Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 9, 2013.

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A manga-inspired digital comic about a world on the precipice of destruction and the group of people who are trying to save it.

Information
Information

Hi everyone, before I say anything else, I would like to thank you for clicking on this Kickstarter. If you haven't already watched the video, I would suggest doing so as most of the general information is contained there. Speaking to script is kinda nerve-wracking to me for some reason and I think I misspoke a couple of times, lol. However if for some reason you are unable to watch the video, I will recap the basics below.

I go by the pen name "Wavebossa", I am 24 years of age, and Dark Area is a project I started when I was 15. Throughout the years I have tried unsuccessfully to transfer this story from my head into a proper format. I have tried turning Dark Area into a book, a video game, and on multiple attempts, a comic. Although I would say I am a far better writer than a(n) artist/coder, it doesn’t change the fact that this story would be best realized in the comic book/manga format.

All other questions can be found below in the F.A.Q. Section but i strongly reccomend reading this entire page if you can spare the time.

------------------------------:!!UPDATE SECTION!!:-----------------------------------

Note: If this is your first time on this page, I would suggest skipping the update section as it might not make any sense to you until you have read this entire page first. I placed it at the top for the benefit of return visitors and interested backers.

$586 dollars and 5 and a half days to go! I cannot thank you guys enough!

As mentioned in the update, I will be adding new artwork every now and then until Feb. 9th (the final day of funding). I will redo an old picture of all of Kaos' generals together and give a little background on each one and how they came into being.

Here is the original first colored picture of Kaos and all of his generals. This is the picuture I am going to recreate.

The very first colored picture of Kaos and his generals
The very first colored picture of Kaos and his generals

Man I remeber when i thought this picture was the coolest thing I had ever drawn :). Anyway, there you have it. I will upload 1 of those 5 every so often and compile them for a cool picture for all the backers (regardless of how much you pledged).

UPDATE #1, Creation of Oden/Yoden:

Oden's Stat Page (from my fist databook)
Oden's Stat Page (from my fist databook)

Yes, Oden was originally Odin. This was changed for obvious reasons tho (seeing as how Odin is kinda taken lol). As you can see at this point there weren't any huge changes to the character design except for the obvious bulk-up. But it was at this point that I changed the ring of spikes he carried behind to a floating ring of chain-links. The original reason I did this was because Oden is an electricity user and I figured he could magnetically manipulate chains much more effectively in battle than a set spiny loop. Later on I found a much much better use for the chains plot-wise (funny how you get plot ideas from character designs).

Odin becomes Oden
Odin becomes Oden

If it wasn't for the fact that this was a porpotional nightmare, this would still remain one of my favorite pictures (considering my skill level at the time of drawing it). Not much of a change in design at all. He was still sporting the Akatsuki-style garmet at this point (a reminder of my old Naruto-and-Bleach-obsession days) However, I had a problem with this one as I felt it was out-of-character for him to lose his cool in battle. Sadly I dont have the colored version due to the fact that it was one of the MANY pictures I have lost over the years due to hard drive failures (please buy SSD and replace all your HDD if you haven't already).

2013 Oden
2013 Oden

The first picture I have drawn in this 2013 year and its still not complete yet (going ot finish it when I have all 5 generals drawn). As with all my character re-designs as of late, I decided to do this in full-color and shading. Even though my manga is going to be greyscale and partially shaded, it's always a good idea to get a good idea how a character should look in full color.

The most notable changes would have to be the removing of the neck clothing he had on before and the and the change in hair design. One of these changes I am fine with (neck) and the other one I was forced to make because of difficulty (hair). I know the spiky hair is genre-definer these days but it might because it's simply a very easy to draw.

2013 Yoden
2013 Yoden

Oden activating his kise prosgida (explained below) and using his electricity powers. Same picture just with all the bells and whistles. In this form, he reforms to himself as Yoden, purposefully using the "god letter" to proclaim himself as a god. 

Well that wraps up the art progression for Oden/Yoden. I would discuss his character relevance and backstory but I want to avoid putting everything out there before I even start the comic up once again (if the funding is successful). Next week I'll probably update the design for Vallah.

UPDATE #2, Creation of Vallah:

Character Background.

Vallah, the purple-haired sword wielder standing to Kaos' left in the generals picture, is a character that has seen many changes over the years. Vallah was originally designed to be the antagonist of Aka the same way Kaos and Seven were initially meant to pit against other. However, after creating the second Kaos (the final general I will draw), and making her Aka's true antangonist, I came up with a new and better backstory for Vallah.

