Monday, March 28, 2011

Transpose Operator Chapter 2 Premiers!

In case you were not aware by how much I've been saying it these days, Chapter 2 of my webcomic Transpose Operator is now up! If you had previously been following the comic on CF or DA then you may have been caught up to the end of Chapter 1 for some time. However... THE LONG WAIT IS NOW OVER!

You can check out the first page here --->

I appreciate everyone who's been following the comic to this point, and all those who will be following it in the future, thank you so much for your feedback and support! I hope you continue to stick with Transpose Operator until the end! It's going to be a long ride but it'll be worth it, trust me.

Regular updates have resumed(after the week-long break between chapters) so you can check out a new page every MONDAY and FRIDAY at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Helmet Girl


Been thinking about adding to the "about" page on the Transpose site with a profile pic of sorts... Kinda working out some ideas and this is the first of them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

P3 Ryoji


I kinda love Persona 3 a lot. Ryoji isn't my favorite character, but he's a pretty cool guy... well when he's a person anyway. Also I find him hilarious and over the top at times, but that may just be me.

I've got a ton of P3P fanart sketches just waiting to be finished, so expect more to come.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


If any of you have been keeping up with me on twitter you may have noticed some of my tweets about a Visual Novel published by Nitro+ called "Saya no Uta". I started watching the whole thing on youtube and eventually downloaded the game itself so I could see the multiple different endings.
It deals with a lot of interesting and frankly taboo, or terrifying themes, and being a horror and Lovecraftian aficionado I decided to give it a try. The end result was one of the most amazingly different love-stories that I have ever encountered in all my years of reading, watching and absorbing fiction(so far).
For some reason(I felt like it) I'm giving a review/observation of the VN below the sketch for this week, read if you dare.

Saya the title character- her design is really cute I couldn't help but draw her.


The main character, Fuminori, is involved in a terrible car accident that kills his parents and almost kills him, months later he wakes up in the hospital but is unable to see, however his sense of hearing tells him that something is different about the world, and his sense of smell, taste, and touch let him know that something is terrifyingly wrong. It becomes even more apparent a month later when he is finally able to see again. He's assailed by horrifying "flesh-beast" creatures around his bedside that spew foul bile and talk in unintelligible voices, not only are the creatures extremely disturbing, but the very building he's in appears to be made of putrid flesh and other unmentionable rotting things. He's repulsed, horrified, and driven half mad, assuming that he's been thrown into hell itself.
Or has he?
Chained down by his captors, and tired of thrashing around to unsuccessfully free himself, he's left with his own thoughts and the disturbing scenery. Being a college student going for a Neuro Surgery degree, as time passes he comes to realize that something awful must have happened to his brain in the accident. Slowly he's able to make out the words of those around him, and realizes that he is in a hospital in the real world, and that the "flesh-beasts" he sees around him are in fact his concerned friends and doctors. This realization becomes increasingly apparent with time, and even when his doctors let him go once he seems more calm, his perception of the world appears to be constant; this is the way he will see the world his entire life; everyone is a horrifying, disgusting, blob of a creature, and the very world itself has become a rotting stinking flesh prison.
So like any normal person faced with a lifetime of this hell, he contemplates suicide.
However someone stops him in his thoughts. A young girl peers down at him from his hospital bed, she looks human, sounds human, and when he takes her hand-feels human. Seeing another human after so many months of this horror show causes him to break down crying, and cling to the one thing that now makes sense in his world-Saya.

