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Topics - NO1SY

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Alrighty! So, now that I have started commuting again, I have gotten back into reading. It's amazing what progress can be made with two and half hours journeying everyday, and then a bit of time before bed instead of videogames or Youtube...

The series I picked up (much to the dismay of my wallet...) is one I have been wanting to read for years now:

"The Wheel of Time" by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson)

Clocking in at 14 CHUNKY books long, each at 750-1000 pages, it is quite the undertaking, but I found myself engrossed in the series before long and unable to prevent myself from buying the next in the series as soon as I finished the previous. And so in the space of 3 weeks, I have stormed through half of the entire series!

Something that I noticed early on was that this series is a trove for learning opportunities - for novel writing, fantasy writing, and just writing in general - so I began reading with a relatively analytical eye, which thankfully didn't detract from my enjoyment. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the forum and hopefully generate some discussion.

Please note, I have done my best to make this all
SPOILER FREE, so please refrain from any major spoilers in any discussions. I mostly talk about concepts as opposed to story as I think that is more productive, however If people want to discuss story elements that is fine, just please keep it in spoiler windows.

Manga Writer workshop / HALLOWEEN 2020!
« on: October 31, 2020, 06:57:01 AM »

We live in a dark and troubling time, such that tonight, a night used to festivities and house-parties galore, may be an unsettlingly solitary experience for many Raiders.

And so, I invite anyone who finds themselves unnerved by the quiet, or bored of the trashy horror flick you have watched 13 times before, to bleed their creative juices onto a page and create something new and hideously terrifying.

Write, draw, or both and fill our 2020 tome of horror this Halloween.

(I apologise for the damned watermark...)

Anime Talk / The World Ends With You Anime!?!?
« on: July 06, 2020, 01:32:19 PM »

Official Teaser Trailer


I don't think Square appreciate just how long I've waited for this!!

Funimation trailer says it is dropping in 2021

break Room / Tabletop / Pen-and-Paper RPGs
« on: June 24, 2020, 06:26:50 PM »

So I’ve been running DnD 5e campaigns for about a year and a half now (it’s where a lot of my creative writing efforts went for a long while), but I’ve been running into walls recently where the system just isn’t really keeping me engaged as a GM.

A key example of this is that combat (especially if I use grid-based battle maps) feels quite dry and very gamey, without much narrative flare or input from the players a lot of the time, as they often want to aim for the most optimal damage dealing options. Skill checks are also not very well mechanically fleshed out to facilitate a range of narrative outcomes, as they tend to operate In a quite binary pass/fail way.

I’ve been playing around with making my own Homebrew Sandbox world and I currently have a very messy list of modified rules to try and get DnD 5e to feel mechanically closer to the narrative experience I am aiming for. But I’ve also been scouting for other RPG systems that I can either pull from, adapt or use instead.

Recently I’ve been watching Jesse Cox’s
“Echoes of Eternity” Star Wars RPG campaign (which is worth watching for the sassy droid character alone!), and have been quite intrigued by Fantasy Flight’s Narrative Dice system - this system is also used for Genesys, Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition.

I was wondering if anyone else knows of some other cool Tabletop / Pen-and-Paper RPG systems that I could check out? Or maybe just some mechanics that ended up working really well in your DnD games?


Manga Creations / MR War Arc: NO1SY
« on: June 19, 2020, 05:52:18 AM »

I’m actually super happy that my first writing project back is contributing to MR Canon, which will hopefully lead into some more collaborative writing later on.

I have been advised to collect all of my work relating to this more solo part of the story into one place, so here it is! There is more to come and I hope you all enjoy  :biggrin:



A light wind swept the sand up against the walls of MR City, piling it into a yellow skirt. The walls still reached skyward, solid as ever, holding the dense city in its secure embrace. They were a comfort, like a warm hug, letting you know that your ideas, your creativity, your interests were safe and welcome. At least that is how the figure looking out at the city from the top of a dune in the distance used to feel.
   I got close this time... he thought to himself, in equal part nostalgic excitement, equal part wary anxiety. For as he gazed at his former home across the sand, those walls felt like cold hurdles now, the gates just portals to peek through into a city that looked like commitment.
   Once NO1SY had worn the appearance of a spritely young man with angular features, smooth skin and a healthy head of radiant orange hair that sat strikingly in a carefully curated mess. While working shifts for Pub-Tan he would dress in the get-up of a high-class service establishment, although he would never be seen without his headphones at least hung around his neck.
   However, over time, his image began to change: His features softened, his skin felt more coarse, his hair shortened and felt like dry straw, his beard grew long and disheveled, his shoulders became burdened with the weight of unseen responsibilities and lack of creativity, and his new clothes came across as hipster but trying too hard. Moreover, his headphones were now less a conduit for social engagement and instead an island of solitude whenever he wore them.
   By that time he had links to many sections of MangaRaiders; from Radio to Writer, Artist to Music, Review to Support. He had had plans, and had made promises, but one day when the sun rose in the sky above MangaRaiders, NO1SY was nowhere to be found.
   That was two years ago.

