The Gate at the End of the World (version 2)

<< The Gate at the End of the World (version 1)

thegatev2_paitlumap

I started the second version of The Gate at the End of the World pretty soon after I set aside the first. The setting moved from one world to another, and from an arctic country to a country close to the antarctic.

You can see that this map looks like the southern end of South America. I’d been learning about Tierra del Fuego at the time. Kjulaina, the capital of the country of Päitlu, is roughly at the same latitude as the city of Ushuaia in Argentina.

I started writing the script in September 2016 and stopped on the 2nd of October 2017, because I seriously had no idea how to continue the story. I didn’t have an outline for the story and had no idea how it was going to end. I expected that it would last about fifteen chapters, but I only completed nine.

I worked on the comic from January 2nd, 2017 to September 30, 2017 (yes, I keep track of this down to the day). During that time, I drew 54 pages, completing a prologue and two chapters. I was a few pages into chapter 3 when I stopped working on the comic.

thegatev2_group

This was the main cast of the story. From left to right: Veitlen Tyvokäla, Kallinu Jurne, Ren Fennel, Tjära Kvennirna, Häkirin Maurkäla, and Brithan Thiosciáre. Every single one of them was imported into The Land of Two Moons with essentially the same character design and personality except for Veitlen, who ended up looking fairly different for some reason.

I originally considered bringing Harnur and Sajiiq into this version of The Gate at the End of the World, but that made the main cast too big. I even got so far as to draw a reference sheet for Sajiiq:

thegatev2_sajiiqref

There were a couple of countries mentioned in this story: Päitlu (where the story was set, and the home country of Veitlen, Tjära, and Häkirin), Feillu (a country to the north of Päitlu, and Kallinu’s home country), Miryan (a country close to the equator, and Ren’s home country), and Ciniá (the most populous country in the world, a religious theocracy who believed they were blessed by the gods for avoiding the Cataclysm, and Brithan’s home country).

There were also a couple of different languages mentioned: with Päitlunko and Feillunno being the major ones, and Miryani and Ciniáne referenced with respect to Ren and Brithan. There was also a constructed language called International, represented by English (and white speech bubbles with black outlines in the comic) which had been deliberately constructed to that people from different countries would have a neutral language to speak.

Now, what exactly is the Gate at the End of the World in this story?

First, I’ll have to explain a bit of the backstory. 429 years previously, some kind of Cataclysm happened (I can’t find anything in my notes explaining it). Most of the world ended up contaminated with magic (the areas colored black on the map of Päitlu/Feillu). Ever since the Cataclysm, Hellgates started opening and closing randomly. During the time frame of the story, there is only one known Hellgate, which is the titular Gate at the End of the World.

Just like The Land of Two Moons, there were ghosts and demons in this story. There were also spirits:

  • Spirits: the “soul”; it’s what’s left of a person after they die. They can typically find their own path to Meil, an intermediary state where they wait for reincarnation. If a person was troubled, that might not happen, and a priest (like Tjära or Kallinu) has to talk the spirit into finding their own path to Meil.
  • Ghosts: primarily people who committed bad deeds in life or were extremely emotionally conflicted. Instead of becoming spirits when they died, they became ghosts. Because of their actions, they can’t pass on to Meil on their own. Instead, they had to be guided to Pryvur (Hell) for cleansing, and afterward were went to Meil.
  • Demons: the result of the Cataclysm. They were originally humans who gained an extraordinary amount of power. Their spirits became corrupted, and they became demons. Though it is extremely rare, people can still become demons today.

There was also magic in the world of The Gate at the End of the World. It was banned worldwide after the Cataclysm, since people who learned too much of the wrong kind of magic became demons. Punishment for magic use was most severe in Ciniá, and I was eventually going to reveal that Brithan could use a little bit of magic. In Päitlu and Feillu, priests (like Kallinu and Tjära) are the only ones allowed to use magic.

Veitlen came from a mage family who fled into the forest (the contaminated areas) after the ban on non-priests practicing magic. They used their magic to hunt demons. Bits of this got imported into The Land of Two Moons.

I’ll leave you with the character details that I posted on Tumblr years ago (Veitlen does not have one because he was never properly introduced):

thegatev2_tumblrchars

The Gate at the End of the World (version 1)

kitlinqitinmap

I started working on The Gate at the End of the World in June 2016. What I wrote was a script that would eventually be adapted into a comic. This never happened. I ran out of steam toward the end of the story and concluded it fairly quickly, and only drew two maps, a few character designs, and one test page.

gatev1testpage

The story as supposed to be twenty chapters long, with four parts of five chapters each – each part would correspond to a season, starting in summer. Each chapter would be around 20 pages long, so the comic would be around 400 pages long. I also decided later on – after drawing the test page – that it would be easier to do everything in black and white.

