Ruby Nation

Ruby Nation
Ruby Nation: The Webcomic

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ruby Nation: New Webcomic, Same Great Continuity!

After several moons' absence, the story that began in Ruby's World finally returns. Ruby Nation picks up three months after the end of World, with Ruby and her team actively working to build their super-soldier refugee state while having to maintain their morals in light of the circumstances (and what they'll be forced to do)

If you didn't read Ruby's World, you can do so any time you like, but you don't have to. The purpose of this "reboot" was as a jumping-on point for new readers. The prologue hits the ground running, but all the details should become apparent in the coming weeks for those just coming to the party. As a longtime reader of superhero comics, I'm aware both of the richness that an established history can bring, and the downsides that come with its misuse. When the history becomes too prominent, it keeps new readers from being able to understand what they're seeing. And even if the continuity is explained, it's like being told about a great story secondhand, rather than actually seeing the story. I'd rather not subject people to my personal nostalgia (except for the Halloween cosplay sketches).

There is a middle ground between having a past and being enslaved by it, however. Many of the greatest series I've read/seen/played have clearly defined backstories. The X-Men didn't become popular until the International team debuted in the 70's, keeping parts of the original iteration but forging a new path. Buffy, the greatest fantasy show ever, was based on the backstory of an utterly terrible movie attempt. And Metal Gear Solid's postmodern mastery has its roots in the plain old Metal Gear games for the MSX, before the series had extensive cutscenes, horribly tragic fates, and homoerotic subtext bordering on actual text. Wether intentional or not, it seems like all these series had a rough start that nevertheless allowed them to grow and change into something great. Stories, as well as their storytellers, have to learn by doing.

TLDR; Ruby Nation will be to Ruby's World what Metal Gear Solid is to MSX Metal Gear.

Anyway, I'll be delivering more of these musings as the series progresses, as the simple act of creating a piece of art and putting it out there is an act of ego, so I might as well take it further and show you my process as well.

1 comment:

  1. It's looking great so far, Neil. I'll wait until you've got a few more pages done before sending you a fuller review, but so far I'm enjoying it.

    I should also add that, while I'm no art expert (I'm not very fond of Steve Ditko's interpretation of Spider-Man, so take my opinion for what it's worth) I think your art has markedly improved since you first started drawing the series. The starker, bleak style conform very nicely with the mood you've established, and your faces have become a lot more expressive, too.