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Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!! - The  Early Years

Special Report
Written by Benjamin A. Oliver
Artwork by Esa Karjalainen and Others
April 15, 2003

Guess what? Esa finally missed an update! In his third week, no less. So, in place of a regular page update today, we'll go for an explanation and a special report of things to come and things long gone. That means I get to pull out all kinds of Esa's most embarrassing material and show it to the masses. I've been given power to officiate in this matter, and so I must abuse that power as frequently as possible. ^_-

ASKAh, glorious, glorious sketchy goodness! An artist is a terrible thing to waste, especially when he knows the characters better than you do and is willing to generate new ones on your slightest whim. That's precisely what you can see in the sketch above. It's a hodgepodge of a few of the dozens of test sketches Esa's done over the past year or so. I've been asked not to divulge any major secrets of the plot to come, so I'll just let everyone gaze upon those sketches and take a wild guess who they are and what role they will play in the coming chaos that is NETTG:TEY.

Esa's done a great job over the past year. Just after I finished an art appreciation course for my university, I felt the odd yearning for art — that is, drawings of my characters. I could not be complete without them. I started searching around for the artists a few of my friends had pressed into drawing NETTG fan art years ago, but they were nowhere to be found. I was alone. I had no artists, not since I got displeased with the last one and disintegrated him…

Alas, poor Ashikaider… I didn't know him very well, but we had high hopes. He once offered to make an Impromanga out of NETTG back in 1999. I wanted to take him up on the offer, but just when we were about to get started, I just had to do my duty and run off to Mexico for a couple of years. ^_^ Ah, memories. We just fell out of contact…. Ash (or, Evan, as I came to know him) even made a Sailor Vegitasei picture to go along with a random, crazy Sailor Moon/Dragonball Z scripted fanfic I came up with.

Sailor VegitaseiToo bad we lost touch. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t…

Anyway, I knew that fan art drawn by somebody who wasn't a fan of mine would only produce mediocre results, at best; all I could do with the best of descriptions would be to give both the unlucky artist and myself a nasty headache. I needed an artist that was a fan and knew what I wanted before I knew it — someone who knew my characters better than I did — what's more, I needed something fantastic and totally improbable. For months, I hoped and prayed for a miracle…

I got a marginally sloppy drawing of A.S.K. and Terra. It was totally random and out of the blue. But still, it was art — art by an artist that, of all things, liked the stuff I was writing. Like a sip of water to a man dying in the desert wastelands of unrequited creativity, I was rejuvenated and set about finding every last positive detail that I could find of that picture and telling that artist precisely what I thought of it.

Artists are like writers: they tend to make more stuff when they know somebody else likes it too. ^_^

We started out with a few drawings of a couple characters here and there. I saved and cherished each individual piece, ravenous for the next one to come, printing some out and sticking them on my wall. I asked for some specific characters. I got some (like Sailor Stylin'— and a mighty fine picture that one was), but I never got ones that I didn't really need in the first place (a preteen female Jadeite, anyone? ^_^;;;;). The miracle had happened: somebody who knew what I really needed had come. Amazing how that happens sometimes…

Anyway, after talking with a friend, I discovered web comics — and found that while he was an anime fanatic, he flatly refused to read any of my fan fiction, greatly preferring web comics over those. Naturally, my dominating instinct arose and I eventually asked Esa if there was any chance of getting a web comic made.

Esa, being something of a fan of web comics as well, thought it over and mentioned that it was possible if all that would be required were pencil drawings with the occasional color cover or whatnot. This would definitely be an opportunity for Esa to shine: good art and good writing merging as one…

We had a rocky start. Two test pages were made, both of which became part of the prologue, but we started freezing up as time went on. Esa had these things of dubious importance called, strangely enough, "work" and "school". Progress stalled… Over the months, a few more pages were made, tested, revised, redrawn, revised again, then finally buried under anime videos for a few months and recycled as new fan fiction.

Then, something snapped. In late February, Esa mentioned that a weekly update schedule might be possible. I recommended a starting deadline to have the prologue done: April 1st. It is a tradition for me to release unbelievable things on that day, simply because they're unbelievable and cause great havoc the next day when people find out that they were real.

We scrambled with the scripts and the pages, determined to get them up to a certain level of quality before going public. And lo, it was done!

So, now, to bring it back, full-circle, we have a schedule to keep and things planned if they don't go right. My brother may be called upon to make an ArbyFish comic portion for the site. We may release sketches more frequently… We may have to force Esa to work more quickly, threatening to release some of his drawings that didn't turn out so well. =^.^=

But rest assured, this is an opportunity we don't want to miss, and we will not abandon this project easily, especially after so much work getting it started. The NETTG fanfic has been going on since 1997, and I haven’t given up on it yet, either. Human beings can be so stubborn sometimes, can't they?

Now for the final bonus for today: an idea that could potentially move mountains, devastate mankind, and conquer the universe all in one fell swoop. (Me? Large goals? Never! ^_^) Feast your eyes upon… THESPOILER!!! More details will be available in the coming months. Until then, hang tight! We will get this site working better soon.


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