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Genma Visage FAQ 2017 by Thomas Tuke

For any questions feel free to buzz me by email . Make sure the email title has GENMA VISAGE QUESTION mentioned and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Q: This comic is for adults only, right?
Damn straight, Son. This is for grown-ups and I forbid youngsters from buying my books at my convention tables. However, if anyone wants a kid-friendly commission, I’ll happily oblige!

Q: Where's the Best Place to start?
For the Jacobi saga and to start off where I started off, I would start from Books 1, 2 and 3. These books mostly represent my raw edgier underground period with a more straight-to-the-point plot with plenty of action.
For the Shemsu-Hor saga and my best work to date, go for Books 0 part 1 and 2. This saga represents a more complex plot-driven arc that relies more on suspenseful horror and drama than action. The events of Book 0 is set just before Book 1, so it’s not a prequel in the common use of the word, but the saga does explore the events of Genma Visage 9000 years before the present and what made the world what it was.
Although both sagas reference each other at times, they both bring you up to speed as independent comics so that you don’t have to read one to understand the other. But if I had to be flash, I’d say buy the lot, hahaha!

Q: How did this all come about?
I would say Genma Visage had 3 separate Birthdates, that being 2007, 2010 and 2012. The first series of pages were done during 2017 when the comic was originally called Psyomaster Ryuken: Overkill and was originally going to be an offshoot of a series of short stories that I wrote during college and University called Kouryu Sukuinushi. I eventually decided that the Kouryu Sukuinushi had long given up the ghost and that Overkill should be its own completely different title. Channeling multiple comic and manga influences at the time, I first tested the water by making Overkill a webcomic and a smallpress run for fairs in order to gain feedback from viewers. As a one-man team between Uni and Work, it was hard to meet a weekly update rate. With the detail going into each page, I had always felt that that the series was aspiring to something more than what the webcomic mould typically allows.

By 2009 through 2010 the story moved away from the darkened martial arts fantasy motif in favour of being an Action Horror Thriller. Adapting more Science Fiction and Occult influences, the series took a more anarchic tone towards its former influences and current peers at the time as a means of exploring characters in more uncharted detail. I did regularly go through “tests of faith” of the art world by that point, and the passion I developed from that was channeled into the drive for creating characters that are good or bad because they are believable not because the story says they have to be. The series was renamed Genma Visage, a title I chose when I had established the key moment of death and rebirth in the character’s life that all the other characters would relate to as the story progressed.

By mid-2010 I decided I would complete my comics and expand them into published books. I finally abolished the web comic mould completely. The original pages were rewritten to match the current context and in 2012 the first 3 finished books were released, pretty much when I started doing this shtick professionally. I’ve been working on the series since.

Q: What goes through your head when you create this crazy stuff?
Just 25 years of practise, hard work, dedication and that’s basically it. I’m usually just focused on having a finished accomplished piece of work. Beyond that, I keep myself flexible with whatever I’m working on at a given time or a particular time as the mindset can change regularly. You’d have to point out a particular artwork for me to give you the lengthy explanation of that piece, but I would advise to always be in control of the artwork, and not to let the artwork be in control of you, or else you’ll start missing deadlines!

I would say for a horror comic an immersive atmosphere is important for myself and the readers. Quite often I would plug in some dark ambient music to really get into the mood of the work. Music can certainly influence the stronger of my pieces and I recommend it as something to play with, responsibly of course.

Q: What \ Who are your influences?
I did once have a list of artists, writers, and titles as long as your arm and I’m always eager to try new things. In short, my artwork is mostly inspired by European comics, animation and fully painted fantasy and album cover art. The Manga influence is there in my art as well. In particular, it’s comics from Hong Kong which inspire my decision to regularly jump from simple shaded to fully-painted tonal art within my own work.
With the writing side of things, I mostly take my influences from film, animation and videogame storylines. I did a lot of story analysis in my university days along the way. Mythology and the analysis of History are probably the biggest influences on my style as well as a point of interest for much of my work.

I would say the influence and style aspect tends to become a second nature after a while, and I’m mainly interested in simply having an adventure with my work, to follow a Journey and to see where that takes you. Most of my ideas are thought up when from taking long walks through woodlands, the countryside, cities and coastal areas as well as sightseeing at historical sites and holidays.

Q: What does the title Genma Visage mean?
Within the storyline, Genma Visage refers to the pinnacle experiments used to create the ultimate weapon and control the Shurokiu malady of the Drago Visage. The title name is based on the creators Nishin Genma, the occult order whose name in Shurokiu tongue means “The Lightbearers of Nishin.” Nishin is the primary deity in Shurokiu religion seen in the comic’s logo, a dual-headed Hydra both male and female who created the universe. It’s believed that Nishin sits at the heart of the universe, constantly breathing in the impure matter, purifying it and regurgitating it to keep the universe clean and safe from evil. Because it bears the weight of the entire universe on its shoulders, Nishin cannot directly interfere with mortals, but the Shurokiu honour its principles of progression. Mortal heroes are heavily favoured over gods in Shurokiu religion as it is believed they have communed with Nishin directly for her wisdom. Nishin Genma set themselves up to the Shurokiu as the legends who spoke to the god Nishin the most. They added the eye or serpent eye into the tail within Nishin’s emblem to represent an awakened 3rd eye of wisdom that watches all.

