September 16, 2019:
- Decided on a storyline for my Senior Thesis project (which will be just one issue of a theoretical series of comic book issues about Hasaki Gozen’s various encounters with villains across Japan and Asia, and how she must tackle philosophical and moral dilemmas as to what it means to be a hero).
- Talked with my Prof’s Creative Writing TA about the philosophical questions my comic asks: Should some villains be killed to save potential victims, or spared in adherence to a moral code of ethics? Are some people, no matter how horrible their crimes, worthy of redemption? My comic will also contain the themes of alienation (particularly in the form of mutants who become ostracized from society), honor and duty vs. doing the right thing, and the struggle between humanity, society, and nature.
- One big question that came up in my discussion with the writing TA was what specifically motivates Hasaki Gozen in her choice to use her mutant powers for good, rather than evil or for crime like the villains of this series. My response was that, in Hasaki’s past, when she was bullied and essentially became a social pariah due to her strange powers, she was saved from a life of crime by Japan’s first superhero, who became her sensei or mentor, and saw potential in the young Hasaki. Hasaki came to regard her mentor as more than just her teacher, but as a friend and motherly figure, as someone she could actually trust in a world that demonized mutants. Hasaki and her mentor formed a very strong bond that went beyond master and apprentice, superhero and super-sidekick, in the early days of mutant heroes. This mentor figure taught Hasaki restraint and to use violence only as a last resort, imparting upon her a moral code to always defend the defenseless, and offer her enemies a second chance to redeem themselves. Hasaki’s mentor’s death at the hands of a rising supervillain years down the road traumatized Hasaki, and almost shattered her willpower, filling her heart with vengeance. She continued to fight supervillains in honor of her mentor throughout the years, but the more enemies she fights, the more and more often she encounters situations where her master’s moral code is not directly applicable.
- Created a sketch for how I want the comic’s first issue cover to look like (top left of the drawings above), and the panel layout in ensuing pages (which is supposed to reference the curved shape of a katana samurai sword).
- Bought Copic Multiliner pens for the purposes of experimenting their use on my comic (on watercolor paper), and made a plan to scan my completed drawings on Photoshop, then using single-tone color to give it a comic book color scheme (in the future).
- “Heroshima”, one of the tentative title ideas I have for the name of the comic series, is a pun on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, where one of the atomic bombs from the US was dropped, setting the stage for the rise of mutants.