Beneath The Clouds

A comic of ghosts and gunpowder, set in Heian Japan. Guaranteed to be the best graphic novel about 11th Century Japanese exorcists that you'll read all week.

Recent Comments

This page was a late addition to the chapter. Genza is still pretty angry about his exile. So I thought he should be a little bit more conflicted about saving the Emperor.
I don't have much to say about this page. I guess that means it's successful?
This was a comic page, but my beta reader thought I had too many pages of scenery, and it makes quite a nice cover.
Thanks to Blambot for the fonts in this comic: http://www.blambot.com
The top panel was inspired by a scene from the Ghibli film Totoro, but this tree is much less impressive.
The houses in the top panel are examples of ancient Japanese pit houses. They're probably a bit too large. The seal in the bottom panel is anachronistic but I wanted something physical as most of these guys probably can't read.
This is my Disney road trip page :)
End of Chapter 1
Here's a bonus picture to celebrate finishing the first chapter. Hope you enjoyed it!
Great Page
I agree, the pose is probably essential for the rites. Ghosts be like, "whoa, this is a pro!"
Cliffhanger!
The nobleman's name is Masahiro, his name is taken from The Pillow Book. The real Masahiro was a court gentleman who became a laughing stock due to his messy handwriting, provincial accent and absentmindedness.
Horse courtesy of the Hokusai Manga
Lady Sarashina travelled from Kazusa to Heian Kyo as a teenager. The comment about becoming a nun is taken from her travel diary. As it's difficult to find references for Heian era road trips, my characters retrace her steps.
In The Tale of Genji, Prince Hachi abandons his daughters to retreat to a temple. The oldest daughter then starves herself to death. I wanted to create a character who refused to abandon his family despite having strong religious commitments. Not very Heian of me!
Most mediums were young women and some were children. Masako is about 17-18 at the start of this story and quite old to be performing this role.
Pay close attention: there may be a test later
Morning bitchface! And an info dump coming up.
Comic injoke: Masako's costume is Heian underwear. In that time period, the fact she's outside without covering her face with a fan or a veil would be far more shocking.
Not too happy with the bottom panel. Even though I used reference, it still doesn't seem to have come out right.
Real Heian mediums probably didn't strike a badass pose at the end of an exorcism ceremony, but hey, comics.
Haha, tiny Donald Trump ghost hands
Female jealousy was a massively destructive force in the Heian world. The most famous possessing spirit of Heian literature is the Rokujo Lady, who kills several of Genji's lovers and wives.