In the context of a horror comic, the premise of the title is to have a clash of opposites, a holy name to describe an unholy act of unspeakable evil. The name Nishin Genma can be the Japanese words for Dual-God Phantasm. Pronouncing Genma as Janma, it is also a Hindi word for rebirth. The idea of Genma meaning Lightbearer is inspired by the translation and association to the name Lucifer, aka the devil we all know.

Q: What themes do you deal with in Genma Visage (if any?)
The theme can change from book to book and story to story, but I would say Corruption and responsibility remain the core theme throughout, and the story focuses on cases that show that without responsibility anything can be defiled and made into evil. The dark underbelly of human nature is often explored when meditating on power. As mentioned before, the sense of history and mythology remains a key point of interest within the story when exploring fact and fiction, as well as how characters grow with the legend that is built up around them.

Whilst I do like to give the readers some room to breathe, I do enjoy having a playful dig at certain degrees of hero worship particularly for comic relief.

Q: How long does it take you to do a page \ book? How does your creative process go?
: I generally release a new book once a year on that basis. Between other jobs and commissions, it’s normally about a day’s work a page, including sketching, inking and painting. It’s approximately another day’s work to work in the colours depending on if it’s a full-colour piece or if I’ve already worked in colour in the first place. With the writing and lettering, I normally set aside a month or two a year to focus on the story, the script, the lettering process, and proofreading. The front cover is normally the longest and most important page in the book, and the same can be said about the back page, so I wedge in about a week’s work each. Organising a print run can normally take a few weeks for the first time, and about 1 week for every other week, assuming there were no major revisions to do beforehand.

So to go through the creative process, I may spend weeks, months if not years brainstorming beforehand a plot or character to work with, then I write down several summaries along the way shortening and streamlining as I go along, design the characters, I write a script, thumbnail page layouts, get the artwork done, do the lettering, sort out the cover and the printing and ignoring the X number of mini chores in between that’s the creative process in summary. To answer the question through examples, Book 2 (56 pages) would take about 4 months (ignoring the tasks before character design) and Book1 about six months. Book 0 parts 1 and 2 at the 140 page mark was roughly a year each. Keeping in mind I am working on other things in between and real life to contend with, I certainly don’t get much time for luxuries, hehe!

Q: Do you keep a journal?
The main journals I keep that’ll keep you up to speed are the newsreel on this page and on the Facebook page, as well as the DA journal where I may announce upcoming shows. Beyond that the more detailed descriptions of my work is included in either pictures uploaded on DA or convention photos and the sketchbook galleries in the facebook. I avoid keeping a personal blog about my life (e.g. what sandwich I ate, what I did today, my opinion X etc) because I simply consider that to be a thief of my time. However, feel free to strike up conversation with me at cons in real life. I don’t bite! :)

Q: Is Usheana dead?
Nope. She's still alive if not exactly kicking after the last pages of Book 1. The same as before, Usheana is still in a coma on Shuromij as Ryuken jumps back and forth from Earth to visit her between battles. The scene with Ryuken's vision at the end of Book 1 while open to interpretation is going to relate to the forthcoming conclusion of the Los Rokuma saga. Keep your eyes peeled for Book 4!

Q: What was the deal with those Wardog and Dinotown shorts in Book 2: Exhumed?
These were done for the "UK Web and Mini Comix Thing" conventions in East London 2009 and 2010. For all the events the organiser put together a comic anthology with contributions from the exhibitors. Each anthology was designed with a rotating yearly theme; 2009 was the planet Mars and 2010 was Dinosaurs, so I did mine accordingly.
Because younger readers were going to look at this book, I toned down the graphic mature nature of my work to some extent, hence why these are so far the only "kid-friendly" venture Genma Visage has taken to date. I should note that Wardog is officially part of Genma Visage’s continuity whereas Dinotown is non-canon. All images involving Relicia and Lumriya acting as a team are non-canon. While the two have acted as partners at certain points throughout human history, they have cut off all ties by the time the Genma Visage series starts, partly to do with Jacobi's involvement.

Q: How come Book 2 is shorter anyhow?
Book 2 and Book 3 were originally going to be one story, and part of it was even going to include the events that ended up happening in the short "Kiss from a Rose."
In March 2009 I had to cut Book 2 short so that it would function as one story to be printed in time for the then convention UK Web and Mini Comic Thing. By the time it was rewritten, I decided that this particular edition deserved the most bonus content in regards to the other titles.

Q: I've noticed there are variations in art styles throughout the books. What can you say about that?
As brought up before, the comic pages and some individual pages were done at different points of time before they were all unified into books. The set storyline remains the same, but because I was either at a certain skill level at one time or trying out a different influence \ experiment at another, the pages may come off like they’ve been done by different artists, but apart from one page, everything is done by me.
While I’d say that I’ve progressed a lot since Book 0 part 1 and 2, excluding some of the older pages, those books represent my current art style at this moment of writing

Q: Is there a timeline to go by and keep track of things?
The story chapters are in the following order (please note a floating timeline within the dates).

