Summer Project: Fairy Ring

My two favorite Toho characters are Cirno and Suwako. Because of Cirno’s habit of freezing frogs, and Suwako being a frog goddess, they have a long standing rivalry (see Comical Mishaguji and Radiation, Kero 9 Destiny, My Life, Toho Reitaiki etc.)

Despite this rivalry, I have also seen a fair amount of fanart portraying some kind of friendship or romance (illustration: gochou) between Cirno and Suwako, a phenomenon known as Foe Yay.

Care Over?

However, for some reason I have never found a Cirno x Suwako fanbook. I know they must be out there, but I’ve never seen one. I’ve seen Cirno x Daiyousei (which I also like, given the banner of this site) and Cirno x Utsuho (which is even more on crack than Cirno x Suwako), but no Cirno x Suwako. I’ve looked at doujin sites. I’ve asked a translator of Toho doujins if he has seen any. I even asked Samukun to look in comic stores in Japan. But so far I have had no success.

Since I don’t have school during the summer, I had planned to do “Terrainsformers: Dual-Landobots vs. The Zendikons”, a continuation of the well-received “Lotus Cobra is Evil” comic strips as my project during the summer. I had already sketched out the first of the strips. But I eventually decided that I would rather draw more Cirno and Suwako than more Sorin and Nissa (with transforming pieces of geography).

Samukun has shared with me the lessons he has been learning in his manga class in Japan, and the lesson that is most relevant to me is that for a professional, speed is better than quality. Ever wondered why people who draw like this manage to go pro while I, who have a similar skill level, have done nothing but fail repeatedly for the last ten years? It’s because they can meet deadlines. I learned as much when Jason Miao quit on our collaboration in 2007, because I just couldn’t draw fast enough. Miao Diary was a step in the right direction, but I still need to get faster.

Shipping Cirno and Suwako is only one of the goals of the Fairy Ring project. It is also a speed-building exercise. The cover page you see here in stages was drawn in 1 hour: 2 minutes for the very rough sketch, 13 minutes for the posing and composition sketch, 30 minutes for the character detailing, and 15 minutes for the background and cleanup. Note that this is also drawn directly on the computer, saving scanning time and paper. The extensive use of shortcuts makes the picture look sketchy and unfinished, but it’s clear enough for an inked page completed in one hour.

Compared to the approximately two hours per page that Miao Diary required, or the three hours per strip Lotus Cobra is Evil required, this is blazing fast.

Fairy Ring is planned to run for three 21-page chapters (20 pages of story, with a cover page for each chapter). I already have the outline completed, so I know what’s going to happen from beginning to end, even if the final scripts aren’t written yet. If each page only takes one hour to draw, I only have to spend 63 hours on the art. At 10 hours a week, it will only take seven weeks to complete, allowing it to be completed during summer break.

For those of you who would rather I work on the Magic the Gathering 4koma, remember that this project won’t start until summer break; I still have to get through my spring quarter classes before I can spend significant time on this. If you can provide me with a Cirno x Suwako doujin before then, I’ll consider this project unnecessary and use “Terrainsformers: Dual-Landobots vs. The Zendikons” as my speed training.

If I don’t get that doujin, I’ll just have to write one myself, and you’ll just have to prepare for a summer of Cirno and Suwako.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

One Response to “Summer Project: Fairy Ring”

  1. Frein says:

    I seriously lol’d at the Cirno x Utsuho comic. That one was hilarious.

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