A Halloween Story from a year ago I’m finally getting around to doing.
Summer is winding down, the school supplies at Walmart are being replaced with Halloween candy and decorations, and as of yesterday Starbucks has cracked open the cases of pumpkin spice syrup. It’s hard to get into the fall spirit when it’s still 105 everyday and just last week ten acres caught fire within 100 yards of our house. However, just like when I worked at the print shop and had to setup HS Football jerseys in July, you have to get things done for the season outside of the season.
This comic idea comes from a Halloween themed NFT collection I threw together in the fall of 2021 called Punkinz. You can view the collection here. I released one Punkinz character every day for a month or so until Halloween. Each one was done with Adobe Illustrator which made it easy to resize them. But of course most NFT projects started to tank around the November/December mark that year and the artist groups I was in fell apart soon after.
Cut to this time last year, we had just moved to a new house and I was looking back a the Punkinz collection thinking that it would make a good comic book. I had begun reading shonen manga again and realized that the target audience of 15 year old boys wasn’t something that the Punkinz were going to appeal to. A few more scrapped ideas about a pixel art videogame and such came and went.
Then I started writing shorter fiction again, stuff that wasn’t going to have a mass audience or end up on the shelf at Hot Topic next to Bleach and Naruto. But then I started reading something called Chainsaw Man. A guy who is possessed by a chainsaw demon and has massive chainsaw blades burst from his arms, legs, and face to fight other demons. Folks love a good “fight fire with fire” story about demon slaying but again, that wasn’t something I was interested in writing. The concept of the transformation was where I was headed.
That is by no means a novel concept. You have various characters from other stories with jack-o-lantern heads. Almost all of them named Jack. Who have some sort of magic power or abilities. But not here. Kabo’s head just turns into a jack-o-lantern face. The only magic is the transformation and how the eye/mouth holes move around just like normal. How he gets this way and what he does about it is the meat of the story. How would a regular dude who works a regular job handle the concept of having a pumpkin for a head?
This type of story can’t go on for ages. The point gets made and issues resolve fairly quickly making it prime for a one shot story. I’ve got it plotted out at about 80 pages right now which is plenty. The story itself I wrote back in February. The goal was getting drawing started in the summer but we got busy with things for the kids so now I am drawing it out in August. At least the kids are in school and I have a spare time during the day to work on it.
I want you to know what you’re getting into before you read it by putting Kabo on the cover. Chainsaw Man’s first issue has Denji on the cover and that makes you want to read it. So I’m rolling with that concept for now.
His name is Kabo, which is short for kabocha which is a type of Japanese pumpkin . Shout out to DragonballZ naming conventions where everyone is some sort of food.
He is a cook at an restaurant in town who’s life mirrors other folks in their late 20’s. He has a roommate, a rocky relationship girlfriend, and a job that demands 95% of his time.
Originally I had planned on creating the comic in Clip Studio Paint and uploading Kabo to Webtoon or Tapas. However, the single image layout just wasn’t working out for me when I was laying out the story. The comics I’ve read aren’t set up that way and I just wasn’t feeling it for this project.
I’ve also had a long standing issue with trying to draw digitally. I grew up with pen and paper and no matter what I just couldn’t recreate the desired outcome. Not wanting to put out total garbage I shifted back down to manual comic making the way I knew how.
The following are some of the supplies I am using to make Kabo:
- Strathmore Bristol Paper – Smooth 9×12
- Deleter Manga Ink – Black 4
- Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Holder – Model 36
- Nikko Manga Pen Nib G-Pen
- Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil Standard, 0.5mm
The goal is to have the Kabo inked and ready to scan by the end of September or mid October. Once it’s scanned I’ll import all the images to PDF and get it up for sale. Right now I am working on the storyboards from the outline I wrote months ago.
Let me know what you think!