The Formal Style Comics Era (2)
I completed the <i>Bloody Star</i> and had more confidence in myself, but it's almost impossible to draw works with heavy theme continuously.
So I decided to create a jaunty piece, which could be called as "a light space opera," for the next work.
It was titled the Super Odyssey CABSTON, a long piece with 23 episodes, 16 pages for each episode.
This is a slapstick action comedy in which a jack-of-all-trades guy in space, named Cabston, gets involved in the scramble for the universal hidden treasure. It featured that new characters and new situations appear in almost every episode.
By creating this work, I intended to have much experience anyway and improve my drawing skill.
That every episode has a different situation offers a good experience to master drawing various artificial stuff and natural objects by the pen-and-ink drawing techniques.
And since this work, in order to draw it for the fixed number of pages, I inevitably came to draw continuity sketches (or recently called as "name"). Till then, I had started drawing drafts in a haphazard way. However, it was too obvious that with such a way I would never complete a limited-page-number cartoon to apply as a newcomer's work.
This work continued from the first episode finished on May 14, 1983 to the 9th finished on December 2, 1984.
Though I quitted it with the story unfinished after all, it had a great significance for improving my drawing skill.
A scene from the episode 7 of CABSTON.
There was also a change of circumstances those days. My younger brother Tsutomu was the only reader till the era of Bloody Star, but CABSTON series gained popularity among the younger members of the art club, and they began begging me to release next episodes.
Those days I had never seen a dry copy machine, and of course didn't have an idea of making copies of my work and creating individual magazines or coterie magazines, either. Comic Market, also known as Comiket, was totally the thing in another world, and I had heard that it seemed to be held at somewhere in Tokyo, but it was still small-scale and I wasn't interested in it at all.
Because I didn't have a concept of "block-copy draft", my illustrating skill cultivated by CABSTON reached the accuracy like the work-of-art creation on condition of viewing with naked eyes.
Applying patches on drafts was out of the question. Line projections out of panels and white correction were lessened to the minimum, and there was no painting unevenness in solid black.
Though my drawing itself was unripe, its surface completeness easily endured the drafts of current GUNNM.
Now I consider it might be useless efforts anyway...
In spring of the memorable year 1984, I became the third grade in the high school and was appointed as the chief of the art club, just because I was the only member of the third grader.
I had been an inactive member till then, but after that, I felt responsibility in my own way, such as having made a bold speech to introduce our club activity for new students.
Thanks to the effort, several new members joined the art club and we became to meet after school every day, but our real activity was almost like a comics fan circle.
After a while, we came to ask the printing office related with a younger member to make copies of our comic coterie magazine, then to sell it at the school cultural festival.
The coterie magazine made by the members of the art club.
I'm the guy that has a get-up-and-go if there is a place to publish.
On August 3 I completed Scrap Star, a short comic with 24 pages, sharing the same view of the world.
How was the asteroid of gathered scraps in the universe made? The story reveals that it was a result of the magnificent desperate struggle a wanted and a bounty hunter.
Though it was a light work from one-shot idea, I deepened confidence as I was able to create the short story with the handy number of pages, which made me ride on a wave, then went to draw the new piece Kikai to enter a newcomer award.