A work-blog for the Zipper PSP digital manga

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Zipper-Blog Reader Cluster Map


Locations of visitors to this page

Over 135 Pages Total

Whew! It's done! The initial draft of ZIPPER is ready for continuity check and editing. Checking the revision history, it has taken about 3 weeks total to go from rough outline to finished first draft. It's a proud moment.

So far, the manga is just over 135 pages, but that might change slightly after I get the second draft ready. The second draft will be sent to Ja'il to illustrate in just a few more weeks; I'm hoping two at the outside.

In the meantime, I'm thinking it might be time for a contest, the details of which will be posted soon. The winner will receive a free copy of ZIPPER.

Also, keep an eye out for character sketches and more.

Friday, October 21, 2005

110 Pages

ZIPPER tops 110 pages! This being the case, I am expecting it to hit around 130 pages now. Far more than I anticipated originally. This makes me extremely happy. As I have hit the climax in the storyline, I don't anticipate it will be much longer before the manga can go to the illustrator.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Comics/Manga On Other Media Players

This question was posted to the comic_creators community at LiveJournal. I thought it was completely relavant in the face of the new wave of technology that is changing the way we read comics/manga. (Though I'm not so sure I answered the question to my own satisfaction... so I restate it below.)

LJ user deni_zen: I think it's cool you're creating comics just for the PSP. I wonder if the same formatting could be used for palms or pocket pc? -- (Published with permission.)

That's a great question. I wish I had a great answer. The truth is I don't know. I don't have either of those media players. With the advent of newer technology such as hand-held gaming machines like the DS, pocket computers like the Pocket PC, and media players like the iPhoto, our world expands in a variety of ways. While each of these machines has their own advantages over the others, they also each have limitations. I believe it is up to the individuals using the machines they prefer to explore these boundries.

When the PSP first came out, there was a lot of hype about comics being ported. Unfortunately, it was just that... hype. At the time of this writing, we are approaching a year after its debut, and there is still only one comic that has been created specifically for the PSP (to my knowledge) -- NYC2123: Dayender. Though I am sure that there is a ton of work in progress that will appear within the next year. Putting together a project like this doesn't happen overnight. It takes time.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are other comics out there formatting older work for the PSP, but formatting for is not the same as creating for. Creating for implies that there is conscious forethought to making the media work natively with the machine, while formatting for is recreating work to fit. With formatting for, the possiblity that you would lose something -- more than likely quality -- grows.

Which brings me to my answer for the above question. To take the PSP format and to format it for the PC Pocket, the iPhoto, or any other media player/machine would mean loss of quality. Thus I think it is important to start out with work that is meant for the machine of choice. There are other problems that might occur as well, such as the image sequencing/archiving "problem" that the PSP occasionally has (which I have not personally encountered and seems to be rare, but not to be overlooked), and the software that other machines use. As I personally do not own any of these other products, I have not researched the possibilty of doing work or porting work for or to them.

If there is an individual out there who is currently creating an iPhoto comic or a PC Pocket manga, I welcome them at this site. I encourage them to comment in the blog and link up with this site so that information as a whole can be dissiminated to the masses.

Image Sequencing and Archived Files for the PSP

While the ZIPPER project is not yet ready for archiving, I felt it was important to relate these two articles for future reference.

Chad and Paco Allen pioneered the PSP graphic novel and have therefore are learning tons about not only the genre, but about the media, and the media player itself through a trial-by-fire affair. Therefore they definitely should be applauded and recognized for their unending efforts to bring readers the best reading experience possible.

With their permission, I reprint a portion of their image sequencing and archiving experiences. Thanks Chad and Paco!

Issues with Image Sequencing on the PSP -- "We've had a couple people (two exactly -- one on issue #1 and #2 each) email us about issues they've experienced with the images not appearing in the correct sequence when they are copied over to their PSP. I've had this same issue with a couple PSP formatted magazines myself. I can't find any official documentation on how the PSP sequences images, but it has been the leading theory that it is based on the date the files are created/last modified (and that's exactly how we publish the images: saving them out one-at-a-time in the sequence they are intended to be viewed)." Click to read full post.


