NaNoMango 2018, Part 1: The Cult of XünÿX

After a successful Inktober with 30 out of 31 slots filled, NaNoMango turned out to be a lot harder going for me. There were multiple reasons for that: my day job picked up; shorter daylight meant I had more difficulty motivating myself late in the evening and early in the morning; there wasn’t as much of a support structure of other participants as during Inktober; and finally, drawing full comics pages is just that much harder than doing individual illustrations. I did get a few comics pages finished, but they’re out of order and I’m not willing to share them just yet. Instead, over the next handful of days, I will post some of the preliminary and character art that I did for this. The comics will have to wait until more of them are finished. The May edition of NaNoMango is just around the corner and that’s when I’ll be getting back to this project.

Frits from the Cult of XünÿX
Frits from the Cult of XünÿX

Yesterday’s Inktober drawing of the Goth band got my brain running. It also got some positive feedback, which got my brain running some more. I started imagining the band’s life behind the scenes, what their names would be and what they’d be like. I had already decided that they would take some of their background from the real Goth band Clan of Xymox, but without being based on them (Clan of Xymox seem to have a more consistent level of success and a stable lineup that includes the lead singer’s life partner and the lead singer himself has aged very gracefully). I already knew that this band, The Cult of XünÿX, had only two real members used hired rhythm sections from local punk bands and that this would be a source of friction. The band leader quickly got a name: meet Frits Zuniga, born and raised in the Dutch countryside, which he escaped as soon as he could. Frits is gay, in his late fifties and has a heroin addiction. But there’s more to him than that.

Zig, the drummer of the Cult of XünÿX
Zig, the drummer of the Cult of XünÿX. For now.

Zig is the hired drummer for a series of gigs in the unnamed area that the story is set in. It could be New York! It could be somewhere else! One dirty secret of the Cult of XünÿX is that the two main guys are somewhat unreliable as musicians. Zig and her boyfriend/bassist Tag have fifteen years’ worth of experience playing in local punk bands, and while they’re not subtle players, they are tight as nails. So there’s a source of conflict there, because the better musicians are not the ones who get to make the decisions.

Frits realises that people can see the creature shadowing him
Frits realises that people can see the creature shadowing him

Before doing whole pages, but after creating the first pages of script, I drew some separate panels as individual drawings to get a feel for how I wanted the art to look. Here’s Frits realizing that other people can see the beast on his back.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the audience for the Cult of XünÿX gig!