I'm working on a new comic titled "Molly's Ranch Story". It's slowly becoming a long-term passion project that I'm putting a lot of time into. I talked about this comic in my previous blog post, but I'd like to dedicate a full blog post to it!
Back in August, I played one of my favorite games, "Harvest Moon: Animal Parade". I currently have the game on my Wii/Wii U, and managed to emulate the game on my PC. This is my favorite Harvest Moon installment for various reasons, but the large world that you can start a farm on, and the characters, especially the eligible marriage candidates, are my favorite parts of the game. The characters in this particular installment feel very developed compared to other installments. I feel like they have a lot more to say too; the specific bachelor I chose to marry says the cutest things! I consider this game to be the "best last Harvest Moon title".
I was inspired by this game to create a comic based on my own save file that I've had for several years now. It would follow the life of our main character, Molly, a young aspiring rancher who moves to Castanet, a small farm town on the ocean that's in decline. On the way there we meet Finn, a Harvest Sprite, who helps Molly meet the Harvest Goddess. She lets her know that the Divine Tree is dying, and ringing the 5 bells can restore it.
While Molly is working hard on her ranch, she gets to know the friendly townspeople, makes lots of new friends and rivals. She even falls in love!
Progress so Far
Currently, I'm on track to finish a complete outline of all 30 chapters by the end of the year. It's been a fun process to write out the whole story at once. It's also been easier to edit when I know exactly what happens beginning, middle, and end. If you were to look at my google drive now, it's all just tons of writing.
I wasn't kidding :3
Along with doing a lot of writing, I am committed to doing a lot of behind the scenes before I start diving into drawing pages. Right now, I am working on character sheets for all the bachelors/bachelorettes, and a height chart for all of them. I expanded on what the game gives you in terms of their appearance and personality, likes and dislikes, and I gave them much more depth.
I also have plans to do drawing tests of landscapes and color studies so I have an idea of what the comic will look like. I love the simplistic background style that lots of artists depict in their art, and I want to experiment with that. Backgrounds are my weakness as an artist, so I plan on doing lots and lots of background studies!
I had contemplated if I wanted to do my comic in full color or black and white. I talked it out, and I think I managed to come to a conclusion! But that'll have to wait till later...
"Molly's Ranch Story" will be uploaded to Tapas as a webcomic! This will be my first attempt at a webcomic format, and I'm really excited about that. Depending on how the comic is received, I would like to have a print version available eventually.
New Designs for the Characters
If you know the game at all, you'll know the character designs are meant to be small, chibi-like, and adorable. For my comic, I'm choosing to follow my own art style , and making them more proportionate. It's really interesting to see these characters drawn this way!
To be honest, there is a criminally low amount of fan art for this game, so I'm happy to be adding to it with this comic! If there are any "Animal Parade" fans out there like me, I hope you appreciate these too.:3
Each character has a spring and fall outfit in the game, so I'm expanding their wardrobe for this comic. I've added a casual, swim, and winter outfit to their closets, and I'll be having them wear lots of different outfits. It'll be fun to have these characters look different than their in-game counterparts.
These two characters are gonna have a big role to play in the comic. Luke is the bachelor I married in the game, so, spoiler, I'm following my own game file for this comic! Selena is the character in the game that Luke will marry if your player doesn't choose him, so she also has a larger role in the story too. How fun!
If you want to know more about my progress on this comic, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Patreon. I have more "Molly's Ranch Story" content to show off, and there will be lots of behind the scenes stuff on my Patreon, including character sheets for all 10 bachelors/bachelorettes. It will take a couple months for me to have finished pages to show off, but I hope you are looking forward to a new comic from me!
💖 - Allison