   A growing wump Wump WUMP broke NO1SY from his reverie.
   The heavyset military chopper crested the dune behind him, flying so low that the gusts from its blades threatened to sweep NO1SY off of the dune-top. He steadied himself in a wide stance and shielded his face from the billowing sand with his arm. He watched the chopper zoom towards MR City, and then what little colour he had drained from his pasty skin.
   They came from everywhere: tanks burrowed from hidden tunnels in the ground followed by legions of marching footmen, choppers descended from the sky in every direction like a swarm of locusts, artillery turrets breached through the sand on rising platforms and turned their sights towards the city. NO1SY had never seen anything like it.
   In a panic he launched himself down the side of the dune towards the city. As he descended, he sunk below the peaks of the other dunes in front of him and his view was cut off. NO1SY broke into a run to start scrambling up the next sandy mound in his way. He could hear the rumble of explosions in the distance, the faint rattle of gunfire. Somewhere to his left a roar and then a sizzling hiss indicated that a missile had launched from one of the artillery platforms. He pushed on and on despite the burning in his legs, as the battle raged on ahead of him.
   He ran. And then he slowed. He walked. And then he came to a stop.

   NO1SY stood looking up at the colossal walls looming before him and the buildings rising from within. He was closer to the city than he had gotten in years.
   Smoke billowed darkly from several locations across the skyline, while countless scores of troops rappelled from military helicopters that hovered like a dark cloud above the streets. Bolts of lightning and bursts of multicoloured lights flashed like a strobe from within, indicating that The Mods were in the thick of battle. On top of this, it was hard to explain, but it felt like The City was less... animated... somehow, like something important was now being lost.
   A part of NO1SY screamed to move forward. But instead he hesitated.
   I don’t think I’m ready for this... his chest felt heavy as he took an involuntary, wobbly step backwards. And suddenly, NO1SY once again found himself in the middle of a vast expanse of empty desert.

Check out the other MR War Arc Shorts here!


   It had been well over half a year and much was different, just not his choice of words...