Vallah is a water-based kise user (also known as a follow of Ythre) and is of Cascadian blood. However, unlike the other Cascadian characters I will introduce, she does not have the typical blueish/teal hair. This is because she is a member of a Cascadian sub-family who fled to the mountains many generations ago to avoid the constant wars between the Old Cascadian Empire and the Old Vulkan Empire (bitter enemies at that time).

The Mountain Cascadians forego using water kise and focused only on ice as a means of displaying their separation from the old empire. Over time even their appearance began to change as their skin became paler and their hair shifted into a dark shade of purple. Although the mountain people like Vallah are still Cascadian by blood, still have the sea-blue eyes that all Cascadians have, and are still ABLE (but not willing) to use water-based kise abilities, no one would dare refer to them as Cascadians in the modern day.

The Mountain Cascadians are not to be confused with Imperfects. Imperfects are Kise users that can only use a fraction of their kise type's abilities. For example an Imperfect electricity kise user may only be able to use magnetism whereas a perfect (pure blood, usually nobility) can stretch the limits of their kise type to encompass every aspect of said ability. Mountain Cascadians are, in terms of kise ability, every bit as gifted as other Cascadians, they just focus solely on Ice-based kise abilities.

Then and Now, Design Choices.

Original Vallah Design
Original Vallah Design

This Vallah design harkens back to the time where I still wanted Vallah to be pit up against Aka. She is a Mountain Cascadian (an outcast in some regards) and Aka is an orphaned Vulkan. The Vulkan and Cascadian people have been bitter rivals forever, so it wasn't a bad fit at the time (dont worry, the changes I made are for the better). So, due to that original purpose, I designed Vallah to look like my old enforcer designs. I made her dual-wield frost swords to combat the fact that Aka is the only other person in my comic that dual-wields swords. **BTW, in case you were wondering, only Vulkans and Cascadians use swords, and there is a good reason for it.

The all black was meant to just mimic the Enforcer garb (which has since changed significantly). The glasses were simply due to the fact that no one in my comic had glasses at that point and I felt it was needed, lol. As far as everything else, pretty generic. Not the most inspired character design.

2013 Vallah ReDesign
2013 Vallah ReDesign

Fast forward several years and not too much has changed. Vallah still has the same color scheme as before. However, I decided to give her gloves and clothing that looks slightly more like what someone from a cold weather upbringing would wear. The glasses are now visors and the two small swords have been replaced with one bigger one. I did not color the sword because, honestly, I'm not sure I will use that design of sword for her. I have alot of time to decide things like that.

This picture took me quite some time, and there are still some things I  would like to correct like the foreshortening on the left-arm and maybe a 3% head size reduction. But then again, these pictures are always good snapshots for me to see where I am and what I need to improve on.

Two Genarals Down, 3 to go!
Two Genarals Down, 3 to go!

As mentioned in the update, I have recently started a full-time that is making it difficult for me to finish these General pictures. I will try my best to finish them so you guys can get a cool poster out of it, but it may take a bit longer.

------------------------------:!!END OF UPDATE SECTION!!:--------------------------------

Story
Story

Explaining the story of Dark Area without giving away too much information is a delicate dance. I will leave many details out because I actually want things to be understood by reading the comic, not just by reading a very long synopsis. However, I understand that I must give you something to go on. To understand the story, I must first set up the world in which Dark Area takes place.

The Past.

At the beginning of known human history, the world was divided into the three continents but only inhabited by one. In the heavens above the earth, there were seven deities who fought amongst themselves to determine which one of them was the greatest. However, due to their immortal nature, they decided to compete with each other by using human beings. The deities revealed themselves to the heads of the largest families at that time, granting them and their offspring immeasurable power if they would worship them in return. With this acting as a catalyst, human nature took hold. Groups of people formed clans and later kingdoms, warring against each other for superiority.

However there were those who chose not to worship any deity and refused to be a a part of the madness. Those people were either enslaved or killed. There was also a faction of people later known as the Edruna who refused to worship any gods but instead did everything they could to achieve god-like powers. However the Kingdom of Light  and the Followers of Nyne (just two of the seven different types of kise users) were smaller than the other kingdoms but their people were far more powerful. Due to a strong fear of those powers, the Luxian people (the Kingdom of Light) were fully wiped out and those with the power of darkness (Followers of Nyne) were captured, enslaved and used as special weapons in the war effort. A measure of militaristic power amongst the kingdoms was the number of dark kise users a kingdom had at its disposal.

