Thursday, May 30, 2013

Working on Black Tokyo Unlimited

Right now I'm working on Black Tokyo Unlimited. Aside from a quick trip to a Mexican restaurant nearby, to get some delicious tacos, I haven't left my house in two days. I've just been hunkered down, on my 'weekend' from my restaurant job, trying to get as much good work done as I can.

Right now, I'm about 70 pages into the manuscript. Actually, make that manuscripts. As I mentioned last time, I'm simultaneously laying out the PDF and print on demand versions. They're different enough its a bit of challenge to work on both simultaneously. For one thing, the POD version has different margins than I'm used to working with- the text actually covers more of the page, which means the POD version will be quite a few pages shorter than the PDF version. Right now, the POD version is about 5 1/2 pages shorter than its on-screen counterpart, and I expect the page count difference will only increase as the project continues.

The project is VERY art heavy. I have a ton of John Picot art to choose from, as well as Amanda Webb artwork from both the original Black Tokyo, as well as recently comissioned stuff and tons of usable stock. I'm trying for illos every 3-4 pages, and right now I'm laying out the section on Tokyo itself. Since the city of Tokyo lends its name to the setting, I want to have tons of art for that section. Right now, I've got 3 illos for the Tokyo section of the atlas alone, and I'm not halfway done. It'll look fucking amazing when I'm finished.

The illustration for this post depicts Noriko Gibson, a POETICA club owner, who originally appeared in Expanded Occupations: Maids! She, and her Cyber Heart Cafe return in BTU, and get expanded on a little bit. To me, she's a fairly minor character in the fiction- an android that seems outwardly independent and maternal but is really a pawn of the mega-corp that assembled her. However, John Picot fucking LOVED the character and illustrated her. As a writer, I love seeing my artists responding emotionally to a character I've created- what's even better is its rarely the major players of my settings. My artists tend to latch onto a specific supporting player, and start imagining whole new stories for them. With John, its Noriko Gibson. With Amanda, it's Hiemdall. It's too my advantage, because I usually get cool art out of the deal, and some new ideas, that may take my fiction in a different direction.

Also, speaking of Amanda, she's going to be leaving her civilian job and working as a full time mom and freelance artist soon. So if any of you want to comission anything from her, either for personal projects or future RPG projects of your own, you can get in touch with her at:

Mandapandarawks AT gmail DOT com.

Anyway, I'm off to do a little more work. I want to finish up Tokyo before I bed down for the night.

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