And that's the way the world of "Saya No Uta" is set up. Throughout the story we see the perception of his friends in the real world where everything is normal, juxtaposed with Fuminori's horrifying reality. Fuminori delves closer to madness and alienation from the human world as the story progresses, eventually delving into pedophilia(Saya appears as a loli), cannibalism(Dead humans appear as ripe fruit to him), and murder as if it were nothing. Our main character becomes truly corrupt as his friends are slowly dragged into his downward spiral until it becomes apparent that Fuminori really is the BAD GUY, and his friend Kouji is the real HERO who tries to understand what has happened to his friend and why his world has been turned upsi-down as a result.
But this is where things become truly interesting. Because no matter how repulsed and horrified you become by Fuminori and Saya's actions, their love for each other almost dominates that feeling with sympathy. That's not to say that by the end of it you want the good guys to die and for them to prevail... but you kinda do in a way. Their love for each other feels so pure despite all the suffering and horrific events around them.
This is where the perception of morality comes into play. Saya is not governed by human morals, she is in fact a Lovecraftian horror from another dimension beyond time and space who understands the world on a totally different plane of existence, and who's sole goal is the reproduction of her species. It's her drive for reproduction that causes her to become interested in the human concept of love, and slowly her perception of simple reproduction is changed - there is no reproduction without love. She becomes "a dandelion in the desert" as she says, knowing that nothing on this planet could accept and love her, and that eventually she will wither and die. The scientist who found and introduced her to human culture also disappears, and she is left with nothing. Aimlessly she wanders back to the hospital that this scientist once worked at in search of him, and it's through her nightly explorations of the place that she comes across Fuminori. In his state, something that in reality is probably a repulsive tentacle creatures appears as a beautiful and fragile young girl, and even after he comes to the realization that his perception is what makes her appear this way he chooses to love and accept her anyway. Probably because he's crazy, but mostly because he is able to see her "soul"(as they put it), something which no one else can see. It's through this acceptance that we see how pure their love is, and how they no longer care for the morality of regular humans. It's displayed to a frighteningly extreme degree in the "true ending" in which the entire world becomes the way Fuminori perceives it, which from his perspective, makes things normal to him once again- in other words - every living thing on the planet becomes a creature like Saya, and the world becomes a horrifying rotting flesh prison. But then again, that's just the normal human perception, in this new reality. I'm sure everything appears normal to the creatures now living in it, once again showing how important/ignorant our perception of things really is(or could be).
This perception is both physical, emotional, and metaphorical, but in the end it's really just a story showing how powerful love can be.
That's not to say that there isn't other things to be had from this story-obviously it's also terrifying, it does have some sex scenes(that weren't as gratuitous as I was prepared for *sigh of relief*) that cater towards fetishists of one kind or another, and some ultra violence(although it's told and not shown), but with this juxtaposition of "traditional controversy" there's also a deep discussion about human existence which is what kept me watching until the end. Although that's not completely true-the mystery and edge of your seat circumstances kept me wanting to find out what happened next. As disturbing as some parts became, my curiosity made me continue on to the conclusion to see what became of these characters and the world of this story.

Some random character notes:
-Fuminori... I kinda hate this guy... but I also kinda don't. throughout the entire story I wanted to be unsympathetic towards him, but the way the story is told still makes you feel bad for the guy regardless of whether you're rooting for him or condemning him. His descent into madness seems logical-as strange as that may sound, and you wonder what other choices he could have made, but in the end he's just a guy in a crazy situation trying to protect the girl that he loves and his life with her. It's kinda hard to hate him in this respect, however you still know that nothing good can come from him accomplishing his goals.
-The way Saya is physically portrayed is especially interesting. Although she is a Loli(look it up if you still don't know what this means...), they make it painfully obvious that her true image is so terrifying to humans that looking upon it will drive them mad(Unless they're like the scientist who found her who was crazy before he met her). The few glimpses and observations from characters in the real world show her to be a slithering kind of creature who reeks of stagnant swamp water, leaves behind gross residue, is cold to the touch, and consumes the raw meat of animals(and eventually humans). It makes the fact that she appears as a beautiful young girl to Fuminori all the more interesting when you consider the contrast. It makes you think that she HAD to be that way in order to convey what they wanted thematically. I couldn't help but think of how she couldn't have been anything other than what she was, despite my dislike of the whole "Loli fetish", it somehow felt justified if that makes any sense.
-The best character BY FAR(imo), was Ryoko, the therapist/inquisitor. she's very unassuming when you first meet her. You know she knows more than she's letting on, but you also get the sense that she's just as much in the dark about the goings on as anyone else. Turns out she's a little crazy herself(because of what she's seen) and carries a sawed off shotgun with her 24/7. I found watching her and Kouji figure things out to be rather interesting, it gave the VN a good amount of detective work in-between all the horror. You know me, I love detective stories. I think I like her more because of how badass she was rather than how deep her character was, unlike the rest of the cast. However her view of the world is one of someone who has peeked behind the mirror to see the truth of the world, and the terror in it has brought her to the brink, yet she won't let it defeat her-however she does become unbalanced as a result.
-Kouji's development was almost as interesting as Fuminori's. Kouji is a super nice and very stable guy who's more concerned about everyone around him than himself, he wants to help his friend who has just suffered the terrible loss of his parents and a lengthy hospital stay, but horrible things keep happening to him, all of which are the cause of the very friend he wants to save, and eventually he goes from "the kind of guy who wouldn't hurt a fly", to someone who is willing to kill his former best friend. And the trick of it is, it's totally justified-you feel like he has every right to it. Depending on which ending you get he's developed even further and starts right into madness himself, seeing transparent nightmares that leak into his everyday life causing him to keep a revolver with a bullet in the chamber so he can off himself at a moments notice if things get too bad.
-Yoh is by far the stupidest character in this thing-but despite that you feel so bad for her that you don't know what to do about it. She's dumb and falls right into a trap that Saya sets for her. I feel like the sex scenes involving her were rather gratuitous, but there's also the fact that the abuse behind them makes her situation even more heartbreaking. Her humanity is taken from her and she can do nothing about it other than plead for death. The result of her character shows just how far off the deep end Fuminori has gone, and the terrifying first look at what all of us will become if the "true ending" of the VN is chosen.
-Oumi is probably close to what most normal people in this situation would be like. She's a little impulsive, but cautious, and her feelings of friendship towards Yoh cause her to investigate Fuminori herself, and because of this she is the first to die by Saya's hand. Her fate is truly terrifying and sudden, leaving Yoh and Kouji to try and figure out what happened. Her disappearance causes her friends to start their own investigation. and the sadest part of this whole thing is, she's the example that trying to fight something unknown on your own is a BAD IDEA. Yet each of her friends do just this and suffer similar-if not worse, fates. I felt that in this way Oumi was more of a tool of the narrative than a character, however I felt myself connecting with her regardless.
-The story itself seemed very true in spirit to Lovecraft stories I've read(minus the "fan service" parts). there's an oppressive and inescapable atmosphere in this story that never lets go. You feel nervous for the characters and know basically from the get go that this story will not be treating them well. Which is basically how every Lovecraft story starts out. It all feels very real in a way, the only supernatural thing in the story is Saya, and the violence and terror surrounding her is what drives the story. There's very few modern-day interpretations of his mythos(that I've seen anyway) that have had the same sort of dread and madness in them. I would say that the fact that Saya no Uta is a love story is entirely contradictory to Lovecraftian style as it has NEVER been present in any of the stories I've read, but I feel that the way it is portrayed does not do him an injustice(of course again minus the "fan service"). Bottom line - I feel that it's a welcomed modern-day story that uses the expansive mythos he has created.


And so that's my long rant/observations about the Visual Novel "Saya No Uta". If you feel like taking the plunge down the rabbit hole and finding out what this is all about, then the video below is the start of a full playthough(the same one I watched), all the sex scenes have been omitted-obviously since it's Youtube-so those of you that would rather avoid them can easily do so.

That being said, I don't normally do huge posts like this, I just kinda felt like it in this instance. So whether you liked or hated it, I don't think I'll be doing this very often.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Transpose Operator Landscape Sketch

Digital sketch for my webcomic Transpose Operator.

There's a character there if anyone can tell. I'd give extra points if you could guess who but you guys haven't seen this character's face/design before so it's not really fair.

I've been messing around with world elements and stuff, thinking about how I'm going to need to portray them, and this was a good exercise to start with, but I still have a LONG way to go. I think I was having so much fun with the textures that it ended up being more of a mood sketch than an "accurate" sketch, if that makes any sense.