Eventually the bloodshed got to a point where three of the six remaining kings could no longer endure it. They formed an alliance and crushed the other 3 kingdoms thus bringing the Great Kingdoms War to an end. Once they did this, they banished those with powers to one continent, and sent those without powers to the other continent, granting them safe haven (eventually named Salvia).

Present Setting.

Fast forward roughly 2000 years and people view the stories of deities conversing with human beings as nothing more than a myth or a fairy tale. Although there are still people around who have retained the bloodlines and powers of the ancient kingdoms, no one believes in existence of the deities that gave them said power. Scientists have found ways to quantify, qualify, and remove (not create) the supernatural energy as now known as “kise” energy. However, regardless of its origin, those with kise energy vs. those without it remains the biggest lightning-rod issue in the current world.

Dark Area’s Enforcers.

The Three Kingdom Alliance still remained true to its promise to grant a safe haven, free of kise-powered individuals. The queen of the Terrean people (the Earth Kingdom) created a task force that patrols the entire Salvian continent for said individuals and purges them of their powers. This task force is known as the Dark Area, and the very elite amongst them are known as the Enforcers.

The Conflicts

The normal human beings don’t feel safe. As their continent grows more powerful and independent by the passing decade, they feel more and more uncomfortable having a group of super-powered soldiers doing their policing for them. There are strict rules placed ont he Salvian people to ensure they don’t become powerful enough to overthrow the Three Kingdom Alliance.

This fear is eventually validated by a raid on a small town in a kise-free zone. This town harbored a small group of refugee Vulkan (Fire Kingdom) people who fled their homeland to find a better life for themselves. However, the people in the neighboring towns became anxious and decided to diplomaticaly force the Vulkan kise-users out. However things got out of hand and a diplomatic removal quickly became a massacre. The only surviving Vulkan in that horrific raid was a young girl by the name of Aka (the other main protagonist). This massacre marked a change in the relationship between Salvians and the Three Kingdoms.

TheThree Kingdom Alliance begins to fear the technological innovations of the non-kise users and fears a possible mass revolt. The fact that they could crush Vulkan fire users by taking away their power is a freighting reality. The peace between the two governments is tenuous at best.

Unbeknownst to either faction, the descendants of the four disgraced kingdoms are mounting up for war against the rest of the entire world to establish their dominance once again. And they are being led by a former Vulkan (forfeited his nationality) and a former Enforcer of Dark Area, the man with the title of Kaos.

What to compare it to?

The Salvian continent of non-kise users is similar to current day United States of America in terms of size and technology. The continent where the Three Kingdoms presides is similar to late 19th Century Western Europe in design but with some current technology. The continent in which the more powerful kise users were banished to is like a large prison where the strong survive. There is nothing desirable about that land.

Characters
Characters

There are so many characters with their own pasts, personalities, struggles, and goals, but to go into all of them would be far too much. I will just go over the 5 main characters.

The Current Generation of Enforcers.
The Current Generation of Enforcers.
Kaos
Kaos

The Seven Deities – In this world the numbering system is based on the names of these beings.

Onye – the god of lightning.
Twuyo – the god of  wind
Ytrhe – the god of water
Fyur – the god of earth
Fyien – the god of space
Syx – the god of fire
Senyne – the god of light
Eayte - ??? (revealed in story)
Nyne – the god of darkness

Although only Senyne and Nyne can truly be called “characters”, knowing about the others is important.

Seven – One of the two main protagonists in the story (On the left of the project picture). He is around 20 years of age and bears a strong resemblance to the Luxians, a race that was systematically wiped out in over 2000 years ago in the Great Kingdom Wars. He is the victim of a failed kise purging (the act of removing powers from dangerous individuals) and has no recollection of his former life (a not-so-common side affect of a purge). However, just like his long-dead Luxian ancestors, he has the ability to communicate one of the Seven deities, Senyne. He names himself after the markings on Senyne’s hands and forehead.

Aka – The other of the two main protagonist (on the right of the project picture). A young Vulkan girl of 19 years old. She is the adopted daughter of the General of Dark Area. Her entire family was killed in an anti-kise-user raid (mentioned above) when she was just a child. Although she has kise powers, she cannot form fire like most Vulkan kise users can. Her dream is to become an enforcer prove to everyone that despite her handicap, she can still become the greatest kise user to ever live. However she still harbors a deep hate towards non-kise users for what they did to her family.

