In this section: story, creator, and process
Chirault is a fantasy webcomic, started in mid-2007 and currently updating two pages every week (on Monday and Friday), with bonus extras appearing on some Wednesdays. The story is about this weirdo named Kiran and this tiny kid who sits on his shoulder and tells him to do things. Sort of, anyway. There are also demons and imploding cities and the possibility of the world's imminent demise, in roughly that order of mention. It's a little complicated I guess.

click for full-view
(click for full-view)

Incidentally, if you are wondering why Kiran's outfit seems to have suddenly grown straps, or where Eryss gets her arrows, or why on one page some detail that was there before has suddenly vanished (only to reapper on the next page)... Chirault is not immune to what I like to call 'continuity errors'. I may at some point go back and fix them-- it is the kind of task that is not difficult per se, but is extremely repetitive and irritating, and so I have been putting it off.

Creator: I generally go by 'Thane', 'Varethane' or some combination of the two online; I am a Canadian artist and animator, currently working in Toronto. I'm also really bad at talking about myself, so I'll just stop this paragraph here before I twist my brain into knots.

Anyway. I can be reached via email at varethane@gmail.com, or found on Deviantart, Livejournal, tumblr, and possibly other such online network sites with the username 'Varethane'. Any questions, comments or suggestions can be directed in any of these venues, because I'm still just getting over the wild idea that people I don't know can read this project of mine.


Other credits: First and foremost, Teeko is originally the creation of Cloneclone, when we started fooling around drawing our characters interacting with one another in paintchat. I enjoyed their interactions and in fact they were the basis for the comic's entire existence; so, when I decided to write a comic about scarf-boy, of course I got permission to have her in it as well. She has since evolved quite a bit.

The site's css and design was coded by Larking, owner of the site Dry Oasis; the CMS it's running right now (and the current incarnation of the site's more unified appearance) is courtesy of the SpiderForest Collective's RanJado, to whom I owe many many thanks.

Process: Because it seems like a lot of people are curious about this, here's how the comic is made (with pictures!):

First I sketch out the image in mechanical pencil (usually 0.7mm lead, though I've used 0.5 sometimes when they run out). The pencil seen here is my Funky Pencil, which was tragically lost a few months ago; now I generally use Bic, not that it's made much of a difference to my art. The notebook is one of many (about five or six) which contain story notes and tiny page thumbnails, accompanied by snippets of script and margin notes about things I'd forget if I didn't remind myself.

The black pen in this photograph is magic. No, seriously.

...Okay, for real serious now. I use it for all the lines in the comic (excepting the prologue and the panel borders); it's a Pentel Calligraphic brush pen, with replaceable ink cartridges. This is important because I go through about three ink cartridges a month, and if I couldn't replace the things I'd have to buy a new pen each time one ran out.

The other pen is used for the panel borders (because brushes don't work too well for making straight lines, even if you do have a ruler); the brand doesn't really matter because I use pretty much any pen whose tip is the right width (between .3 and .5mm). I also use it to ink the words in the speech bubbles, because after I've inked over the pencil lines I erase everything, and I don't want to forget what everyone was saying (and it's easier to erase quickly if I don't have to worry about not messing up the bubbles.)

And the last step before scanning! Markers. In this picture all of the markers are the same brand; that's because at the time this picture was taken, I was still just beginning to use more than one marker to shade the whole comic. Now I use anywhere between three and ten markers on a single page; usually they are either Tria Pantone or Promarker, since their colour systems are consistent. I work from dark to light; the thick lines make things easier here by widening the margin of error.

The script often goes through changes at this stage. Often I'll figure out a better way to word something, or realize that something was omitted that shouldn't have been (or vice versa). I usually think of these changes as I work on the art, which is why I don't have a single solid script for the entire comic; the tone of a panel or a scene can change depending on nuances in the art, so I don't want to commit myself in advance to some line of dialogue that may end up not working out quite as I'd meant it to in the final. This means that the story and characters are constantly evolving in some rather unpredictable ways, which makes the process of making it more interesting for me. (:

And, the final version of this page can be seen here.

-Thane