Friday, February 27, 2009

I Call This Self-Promotion In The Tags, Even Though It Isn't Mine

I have in the past mentioned my sister's webcomic, The Law of Purple.

However, I have only mentioned her other webcomic, Alien Revenant, in passing, and well before it came out.

There is a reason I waited-I felt that it was best to discuss it after the first chapter was completed.

Guess what? It ended today.

In her notes that precede the first chapter, she describes the intended span and breadth of AR and its universe (here's a hint: It's big). One thing she doesn't go into is that it has a lot of detail.

Such as actual alien languages being involved. On page 9 of the first chapter, the reader can begin to see the presence of one of four languages that my sister has developed for use in the comic. (The first word of the language that appears shows up earlier, but I don't count it because it was a curse word, and people love to make up alien curse words. There's little effort involved in sprinkling made up words in someone's regular speech.)

Yes, one of four.

My sister has often mentioned to me as she works on these languages that she is incapable of simply doing word-for-word replacement for alien languages. (In effect, the devising of "alien words" and then using English grammar and idioms without any real work.) She must create the whole language, based on linguistic rules she's learned from taking four years of German, just generally being a "language nerd," and from the several language dictionaries that float around the house. Yes, she feels compelled. (She can be hard to live with some days.) And once she devises grammar, she must further invent totally different idioms (e.g., "take a picture" is idiomatic; in German it's "make a picture") for her alien characters to use.

But the fun part of this is that it's not merely being used in dialogue and the like. On page 10, we can see a movie poster with a review blurb on it-entirely in an alien language. (Don't worry-it's all explained in my sister's news notes and the like.) On page 13, we can see a bilingual sign. On page 15, we get our first word of the second mentioned language, and a lot of dialogue in the first one. (She gives subtitles.) And on page 20, we get significant dialogue (well, technically a monologue, sorta) in a third language. And on page 21 the chapter ends. (If you're wondering about the fourth language-I can't say much without giving spoilers, but it's present here and there.)

Page 20 deserves a bit more mention. The alligator-like animals, not to mention the rest of the swampy ecosystem, have been around for years (in her backstory), and she has been developing those on and off the same way she has been with the language.

And she's been updating this comic three times a week, and another five times a week. (Not perfectly consistently, but as much as she can.)

Quite an achievement, methinks.

-Signing off.

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