Yay! this one I took more time on, especially with the holidays passing. I wanted to see how much polish really matters with a comic. To tell the truth, not much. This effort has taught me as much about what I don’t want to do as much as I discovered new avenues of creation.
In this episode Technorouge is about to get roasted in front of a ravenous crowd by the pyromancer Malphiose, all while his half sister Salticid is sneaking around in Malphiose’s head (really his mindsafe).
Here is the story so far, laid out in all its 54 page glory:
Anthropologist Ponzo of the Connect Cultural Authority gives a description of a somewhat crude but powerful Formal dimensional tool: the Mindsafe.
“A Mindsafe is a type of pocket dimension that typically serves as a private domain for privileged Formals*. Mindsafes are common in the Form star system, and provide several uses to the owner. The greatest of these uses being uplink pedestals, where powerful thaumaturgic items can be placed in order to give powers and abilities to the linked owner. With these uplink pedestals comes another use, limitations and curses placed on a pedestal can hinder and imprison a victim connected to a Mindsafe. However, so called Mindprisons are considered separate from Mindsafes in Formal culture. A Noble’s Mindsafe bears protections on its pedestals that don’t allow curses to be placed whereas a lesser thrall’s Mindprison is out of the control of the linked “owner”. The pedestals in a Mindprison are optimized to accept curses and limitations of the most barbaric sort.
Entrance and Exit
A Mindsafe consists of a dimensional doorway that often appears as an object or trinket in the outside world. This object is often connected to or worn near the head of the owner, for the Mindsafe has to be directly connected to the owner’s nerve mass for them to experience the benefits of power items applied to the pedestals. It is known that a user will loose any pedestal powers if the entrance object is removed from their head; some Formals even have the entrance fused to their skull to avoid this problem. The entrance can be physically entered by anyone save for the owner, who must remain outside as a dimensional anchor. However, the owner can appear within the pocket dimension while bodily remaining outside in a meditative trance. The concentration skills required to appear in one’s own Mindsafe are great, but a professional installation always comes with the basic user skills mounted on a startup pedestal.
Problems and Mechanics
While Mindsafes may be dimensionally simple and reliable for their low levels of complexity; standard dimensional problems and paradoxes may apply. Such as: splinting, balloon knot inversion, unstable topology in the pocket dimension, security monsters hitching through a daybreak in the dimensional doorway, etcetera. Because of these occasional problems there exists in Form a high-demand community of Mindsafe Artisans and Mechanics who provide services of design, installation, security, upgrade, and repair.
Security and Infiltration
A Mindsafe wouldn’t be much use to Formal Nobles if not secure against thievery and uninvited intrusion. Security measures abound inside of the pocket dimension. Security ices, lavas, spike pits, long underwater stretches, deadly puzzles, monsters, and dart traps are all common inside of a Mindsafe. “Diving” uninvited into a Mindsafe is difficult and dangerous, but not impossible. Notorious professionals known as “Infiltrators” have made it their business to dive into the personal domains of others, wether to thieve, sabotage, or spy. It is an unwritten rule of infiltration to wait till the owner is asleep to exit. If an infiltrator leaves the pocket dimension when the owner is awake, a daybreak will occur, which is an existentially unsettling event that can leave the owner temporarily traumatized. Formals consider daybreaking to be crude and dishonorable, though it happens often when a heist goes awry.”
*Formals are denizens of the Form star system circling the star “Impeller”.
My name is Joseph Culp, I am the writer and painter of FORM. My wife Haein Lee (who designed the primary characters and their costumes) and I have been kicking around ideas and characters for a scifi story for quite some time. around October I realized its not so hard just to paint a comic since we can’t make a badass TV show or videogame with 2 people. Every panel in the comic is a speedpainting done in photoshop, I find painting comics to be very fun! Line drawing is too tedious for me, I don’t own a Cintiq!
FORM is a space comic set in a mystical universe where magic is technology and technology is magic. I will use this blog portion of the site to lore-rant about the universe and star system that Form takes place in. Hopefully there are people out there who like scifi lore!
Anyways, enjoy Episode 01. I am currently painting episode 02 and am a little over halfway done with it (28 pages). I can probably get an episode out at a rate of around 1 per month. If I go a little over a month its cause I’m trying to make it look better and better!
I’ll leave you with an early concept for some of the characters: