posted by powerful.pineapple on 20th Feb 2012, 6:55 AM
My comic, Firework, is a sci-fi young adult story and from some great comicfury.com critiques I can see something I should have seen in the first place, which is NOBODY KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON. Some people think the kids are in military service, Tenku is well versed in hand-to-hand combat (a hilarious prospect in the best of times), or Natie’s knife that she shows off signifies a rank. Here’s a short exposition where I try to rectify that in a F.A.Q. format.
Why does the story seem to start in medias res with no exposition?
The full story will be published later. To be honest, it’s a complicated and built-up story and in comic form, I wanted to start with something fun. When FUNimation first translated and adapted Dragon Ball GT for American audiences, they did a similar thing: cut the first 17 or so episodes and started in on the action. Why did they do that?
Because those episodes are in a different format than Dragon Ball Z was. It was more of an adventure format where Trunks, the little girl, and shrunk Goku are traveling space looking for “Black Dragon Balls” which are essentially a plot device to get Trunks, the little girl, and shrunk Goku to travel space.
As someone who watched the original unedited Dragon Ball GT on TV in Spanish, I can attest that it was a smart move. FUNimation had a commercial reason to do that, however. Japanese audiences were bored watching the first episodes of DBGT, used to DBZ’s action-packed-ness. They didn’t want to make the same mistake in the US.
Firework the Comic, then, is a sort of parallel story to a novel series I’ll publish later this year which tells everything about the story and more about the central conflict (which will likely be absent from the comic). What Tenku did, why Natie’s knife terrifies the catcallers on page 5, and even the technology that runs the spaceship—all of these things bore comic readers but somehow interest novel readers.
Okay, so what is Youthcorps? What’s Konaiya Inc.? Do they have guns? Are they officers?
It’s easy to confuse Youthcorps with a form of military service. These are prevalent in young-adult-oriented comics, and often have something to do with piloting giant robots. However, Youthcorps is more like community service. The climate of the far-future Firework takes place in forces the government to create initiatives to get kids back to studying and looking for a job (indirectly).
Youthcorps is based on real-life programs like City Year and Public Allies, which have branches all over the US. These programs are nonprofits that employ people from around 17-25 years of age, give them a stipend of about $200 a week, awesome uniforms, cell phones, subway passes, and other urban necessities, and set them to work in schools and outside turning bad urban areas into gardens, play spaces, baseball fields, and the like. These programs focus on different things—Public Allies is about community leadership and a big part of City Year is providing role models for kids in underprivileged classrooms. In other words, it’s a year of service—just not military service.
At the end of your City Year term you collect money for college intuition or a student loan. I seriously considered doing City Year and did a lot of research about it, so it’s no surprise I modeled Youthcorps after it (both City Year and Public Allies are Americorps programs). If there’s anyone reading who did these programs, I’d love to hear from you about your experience.
Youthcorps differs in that there are sponsored headquarters—“teams”—all over the world and universe. Each team is different and teams are ranked by color. My comic is in black and white, but the Konaiya Inc. L1 Team’s uniforms are green, the color of the first rank, and their ship is this color as well.
Anyone can sponsor Youthcorps teams, but often the biggest companies choose the high ranked teams and many lower-level teams are sponsored by individuals or small companies—Konaiya Inc. is one of them. The L1 Team, apart from driving around in a spaceship, have to do administrative duties to sustain themselves like reaching out to sponsors, recruiting, and going to specific events, which will be a big part of Firework’s story.
What are these Youthpoints Tenku is so pissed off about losing when Natie yells at him?
Youthpoints are added for exceptional work, by default when missions are completed, and taken off when you’re performing badly. Youthpoints lost from a teammate are lost by the entire team. The team member with the highest points is named Captain. A Lieutenant/Assistant Captain is not chosen on Youthpoints, but just chosen by the Captain as the person most suitable for the role.
Teams with the most points are given more attention, sponsorships, and rank.
If they aren’t army officers, why does Kazuyuki have a gun?
Because he’s an offensive dumb **** of an idiot.
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