   NO1SY had changed though. While his features were still not as sharp, his jaw was more set. His beard was trimmed and well shaped. As was his hair, which had regained a little personality atop its short back and sides. Despite his muddy green eyes speaking of some new aged experience, as well as old burdens, it seemed that he had learned to stand a little taller with it.
   The digital sun was high in the sky, beating down oppressively the desert landscape. NO1SY was just barely not boiling alive in his slim-fit combat trousers, (blessedly) breathable, grey hooded sweater, and tall, lace-up combat boots. He was a city dweller, not meant for a life of wandering a sweltering wasteland as hot as Satan’s balls. While he was as comfortable in a mixologist’s apron as he was a scientists lab coat, these days he opted for a bomber jacket, which provided extra manoeuvrability and extra padding. Unfortunately, now was not the time for his bartender’s waistcoat and cufflinks either. With a handgun strapped to his right thigh, instead he was prepared for a battle.
   At least he still had his headphones.
   He wiped sweat from his brow and shifted his toes uncomfortably in his boots, trying to ignore the gritty feeling. Sand really does get everywhere...
   The wayward Raider stood atop a dune, reminiscent of before. And once again, finally, after months of searching and directionless wandering and stumbling over shifting sands, he had found his way back. MangaRaiders lay ahead of him. Its alloy walls rose out of the sands that stretched from horizon to horizon. A sight for sore eyes. But also a despairing sight.
   Between him and his destination still lay a smouldering expanse of desert that unquestionably remained Lost Chorus territory. The artillery turrets still stood sentinel in the sands like mechanical monoliths. Military convoys and soldier squadrons trundled back and forth between the city gates, desert camps and the underground desert facility network. They looked like busy ants from this distance, and ants were unfortunately effective as a collective.
   Once upon a time it would have been second nature for NO1SY to simply will himself to appear at the gates of the city, which would have been open and welcoming. Now, that method of traversal seemed to elude him, new guard posts at the gates notwithstanding. In fact, he had seemed near physically incapable of even getting this close to MangaRaiders before now. Every time he trekked through the desert he found himself falling foul of one of a multitude of obstacles that only served to sow the seeds of doubt within him. The moment that happened he would either find himself whisked away once more into the middle of nowhere, or driven to seeking solitude in one of his many other haunts elsewhere on The Net. YouTube was the domain he most often sought comfort in; whiling away the days in endless streams of digital gaming entertainment and now completely defunct political debates. But it was only ever a matter of time before his will resolved once more and he would resume his search. Over and over and over again NO1SY relived this cycle, each attempt never more successful than the last.
   NO1SY even made negative progress on one particularly nightmarish journey. On that occasion, the endless dunes had a potent monotonous effect on his faculties, and so he did not spot the crevasse in the ground until he was already falling into it. He tumbled through darkness for what was far too long for the crack to be a natural geographical phenomenon. At some point he thought he could see streams of something trickling through the nothingness. It was glitchy and hard to look at, like thousands of superimposed letters and numbers tumbling through the aether. Before he could wrap his head around the sight, NO1SY hit solid ground with a thud that knocked the wind out of his lungs. After gasping in enough air, which could only be described as "ripe", to regain his feet, he flicked on his torch to reveal a dingy room with a tiled floor. He could not say how long he spent trapped in that dark corner of The Net he had accidentally illuminated, but it had taken a very long, very cold shower to rid himself of the filth from the place he now dubbed "Oppai Hell". Who knew that so much of a good thing could be so awfully bad.
   Nevertheless, this latest excursion had begun as any other: summoning himself into the desert plains, picking a direction and heading straight. In truth, the lost Raider had really held out little hope by then. He just put his battered headphones on, hit play, and walked. Then his headphones began picking up a signal. It began as spikes of static and he tapped at his headphones to make sure that the sand hadn’t damaged them. Then the odd word came through here or there.  He took a step in one direction but then the static cut out and his music resumed. NO1SY stood still for a moment, then backed up. The static returned. He began to walk in a circle until he reached a point where words cut through again, then he followed this faint signal like a compass until the crackling gave way to more and more speech. The voice was so familiar.
   “Bzzzzzt -ear Listeners, bzzzt -rently 202 days into... spell of mild bzzt sunny weather bzzzt rather boring bzzzzzzzzzzzt Occupation... worse than the infestation of the mimes! bzzzzzzt -iterally underground, totally pretend, gambling... Screw you fickle sponsors!........ bzzzt Together we...... strong... work bzzzzzzt freedom of all... bzt -aiting for you bzzzzt will come and go, but they never truly leave.... bzzzzzzzt.... WE ARE RAIDER!.... bzzzzt I miss the break room cookies... bzzt -nd now for Carly Rae Jepson’s ‘Call me maybe’ as performed by an orchestra of coffee machines!”
   It was kind of annoying, but also kind of beautiful, and it was undeniably 3.0. NO1SY didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, to fall to his knees or to punch the air. Instead, he just quickened the pace in whichever direction made the signal clearer. And so, now here he was catching his breath on the top of a hill of sand. MangaRaiders once again within his sight after so very long. He had truly missed it. And that’s why he felt nothing but wholehearted determination this time as he descended the dune and prepared to strike out across hostile territory.

   Through Oppai Hell or high water, NO1SY would return home.



(For an extra spooky atmosphere, listen to this while you read!)




For a rundown of current MR Canon, check out Coryn’s Quick Guide here!

General Manga writer discussions / Contrivance - A Flaw or a Skill?
« on: June 10, 2020, 01:14:29 PM »
“The use of skill to create or bring about something, especially with a consequent effect of artificiality”


“A device, especially in literary or artistic composition, which gives a sense of artificiality”

While the first definition could be seen as rather neutral, and therefore the verb “to contrive” could be an apt synonym simply for “to plan”, when we talk about contrivances in writing we refer to the second definition and it is often used as a critique to describe when a writer’s storytelling is so convenient or coincidental as to feel unnatural.

A massively popular use of contrivance is in everybody’s favourite YA story: J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter; when little baby Harry is saved from the Death Curse by his parents’ love.

