bit of  a mystery for the reader.  There's a monster called a SWARM that attacks occasionally and must be distracted by one person, called "Maria," while another team works to incapacitate it.  What are SWARMs?  Where did they come from?  And most of all, why on earth are they using teenage girls as rodeo clowns, which is essentially what "Maria" is?

Currently they're releasing one page a week, and they're only sixteen pages into it, but it should be enough to give you a taste of the style and hint at the direction the story is going to go.  Be sure to read the introductory material on the front page -- an "excerpt" from a fictional newspaper article.

If you like the story I'd encourage you to create an account (it's free and they don't spam you) so you can follow Elai and add her story to your bookshelf.  In internet publishing, having a large fan-base is everything.

So, I guess I'm advertizing. :-p


  1. Very nice work. Second favorite part: how the girls looked older in Chapter 8. Favorite part (by far!): page 7 of Chapter 7. The hair was an especially nice touch.

    I'll probably wait on reading Maria until it's done, so please announce that happy event here!

    1. Thanks for the feedback -- details like that are really helpful and encouraging. She says Chapter 7 page 7 was her favorite page, too. :-)

      Maria is going to be pretty long -- at this rate Chapter 1 won't be finished for a very, very long time, but I'll be sure to post updates.

  2. I have the same problem with manga that you do. I read it like a novel and miss a lot of the nuance.

    Your daughters' work is beautiful! I don't think it's bragging to share something you think readers may be interested in.

    1. I have to read manga the same way I read Victorian novelists -- I tend to want to rush to the plot and skip over descriptions and so forth. Tolkien was like that the first time I read him. I think it wasn't till my third time through LOTR that I actually read all the poetry..


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