More on PSP Image Sequencing -- "Here are some things we've learned recently by talking to folks at Sony (thanks, guys!) and through a fair bit of experimentation. This is probably only of interest to you if you are creating re-mixed or translated versions of NYC2123, or if you are creating your own sequence-based content for the PSP." Click to read full post.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

75 Pages

ZIPPER surpassed 75 pages today and is steadily working its way toward a 100. Would be nice if it made it that far. Who knows. More than likely it will surpass even that. I don't have a set number of pages that I'd like to do. That's the beauty of working with the PSP, I don't have any page limitations to worry about. I can simply go with what works. I could make a manga/comic as big or as little as I wanted to.

Also, last week I received initial rough character sketches of Zipper and her sidekick, A.I. companion Zepplin. I'm extrememly pleased with the initial ideas. I am going to write up critiques for them later today to send off to Ja'il for minor changes I'd like to see. Overall though, his style is perfect for this project. I'm extremely happy to be working with him.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Closing In On A Beginning

Took off to Osaka with my wife to spend a three-day weekend. Decided to give the ZIPPER script a rest so that I could come back to it fresh this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find there are only 6 more written pages to convert. I figure that will be about another 30 to 40 pages of comic, give or take. And I am under the impression this comic will run between 70 to 90 pages.

After the script is finished, I'll start on writing up character descriptions for Jei el so he can work on character sketches. Once I give the okay to those, he can start illustrating. It's exciting to see this project start to take wing. There's still a lot to do, but it only makes it that much more fun.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Character Concept Model: Zipper

I'm a big fan of Miwako Ichikawa. Have been since I first saw her in ANOTHER HEAVEN. As a former fashion model, she's lithe and tall and sexy as all hell. I wouldn't call her 'beautiful' per se, but she is definitely attractive.

When I started the rough draft of ZIPPER flashes of an Ichikawa-like Zipper filled my head, so I thought perhaps a design based on her would be perfect. (Strange really; I haven't seen ANOTHER HEAVEN in probably a year or so.) I don't want Zipper to look like Ms. Ichikawa, but I would like to see them sharing a few characteristics, like those incredibly gorgeous full lips, long legs, and tall, lithe body.

I'm sure we'll be able to share a few sketch concepts within the next few weeks when Jei el has the time to work on her. Until then, a few screen shots from ANOTHER HEAVEN.

All rights reserved; Another Heaven Film Partners, George Iida and all respective owners.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Related: NYC2123 PSP Comic

An article about NYC2123. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so, this is fantastic work. As it is free (though the creators do ask that you consider a donation -- completely worth it!), you can't go wrong. Easy to download, install and enjoy.


Jei el Link

Check out the Links section, and note Jei el's site. Jei el is the artist on this project. He's a fantastic illustrator with mad skills! He is helping me realize this project. I'm extremely happy to have him onboard. The link will take you to his Deviant Art site.

The other link (Moped Ronin) is to my own site.

-- Made in DNA

Monday, October 03, 2005

Why The PSP?

Why is it that ZIPPER is being created specifically for the PlayStation Portable? Fair question. There are plenty of mediums out there (PDF, CBR, etc.), and it is quite possible that upon launch, they will be addressed. For now though, ZIPPER is PSP-specific.

I myself, own a PSP and became excited about the possibilites the PSP opened up. Though, at first, to be honest, I was skeptical about reading manga/comics on such a device. I don't have the best of eyesight, so small print tends to, literally, all but put me right on top of the media. My fears of this were confirmed by content providers such as GO MANGA*, whose offerings, while certainly has great appeal to a number of readers with its "Shonen Jump" style work, were only digitized versions of manga they have already published.