But that doesn’t tell you anything about the story itself, does it? Let’s get to that. Here’s the summary:

Renyeten ton Haraz Fiunel travels from her hometown of Haraz all the way to the arctic country of Kitlin. 795 years ago, the majority of her ancestors, the Visanan, traveled through the Gate at the End of the World. They left behind a monument and fragments of their language and culture, both in stone and through stories told by the indigenous peoples of the arctic.

As there is no one who speaks Visanan in the arctic, Renyeten’s job is to act as a cultural and linguistic interpreter for a small group of people whose main job is to watch the Gate and keep track of everything that comes through it.

gatev1chars1

These two characters are Sajiiqitin Jukiikiuqanait (nicknamed Sajiiq) and Renyeten, who was primarily referred to as Ren. Sajiiq was an excitable Qitiniina botanist. She didn’t make it into the 2nd version of The Gate at the End of the World, but I did find a place for her in The Land of Two Moons as Sajikitin Jukikynai, a botany professor.

Ren became Ren Fennel in the 2nd version of The Gate at the End of the World and The Land of Two Moons.

gatev1chars2

Harnur Bardusukålur and Tjarå Mårsur. Harnur was a historian who studied folklore about the Gate. I ended up not really knowing what to do with him, and as a result, he doesn’t have an equivalent in version 2 of The Gate or The Land of Two Moons.

Tjåra was a doctor and one of the more level-headed residents of the area around The Gate. She became Tjära Kvennirna in the 2nd version of The Gate and Tjara Kyvenna in The Land of Two Moons. I’m not quite sure why she went through so many name changes.

gatev1chars3

Bríthan Tiskur and Håkiakyn Mårsursukålur (or Håki for short). Bríthan was a hunter/tracker and Håki was a doctor-in-training who was apprenticed to Tjarå. They got renamed to Brithan Thiosciáre and Häkirin Mäurkala in the 2nd version of The Gate at the End of the World, and those names stayed the same in The Land of Two Moons, aside from some accents. These two had the most consistent designs over all three stories.

There was another character, Gorten Jornå (who I never drew a reference for), who was the basis for Kallinu Jurne in version 2 of The Gate and The Land of Two Moons. They were the camp priest.

gatev1campmap

Here’s a map of the immediate area where the story took place. The Exclusion Zone was a roughly circular area around the Gate that fluctuated from time to time. Plant life inside the Exclusion Zone was strange. Occasionally, mutated animals came through the Gate, and it was the job of the people inside the camps to stop those animals from leaving the Exclusion Zone before they contaminated things or caused problems.

Also, the Exclusion Zone was the only place magic could be used. Bríthan was the only character in the main cast who regularly used magic, since he was the one who went into the Exclusion Zone the most, to hunt and track mutated animals.

I don’t think this is a bad premise. But, five years later, I think I have a good idea of why this story didn’t work out. There was simply too much going on: the Exclusion Zone threat and the Visanan stuff. I know stories with two plots running at the same time can work, but this was definitely not one of them. If I’d picked one to focus on, I think things would have turned out better.

In fact, I’d really like to use the Exclusion Zone idea in a future story. I’d have to make all new characters and probably create an entirely new setting, but it’s something that still manages to hold my interest after all these years. It still pops up into my head from time to time.

That’s it for version 1 of The Gate at the End of the World. Next week, I’ll be talking about version 2.

Mid-August Update

Hello! How long as it been since my last blog post?

Four months? Oh geez. I totally didn’t intend for that to happen.

I’ve been quite busy these past few months, mostly with scripting and drawing The Gate at the End of the World. I’m a little past halfway through writing the script, and I just finished drawing the 50th page yesterday.

Fifty pages! I drew 40 of those this year, and my original goal was to draw 50 during 2017. Drawing those last 10 pages to reach my goal will only take me until the end of October. Anything after that will be surpassing my original goal.

This is especially awesome since I thought I’d get sick of drawing comics and quit just a few months in. I’ve had a hard time committing to and finishing stories for the past few years.

So since my last update post about The Gate, some things have changed. I’ve changed my posting schedule to one day per week (Tuesday) because:

  1. I’m working five days a week now
  2. My hands and arms were constantly in pain, and I didn’t want to develop tendinitis or worsen my existing carpal tunnel
  3. My buffer ran out

This means it’ll take twice as long to finish drawing the comic, but I’m feeling much better, mentally and physically. Perhaps when I’m in a better situation I can go back to two pages per week, but I don’t see that happening for a while.

So that’s where I am with what I’m currently working on. What about everyone else? How are your projects going?

Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy April, folks!

I decided like a week ago that I was going to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I seriously didn’t even know it was coming up, but then I got an email or something and thought, “That could be a good idea!”

So I decided to continue working on the script of The Gate at the End of the World, in the hopes that I might finish it. That seemed like a good idea at the time. But now I’m working three days a week and taking a class on the other two, so now I have a lot less time than I thought I would.

So, I’m going to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo, even though it’s the last thing on my priority list. Even if I don’t reach my goal (20,000 words), I ought to get a good amount of the script completed.

Is anyone else doing Camp NaNo? If so, what’s your project?