I have been thinking more about this this recently as I have been watching Parasyte: The Maxim on Netflix and I began to notice some inner workings of the writing under-the-hood of the otherwise enjoyable superficial skin of a Sci-Fi Horror anime.

Spoilers for Parasyte: The Maxim:

The killing and subsequent takeover of Shinichi’s Mother is used as a convenient way to give the story a huge speed boost into a new plot direction. It allows for character development of Shinichi as he hesitates when faced with a monster that has taken the face of his mother, and then the rebuilding of his body by Migi when he is critically injured so that he can develop powers to rival the Parasites. It also begins the process of the public gaining knowledge of Parasites, starting with Shinichi’s father. The thing is, the circumstances of the Mother’s death are so completely unlucky or downright coincidental that it is near unbelievable with the amount of set up that they did:

The Parents go on a trip to a random place in the countryside and they go walking to some cliffs for the view. Around the same time somewhere along the same coastline, a human and a parasite get into a car accident and the parasite is forced to find a new female host. This is despite the most likely place for a parasite to head towards being more densely populated areas, not the countryside. Then, despite the parasite walking along a roadside with several cars passing, somehow it attacks no-one until it reaches Shinichi’s parents on the cliffs past a forest. And despite being shown to be in a weakened, non-optimal state, the parasite is still quite readily able to attack and kill the Mother.

Another example in the show is how the drama and tension between Shinichi and Satomi is maintained by Shinichi simply never telling her that his mother was killed. There are some undertones that suggest that he feels guilty and doesn’t want to talk about his mother. But telling Satomi would likely have gone a long way to alleviate her suspicions of the way he has “changed” and the reasons for it if she were to follow Okham’s Razor at all. Considering that he becomes less emotional as time goes on, it feels more and more silly that he doesn’t make this strategic decision, and seems to really only be that way to string out that dramatic/romantic tension between them.

Now it is important to understand that pretty much every story uses contrivance to some degree - from little things to challenge the main character to keep their story engaging, to huge amounts of it when stories deal with stuff like prophetic destiny. And more doesn’t necessarily mean worse. What really counts is how you hide it. Successful use of contrivance is all about how you can make it go unnoticed by using misdirection and sleight of hand. It feels bad when a reader can see something is happening unnaturally simply for the sake of plot progression, and in a lot of instances it can be immersion breaking. There is only so much that you can ask of a reader before they reach their limits with the suspension of disbelief. So you have to cover your tracks.

Going back to the Harry Potter example, personally, I think that this use of contrivance is horrible exceptionalism that really builds the main protagonist and main antagonist motivations, and the entire magic system, on very shaky ground. BUT, i would be remiss to say that it is not effectively swept under the rug for most people by essentially hiding it in a past event at the very beginning of a huge adventurous story, and by turning love into its own soft magic system that either enhances or undermines the rest of the established magic depending on who you are asking...

If your contrivance is happening during the main body of the story however - for instance: you need to get from point A to point C (travelling, training for combat, growing up, falling in love), but the journey through point B would take too long or be too boring or would require some really convoluted logic that you aren’t even sure you could pull off; so you skip point B entirely - a trick that may help is to sprinkle in a few mentions of events from “the journey” after the fact, even though the readers were never taken through it fully.

Therefore, something to avoid when you end up using contrivance is to make sure that it does not contradict any of the set up, rules or world-building that you have established before it. At that point, you are essentially creating a plot hole that you either have to explain away with more contrivance or you risk breaking your readers’ immersion.

Moving on... Ever get that feeling when reading or watching a series when you want to reach into the screen, grab the characters by the shoulders and shake them while screaming “JUST TALK TO ONE ANOTHER YOU MORONS, THEN EVERYTHING WOULD BE FINE!” Right in their faces? Yeah I get that a lot... Now, as I understand it, this can be very culture dependent, as in some cultures (like Japanese) people are often much more self contained or insular and therefore less likely to share problems - this should be born out in the writing of their character development to show that they tend to bottle up issues and try to deal with things themselves as a result of their upbringing or family dynamics etc.

However, if readers are not given an avenue into understanding how a character might be thinking or making decisions (i.e. their principles and how stringently they stick to them), not only will they struggle to relate to that character, but they will not be able to reconcile that character’s choice of actions if those actions ever appear slightly unintuitive or serve to create conflict or have negative consequences for that character.

