May 2015 Blog Posts

Hiatus Continues - My Thoughts on Kung Fury

Kung Fury

So the short film version of Kung Fury came out a couple days ago. Jessica and I backed it on Kickstarter, so it's something we've been looking forward to for a while now. If you're a fan of this comic, then I'm going to assume you've already seen Kung Fury. If you haven't, you totally should. It's free to watch on YouTube and it's an ultra rad way to spend 30 minutes:

In short, I thought it was awesome. It totally lived up to my expectations.

But it was also bittersweet for me.

I found it hard to simply enjoy it, as I kept thinking about what the mega-success of this movie means for Satan Ninja. Every time Kung Fury did something similar to what we've done, like start out at an arcade, or feature a ninja (they called him a "Kung Fu Master" but he was obviously a ninja), I'd think, "Shit." Because the more we have in common with Kung Fury, the more people will inevitably accuse us of being a copycat that's trying to ride the coattails of Kung Fury's success. After all, we launched this website just a few months after Kung Fury released their debut trailer. Sure, we'd been working on this comic off and on since 2008, but since we weren't public with it, that's not easy to prove. And casual critics aren't the type to really look into something like that before tossing out accusations or simply dismissing us outright.

The similarity of Satan Ninja 198X and Kung Fury is undeniable, but it's mostly superficial, stemming from the fact that they're both inspired by the same cheesy '80s source material. However, once you get past the surface, they're really quite different. Kung Fury is way more over the top and silly. It's more of a genre spoof in the wacky style of Airplane! or Spaceballs, except hyped up on coke and testosterone. Satan Ninja doesn't have such a hyper frantic pace, and although it can be bit over-the-top, we try to keep it somewhat grounded in reality. The story of Satan Ninja is important to us, whereas in Kung Fury, spectacle is paramount. The story exists only to tie one wacky over-the-top gag sequence to the next. Nothing really matters. And that's part of its charm.

All that said, I'm super happy for David Sandberg. He wrote, directed, and starred in a badass short film that's enjoying massive success (also, he looks like a young Johnny Depp, the bastard). And if we are forever compared to Kung Fury, I suppose that's not so bad. After all, Kung Fury was rad as fuck. Besides, anyone who actually reads Satan Ninja will see that once you get past the superficial similarities, Satan Ninja stands on its own.

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Hiatus Continues - Updated Issue 1 Pages, Part 2

I meant to post this sooner, but I actually got caught up reading our comic. Holy shit is it awesome.

Anyway, this weekend Jessica is putting the finishing touches on our revised Issue 01. Everything is done except for some lighting changes she plans to do tomorrow to the night scenes. All the Issue 1 pages on the site have been updated with the newest versions, but you might have to refresh the pages to see the update.

I already showed you a few comparisons of how the art has been updated in a previous post, but here's a bunch more.

You can see the colors are now yummier, and so is Toxic's face (Toxic is the punk chick—the dude's name is Scorp, by the way). We decided to base her appearance more on a certain iconic punk chick that appeared in a couple classic '80s films.

This page was the only page to have substantial dialogue re-writes with this update. As you can see in this panel, we decided to leave Trance's race a little more ambiguous. Also, our idea of his character has evolved quite a bit since I first wrote this page, so we changed this panel to reflect that. And we both thought Alex looked kind of terrifying in this panel, so that needed fixing. We actually liked the way Jessica drew Trance in the original version, but it no longer made sense for his character to care at all about losing a video game, so he needed to look less intense and more care-free.


Old Sleeping Eddie

New Eddie Sleeping

Here you see we totally revamped Eddie's house and his bedroom. One of the things I've done during this hiatus is designed Eddie and Alex's houses (including their yards). I'm not going to be so detailed for every character, of course, but both their houses play big roles in the comic, so the detailed floorplans I made up will be a big aid to Jessica. Originally, we had Eddie's room in the basement, but we've since decided to move him into the attic for various reasons. So until Issue 02 gets updated, there'll be a few panels that won't quite gel with this updated Issue 01 page.

Veronica's room has also been updated. Jessica fixed the perspective, and redid the posters (and framed picture). Now the dudes in the posers look even more punchable! Awesome! Also, we decided to make Veronica a little less pasty.


First Sam

2nd Sam

Here you can see the evolution Psycho Sam has gone through since we started this comic. I think the only character that's been redesigned more than Sam is Ket. Anyway, now Issue 1 Sam finally matches his appearance in Issue 2.

Jessica hated the anatomy on this ninja in the old version. She thought it looked like he was springing out of the ground, so she took this chance to quickly fix him.


Again, some wonky anatomy that needed fixing. Both the ninja kicking the door and Jennifer's nudie dance of fear have been mega-enhanced.


Old Mansion Interior

New Mansion Interior

Jessica thought this shot of the Moore mansion interior looked way too vast. Also, I had originally made the odd choice of giving her pictures of the Resident Evil 1 mansion for reference, which is totally not '80s, I know. It was just the first mansion that came to mind when she had asked me for mansion reference pictures.


There are a bunch of other little changes to Issue 1, but those are the most noticeable ones.

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Hiatus Continues - Updated Issue 1 Cover

We've never quite been satisfied with the original cover for Issue 1, so Jessica's been re-working it. She's still not sure if she's 100% satisfied with it, but it's close enough for us to share.

Here's the original:

And here's the updated version:


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Hiatus Continues - Updated Issue 1 Pages

So while working on Issue 2, we decided to retcon the appearance of Sam's hair and Eddie's room. Because of this, we've known we'd have to go back and update a few panels in Issue 1. And we figured since we're updating some things anyway, we might as well take this hiatus as an opportunity to update anything in Issue 1 that we think could be improved. After all, Issue 1 will be people's first impression of the comic, so it's important that we make it as good as possible. Today, I thought I'd show you what some of these updates look like.

Warning: There are going to be some NSFW images posted here.

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