Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So some people have asked me "Patrick, you lovely ultra-desirable piece of beautiful man-meat, where do you get all of your ideas?" Well I'm glad you asked that, Timmy. Now shut up and sit down.

The big example I'm going to to be blathering about in particular this time around is my thesis project. My big final opus of one minute and eight (was it eight? or was it nine?) seconds that will become the culmination of all of my efforts as a New York University SCPS student.

So, Rain, basically, the project I've been going on about for a little bit by now.

My primary inspiration for Rain doesn't exist. I cannot and could not say that there is one thing that inspired me to make this project the way it is, with the exception of my previous project, which takes place in a similar futuristic-sci-fi-dystopian-city-with-a-dome-over-it setting, Euphoria Inc.

But like so many fliers for shows that I'm never going to go to, picked up off of the ground outside of a club in midtown Manhattan, my inspirations came from all types of things.
For example, the story itself, or rather the style and attitude of the story itself. For all two (Timmy doesn't count) of you who remember, most of my previous projects have revolved around two attitudes: surreal horror and film noir. Adagio, Hellhounds, Royal and Manchester, Anathema, The Laboratory of Doctor Aken, they all generally fit into those two categories.

As much as I love these two categories like a fat man loves his chocolate, I felt it was about time I did something different. Just to tell myself, yes, I can do something different...after all, nothing's worse than realizing you're a one-trick pony. But what to write?
Now for the past five or six months I've been regularly (and by regularly I mean irregularly) dropping into the Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Union Square to read through Neil Gaiman's magnum opus anthology, The Sandman.
Four months and five books later, I was officially a fan of the way Neil Gaiman tells stories. Not necessarily the actual stories, which range from phenomenal to "meh", but the way he tells them.
WIth that on my mind and thesis season encroaching, it was only a matter of letting the right two brain cells rub against each other for me to attempt to do something similar.

Now how about the characters? Kryssi in particular comes from a bunch of different places, and has probably mutated the most over the course of the development process.
One thing that has not changed in the least is her underlying attitude, which is directly inspired by the female leads of a few webcomics that I read and still read regularly, Dresden Codak and Gunnerkrigg Court. In particular, they are quiet, observant and incredibly resourceful gals (each in their own way), with strong tendencies towards not only thinking outside of the box, solving their own problems, and not being afraid to go after what they want, when they get it into their head to do so.
Her appearance, however, has shifted all over the place. She started off as a spunky ten year old girl named Anna, then turned into an not-entirely-emo mid-twenties woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders, also named Anna, then back into a spunky ten year old girl, except this time with a smaller head, still named Anna.
It didn't really click with me though. It'd do in a pinch and a half, sure, buuut it stilll really wasn't something I felt was -there- yet.
It wasn't until I took a page from my previous Euphoria Inc. project that I settled on something I could really go with. You see, almost all of the characters from Euphoria Inc. are inspired by people I know in life. A friend, a lover, an acquaintance, some shmuck that I happened to live down the street from, its their stories that I try to tell, in my own way, and their personalities that drive their counterparts in the graphic novel.
It turns out that trying to come up with an entirely new character for such an unfamiliar means of storytelling was exactly what my problem was.
And so she went from being Anna to Kryssi. She's based on an old friend and romantic interest of mine from a long time ago and who I've long since parted ways with and who's insistence on deviating from the norm, no matter what it may have been, was responsible for drawing me to her in the first place.

The other characters, at least the ones with legs and sentience, consist entirely of the three hazmat suit workers who chase Kryssi through the city, and who are the first to discover, after Kryssi, the harmlessness of the falling rain outside.
Since they are almost entirely defined by the appearance of the hazmat suits, I made the decision to design the suits in a fashion that would outwardly express the terror that is contained inwardly, towards the rain and the environment in general that exists outside of the safety bubble of Los Cielos' dome, and where better to look for expressions of terror than Edvard Munch's Scream:

So to sum up, my inspirations have been pulled from a highly successful and lucrative author, a person who exists in my life, and an impressionist painter.

How's that?

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