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Caroline Parkinson
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    Caroline Parkinson
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Hi all!

In April 2018 I will be reaching a few milestones on my comic.

I have passed the 100 page mark, Beneath The Clouds has been running for a year (five chapters) and I'll be roughly a third of the way through my first story arc. And of course I've been accepted by Spiderforest (woo!)

In order to develop as an artist, finish my submission for the Spiderforest Rogue anthology, draw fan art for other comics, start an online course in sequential art, and avoid drawing kimono for a couple of weeks, I'm taking a month's hiatus during April.

I'd like to see if anyone would be interested in drawing fan art to feature during this time.
I would need eight pictures in order to continue updating for a month. In exchange, I will feature your characters in Chapter 6.

More details:

-You can draw anything- comics, pin ups, black and white, colour, but it must have characters or situations or something from Beneath The Clouds in it. A picture of your characters reading a BTC comic, for example, is fine.

-Nothing too graphic. Read my comic if you aren't sure of the level I'm working at.

-I'll start work on the city scenes mid February , so I'll need to know if you're interested by then, but I won't need your artwork until March 30th.

- My comic is set in a semi-realistic version of Heian Japan, so I will put your characters in period-appropriate clothes and they must be able to pass as human. If you would like to draw me fan art and your comic is about giant robots punching each other, that is absolutely OK! But they will appear in my comic as human versions of themselves. Maybe they can fight with naginatas, or perhaps shoot each other with arrows!

Contact me on caroline(at) if you are interested. Even one person replying would give me a little bit more free time during April.

Many thanks
Thanks Spirit of Water! Yes, you are right . I am sure I've read that there were a number of ceasefires in historical Japanese wars, sometimes lasting for several years. I'm struggling to find evidence to back that up though!
Glad you are enjoying it, thanks for the comment :)
Can't decide whether I like or hate this cover. Redrew it four times.Gotta love the fluorescent pink shading though!
You're right. I don't think they could have talked their way out of this one though.
With apologies to Hokusai, who drew his manga so less talented artists could copy the drawings.
I'm not sure how the geography works in this place . The sun is visible in the background rising west- over the same hills which the moon rose over at the end of the previous scene (southeast) . Weird.
In the second to last panel, Juro is kicking his opponent. What about the concept of bushido and fair play? Well, the Book of Five Rings won't be written for another 300-odd years and bushido as a concept didn't really take off until the 17th century. So he's using a "whatever works" approach.
I watched a lot of sword fighting and kendo reference for these scenes. More shoving than I anticipated. Why are they using real swords to practice with, not wooden ones? Kendo hadn't been invented yet and they're travelling light.
Why a topless swordfighting scene?
1) Fanservice
2) Comment on 11th century Japanese concept of hot men. Heian ideas of attractiveness were very different from ours. Contemporary pictures (fan art?) of the famous lover Genji look rather like a marshmallow wearing a hat.
The behavious of spiders was supposed to be a romantic omen.

"I know that tonight my lover will come to me. The spider's antics prove it clearly"

A poem referenced in the Tale of Genji.
I wish I'd given the guy in the foreground of the last panel hair: he looks too much like Genza without it.
There's actually quite a lot of families who could have caused problems in Hitachi province at the time. The Kiyohara were the family of the Heian poet Sei Shonagon , so I picked them.
These guys are both members of the Satake family but in Eiji's case it's fairly diluted: he's a distant cousin.They're named after the number of kids their parents have: Juro's name means "tenth son", Eiji is "second son"
Eiji and Juro's character designs are younger versions of Tajomaru and the nameless samurai from "Rashomon".
Eiji elbowed his way into a second draft of this conversation. There's no way he's going to leave Juro to handle this on his own.
Genza has an eye haemorrhage from being whacked in the face in the last chapter. They look dramatic but they usually disappear in about a week.
I'm a long distance walker. The soldier looking after his feet on the left in the second panel is a comment on those novelists who make their characters walk everywhere yet never seem to comment on foot care, boot waxing or blisters.
Poetry nights were the Heian version of Netflix and chill. After a romantic evening with his girlfriend, a man would be expected to send a follow-up poem. If either the poem, or the reply, wasn't up to scratch, the relationship was off. No pressure!
The horses are slowly improving! Very slowly...
I don't have much evidence that Japanese warfare was seasonal. Campaigns like the Thirty Eight Year war went on for a long time! However many famous battles such as the Battle of Koromo River and the Hogen Rebellion seem to have taken place in the summer. If nothing else, moving armies around in a seasonal climate with very little infrastructure and generally horrible roads, must have been very difficult in winter.