Comic Non-Sans: “Odyssey into 2012”

About twelve years ago, when I was learning about this webcomic jazz but had no desire to do anything about it long-term, I stumbled upon a website containing a collection of what I’ve seen referred to recently as “impromanga” — a comic with a different writer/artist taking a few pages at a time, with no plot set out ahead of it, changing and moving with each new person brought on board.  I took part, but I was only 18 and hadn’t really drawn very far outside my calculus notebook, so it didn’t end well.  Regardless, I continued to watch their progress from a distance, and was always intrigued by the evolution of the story and art as each person stepped in — and, in many cases, as people who had done installments before came back around for another go.

When checking my deviantART notes recently (as I sometimes actually do), I found out about Odyssey into 2012, a massive group creative piece hosted by user techgnotic.  It starts with a short and simple prompt — a girl stands in front of a “gate” with no memories, a calendar page with certain dates circled, and two slips of paper reading Tokyo and Zephyr. From there, writers and artists are asked to contribute to the story, matching certain deadlines (the dates circled on our heroine’s calendar).  Multiple entries are displayed, but only one piece of prose and one piece of art per installment become part of the finished project.  The story is set to end on New Year’s Eve, and what will happen is anyone’s guess … including the creator’s.

“Odyssey into 2012” isn’t a contest or a competition, though there will apparently be random giveaways.  Yes, there will be “definitive” entries chosen, and I’m sure anyone whose work makes it to the top will have to prepare for an influx of followers, but there aren’t gift certificates or Wacom tablets to win here.  Thus I’ve been interested in watching what sort of submissions come in.  So far, I’m impressed.  As I’d hoped would be the case when I saw the project start, everyone who contributes seems to have a different view of the heroine, the story ahead, and even what a “gate” is.

I’m sure this is going to continue into something extremely fun, and I plan to follow all the entries I can — not just the “canon” ones, but whatever I see handy.  For what it’s worth, I’m hoping I can take some time out to give it a go on my own, just to see what happens.

The next due date for art and writing (for Chapter 3) is tomorrow.  If any of our readers send something in, I think we’d all love to have a look, so leave links in the comments.  I’m very pleased that deviantART has decided to push something of this sort, and hoping that perhaps there will be more like it in future.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 01:00 by Kara Dennison · Permalink
In: Columns, The Written Word, Webcomics, Webcomics · Tagged with: , , , ,