This is often an issue with romances - from love at first sight type deals where there isn’t any build up and we don’t have an insight into why the character is smitten, to arguments between characters where they have shown a desire to make things better and have a piece of information that could diffuse the situation, but they say something else that makes things worse instead. For the former always try to establish, or at least indicate, the perspective character’s preferences somewhat beforehand so that if they suddenly develop feelings of some kind towards a newly introduced subject, readers have a kind of superficial checklist to go by also. For the latter, if the character is going to say the wrong thing in a situation then try to find a reason for them to do so, such as the other person says something spiteful that makes them want to retaliate in kind and forget to say the correct thing.

Anyways, that’s all I can think of for the moment. I hope that this all makes sense and is useful for anyone who finds themselves in the middle of contriving their storytelling. I believe that improving at this is a skill that really starts bumping writers out of the amateur level and on the way to more professional styles of writing. Good luck!

Hey all!

So there are lots of resources that I have tried to make use of over the years when it comes to trying to improve at writing, and considering that I watch probably too much YouTube I am glad that I was able to direct some of that hobby towards learning and productivity when it comes to writing.

One of the Most interesting resources I came across is a Lectures Series that Author Brandon Sanderson gives at BYU. While the series is more geared towards novel writing than comic writing, I think that there is still a lot of invaluable information in there that can be applied with a little creativity; as he covers world building, characterisation and dialogue, and magic systems just to name a few things.

Brandon Sanderson is the Author of the widely lorded Mistborn series, which is a masterclass in ‘hard’ magic systems, plot pacing, and strong female lead characters (which I personally think is an area where manga seriously falls short due to an over-reliance on tropes instead of good characterisation...). His Reckoner’s series is a great display of creativity with Superpower Sci-Fi too. To be honest he is a super prolific writer and I could go on and on about all of his series for hours... But if you listen to the lectures then you don’t have to read all of his increasingly long books to get an understanding of his process!

2016 Lecture Series

2020 Lecture Series

Another YouTube series that I really rate is:

On Writing and On World Building by HelloFutureMe - especially for anyone who wanted to know why Avatar: The Last Airbender was such a good series!

Anyways I hope that at least a few people find these as useful as I do :)

Welcome Center / A Re-introduction of sorts
« on: June 02, 2020, 10:58:37 AM »

It has been a minute...

Some of you may remember my goofy antics from a few years back, but now I kindly ask that you forget about them so that my embarrassment can be short-lived!  :angel:  ... although I guess some of them are immortalised in podcast form...

Anyways I have been meaning to log back in for a while now, and I missed you lot, so I thought I’d pop in and see what’s happening (apparently quite a lot, which is suuuuuper nice to see :) )

I love stories, so if you have any you want read or reviewed please send them my way and I will see what I can do. I love seeing good art too! I am counting on you to help me procrastinate through my PhD, just like you did during my undergrad!  :heart:


Manga Writer workshop / Write a Short Story Based on the Song Above!
« on: July 12, 2016, 07:32:24 PM »

YAY, NO1SY finally does what he says he's gonna do and starts this workshop!... :sure:

So, after the success of my music based writing project project (which I am not gonna shamelessly plug...), and due to popular request for this kinda thing, I am going to start this little workshop, which marries two things that I enjoy: Music and Writing.

The gig is simple:

1) I am going to start the thread off by suggesting a song (with a link to listen to it and to the lyrics!)

2) Someone is going to listen to the song and come up with a short story (somewhere around 1000 - 1200 words) based on the song. No plot summaries or overviews, just actual story writing.

[2.5) If you feel so inclined, you can also find a song of your own that fits well enough with the suggested one to write a second part to your story and post that as well]

3) The person who posts their story for the song then gets to suggest their own song for someone else to work with.

4) The workshop continues!

"But NO1SY, why should we bother with this when we can be working on our own stories?"

Well friends, during my own project I found that there a few cool things to be gained from this kind of exercise. First and foremost is listening a bit more closely to music being presented to you, which is something I have always found interesting. But then you have to think creatively to utilise the imagery conjured by a song - not just by the lyrics, but by the music itself also - and also write a piece that fits the themes presented by the song; picking them out or your own interpretations. You also find that some songs use very interesting vocabulary that you may want to add to your own to draw from in future. I'm sure that there are many other benefits to doing something like this but at the end of the day I just think it's cool and a bit of fun and just gets everyone putting pen to paper and writing something.

So what are the Ground Rules? Erm...

