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May 18, 2009
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Ninmu Nanmu - C1 - TITLE PAGE by JohnColburn Ninmu Nanmu - C1 - TITLE PAGE by JohnColburn
I'm about halfway through page 3. I got kinda stuck, so I made this to help me dig out of the artist block. I've actually been trying to draw various versions of this image since around the time I picked the title "Ninmu Nanmu". I was never really happy with any of the previous versions.

Part of the problem was that I hadn't fully established the relationship between the male and female versions of Anarchy. Writing a compelling character is hard enough to begin with, but Anarchy is one mind taking two different forms. Anarchy changing gender is not just a gimmick or joke attached to an otherwise normal character; it's a core character trait and a theme central to the overall plot.

I'm not really a fan of physical transformations causing implausible mental changes; in particular, I hate when a TG causes someone to act out social stereotypes associated with their new gender. Most major differences in behavior are invented social standards that you learn growing up; suddenly switching to a different set of standards means either that the transformation created the necessary knowledge and motivation or that it was already present. The former would be the equivalent of psychological homicide while the latter indicates the character is already in some sort of trans-gendered state of mind (or is, at least, very experienced with imitating the opposite gender). I abhor the first option (as evidenced by my choice of wording) and the second is not the case with Anarchy.

So the problem I've faced is how a TG transformation affects a character like Anarchy. He was born and raised male. He has lived life so far as a male in a modern "first world" society; he has opinions on sexuality, sexism, gender roles, and so on just like any normal person. He's not even merely "male"; he's rather "masculine" to the point of being "manly". He's tall, broad-shouldered, and physically fit. He's outgoing, aggressive, and defiant. He's so masculine, in fact, that he is acutely aware of exactly how feminine he is not. He knows that nobody would describe him as sensitive, kind-hearted, or gentle. Maybe that's just the way he is, maybe it's the decision he made, or maybe he never felt like he had a choice.

And then he gets turned into a girl.

Will he find himself entirely unmoved, still as brash and tough as ever? It may be that he is every inch the person he thinks he is and the boobs are just a fashion statement. Or maybe he's been a girl hiding behind a mask the whole time, suddenly set free to pursue a happier life. More likely he's a complex mixture of volatile emotions and conflicting motivations barely contained by an imperfect identity he built in response to a chaotic world that doesn't give anybody as many choices as we pretend. Being transformed won't change who he is, but it may change who he chooses to become.

Answering questions and exploring possibilities is, of course, the point of telling a story in the first place so I'll leave it at that for now.

I seem to recall I was trying to make a point some four paragraphs ago... might be about time for that! The point is that I have had the idea for this cover for a long time but I was never satisfied because I couldn't settle the relationship between the two forms. The expressions never seemed right or the body language bothered me. I won't say this version is perfect but I think that it is definitely not misleading. On some levels it may sound like I take my title pages too seriously, but I defend myself by suggesting that if a title page cannot summarize truths about the story that follows it is not, in fact, a title page at all.

Furthermore, I am so glad I changed the shirt on the female version. The color imbalance was driving me crazy, as was the lack of symmetry between the two.
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:iconleviadragon99:
leviadragon99 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
Yeah... allready read the first chapter on your account... not going to comment on it again in the new group...
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:iconjohncolburn:
JohnColburn Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Heh, yeah, wouldn't really expect anybody to comment on any of the pages because of the repost. Just figured they should be in the group gallery.
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:iconleviadragon99:
leviadragon99 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
That does make sense.
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:iconnobody75:
Nobody75 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
I'm looking forward to see how this plays out. I'm curious if you will be addressing how a man that's manly when he becomes female decides on pigtails? Or fashion in general?
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:iconsashaw:
SashaW Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Professional Photographer
You just wrote a pretty good description, on being Transgender.
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:iconsharles25:
SHarles25 Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
Well, I read the whole text and I can say that you seem to lead yourself on the right way.

I am also sharing same thoughts about the memory rewriting, its always more fun to see the "guy" stuck in the girl react with her new sensivity to her direct environment and also new body.

The the Main Title page, I say the posture and the expresions on their visages tell a lot on what your leading this story into, so I wish you luck on your project and hope to see the result soon!
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:icontrilby12:
trilby12 Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
He looks a lot shorter and less athletic as a girl.
Anyway, I like your take on the whole transformation process. I look forward to your comic. I'd probably donate if you made it into a webcomic.
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:iconjohncolburn:
JohnColburn Featured By Owner May 18, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I figure if I can make it about 20 or 30 pages without any major interruptions, I might go webcomic with it.
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:icontrilby12:
trilby12 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
Good plan.
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:iconnothingsp:
nothingsp Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
Good questions and interesting insights. I look forward to seeing where you're going with this!

(I can never read a comic that starts with a few pages before the chapter title without doing the Star Trek "cold open" music in my head :D)
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