Yakuzine behind the scenes

Genius nuggets about making Yakuzine, a Ryu ga Gotoku / Yakuza video game series zine.

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After re-reading my own copy of Yakuzine (autobio + Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza video game series zine) I felt inspired to share some of the ideas behind the project/execution! The (sometimes) nice thing about self-pub is that you can put in so many easter eggs, but of course, the labour...

The digital version is FREE to read/download on itch!

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The rest of this post may have SPOILERS.

The cover

The concept for the cover was by PowersWithin. The precise convo was as follows:

Me: Do u have ideas for the zine cover

Powerswithin: maybe it can be a troll ver of a physical game cover ....

Powerswithin: (sends Kiwami playstation game box art)

Powerswithin: And everyone is just crying

Me: Ouuuu

Me: I mean this isnt a lie

Powerswithin: it's tru they all cry

Powerswithin: (sends image below)

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Me: Is our zine PG 😂

Powerswithin: Questionable....

Me: We only played on PC!

Powerswithin: THE IRONY

Me: Ty for this inspo

Since the Kiwami 1 cover became the basis, I tried to keep as many elements as the original as possible, but with "deviations" as necessary. My first pass before futzing with the copy.

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After sharing with Ittybeatty and PowersWithin, we refined it into the final version. Diving back into using vectors for certain elements reminded me of how out of practice I am.

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Back cover

I also riffed off the marketing copy on the original, but changed it to be more descriptive of what's in the zine.

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I haven't used this many emboss/deboss gradient text effects in a long time.

Title and credits pages

The beginning and ending of book has decorative morning glory and sunflower elements, based on the orphanages in the series. Bless Clip Studio Paint (CSP) default decoration brushes for having them...

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Because we love Majima Everywhere, so snuck him in...

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Other

The book was a beast to put together because of its multi-series-ness and the mix of content that is autobio and headcanon. I personally tried to differentiate by drawing them differently.

Autobio (left) uses hard lines and is manually lettered. Headcanon (right) uses a grainier line and lettered with a font.

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After trying to draw Movie Majima I realized something that I couldn't unsee.

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Weird conversations

We had many conversations about Yakuza that didn't make it into the zine, but here is a sampling of our fever.

Tummy paddies

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Rubber toger

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If Etsuko can join, maybe I can too???

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I'm glad I got to make this super indulgent zine with IttyBeatty and PowersWithin. Hope Yakuza fans will also enjoy and feel our overflowing love for the series!

Now if only I had more time to play Yakuza...

The Aarons WIP

WIP of the Aaron Z. and Aaron T. fanart (from Turning Red's 4*Town)

Listened to way too much 4*town!

At first there was a completely different Aaron Z because I wasn't sure where the picture was going.

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Eventually I decided i was ONLY going to have the Aarons in the picture, so I changed the drawing to make it seem like they were posing together. I do most of my sketching with CSP's default "pencil -- Real pencil" tool. I wouldn't say that it acts much like a real pencil hahaha.

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I used the same pencil to "ink" it too. I like that it's pretty forgiving compared to a hard ink line.

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I duplicated the "inks" and then added some thicker parts and shadows.

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I was convinced I was going to crop the picture so I didn't even bother flatting AZ's boxers. Though it's funny to think about whether he'd ever wear such colourful undergarments (my feeling is, no). I eyedroppered these flat colours from the promo art, but wanted to draw them in tank tops!!!

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I'm on a neverending quest to figure out how to colour...smarter...as in...less is more?? I'm back with garish colours!

For shading I tried to use blue shadows and orange highlights, because those colours are part of their logo (and complementary) but after making up this accidental chaotic radial background, I ended up with a 3rd red light source. The dappled light is the default CSP "decoration -- effect -- dappled light" brush.

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In the final picture, I put sparkles in their eyes and around AZ's earring ~kira kira~!

digital colour fanart of two men, Aaron Z and Aaron T from 4*Town (from Disney/Pixar's Turning Red) posing for a photo. Their signatures appear near their heads. Aaron Z side glances at the camera, has a closed mouth smile, and his left hand is posed in a #1 index finger pointing gesture. Aaron T looks directly at the camera, has his left hand open and extended towards the viewer, and his right hand hovers near his face, by a bubblegum bubble. The colours are very saturated.

My headcanon is that AZ gets hit in the face by AT's undone overall strap when they're rehearsing/dancing. I also wonder if AT's overalls fall off by accident a lot because only one strap is holding up all this fabric...surely when you're dancing the danger rises?!

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Fake single cover hahaha... Image description


Today's music post: In honour of boyband music, I dug into my past and remembered so much amazing music that I hadn't thought about in decades. I suppose many of these groups are MANbands rather than BOYbands. Group? R&B group? Please appreciate Az Yet's cover of Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry. THIS CIRCULAR FORMATION DANCING. ACAPELLA HARMONIES...! MATCHING OUTFITS.