One thing that's been absorbing a ton of my time lately is a web comic/graphic novel project I've had in the work for about six months. It's something I've always wanted to do, but haven't - for a few reasons. One being time (never enough time for anything), another being that I lack the skills necessary (all sorts of illustration I don't normally do, landscapes, screenplay type setup, camera angles, dramatic lighting, general comic book knowledge etc), and third being that the world in my head is so giant and complicated that it's overwhelming to decide on a specific piece of it to invest so much time into, and it affects the rest of the world so much (which I'd like to publish novels of someday, probably when I retire).
So anyways, I decided that I wanted to do it despite all this, so I made a project where I was going to make a different story, something that wasn't so big and I wasn't so invested in, and give myself a specific amount of time for research, planning, script writing, etc.
I settled on a story about ancient Tibet, since I find the Bon culture fascinating and was doing some reading awhile back about the introduction of Buddhism to the indigenous people and how it changed that country forever. When people think of Tibet nowadays I feel like most think of monks, monasteries, peaceful people at struggle, domination by China, etc. I don't think most people realize Tibet used to basically be *the* superpower in Asia, with a massive military and even a complete takeover of the capital of China with an army of hundreds of thousands. What was the biggest juxtaposition for me was that at the time when there was a newly made Emperor of Tibet bringing together all these warlike tribes (at the same time he was integral at introducing Buddhism to the country) - Buddhism was a giant driver of war and the subsequent takeover of China's capital and large swaths of country far outside of the modern borders.
How did Buddhism 'drive' this - when Buddhism is such an individualistic religion and the idea of giant wars of conquest seem to be so impossible to mesh together with the history as it happened.
With that in mind, "Dies the Snow Lion" was born. I decided to use dogs as the main characters, since the dog breeds in the area evolved so closely with the people and seem very fitting for the story I wanted to tell. Plus I love drawing dogs much more than I love drawing people. :)
After way too much research, and writing, and rewriting, and character design, I started posting the comic. Here are the first five pages:
I could go on and on about the story - maybe I eventually will do that here, if anyone is interested.
I've also got a Patreon up for it in case you'd like to support its creation - it's a labor of love for me and I don't expect anyone to, but I'd love to work on it more and keep it coming out regularly, so there it is!
Thanks for reading. :) I've got more pages coming out very soon.