Roark – A 28 year old former member of the enforcers. He is a Terrean and therefore an earth user. He is an extremely strong, high ranking officer in Dark Area. He is Aka’s commanding officer and has a rough exterior when dealing with other people. He blames himself for being too weak (at the time) to stop his best friend Kiril from leaving the Enforcers and becoming what he is today.

Kiril (Kaos) – The main antagonist in the first half of the story. A 29 year old former member of the enforcers. His title “Kaos” is a name given to the 6th child of the servant family in the Vulkan kingdom. The curse of Kaos (I go into this more in the story of course) is the curse in which each child born to the Kaos line in the servant family becomes progressively stronger (kise power) but progressively more mentally unstable. They call the 6th child Kaos but  have no children after him/her because of the inability to control them at that point. Many years ago, the Vulkans would engage in the vile practice of forcing the servant family to have as many "Kaos" children as they could and use them for their great power in war. Because of this, Kiril is one of the most powerful Vulkans in the world. He is also the last Kaos alive.

Hoping that his powers can be used for something constructive, he is sent from the Vulkan kingdom to join Dark Area and become an enforcer. After leaving Dark Area (reasons explained in the comic), he becomes the leader of the New Three Kingdom Alliance to conquer the rest of the world. But his ambition is not to rule over the world like the heads of the other kingdoms. He is just using them as a means to achieve his true goal, crushing the Vulkan kingdom for what they did to him and his family. He has a special connection with Seven as well.

Aluna – No one knows who she is, how old she is, and what her purpose is. She has completely white hair with eight gold rings in them. Her attire, hair color, eye color, and gold rings is very similar to the description of the mythical Fayte who were also called the "Guardians of Light". She plays a very key role in the story but I cannot say much more than that.

Goals
Goals

As with anything in life, having set goals is the only way to know if you have accomplished something. My goal with this Kickstarter is to get enough money to purchase the necessary tools in order to make it possible to turn Dark Area into a true digital comic. My goal is to release the first volume by June if funding is successful.

This is more of a personal goal for me. I have spent almost every day thinking about this story in some way shape or form. It would be an absolute failure if I go through the best years of my life without making some headway on this project. I don’t want to have regrets, I want to have something to show for it.

I also have a stretch goal of $1500 as well. The details of both of these goals are listed in the F.A.Q.

F.A.Q.
F.A.Q.

What is Dark Area in the context of the comic?

A. Dark Area is the term giving to the potential of someone to use kise power. The greater someone's dark area is, the more kise energy their body can hold. The term was coined in the age where people could actually communicate with the seven deities and actually see their own kise power internally. However anything past their capacity of power would appear as a black void, thus resulting in the name "dark area".

Dark Area (in caps) is also the name of the task force that was commissioned to ensure no powerful kise users would run amok and ruin the lives of the non-kise users.

Why a comic?

A.     Well as stated before, I believe that it is simply the best format for this type of story.  For example, a great writer can depict a fight scene wonderfully, but it will never be the same as seeing it. On the other hand, a movie may never capture the essence of a character's mindset the way a book can with words. Different mediums have their strengths and weaknesses.

This comic is digital, why do you need any money?

A.     I’m not going to tell you that I need money for man-hours or anything like that. Especialy on something that I would gladly do for free. I will be very frank with you, I need the money for the tools necessary to make this type of comic. Without at least a digital drawing pad and the accompanying software, this attempt at a Dark Area comic will turn out just like my previous attempts, a failure. The process that I am currently using is the very definition of inefficient. In addition to that, it does not even yield good results, if you look through the video you will no doubt see many rough pencil lines and low-rez images due to the fact that I am forced to mix traditional media into a digital comic with a subpar scanning method. The tools are a 100% necessity.

Okay, but what about the stretch goal? $1500 seems like a lot of money.

A.     The $1500 is not an arbitrary value but actually a calculated one. While the $700 is what I would need to have a chance at actually making this comic, the $1500 is my ideal situation. The extra money would go towards replacing some parts of my computer that are currently making high-rez digital art impossible for me. For example, the picture in which you see the current group of enforcers all standing beside each other takes about 5 mins to open, 5 mins to save, and is just so tedious to edit I could not even finish it. By the way, I am very knowledgeable in the area of computers (CE major, multiple certifications etc) so I know the difference between a system that is slowed down by malware and fragmentation vs. a system that just does not have the power to carry out the task. Mine is the latter. In addition to that, I have had multiple harddrive failures and I have lost multiple manuscripts and pictures related to Dark Area. Luckily I backed most of them up, but at this point, if I want to protect my investment, mechanical harddrives are no longer an option, solid state is just a much safer/better technology.