Have fun! The songs and stories don't have to be super serious or anything...

Only suggest a song if you have written a story for another.

Try to avoid posting for the same song as someone else, just for ease of following the workshop's progression.

The word count is just a guideline... just try to post a complete story that's not too short and not too long.

Try to think outside the box. Don't just copy the lyrics, interpret them, build from them etc.

So there we have it! Let's get this show on the road!

(I've probably forgotten something... so let me know if any of you think of anything I'm missing!)

OH! And Artists, let me know if you'd be interested in doing something similar with artwork!

Develop Your Story / Balthazar the Fury
« on: June 30, 2016, 09:52:20 PM »

This is a little exercise I have been working on for a while now. Basically I've always wanted to write a story based on music, and I was listening to a few songs and I started to get some really vivid imagery that seemed to fall in line with a idea I had been sitting on.

So this is the result: The story of Balthazar the Fury, based on three songs. For this I want to share each part with it's corresponding song and lyrics. The songs are HEAVY and involve a lot of screamed vocals, which I appreciate is not for everybody - although some of the imagery came to me from instrumental parts of the songs... so may be worth a listen anyway... But then I also want present a short discussion about each song and the writing and my thought processes as well to explain things like that.

The pieces are written in the 1st person (I initially wrote them in 3rd person but decided that I was able to do the songs more justice in the 1st). Hopefully they are written in a sort of Light Novel format?? (I hope... please inform me if they aren't and how I can correct this...!)

**Disclaimer** - these pieces are a tad violent in nature...

The last thing to note is that Balthazar the Fury was meant to be a part of a larger story at one point, and may-well still be, hence this is going in the develop thread in case I ever come back to this thread and expand from here.

Please enjoy and feel free to leave a comment :)

Music / Album Reviews!
« on: June 19, 2016, 07:14:57 PM »

So... after writing a full on essay about an album and getting ready to post it in the "What am I listening to?" thread, I kinda thought... maybe this isn't the right place for full on reviews of albums... maybe people just want to come here to check out a song here and there...

THUS! I am creating a thread specifically for album reviews, so that anyone with a itch to talk out albums can do so and potentially discuss them, without worrying about going too in-depth or writing too long a post. Maybe they will also inform readers a little about some new music that they may want to check out!?

This thread is for anyone to post in, and there is no set format you must present your thoughts in, so please don't feel like it's reserved for anyone in particular and post away my fellow music nerds! :biggrin:

Music / Themed Playlists
« on: January 01, 2016, 10:12:52 PM »

So, a new year begins and NO1SEY has found himself new ways to procrastinate...

I.E. I want to start posting thematic playlists for a while!

These will be playlists of up to 25 songs max, based around a different theme each time.

Of course, these are songs that are on my radar and so I'm sorry if I don't include songs that you think belong in the theme (space is also a factor here too...)

If anyone wants to post their own themed playlists to the thread that is 100% completely cool, just keep it in a similar format and don't make them too long... :biggrin:

break Room / Happy Birthday Nomena!
« on: December 18, 2015, 09:58:30 AM »

Wishing you a great day :)

Members Workshops / Happy Hour Halloween Art Contest (NOW CLOSED)
« on: October 07, 2015, 06:23:04 AM »

So the Happy Hour is also presenting it's first ever Halloween Art contest! Just a friendly competition to get everyone in that spooky spirit and also have a chance a getting your hands on a nice and sparkly prize!


All Raiders are welcome to participate. All you need to do is submit a piece of artwork that shows an MR themed Halloween full SCENE. For example, this can be just one big picture that includes several members spooking each other or it can be a page of sequential artwork with a few in a haunting scenario. It must be a stand-alone piece of work however. It also needs to follow standard forum rules, even being Halloween/horror themed try to keep it relatively PG-13. So go as funny or as creepy or as scary as you can without pushing that boundary too much.

Submissions will be accepted from the 7th October to the 26th October, so you've got 2 and a half weeks. After the Entry window closes the winner will be announced on a following Happy Hour show after the 26th. So far the judges are Vacant and I, but if a couple of Artists would prefer to judge than compete then we wouldn't mind having a judging panel of about 4!


The winner will receive a choice of Horror themed Anime DVD's! (The Winner will be given the list)

However, if horror anime really isn't your thing then we are willing to negotiate with the winner :)


To enter, complete your piece and PM it to me between the 7th and 26th. Judges unfortunately will not be allowed to compete, but they can still submit a piece for fun if they want to. After the competition closes and the winner has been chosen, all pictures will be posted onto this thread in time for Halloween!

