Comic: Meanwhile, In The Box Art…

Here’s the comic I made in July for Blank Party‘s Chrono Party zine! I realized while drawing it that Toriyama was a far bigger influence on my own personal style than I’d like to admit, and is probably only funny if, like me, you’re a gigantic nerd familiar with the context of the artwork this is based on. Explanation (and a few other thoughts) after the cut.

Chrono Trigger’s box art is inconsistent with the game in a few ways – namely in how it depicts its characters fighting the Heckran in a snowy locale that clearly isn’t 12,000 BC, with Marle helping Crono using the Fire Sword double-tech. One theory for why that is comes from the left screenshot in this magazine scan:

Which makes it easy to imagine how this would’ve taken place; judging from this shot, Marle originally had fire magic at some point in the design process, and Toriyama drew promotional artwork around a scenario within what was either an engine demo, a beta, or a mock-up. As an added bonus, the background of said screenshot helped fill out the scene for this comic; the art depicts a canyon and mountains, while the screenshot shows a cliffside lined with trees and foliage. (I think I combined the two rather well.)

I only realized after I’d finished the inking phase that getting the “joke” (really, a bunch of references) required an explanation like this one, and was, for a zine people were meant to pick up and read off the shelf, a conceptual failure – but all in all, this was still a fun project to undertake; mimicking Toriyama’s style was a challenge I’m proud of the results of (copying his limited color palettes in particular was like watching a master at work), and it gave me an excuse to depict Frog speaking in Woolsey-esque Olde Englishe. And hey, this is technically another post-TF story to add to my portfolio! Wow!

To conclude this post: Please look at the original art this is based on, as well as all the other incredible pieces drawn for Chrono Trigger by Akira Toriyama, under the “Scenes” section of this Chrono Compendium page. (And consider playing Chrono Trigger, if you haven’t yet; it’s still outrageously good, even if it’s older than some of you are right now!)