Linework by Audra FuruichiCreator's Diary: Monday, May 13 2002
The Prologue is dead! Long live Chapter One!

I posted the last two pages to the Prologue for Outsider earlier this evening. It’s nice to be ahead of schedule for a change instead of behind it (and yes, I’m sure somewhere in the nether regions of the earth, the imps are pelting Lucifer with snowballs), but it won’t last; there’s a lot of 3D work to do before Chapter One can begin, so there may be some small delays amongst the first few pages, but hopefully not much. So I’ll try to keep this short, because there’s a lot to do.

The end of the Prologue is an important milestone for me. I’m relieved to have it out of the way and to be able to get into the meat of the story, but I’m also pleased to have got this far (despite a few bumps in the road), and shown myself that I can work on this schedule (hiatus notwithstanding), and I’m personally quite satisfied with the work. Despite constant story revision and a lot of last-minute rush, I think it tells the story and keeps to a relatively high visual standard. It also represents without question the most finished artwork that I have ever produced in a six-month period.

I’m also very pleased with the positive feedback I’ve received. I make the comic for my own reasons, and to suit my own tastes, but it certainly puts a spring in my step to know that people read and enjoy the comic. Folks have been outstandingly kind in their comments (and very patient during the time off), and for this I am appreciative. Thanks.

I hadn’t originally intended for Outsider to be updated weekly (or even regularly), as I was only too aware that doing a full-color comic is a hell of a lot of work, and I didn’t think that people would want to read a long-form comic one page at a time anyway. But, I’d seen that a regular schedule had helped some friends of mine to produce pages on a regular pace for their comics, so I thought I’d give it a try. So far it has indeed been helpful to keep to a schedule, and people seem to show up every week to read it... so I'll continue with the weekly schedule as I can.

The Prologue was a bit of a chore for me, partly because I was endlessly rewriting it, partly because almost everything in it (other than Alex, the main character) would never be seen in the story again once it was done (and so it was tough to figure out how much work to put into the designs), and partly because it existed almost solely for exposition, which can be really tough to keep interesting. I hope that readers who haven’t looked at the sketchbook and have become used to the spacesuit feel of the Prologue won’t be unpleasantly surprised when the story turns out to be more along the lines of a Tenchi Muyo! than a 2001: A Space Odyssey. One linker somewhere referred to Outsider as “hard science fiction,” which it isn’t, strictly speaking. Outsider is very much a hootin’ & hollerin’ vroom-vroom space opera. Here’s to blue aliens and blowing stuff up.

Comics are a rare visual medium in that a single person can create a world and tell a story, top to bottom, all by his or her lonesome self. The range of creative skills that can be exercised in a single such project – writing, character and mechanical design, model-building, figure drawing, color and composition, and perhaps most important of all, the craft of storytelling – stagger the imagination. That’s what Outsider is; a project to stretch my creative muscles (and, hopefully, create an entertaining piece of work along the way). I especially hope to improve my 3D skills, which are currently very primitive. The possibilities provided by these digital tools are as boundless as the imagination, and I’m very excited by them. There’s a lot to learn, and come what may, I'll be enjoying the journey.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and by the way – the comic’s name isn’t “The Outsider,” or “Outsiders,” “The Outsiders,” “Outlander,” or even “Insiders.”  It’s just "Outsider."  :)

- Arioch