I discussed a potential fan comic mini series based in SKYRIM (by Bethesda) earlier this month in this blog. I have a few other projects on at the moment, so I had to set it aside for a couple of weeks. It's back!
After considering the illuminated manuscript look vs. comic look, I went with comic. When I reviewed my comic script, I realized it would need to have at least three panels and that I wouldn't get away with a one-shot too easily for this project. At this moment, there will be around two dozen of these comics.
Here is the template I'm working with right now.
The diary boxes (with jagged edges) will be what Farkus has written. These boxes can be of any size, and can be drawn in new places depending on balance.
The comic panels will show reality, or what has really happened. Usually Farkus' view will be very forgiving of this very unepic Dragonborn.
40 minutes, Photoshop (includes time of initial concept/ layout)
I played with four ideas for the Skyrim fan comic concept, Diary of the Dragonborn's Husband, which revolve around how the NPC Companion Farkus (as a spouse) sees the Dragonborn. They are as follows:
This version would allow me to incorporate collage, with pictures and writing. However, it seemed somewhat unlikely Farkus was taking the time to draw detailed pictures, cutting them out, and pasting them into another book. I mean, he could ... it just didn't fit well enough with the comic approach.
Art History interested me in illuminated manuscripts, and when I saw a storybook approach in the game Valkyria Chronicles I was further inspired. That game is one of the few that inspired me to begin my comic, actually. That storybook approach has been kicking around in my head for two stories, so I'm attached to it.
One-shot Comic (Cartoon)
This will be the easiest to accomplish, with a scrap of diary in the corner with Farkus' handwriting on whatever daily shenanigans the Dragonborn has gotten himself into. The cartoon will illustrate what really happened, complete with Dragonborn dialogue or thoughts, while the diary will put a kinder spin on it.
This was most likely but was not very interesting. It is simply a page with sketches.
After these considerations I'll likely go with the simple comic approach, but since I'm so drawn to the manuscript idea, I will need to do an ideation in both styles and get feedback. The comic would be a straight-forward approach with the action happening and a simple paragraph of what Farkus would write (or has written) about the event. The manuscript would be his actual diary page and, I would assume, his illustrations.
Farkus is a weird character. His stats are crazy. He trains in heavy armor, but has low skill in it. Despite being a Companion, his sneak is really high. I figured such a contradictory character would be a bit weird, and that it's likely he's got some strange talents hidden away, like illustrating his diary full out illuminated manuscript style.
A friend of mine does comics related to games she's playing when she's not hard at work with her original comic series. I've always wanted to do such a thing, make a few comics about games since I enjoy reading them. I never had a very good idea, and fan art can be quite taxing. Now that I'm doing a consistent original fantasy series, it wasn't a smart idea to take much time from it.
I was talking with that friend about something that'd happened in my recent playthrough of SKYRIM -- so first, a story. I have the Hearthfire DLC, and immediately built a house and adopted two children, one of whom immediately adopted a nasty, loud skeever. The thing grossed me out and I read somewhere that the kids wouldn't care if you got rid of it, even if you killed it right in front of them. I finally worked up the guts to do so, hid in my alchemy tower, pulled out my bow, and took aim. Please note my stealth is always insanely high. Bullseye! But ... the kid fired out of the chair, yelled that he hated me, and ran away. My other child did the same when I approached her. They both ran away yelling curses. I was distraught -- "I was told they wouldn't care!!"
In any case, I left the house and came back hoping it would clear up in time. By default, one of the children ran up to me and asked me to play tag. So I said yes, relieved they were over the skeever thing. As I ran after one of them they shouted, "Go away I hate you!!" It was so pathetic I just restarted and have to deal with the skeever even now.
My friend and I began imagining this and other happenings through the Dragonborn husband's eyes. My Dragonborn married Farkus, from the Companions. You know, being married to the Dragonborn may not always be as exciting as you would think, especially when he may not be all that epic.... And let's be honest about the hilarity of SKYRIM glitches. The armor dummy walks around the top floor of my house every time the Dragonborn comes in through the 2nd floor door. Does that hurt gameplay? No. Is it scary? Quite. Did I put goofy mismatched clothes on the armor dummy to teach it a lesson? Maybe.
And thus "Diary of the Dragonborn's Husband" was concocted. I've been thinking about it for some time and have revisited the idea, so I think I've got something worth attending to!
The initial sketches were simple, with a line or two from Farkus' diary concerning some event that'd happened, with intentional misunderstandings of the Dragonborn's reactions (since he's supposed to be heroic). I want to change it from that somewhat, though I do want it to be in a diary format. My first task will be to come up with a basic layout for each entry, or page. I'll post those ideas later, but for now, here are some WIPs from the initial idea.
Immediately below are some notes on the Dragonborn's appearance, and at bottom is a sketch of a diary entry.