You mentioned previous attempts; does this mean that you have tried to make Dark Area into a comic before?

A.     Yes, I have many times. In fact most of the images you see in the video are from previous attempts at Dark Area comics. However, all have failed for the same reason, the inefficient and arduous process that I have to go through w/o the proper tools (look below)

Your artwork isn’t that good, I have seen much better.

A.     While not quite a question, it is a valid criticism. As I mentioned before, I believe that my story and my writing are my strengths. However, my artwork can only improve, but a story cannot really improve too much during the duration of a comic without liberal use of retconning and plot holes. I personally prefer a comic with a good story and average art to a comic with an average story and good art. But once again that’s all up to you.

Proof that I actually have improved in my art style. These are some pictures taken before I had photoshop and many years ago when my art was not that great.

Early attempt A
Early attempt A
Early Attempt B
Early Attempt B

And these are pictures redoing the same chapter with photoshop and more practice drawing.

2010 Attempt A
2010 Attempt A
2010 Attempt B
2010 Attempt B
2010 Attempt C
2010 Attempt C
2010 Attempt D (this picture always makes me laugh)
2010 Attempt D (this picture always makes me laugh)

And I will only continue to become a better artist, I can guarantee that.

You talk about your story a lot, have you thought it out completely?

A.     Yes, I have the entire story plotted out from beginning to end. I even started thinking about a sequel story that I would do to follow up. I have changed so many aspects of the story in the past nine years for the better. For that reason, I’m glad I did not start this comic nine years ago lol (just look at the exposition above as evidence).

How will this compare to popular comic books and popular manga?

A.     While I will continue to call this a digital comic, it will share some similarities with manga. It will be Black and White, but it will have more gray (digital shading) than a Japanese manga. Volume covers will all be colored and chapter covers will be partially colored. I want to make each chapter 20-30 pages depending on content. I must say that I was somewhat inspired by Bleach and Naruto years and years ago, but since then I have moved away that. No fear of copy-catting here.

Speaking of popular comics and manga, will this be similar to a shounen?

A.      In some ways yes. It will be action packed and follow some of the same genre definers that most shounen tend to abide by like super-powered young people, strong mentors, training arcs, and romantic interests. However, I will not have a lot of cheese or fan-service in my comic. I’m not that kind of artist, sorry.

I used to feel that it was necessary to give my female characters outfits that would show a lot of skin in order to appeal to their attractiveness. What I ended up with was character and costume designs that seemed out of place and counter-intuitive in a "trying-to-hard" way.

Just compare this outfit/look

Very Early Opal Drawing
Very Early Opal Drawing

To this one

Early 2012 Opal Re-Design
Early 2012 Opal Re-Design

When do you plan on finishing the first volume?

A.      If the funding goes through over the next 2 months, by early summer is my goal.

You mention deities a lot and you even call them "self proclaimed gods" in your video, does this mean there is a being more powerful them?

A. Yes there is, but I don't want to spoil the story. The past is supposed to be mysterious in the context of the story.

I was just wondering, in your video you say God Bless at the end, is this indicative of your religious views.

A. Yes I suppose. I am a Christian.

Will this story have any overbearing Christian undertones?

A. Overbearing? no not in the least. This story will have an allegorical relationship to Christianity but it is not my desire to beat readers over the head with it. I want it to be something that makes someone say "Ohhh" after finishing the story rather than opening to the first page and reading "In the beginning God created..." It will be there throughout the story, but it will be very subtle. You must see it for yourself. If this makes you uncomfortable, don't let it. It's no different then reading a story about Greek gods or Hindu deities. My goal is not to convert anyone, my goal is to tell a compelling story.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge to finishing my project is commitment. One might look at the video and say “Nine years with the same idea? He should have much more to show for it!” Well, I have written and drawn quite allowed for Dark Area, but the story has always just been forming and reforming. Now, with the story finally finished, and my artistic skills on the rise, now is the perfect time to make this project because now I finally have the maturity, the motivation and the vision to see this to the end.

I look forward to any discussion about the project. I could not be more excited than I already am going forward!

FAQ

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