The work simply is not formatted for the PSP. That is to say, it is formatted for printed, full-page viewing. The PSP on the other hand, works more on the panel-level, which is approximately a third of the size of a traditional comic book page. When you try to mash whole pages into panel-sized screen format (the PSP's screen is only 480 x 272 pixels), you get work that is unreadable. Readers are forced to cursor around a single page to get the full effect of the work. Moreover, readers must flip their PSP vertically to enjoy single-page illustrations; something I found personally annoying.

When I discovered NYC2123: DAYENDER by the Allen brothers, my perceptions changed. Here was work created specifcially for the PSP, and it was spot on. It didn't keep me flipping my PSP, it didn't make me zoom or cursor across the page to read it, and it utilized a considerably smaller space (than a full-page of a traditional comic page) in a very, very effective way.

The Allen brothers inspired me to work on ZIPPER, showing me that it could without having to follow the rules of a traditional comic if I had an effective imagination. In fact, the rules of traditional comic writing had to be broken, or rather re-invented to fit the new format. In truth, the PSP has its limitations, namely the panel-level based style that I mentioned earlier. It is not possible to do those really huge full-page illustrations that can strike at the heart of a reader, creating a strong, lasting impression. But everything has pros and cons, it's a matter of managing them to work for you. Something that I hope ZIPPER will be able to effectively accomplish. As with all new medias, only time will tell.

-- Made in DNA

* - I however applaud GO MANGA for bringing manga titles to the PSP. I certainly do not think ill of them as a company at all.


I think it should go without saying, but I guess it has to be since there are those in this world who prefer to live off the work of others, that all material in this blog is © 2005 Made in DNA.

Mature Content/Subject Matter

ZIPPER is set in an adult world. That is to say that it contains mature content and subject matter. While it will not be "pornographic" in nature, it does contain content that is best suited for an audience that can absorb and understand the work.

I realize this may cut the number of potential sales, but ZIPPER is not about sales, it is about storytelling. I grew up on great pulp graphic magazine HEAVY METAL, and have always felt that it held mature content in the highest regard. There may have been times it was overt, shocking, or even outrageous, but never was it "raunchy". (At least in my opinion.) Therefore, while there will be no adult content in this blog, I am proud to say that in the tradition of great magazines like HM, ZIPPER will not pull punches. However, nor will it be over the top in regards to sexual content. Whatever nudity, language, or adult situations there may be, they are the product of reality in the world of the manga itself.

-- Made in DNA

Welcome to the Zipper PSP Manga Blog

Welcome! My name is Made in DNA. I am the writer/creator of the ZIPPER manga for the PlayStation Portable.

The manga has not yet been published. I am currently working on the script, and the artist, a talented Indonesian gentleman, is currently working on character sketches.

This is a working blog; it's function currently is to not only promote the manga for its eventual publication, but to create and embellish the manga via posts about the world of ZIPPER in general, giving the reader a larger overview of the manga itself which is not always possible to do in the limited* comic form.

While I don't want to seem copycat-ish, it seems that more and more comics are being promoted via blogs these days (Brian Wood's DMZ and Chad & Paco Allen's NYC2123: DAYENDER being perfect examples). I believe it's because the more independent and outspoken artists, want to connect directly with their audiences, sharing in not only the world of their comic, but of the world in general. Storytelling is not a isolated medium wherein the storyteller plucks totally new ideas out of his or her own brain, but rather old ideas that have been mangled and perverted so that they represent something exciting and interesting to the audience.

It is my hope that you will enjoy ZIPPER. While posts might not be extremely frequent, feel free to come back often, as I hope to have some goodies up here eventually. And to comment or critique. Yes, critiquing is allowed. However criticizing is not. Critiques will be considered and possibly replied to. Criticizing comments will simply be deleted without comment.

Until later.

-- Made in DNA

* - limited, compared to traditional prose ficition, of which I am also an author of.