User Data
Elaienar
I draw stuff more often than I like and less often than I should. Or maybe it's the other way around? Hm.

My name is pronounced el-ay-en-ar, like the letters L A N R spoken really fast.
Elaienar
June 13th, 2018
I'm scared of Lauren.
Elaienar
June 13th, 2018
Just throw poor Gabe right under the bus, why don't you.
Elaienar
June 13th, 2018
THAT'S THE SPIRIT MISHA
Elaienar
May 30th, 2018
Bad weird-cat-thing! Leave poor Gabe alone!
Elaienar
May 24th, 2018
Uhhhhh Gabe you've got a bad case of the ... grabby-hand-y-dark-shadow-y-blob-monster-thingies-itis....
Elaienar
May 24th, 2018
OH??????
Elaienar
May 19th, 2018
Me too, Hamburger. Me too.
Elaienar
May 12th, 2018
Hmm I get the feeling that Misha knows what is up.
Elaienar
May 12th, 2018
WHAT'S THAT
Alright, Misha-- haha I'm laughing. It looks like they have a fun dynamic.

I can't comment on the layout because I am very unobservant and can't tell what changed, sorry! But it all looks very nice I think. ^^
Elaienar
April 10th, 2018
Uhhhhh didn't Torin get eaten ... this is both intriguing and concerning. :D
Elaienar
April 10th, 2018
LOL, super smooth there Gabe.
Elaienar
April 3rd, 2018
C'mon, Gabe, they're really BIG rocks. Which (this is the main point) you can climb on!

All of Gabe's expressions are totally relatable, haha.
Elaienar
March 23rd, 2018
@YunikoYokai: Thank you! Looking forward to getting back to work after the break. ^^
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.
Elaienar
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. ^^
Elaienar
March 14th, 2018
Gabe's sibling seems generally unimpressed with Gabe's sense of style when it comes to haircuts.
Elaienar
March 14th, 2018
Hmmm I find the handsy shadows a bit concerning. But yay more comic!