It will be helpful to post on this thread if you wish to take part too. That way we can keep track of who's entering and can chase up any entries if necessary.

Have fun people and good luck! We look forward to seeing what you can come up with!

Manga Creations / Years of Icarus (First/Second Drafts)
« on: September 28, 2015, 05:34:03 PM »

A Novella set in a post apocalyptic world where mankind has been forced into the air. However, the sky is no longer safe and one pilot wishes to return to the ground despite this conflicting with the wishes of a powerful cult.

Three men marched from a small airship that had barely set down as it came in to moor at the landing dock in Houston; one of them in chains. They took large paces towards the grand and towering carved metal doors leading into the fortress, which, although stood wide open, offered no warmth of welcome. The clink of iron echoed with each step as they entered.

Despite his restraints, the man in the centre walked tall and proud; chest out and chin up (albeit hidden behind a thick black beard that flowed down to the open collar of his dirtied white shirt). His hair, black as the smoke of a powder rifle, mostly waved in long locks down the sides and back of his head, coming to rest on the shoulders of his equally dark leather aviator’s long-coat. The man was aged, with a worn complexion and a grizzly scar just next to his left eye, however with a well built stature he struck an imposing figure as he kept pace, hands bound at his front.

As they turned left they were greeted by another tall set of doors, as ornate as the entrance. They stopped before closed doors, next to a large detailed globe at their right. The captive man shifted his dark green eyes in its direction. After a few moments of eerie silence, he spoke, addressing the younger of the two men in red naval military uniforms, who stood at his right flank; fresh faced but stern and determined.

“Your father…” his voice was deep and smooth but with a gruff finish. Even though he spoke quietly his voice was commanding and carried well, seeming to boom through the quiet of the halls. “He decided to accept the world presented to him for your sake… But before that, he was like a son to me. I found no pleasure in taking his life.” He turned his head more fully to look down at the young man, almost as tall but much less full in build, who just stood staring ahead barely moving a muscle. The captive returned to facing forward also, taking a big breath in through flared nostrils to re-inflate his chest and regain his composure as the doors creaked open.

The room ahead was large and octagonal with walls covered in the finest scarlet and gold fabrics and various ornaments. The room was dark, but lights shone on a prominent centerpiece. On a mount in the room’s centre sat an enormous red orb that put the globe at the trio’s side to shame. It rotated slowly on a tilted axis. Its illuminated surface was detailed with patches of darker red and marred with small craters and lots of ridges.

“Admiral Hornigold,” said the younger military man to the elder at the captive’s left side; clicking his well polished boots and pulling his hands in tight to the side of his long, double-breasted military jacket as he turned to seemingly look right through the man in between them, “may I remain here to inspect the globe?”

“As you wish.” Replied the Admiral, expecting the young man to gaze more closely at the large red sphere to their front. Instead, he found the boy running his hand over the small globe at their side, enthralled by the ridges that represented the mountains and the rough of the land.

“It’s so green…” stated the young man in some sort of wonderment.

The Admiral paid his young comrade no mind and escorted the prisoner past the large model of the red planet to where the room opened up again. A communion of people in hooded red cloaks greeted them, stood on either side leading to an area adorned as a courtroom. They appeared faceless from the shadows cast by their hoods – it was almost unnerving for The Admiral as he marched on. Three more people, in similar attire and faces similarly hidden, sat on thrones behind tall wooden lecterns, looking down from on high in judgment on the pair as they approached.

They came to a halt in the centre of the court area and The Admiral bowed deeply.

“By the Will of The Red Colony I present to you the most notorious villain of our time,” he motioned to his captive as he rose, “known worldwide in his infamy as the sky pirate “Blackbeard”, who once sailed under the freelancer Henry Avery.” The admiral could not hide the smirk that crept across his weathered and bearded face. “His crew has been dealt with, ship destroyed, and he has been delivered to you as was promised, along with… this.”

He drew a cloth-wrapped package, the size of a large book and bound with dirty ribbon, from under his left arm.

“We thank you… for your service… Admiral Hornigold.” Spoke the left-most of the trio, with the raspy and breathless voice of a much older man. With minimal movement he waved in one of the acolytes down below, who came and bowed before The Admiral, arms extended. The Admiral let out a brief snort before handing the package off into the hands of the cloaked person.

