To me, shoujo as a genre is about more than school romances and magical girls (though those are definitely beloved shoujo tropes), and I wanted my comic to reflect that. I decided to focus the story on the affection a girl may feel for her first pet.
My mini comic, ‘Small Blessings’, is a stand alone comic using characters from my ongoing comic, 7" Kara. Unlike regular 7" Kara pages, I was limited to three colors- seafoam green, black, and white, which presented an exciting challenge. The original pages are technical pen on smooth Bristol board, the seafoam green was toned in Photoshop.
For 'Small Blessings’ and the Hana Doki Kira anthology, I decided to go with a hybrid drawing and inking style, pushing my usual rendering choices toward a slightly more shoujo aesthetic without entirely changing my usual style of drawing. I’d toyed around with the idea of doing a halftone in inkwash, but knowing that it’s difficult to digitize and reproduce properly, I shied away from halftones altogether.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to work on a project that allowed me to work with other artists who share shoujo manga as a source of inspiration, and I look forward to seeing the published book. If you haven’t yet, I’d really appreciate it if you took the time to check out the campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1191994790/hana-doki-kira) and consider contributing. You guys have been so generous in your signal boosting as well as your contributions, I really appreciate it.
Monthly Japanese shoujo manga anthology Nakayoshi (”Best Friend”) is releasing a small series of plush accessories to celebrate their 60th anniversary, featuring the cute animal mascots of some of their most famous titles. Sailor Moon, which ran in the magazine from 1991-97, is naturally represented by Luna; she appears alongside Mokona (Magic Knight Rayearth), Ruby (Saint Tail), Cerberus (Cardcaptor Sakura), Wannya (UFO Baby/Daa! Daa! Daa!), and Gyoppi (Goldfish Warning!/Kingyo Chuuihou!).
Running in Nakayoshi together is not the only thing connecting Sailor Moon and Goldfish Warning. Many members of the animation team that worked on the ‘92 Goldfish Warning! anime moved on to anime early seasons & episodes of Sailor Moon; not only are the art and music styles incredibly similar as a result, there are actually several Goldfish Warning! easter eggs hidden in season 1 episodes of Sailor Moon: here’s a full list. The characters of both series have also appeared in two different video games together. 20 years later, it’s heart-warmingly nostalgic to see these two old-but-gold shoujo series reunited once more.
The plush accessories are set for release in late May, 2015.
Great Sparkling News everyone!! Hana Doki Kira proofs are in, approved and the printing process has begun! If you are a backer, make sure to check out the backers only update full of sneak peeks, information and exciting news!!! Darlings, this book is going to be worth the wait- it is looking super delicious! Thanks for helping us make this a reality!!
And to those of you who missed out on the Kickstarter, any extra copies after our backers and artists get copies will be available from the Year 85 group online. Tell your pals!! SOON!