The first installment of Alkahest Shorts (on Smackjeeves or Tapastic) follows the journey of Gyanda through an outdoor marketplace. I wanted to challenge myself to have a completely silent comic (minus sound effects), relying on the picture to tell the story.
Because it’s a silent comic, you never hear the protagonist’s name. Well, her name is Gyanda! Gyanda’s name means “knowledgeable, learning” in Hindu. As the firstborn girl to a family-run flower shop, her parents wanted her to be able to take on the knowledge of their business and be a proper successor to the shop. Lucky for them, Gyanda has a knack for flower magic and seems to know what a flower needs just by looking at it–unfortunately, she finds this unchallenging and boring.
Which starts off this little short!
The flowers Gyanda is nurturing are all native Indian flowers. The one she magics is actually a super rare flower, Woodrow’s Crinum Lily. Which is one of the reasons she rushes after the fox-squirrel so readily!
In my research, I couldn’t figure out what style her outfit should be. The mother of a good friend of mine let me borrow a seriously intense book on Indian clothing–categorized from region to region, explaining why certain areas wore veils and others did less so, etc. The book was from the 80’s and the pictures that were colored had to be glued into the book. It was a fantastic resource! I hope to borrow it again, soon.
With all the information, though, I realized I didn’t know enough about my character’s family to know which region to base her clothing style after. In the end, because I wanted to get started on the webcomic, I settled for a more rural-generic-Indian style. Since Gyanda’s family had been in Alkahest for several generations, having the clothing be specific to one region wasn’t necessary, but it does make me think.
I love doing research! I can get so involved with it that I never start the final project. As a first, fully-finished webcomic of my stories, I’m very happy with what I produced and hope I continue to improve the world of Alkahest!
Thanks for reading! My next post on this webcomic short will discuss my style and choices in medium. Please look forward to it!
Love and hugs!