June 02, 2009

The deadline draws nearer...

It's mind-blowing to think that The Fifth Columnist manga project was first kicked off in May 2007, and is still not finished now come June 2009. It is also a bit scary. Among the aspects that make it necessarily so is the fact that I've set October 2009 as the release date for volume 1, and that prospect seems very bleak right now.

As of now, there are two more chapters in Fifth for me to sketch, ink and tone -- and it really doesn't help that they are both the story's climax and denouement. Chapters 11 ('Verdict') and 12 ('Endgame') would have to be thoroughly worked on so they could reveal all the truths, motives and sub-texts only briefly glimpsed in previous chapters.

With that in mind, here is what I envision these two last chapters to do:

1. Tie up all loose ends
These chapters will provide solution to all conflicts introduced in chapters 1 through 10

2. Build a sense of imminent, inescapable conclusion (particularly in chapter 11)
I'm still a bit concerned about this, since contrary to some of the past chapters, there will be no bloodshed/all-out action scene of that sort in the climax. It worries me because I still want a bit of a bang in the climax instead of a fizz (seeing how much I hate flat Coke!)

3. Make more logical twists and solve them right there and then
This can be hard to do within 70 pages, but so far it's looking promising

4. Maintain and increase tension despite lack of straight-forward action scene
One way to do this is by using stark black and white contrast and strategically placed tone work

5. Evoke reader's sympathy
If possible, I want the reader to sympathise with other characters and not just the main lead -- as that is what the script requires!

Phfew! Will it be possible to incorporate all this in one go? I certainly hope so. However, it seems that I won't be able to reach these objectives with my current level of artistic skill. I'll need to brush up a lot (and fast!) to meet the August deadline in order to get the script and pages ready for October release ;___;

It's not impossible, but very tricky! And I'm keeping my fingers crossed as always!