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A comic about friendship, robots, and magical girls.

Recent Comments

In the beginning
@Elaienar: i got hooked on your back-beat way of story telling with Girl/Shadow, thoroughly WOWwed, I got to the end of that and saw that you Had Maria, so I read that to the hiatus, Your way of taking little tropes and subverting / inverting, and unexpected twisting of the tropes makes your comics so awesome,... I have been working on my story for most of a decade, but I could only post two chapters since it contains thematic elements that my family wouldn't understand. So I feel your pain getting the stories drawn out....
Be well, publish when you can. Genesee
October 19th, 2019
@Geneseaws: Dude, you totally made my day with all your comments. Maybe I can alleviate your sadness by assuring you that, while this hiatus has gone on for a lot longer than Key and I intended, we still definitely have plans to come back to Maria. I'm very hopeful that we'll be back to working on it sometime in the next ... say six months?

Anyway, I don't want to make promises because then I can get sued for breaking them, but we've plotted this thing out to the end (at least another 10 chapters) and we have no intention of leaving things here. :)

Thanks again for all the lovely comments! It's such a great feeling to know that someone's taking such an interest in the comics and I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And BTW, I have a short comic in the works with a friend, set in the same universe as A Girl & Her Shadow, that's about ... 2/3rds done? So that'll be coming out too at some point. ^^
Officially sad
@Elaienar: this is the only acceptable magical girl maga/webcomic/Sy-Fi/ that I can read. You are rocking it, ... And then I get to the end.
Geneseepaws (Guest)
October 18th, 2019
Don't lie to your children
Don't lie to your children, it breaks their trust.
October 18th, 2019
@Elaienar: that is what they mean when they say: "a great deal of deliberation". Look, if you don't know what to do, and I don't know, then I'mma call the boss,
Geneseepaws (Guest)
October 18th, 2019
Well, yeah, hard to tell
@Elaienar: yeah, I always thought she was in mourning for her lost friend. But hey, listen;
Maria, ive just met a magical girl named maria?
See? It doesnt scan with the music. It will never make the top ten songs on the charts. (Sad face)
Geneseepaws (Guest)
October 18th, 2019
Full figured, not scrawny
It is so refreshing to see a variety of body types, instead of most lie most comics where everyone looks fantastic and buff, except for the style of clothes on the bad-guys. My mom is a heck-a athlete, but is nicknamed bao-bao.
Dear readers:
Key and I had planned to begin updating Maria again this month, but we're going to have to delay our return instead. For various reasons (mostly due to my personal circumstances) we weren't able to start working on the new pages when we initially planned to, and progress has been very slow. I apologise for the extended hiatus, and hope you don't mind waiting a while longer. Currently we don't know when updates will resume, but we're going to continue working on the story so that we can come back with a quality comic that you can enjoy and we can be proud of. Thank you all again for reading and enjoying our story!
March 23rd, 2018
@YunikoYokai: Thank you! Looking forward to getting back to work after the break. ^^
March 21st, 2018
I hope you enjoy your break! Looking forward to seeing more!
Extra (2 of 2)
We went through quite a lot of ideas for what the magical girls in Maria would be fighting, I think, before we settled on shape-shifting robots. The image in the top left is from a draft of chapter one that we were working on in October of 2011; as you can see we hadn't quite settled on the human-sized design yet. Also, they had built-in rocket launchers. And their arms turned into huge guns. The next image is closer to what we wound up with, but the face is more human-looking while the arms ... I don't know what's going on with the arms. I ought to know, since I drew them (well, one of them), but I don't.

Uehara! He was another character we came up with early on. I want to say he may have been the next one after Momiko, but I'm not sure. At that point, the Maria uniform was just a regular uniform, not the SWARM-inspired magical shape-shifting backpack uniform. We already knew that Chika wasn't going to wear it; Key came up with the idea of a manager whose job was, basically, to get Chika where she needed to be (whether that meant whacking monsters with sticks or posing for promotional photoshoots), who had been Mariya's manager as well, and was very attached to all of the official Maria paraphernalia, and very shocked and annoyed that Chika wasn't interested in looking the part. Which is why there are a couple of doodles up there of him chasing Chika down, uniform in hand.

And last there's the Maji Co. logo. That one took a while to work out. We wanted it to look like a heart; we wanted it to look like an M; we wanted it to resemble the kanji for "protect" or "defend". I guess we got two out of three. You can also see where we were trying to create a title that incorporated katakana as well as the English alphabet. An early version of the cover has another attempt at that, but we eventually abandoned the idea.

