Gyanda’s Story: Character, Clothing, and Flowers

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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.

 

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A bored kid gets into trouble…

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!

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There’s, like, only two Pinterest posts on this flower.

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.

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The final outfit

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!

Short Story: It’s Just Business

Lights glared, dancing sharp shadows around the gambling hall. Tin cups and glasses clanked together. Feet stamped; fists were raised. Bets were taken at a small table in the corner of the full room. The uproar focused on the circle where the two fighters stood, a sword in each hand.

Under the heat of the lamps, sweat already glistened on the new challenger’s tall, muscular body. Her long black hair was pulled to the nape of her neck while strands of bangs stuck to her forehead. She unbuttoned her shirt and rolled her sleeves. Determination furrowed her brow.

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A quick sketch to help me know the character more.

Her sword was almost as tall as the returning champion of the gambling den’s ring.
On the opposite side of the loud circle stood the much smaller woman. Thick, light brown hair was tied in a knot high on her head. The line from her cheek to her chin was as sharp as her sword. Sweat seeped down the chest and back of her tunic. Still, her breathing was steady, even in this last round, and her hand rested easy on the sword that was only as long as the other woman’s forearm.

“Back for more, Daria?” the woman chided, her thin mouth curling. “I thought you’d have to wait a month to have enough money to enter again.”

Daria raised her longsword. “Leave it to the ring to decide, Itzel,” she growled.
Itzel didn’t react to the stance, only nodding to the time keeper that she was ready.

“Fight!”

Daria lunged. Itzel dodged lazily.

She shook her head at the advance. “This isn’t going to be much of a fight if you didn’t actually improve.” Even though the fight was easy, her pulse picked up, rising as the cheers grew louder. Her golden eyes shone.

The challenger yelled and spun wildly, cutting into air, chasing in vein after the nimble figure. Raising the sword over her head, she dropped it down heavily. It sunk into the dirt ground. Continue reading “Short Story: It’s Just Business”