Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ronin of the Mushari Kingdom - Artist Interview!

I've decided to try something new on my blog and interview fellow artists. Now awhile back I did a blog post where I mentioned my friend JP. I met JP while at UCF and he is hands down one of the most talented artists I know! Recently he launched a Kickstarter for a comic book series he's trying to launch! I had the opportunity to catch up with JP and learn a little bit more about him and this project!

JP has been a freelance artist for over ten years, however during this time, all of his work was done for clients. He had his own ideas and stories but never really had a chance to develop them. Back in 2011 he did a fanart piece called "Ronin of the Mushroom Kingdom." It was 2AM and he had this idea of doing an Alternate Universe piece of some of the characters from Mario. He thought of different places that this universe could talk place in and looked at the characters to come up with ideas. Eventually, after looking at the character Toad, he thought of Asian rice hats and decided to make Toad's head into a hat. From there he decided to go with a ronin samurai. Now that he had his concept, he needed someone to be the enemy. Initially he pictured Bowser as a dragon, but then after looking at Bowser's design, he thought it would make some really cool samurai armor.

The original print that inspired the Kickstarter.

JP's work has won several awards and was even featured on Buzzfeeds "Top 30 Fan Art of 2013." One piece that was particularly popular was the "Ronin of the Mushroom Kingdom" piece. Wherever he went, people would ask him if it was going to spawn a game or a book. Since so many people were requesting this, he decided to make it a reality. At Megacon 2013, a writer friend, J Huff, saw how popular the print was and decided to work with JP on the comic. JP has the whole series planned out, hoping to lead to a graphic novel. The story is split into three acts, of three issues each. He hopes that this Kickstarter can make this project a reality, as this is not the only thing he has planned.

The first issue of the comic is a background issue, to set the tone of the world and establish the major players of the series. The second issue is where the story begins to pick up. The comic focuses on a character named "Toshi" who was inspired by Toad. Fans of the games will find many references and inside jokes throughout the series, as this is inspired by the world of Mario.

You can follow the project on Kickstarter or on it's official Facebook fan page.

JP, who is responsible for all of the art in the book, has provided some sneak peeks of the series!

To find out more about JP's work, you can find him on his FacebookdeviantArt, or Tumblr.

As always enjoy!


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