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Chasing the Whirlwynd: A Look Into Jumping-Mediums from Webcomics to Animation

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 18, 2016
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(This exclusive front page article was written entirely by DD's very own Whirlwynd!)

Hey all! My name's Whirlwynd. I've been producing webcomics since the late 90's and I've been a member of the Duck since 2004. Thanks for reading this thinly-veiled attempt to promote my projects totally legitimate article!

(Wait, what do you mean I can't use strikethrough on the front page? My true intentions have been exposed! Oh well, onward)

My path through the webcomics world has been – meandering to say the least, as the people unfortunate enough to be my long-time readers know. (I'm sorry!!) While I love reading and drawing webcomics and don't intend to quit anytime soon, I've come to realize that I actually want my projects animated. Since I have that skill, I decided to make the animation happen myself.

I've been thinking of just how many stories I've been introduced to through their alternate forms of media. I can't count how many times I've seen the movie before I've read the book. Sailor Moon, X-Men, Batman, my first sighting of those was their 90's animated incarnations before I knew they had started as comics. Seems today every major property's getting a movie, a soundtrack, a video game, a Super Bowl commercial. Some movies even get novelizations which kind of surprised me when I first found out that was happening. Not that I dislike it. I'm the kind of person that likes to be immersed in a world, so when there's different perspectives on a story I really like, I'll take them all.

OK, so their motivation may be less “explore the world more thoroughly” and more “let's make as much money as we can”, but as long as I'm getting my money's worth I'm fine with that!

As someone who was not positioned to make money off my projects (but who wouldn't mind it now *coughcough* (https://www.patreon.com/geminicblue) the world-immersion idea is one of the major factors that drove me to experiment with different mediums. Originally I wanted to be a writer, but I loved comics and animation, and my ideas were very visual and audio-based. My problem was my drawing skill was not so developed –



– and 20 years later I am still struggling to get to the level I want to be at. Or maybe I just keep raising the level. My brain's a jerk like that. The funny thing is, animation was not nearly as difficult for me to jump into.

When I see medium-jumping in the case of amateur stories, it's rarely because the creators want to expand the story – instead, it's because of limitations on their own time or skill. I joined a small animator's community when I started converting 20 Galaxies (http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/20G/) into an animation (https://youtu.be/ron8qSHTQ8w). One of the problems that frequently strikes webcomics also affects the animated series produced by this community – they rarely reached completion. Most of them only hit one or two episodes. Many of the animators, upon realizing how massive the task of making your own series is, opt to turn their stories into webcomics, motion comics, or even video games.

I don't see this conversion happen as much with webcomics. I think this is partially because some people see webcomics and others as an easier medium. While webcomics has less facets to it than animation and is FAR less time-consuming in my experience, it isn't necessarily easier, as the hundreds of thousands of abandoned webcomics sort of indicate. But it actually makes me sad because there's so many great webcomics out there that in addition to being completed, would make even greater movies and video games. A lot of people at least have ideas of what they'd want their comic to be like if it was a movie or game. Some animate individual comics, or write soundtracks, or make radio play versions if they have the time. As a reader, I eat this stuff up. (If any of you have done alternate media versions of your comics, or know of someone who has, please share!)

I have personally found that I like the idea of my stories being animated too much to just think about it. Even the beginning stages have taken up a very large chunk of my free time, but to me it's been worth it so far.


(This one took WEEKS. Still worth it.)

My current major project is a movie version of Lady Unlucky. (http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Lady_Unlucky/) I will continue to update the comic here on the Duck as much as I can (it's the storyboard for the animation, so it's going to be done one way or the other) but if you're interested in following the movie's progress directly, this is my Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/geminicblue) I also recently started a Patreon. [https://www.patreon.com/geminicblue] $1 a month gets you access to all features – early comic and animation updates, extras and behind the scenes works, and you get to see the Lady Unlucky movie way before everyone else. The movie will be released to a general audience all at once, but Patreon supporters will be able to see one chapter at a time as it's completed.

-Whirlwynd
http://www.geminicblue.com

comment

anonymous?

Whirlwynd at 8:35AM, April 19, 2016

Thanks everyone =) toondoctor, that animation is really cool!

toondoctor at 7:29PM, April 18, 2016

Great work, great post. I have a different 'secret origin.' I came from animation to comics. I have produced a pilot of another comic project with full animation done in Asia and so on. It is a bit more complicated as you say, and costly! You can see the animation test there on YouTube! https://youtu.be/3uQkDGMLYjo

ashtree house at 12:02PM, April 18, 2016

I'm with the others, amazing stuff! I love seeing any animated clips you share with us!

Banes at 8:40AM, April 18, 2016

Stunning work, Whirlwynd, as is your webcomic stuff! Great post; funny and VERY relatable !

KimLuster at 6:57AM, April 18, 2016

That is some really awesome work there!! Very impressive!!

ozoneocean at 5:24AM, April 18, 2016

Wow Whirlywind, that's pretty awesome!!!!

usedbooks at 4:15AM, April 18, 2016

Looks amazing! Keep at it, and good luck!


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