Mokatori is my first comic book project, a (not so far in future) science fiction story on the theme of climate change:
And if the inhabitants of tomorrow sent us letters?
From 2054 to 2084, from Iceland to Afghanistan, from cataclysms to utopias, five stories draw our possible futures during the "Mokatori", the word for climate change among Amazonian Indians Ep. 0 - "The End" - Mexico City, Mexico, November 27, 2015
Ep. 1 - "Business as Usual" - Reykjavik, Iceland, March 20, 2054
Ep. 2 - "Time Machine" - Taipei, 臺北市, Taiwan, November 13, 2084
Ep. 3 - "In the Shade of Fig Trees" - Farsala, Φάρσαλα, Greece, July 17, 2077
Ep. 4 - "Masters of the Stratosphere" - Walvis Bay, Namibia, February 29, 2060
Ep. 5 - "Living" - Kunduz, کندز, Afghanistan, April 3, 2072
Why do climate change issues generate so much inertia and anxiety?
According to a BVA/Place to B poll on the French and the climate published in March 2015, and we can bet results would be similar in other countries, only 13% of respondents believe that fighting climate change is a priority, but 79% think that one should speak more and better of the climate, be more positive (50%), be more concrete (48%), be more participative (42%), and be more pedagogical (40%). Not everyone is a climatologist. And noted by the Guardian, "Most people understand the world through stories and images, not lists of numbers, probability statements or technical graphs, and so it is crucial to find ways of translating and interpreting the technical language found in scientific reports into something more engaging". The counter turns, it is time to try such a narrative, and to try to transform a scientific fact into a social fact.
Letters from the Future
But militant speeches are not always the ones we are willing to listen to, and we have to go beyond the the polar bear cliché. This is why Mokatori's tone is rather distant on the characters and stories to allow each reader to build his own opinion and then make his own choices of action. Through the epistolary form, the narrative draws blacks and whites, but especially many levels of gray without judgments that can be read in different ways. There is therefore no direct impact expected from the reader other than to allow him to imagine possible futures and to make him become aware of the scale of the issue emotionally.
What I commit to this project
Why did I go solo in a comic book on the endless theme of climate change? Because I understood the facts, I see the snow melting in the Alps, I met an inhabitant of the Solomon Islands who saw his atoll sink, I deepened the subject by building a bioclimatic house and I wonder if it is worth learning to ski to my two boys. But mostly because I feel that I have a story to tell that has not yet been told, which is not a story of apocalypse or flight on another planet, and that I see many of my relatives and my parents walk to the edge of the abyss without realizing it. I want to make them understand the danger and the challenge not only with their heads but also with their hearts, and I believe that I could make it through this story.
An ongoing project
The idea took shape at the end of 2014, I began writing and storyboarding in 2015 and then self-published a small comic and ironic 8 pages, "next door" but on the same theme, "Climate change explained Frogs" in October 2015 prior to COP21. This allowed me to test the process of creating and publishing a comic from start to finish, digital and paper. Following my participation at the COP21 in Paris (at Place To B), I finalized the script in 2016, to publish episode 0 digitally in September 2016 (12 pages). Episode 1 is being finalized (26 pages), and I am committed to publishing it in July 2017, although I am promoting this project on my free time and on my own funds. The complete album will include a hundred pages, and it is the A5 format that I chose to facilitate the digital reading of the album in addition to the paper reading because it is close to a tablet, and can be read without scaling the text on a screen.
The choice of freedom
Out of respect for my readers, to encourage derivative works and not to curb the spread of Mokatori, I chose to distribute my comic under free license (the Creative Commons By-Sa, the one of Wikipedia). I only work with free software and I make the source files of my comic available.
And graphical choices
For drawing, I work digitally with Krita, a free software dedicated to graphic tablet drawing, and my stylistic researches have resulted in a broad, semi-realistic feature, which is mostly black but that I can reverse in white Or exceptionally put in color. Moreover, I add textures to my color for material effects that break the smooth appearance of the digital drawing.
Fan Based Patronage
The world of comics is not rosy for authors today, and most authors don't make a living from their work...
Fortunately, we are in 2016, and Internet exists. And self-publishing too. And there are lots of people who have good ideas and show the way (Jason Brubaker, David Revoy, Maliki, Bookelis). So I have another solution: to turn to you, dear reader, to ask for your support.
It's called fan based patronage. You heard about crowdfunding? Where a creator speaks to "the crowd" via the Internet to fund a project punctually, such as printing a comic album?
Well, fan based patronage, it's almost the same, but it's not punctual, it's "sustainable" (wow, well placed word!).
You, dear reader, you become a co-producer of Mokatori by becoming my patron on Tipeee. Each month, a small amount of your choice will help me to drive away the everyday worries to focus on the creation of this project. From small beginnings come great things, and €1 per month, that's already a lot!
Gradually, Inshallah, I can dedicate more time to this project, and the following episodes will come out faster. You start when you want, you stop when you want. And you participate in the creation as co-producer: I will publish the state of my work behind the scenes (into Tipeee News), and you will be able to give me your opinion, or even modify or add sentences, panels, and even characters. Because I am convinced that you can enrich my work, and Mokatori will become gradually a collective work!
How Will the Funding Be Used?
Your tips are primarily intended to give me time to write and draw. Today I make a living from my freelance contracts, and each tip move away from the obligation to seek and carry out contracts to give me more time on the comic. Additionally it also allow me to make bonus illustrations, and share with you tools (brushes, textures, typeface, page templates…) and the "making ofs" that I hardly have time to realize otherwise. A small part of the funding will also come from the sale of ebooks on large online bookstores (Amazon…) and another from the sale of printed comics.
Photo by Elisa de Castro Guerra
My name is Nylnook (aka Camille Bissuel), I'm an illustrator, grew up and live in the French Alps. In 2008, after studying philosophy and graphics, I settle as a freelance graphic designer and select digital drawing and free software as tools. I work from my home, in team as soon as I get the chance, and specializes in illustration in 2013 under the name Nylnook, the name of a fictional character, a gnome from the North Pole, also touched by climate change.
I have already published a small comic and many freely licensed illustrations to download as wallpaper on my website, and I participated in writing three textbooks on my everyday tools (Scribus, Blender pour le jeu vidéo, Creating Point and Click Games with Escoria).
- Why per month, not per episode?
the episodes are of unequal length, if I ask for pledges by episodes, it would force me to rush through the longest episodes, which I don't want to do.
- What is the difference between signing up to the Newsletter and behind the scenes posts in the Tipeee News ?
I'll post the same things in the newsletters and in the Tipeee news open to all, but the sketch, scenario and unfulfilled things we can still change will only be published in the news reserved to tippers.
- I prefer to support you with US dollars, is it possible ?
Yes, I've created a Patreon page if you prefer, even if the main one will be the Tipeee one.
- I prefer to support you with micro-donations without rewards, is it possible ?
Yes, I've created a Liberapay profil if you prefer, even if the main one will be the Tipeee one.