Meanwhile, In The Box Art… (2017)

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!)

↓ Transcript
Meanwhile, In The Box Art...
drawn (reverently, I promise) by m. tarah henry (@lobst) 2017

(In the video game "Chrono Trigger", Crono slashes his flaming sword at the vile Heckran...)

(...which is surprised by the attack! it's a fatal blow!)

(the Heckran explodes into ash, while Crono and Marle do their victory poses...)

(...and chat casually afterwards, in front of the pile of ash.)

(They notice something, and turn to the camera.)

(They're looking at Frog, who is clearly not having a good time.)

(He sheathes his sword, and says...)
FROG: Let us depart.

(He walks between Crono and Marle, as they look confused.)

MARLE: Something wrong, Frog?
FROG: rrrgh...

FROG: ...Remind me, why was madam Lucca not chosen for this journey?
MARLE: Because we needed someone with water magic to counteract my fire. You know that!

FROG: And thou art certain sir Robo wouldst not have proven equally as useful? Nor miss Ayla?

(Marle gestures at the buildings behind her. Frog is not amused.)
MARLE: I suppose, but then we'd have to buy them cold-weather outfits at the peaceful-looking modern village behind us!

FROG: Hmph. That dost not explain why thou hath decided to prepareth ME for such an excursion to begin with...
MARLE: Aw, come on, Frog! We'd never have made it this far without you. Your skills are valuable!

FROG: (turns ominously toward camera) Oh? Valuable enough...

FROG: (gestures toward wilderness) ...that on this day's mission to these FROZEN WASTES...

FROG: (gestures toward self) sought the company of the ONLY COLD-BLOODED PERSON YOU KNOW?

CRONO: (raises hand) Actually, I have a theory about Ozzie--