“We had little doubt of your results,” confirmed the right-most of the three, the smooth voice of a woman emanating from the shadows beneath her cowl. However, her tone changed as she continued, “despite your previous associations with the target as a member of Avery’s crew yourself…” The Admiral flinched a little at the remark.

“But the events around Mughalis were an age ago and you have served your city, and The Red Colony well since your change in professions. We were not wrong to recommend your pardon to the governors of Higher London. We all commend you for what you have done this day.” It was the person in the centre throne that finished the discussion with a deep and dominant voice. The Admiral was able to recover his composure with that praise.

“Ahem… your graces, this hunt would not nearly have been so successful and swift if not for the diligent and tireless efforts of my Lieutenant Flint, who has lost more than most to this monster. A good portion of praise should be reserved for him.”

The trio turned their shadowed gazes towards the young man, who was still fixated on the small globe in the doorway.

“He shall be rewarded for his contributions,” affirmed the centre figure.

“It would seem… that he lacks an… appreciation… for our glorious… Red Planet,” the old man expressed his concern.

“Keep an eye on him, so that this does not form into an unhealthy obsession…” advised the woman.

“You may leave now Admiral, may you have safe travels back to Higher London.”

The Admiral bowed once again and backed away, leaving the captive standing alone in the middle of the courtroom surrounded by people in red hoods. He marched his way out of the room, collecting his young companion and making for their airship. The trio waited until the clap of boots could no longer be heard in the halls, and the grand doors closed with a resounding boom. They turned in unison to face the prisoner, who had begun to chuckle.

“Heh! They don’t know do they?” he mused, but his smirk was short lived. His face transitioned back to a state of pure seriousness, his eyes glaring up at the trio with a stare as cold as stone. “Mughalis was your orders.”

At this, the three leaders turned to each other, visibly disturbed by the exposure of this knowledge. But he continued, pursing his lips and drawing in a deep breath.

“Makes me wonder what other lies you are hiding from the world these past 400 years… like what the mark on that map leads to hmmm?”

“ENOUGH” Commanded the man in the centre.

“It matters not… what you know… Edward… Teach…”

“The world must remain in order, it is the will of The Red. It is humanity’s only hope for salvation.”

“F**K YOUR SALVATION!” spat Teach, “And f**k your order! WE COLLAPSED an entire NATION for YOU and your… promises…” That last word fell from his mouth like bile. “But we’re still here on this rotten planet that wants us dead as much as the people that have made us outlaws.”

“Then be an outlaw no longer. Edward Teach, for the crimes of Piracy, Rebellion and Treason you are hereby sentenced to death.” They waved in two guards, who were also hooded, but wore red capes behind armour instead of full cloakes. With gauntleted hands they grasped hold of the furious man.

“AVERY KNEW! HE KNEW OF YOUR LIES! It’s only a matter of time before more become wise to them too.”

The guards bowed and then gagged Teach and forced him down to his knees, his chains rattling violently. A very tall and broad hooded man strode up from behind. He carried a large straight sword, pointed downwards, by the hilt.

“I heard that you had been shot no less than five times and still managed to kill ten more men as they attempted to capture you…” The man’s deep voice was filled with admiration for their prisoner. “It would seem that there is but one way to ensure your death.” He stepped around the guards to Teach’s front side while the guards forced his shoulders forward. “I would’ve very much liked to have fought with you myself…” The pirate only grunted in response.

Standing to one side, the large man changed his grip on his sword and raised it back over his head with arms as sturdy as masts. “Goodbye… Blackbeard.”

There was little by way of response as the head rolled on the marble floor, blood soaking into and staining the smoke coloured hair.

“The Red Colony thanks you, Crusader Yuri Maynard.”

The man turned to the trio and bowed.

“It was an honour.”

“We have a new task for you. Take the map and use our largest ship to ascertain the location marked on it. Await further orders when you find it.”

“For The Will of The Red Colony.”

“Also… prepare to send Inquisitors to… all of the major… cities in the… coming years. We cannot… tolerate a loss of… faith.”

The Crusader nodded from under his hood and turned to leave, but paused. He turned back and pointed at the sodden severed head.

“May I?”

“Do as you please…”

He bent down and grabbed the head by the hair.

“I have just the place for this!” he exclaimed ominously as he strolled from the room, sword on his shoulder.

More to follow soon :)

P.S. Sorry it's not really manga...

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