And that's it for now! After our hiatus, Maria will return with chapter six in March of 2019. You may see some progress updates on my art blog before then, and you'll definitely see some non-Maria projects during the hiatus. Thanks for reading, and see you next year!
Extra (1 of 2)
These scans are all, I'm pretty sure, from early to mid-2011, when Key and I first started working on Maria. We started off with Chika, and kind of developed the story around her character--the idea of a timid, shy magical girl who runs around in jeans and a t-shirt, and fights her opponents by whacking them with her magic wand. You can see her doing just that to a giant floating octopus near the top right of the image--SWARMs were a later development. (Edit: I just realised that octopus has four arms and two human-looking legs. What on earth? I have no idea what we were thinking back then. I really wish I could remember.) At some point we did away with the baseball cap and then (much, much later, I think) decided that she would have her wand shaped like a baseball bat. (It balances better like that.)

Momiko came along almost immediately afterward, and most of their development was done in tandem. From early on we made them opposites: so Chika is shy and retiring while Momiko is outgoing and charismatic; Momiko is open and friendly unless hurt while Chika is reserved and quiet unless threatened, and so on. They weren't named for a while so early on we called Chika MC (Main Character) and Momiko PG (Popular Girl).

The gag with the roach-host SWARM from chapter two was planned from almost the beginning. We knew Chika would be a fantastic Maria once she got the hang of it; the challenge was the initial trigger for her violent methods.

When we began releasing Maria in 2013 we we using this character sheet from 2012 for Chika. As you can see, it's still not quite the same as Chika appears in the early pages of the comic.
March 15th, 2018
@tinyjerkface: Thank you, I'm really glad to hear that! Some of the concept art is going to be kind of familiar (because with this page we've finally arrived at the original concept from seven years ago, haha) but there's some stuff that's different, too. ^^
March 14th, 2018
aahhhh this makes me want to know more, but i totally get having to take a break! I've been reading this for a while and have loved the concept so much! Excited to see concept art because I always love seeing that stuff!
March 14th, 2018
End of chapter and hiatus announcement
And that's it for chapter five! Normally at the end of a chapter we would take off two months so we could have a break and work on the script and thumbnails for the next chapter, but this time we're putting the comic on hiatus for a year.

We would have liked to complete chapter six (which would be the conclusion of the story arc we've been working on for the past two chapters, instead of the cliffhanger you get here - sorry!) but decided against it. We've been working without a buffer since Maria first updated in December of 2013, which has made things very tiring even with long breaks between chapters. Additionally, the story was originally meant to be 32 chapters long, but much of that content was filler. When the site we had planned to pitch the longer version to shut down, we decided to cut out pretty much all of the filler chapters, but never actually went back and completely reworked the draft; as a result the material we base the scripts for each chapter on is in considerable disarray.

During the hiatus we'll work on the story and scripts, and create a buffer, and Maria will return with chapter six in March of 2019. You may see some progress updates on my (Elaienar's) art blog, and you'll definitely see some non-Maria comic projects during the hiatus.

To everyone who has been reading Maria up until now: thank you for reading, and for your support. If you've been enjoying it, comment and let us know - we love to hear from readers! (If you've not been enjoying it, you can still comment and let us know - we're always interested in hearing what could be improved in our work.) Thanks again, and we hope you'll come back and read again when Maria begins updating again next year.

Next week, instead of our usual omake page, we'll be uploading the earliest concept art of Maria, from early 2011. I hope you'll enjoy it!
February 21st, 2018
Looking at this you might think that Chika learned how to magically teleport her uniform backpack to herself, but actually what happened is I forgot she was supposed to be wearing it and didn't draw it on the last few pages. Oops!
February 11th, 2018
February 6th, 2018
It's a small town.
January 16th, 2018
We're back!
I'm too sleepy to think of anything else to say! Thanks for reading!
January 3rd, 2018
Happy tenth day of Christmas!
No page today because I vastly overestimated how much I could get done in the middle of holiday chaos. Updates will resume next week as usual. Until then, here's some cousins having fun in the snow.

Next day edit: Break is being extended to next week due to crushing pressure of like, two things I need to do. Updates will resume after that if I survive. Sorry! Thanks for reading!