. Ryuken is born, intended to be an ultimate weapon for Nishin Genma but fails due to his dragohaemophilia. He's nevertheless trained in the psychic arts.
. Ryuken's parents are murdered, triggering his Drago Visage for the first time. Nishin Genma takes further interest in Ryuken's potential power and train him further.
. The Britonum War starts. A young Ryuken is sent down to Earth with his team. He is the only one to make it out alive as Britonum city is burnt down by a mysterious fire.
. The Genma Visage event takes place, granting Ryuken and Maud their transcendence. Nishin Genma is overthrown and disbanded. Ryuken and Maud part ways. Ryuken resurfaces after training and honing his powers to embark on various adventures.
Genma Visage Prologue.
. The Demonic Terror of the Bloodfeud Nightmare.
. The Battle of Bulru Shonat and Mahn Gurudhum.
. Beasts of Tygrontuk.

. Sometime at this point, Grail attempts to return to Earth and possess Tanya Azpiri. Through several battles with minions, Ryuken foils Grails plans.
. Ryuken travels to the lost Krugeri island on Earth and befriends Zulie Zerpent.
. The Lamia and the Beast.
. War Dog.
. The Kiss from a Rose.
. Monstro Corpz.
. Maud has stopped bounty hunting and has worked for Jimmy Wizardkid for about a year. Maud’s Rumble in the Common occurs and she takes on Big Wong afterwards. Later she remains stationed in the Bahamas with Jimmy Wizardkid to avoid the Masked Crazy crisis in England.
. Book 0 Parts 1, 2 and the upcoming Part 3 take place.
. The Vengeance of Czaetzar.
. Books 1, 2 and 3 take place. Maud’s hunt for Simon Green happens along the side.
. Upcoming Book 4.

Q: What are your preferred mediums?
I’m clicking my knuckles in preparation here.
. For script writing, I use a mobile phone, Microsoft word, and a browser with Grammarly installed.

. For Lettering, scanning, formatting, art editing, digital art (cel and painted) I use Photoshop. Artworks are often aided with my library of personal photos

. For the website design I use Frontpage Editor for the basic template, Notepad to edit in fancy codes and CoreFTP for uploading.

. For the traditional art which is the bulk of what I do, I use and abuse the following.
-Sketching and Tonal Art: A Zebra Delguard 0.5 Mech pencil with Pentel Ain 4b leads, a Jakar 2mm clutch pencil with HB leads, a Faber Castell TK 9400 2mm clutch pencil with 6b leads, and a Cretacolour Classic 5.6 mm clutch pencil with 4b leads.
-Inking: Edding 1800n Propipen 0.1 for fine details, Copic Multiliner SP 0.5 for a bulk of the line work, Tombo Calligraphy Brush pen M, and Kuretake Sumi Brush pen for the shading and certain textures. For special occasions, I also keep handy a Unipin 0.05 fineliner for really fine details and Daler Rowney FW mixed media paint marker 1-2mm round with Manuscript acrylic artists ink for covering large areas.
-B&W Painting: Pentel Water Brush pens fine medium and broad, Neocolour 2 water-soluble wax crayons 4 tones, Tombo ABT Brush pens black and gray, one smudge stick and one Daler Rowney FW mixed media paint marker 1mm with wateR-soluble white ink.
-Colour Painting: Daler Rowney Aquafine watercolours and Tombo ABT Brush pens (20+ plus colours in both)
-Equipment: A3 scanner, Wooden drawing board with page rest, 2 different sized Sharpeners to match the clutch pencils, Metal non slip ruler, flexicurve, set squares, protractor, Faber Castell dust-free eraser, Pentel Clic eraser, Pentel Micro Correct, Xerox colour impressions paper 120gsm a3 or a4 or Bristol board 200gsm plus a4 or a3 (whichever brand I can get hold of), and refills for all of the above.
-Honourable Mentions: Pentel Pocket Brush, Pentel 120 a3dx 0.9mm mech pencil, Pentel N50 permanent marker, Pentel Studio set, Neocolour 2 other colours, Derwent Water colour pencils, the other sizes of Edding Copic and Uniball pens, Staedtler Pigment liner pens, Staedtler lumocolours Medium and Fine, all manners of brush pens to practise with over the years, and finally hot beverages, healthy food, good music and enough sleep to help me through it all!

Q: Can I give you gift art of your works?
Sure! Much appreciated if you do! Send it to my email address stated above. It goes up on the Facebook of the website along with the image \ sketch gallery.

Q: Where can I get a copy of your work?
At this present moment in writing, from me personally. See the guidelines in the
store page and email me at and I’ll fix you a quote and arrange posting details. There will be several official online outlets on the website soon so stay tuned.

Q: Hey, Man! What the hell have you got against Pixar, huh?
Are you kidding? I love Pixar!

Genma Visage and its related works are Copyright © to Thomas Tuke. All rights reserved.