Monday, June 20, 2016

rustfiends 2016

I was advised to write a synopsis/summary/review for the comic. And it’s time to explain what I’m constantly blubbering about here (and elsewhere).

All the events of Rustfiends (this is the name of my comic, yes) take place in near future. This future is so near that nothing really new before the apocalypse has happened yet. No laser guns or futuristic surroundings.
I won’t name the reason for the apocalypse. In Rustfiends you have to fill in the blanks yourself …and learn how filthy your mind is.
The Earth is mostly a desert, and somewhere around Denmark there’s a small island of civilization. A closed state with its own rules and laws. ‘Wildlings’ – people from the outside, including the main characters of Rustfiends – have a hard time entering there.
It all starts with an accidental meeting between the Wastelands Legend Charlotte and young Valentine. Spontaneous and charming Valentine makes Charlotte rethink life’s priorities. But Valentine finds trouble and love and peace doesn’t work out …
But really the plot is secondary. Because the situation is as cliché as it can be. The characters get into trouble with their lives at stake. The main goal of the characters is saving their asses. The beginning is fun and action-packed. It seems that the solution is obvious and the antagonists are really shitty guys. But no such luck.
The main kicker of the story are the characters. I’m going to tell you about them:

Madison (left) and Betty (right).
(I even drew silly pictures as a visual aid.)
For a long time Betty’s been dreaming about escaping endless adventures her friend drags her into. These girls are bad influence upon each other and everything around them but they always stay together.
Betty is 32, she decided to quit the life of crime and found a legal way to earn money. She even considers starting a family which makes Madison butthurt. Madison thinks that their way is the way of a samurai – to die young and beautiful under enemy fire. Or something like that.
Betty is a good friend and a so-so criminal. She worries that on her own her younger friend will get into big trouble. Besides, she’s her only close friend in the whole world (no homo).
Madison is asocial. She has a Barrett, and that’s all.
You will hate this character with all your heart… at least in the beginning. You get my drift…
If I were to separate the comic into discrete stories, then Betty and Madison’s story is about a big friendship, very human, when we are jealous when our friend finds a new lover; when we are scared for them because we know they turn into a real jackass when we’re not around.
I must confess that some characters are based on real people, my friends (I asked for their permission, obviously). For example, Betty. Firstly, this make their faces more expressive; secondly, they won’t be flat concerning their character. (Sometimes it’s the only thing I borrow.) Often when I read comics/books I notice that characters talk and act the same. I suppose it’s the way the author would act. Not all fiction needs non-linear heroes, but I need them. Wait, what was I talking about? Once again I’m blubbering…
At the begging of the comic, Madison just emerged from jail after a minor infraction and once again doesn’t know where to go, and while she considers what trouble to cause, she meets this guy:

John Doe — not his real name, obviously.
The dude has escaped prison and seems to be hiding something. He’s the origin of all the troubles. He’s charmingly stupid and kind.
He’s the trigger for… well, for EVERYTHING. Though he never asked for this.
There’s nothing else to say about him. Everything about this character is a spoiler.
Let’s move on to the next character…

I never know how to approach her description because in my mind she’s such a complex character that I don’t know the words which can describe her. She’s not just a mighty warrior woman, a personification of female strength. That would be too easy.
Charlotte is about unconditional love, great parental love, and inability to express it. I have a tag for her in the blog, and you can find some information here.
This character is about suppressed emotions, loneliness, and unconscious desire to find someone close. She’s a six feet tall and very strong woman. Charlotte is able to kill people in cold blood if necessary, and in this world it is necessary. In spite of such background she feels gentle love for Valentine which she can’t define and express because her world was nothing but survival.
People speak of Charlotte as of a legend, some don’t believe she exists, some are scared of her. Charlotte is a bogeyman for the ‘wildlings’. She’s described as a ten feet monster with four arms, and they say she eats children… but we know better.

I have a tag for him too, so click here.
And in Russian here.
Originally he’s a boy. He stays a boy. But he really looks like a girl.
‘He dances in female lingerie and flirts with men because it’s the only behavioral pattern he knows. That’s because he’s spent his whole life as a sperm receptacle for his captors. Above all else, Valentine loves his new life which is as awful as the previous one. But this life has a strange guy named John Doe. Valentine loves him with all the might of teenage love, tries to woo him any way he can, sacrifices himself. But Valentine doesn’t know that life is a succession of farewells, and no John is irreplaceable. For him John is the one, and no one else. He will mop his bloody snot, and make pointless sacrifices. Sometimes he’ll sacrifice people who truly love him.
To love a monster is not all that.» (с) shameful self-quotation
Absolutely guileless and a blank page character. But that’s true only in the beginning. We were all like that before something happened.
He’s a fan service character, he will be in hentai pages, unlike the characters above.
Francesca (left) and Olivia (right) 

This a separate plotline but it crosses over into the main plot. It’s about the civilized part of this world where ‘wildlings’ can get into better conditions.
Adult ‘wildlings’ send their sons to serve in a church and to become the brides of Christ. But they become something else entirely.
Olivia, as she calls herself, is a ‘retired bride’, cynical and disillusioned. She’s upset that she’s far from 15 and Padre doesn’t look her way. She was a shining favorite, but a ‘bride’s’ time in a spotlight is short.
Proud and beautiful Olivia meets her retirement with dignity, and she’s always on top. A new girl comes under her protection. Or, rather, a new boy. Franco doesn’t want to be a bride but he sincerely believes in God and God wants him to become a ‘bride’. But Franco’s mentor doesn’t believe in God and is jealous of her charge’s youth.
These characters will also participate in fan service. 

Vera and Reggie
Vera is the only character who indicates that the events take place in the future. Vera is a robot. And not just a robot, but a robot-waifu. Perfect face with holes in all the right places, heavy duty. His cyberskin can be easily repaired, he looks as close to a human as possible. The only thing that gives him away are small horns. Moreover, Vera is from a limited ‘ladyboy edition’ line-up… I’m sure you get it.
But Reggie didn’t buy this Vera issue for fun.
He upgraded Vera’s firmware and send him on a quest to return something lost. Which is a perfect task for Vera considering her durability (I think it’s awesome, no? The most durable robots are for fucking. It’s funny, come on, laugh!)
During her trip Vera realizes that this body is not her first, and she had lived many lives in other robo-bodies. She tries to learn who she is and who Reggie is.
Vera participates in fan service, Reggie doesn’t.

This can be considered a dystopia, post-apocalyptic fiction, but it’s not really canon for both of them.
I also compiled a MOODBOARD on Pinterest. Please take a look, it’s very important to click the link to get a full picture. I’m better at visual images — they will tell you everything better than I’m able to.
Also I have a player where I compiled a playlist which suits the story and inspires me. You will see the player embed at the bottom of the page. Clicking the right bottom corner opens the playlist if you’re too lazy to listen to it in full.
Unsurprisingly, some plot stuff might change, I love to change everything on the go. At this point everything is still shaky and raw.
I’m asked: ‘So, how’s the comic going?’ And I answer: ‘It’s not’. I’m waiting for my passive earnings (Patreon, Gumroad, prints that are yet to be made, merchandize that’s at the same stage) to be enough to feed me. Yes, this sucks. If the passive earnings are not enough, the comic will go belly up and my dreams to make something worthwhile and interesting will go along with it.  I’m not implying anything…
I’m open to suggestions and requests, so if you wish to share an idea with me or ask something about the subject, be my guest. This will only make me happy.

пост на русском тута

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