1. What does Kurenai Mashin mean?

"Kurenai Mashin" is japanese for "crimson devil". I call it "KM" for short. I also use "KM" when I refer to the main character, since it's his name. Ah, confusion. How I love thee.

2. How often does the comic update?

The comic updates used to update every Monday (at least, as much as I was able), but given life, liberty and the vortex called "school", KM has now switched to a random schedule. I will try my darndest to get an update out every couple of weeks. In order to keep updated on new comics and KM news, join the mailing list.

3. Why don't you have a regular schedule?
There are four main reasons (and to think I actually started out with two :3).

Firstly, though trying to maintain a regular schedule these past few years has vastly improved my art, it has, perversely, also made my art suffer. One needs only go through the archives to see great pages followed by pages make my eyes burn. I'm a perfectionist by nature, but with the regular schedule I often sacrificed a perfect page for a perfect schedule. In the end, I didn't achieve either. Why, you ask? Good question. This brings me to the second reason.

I'm a student whose life for the next couple of years will consist of school in the morning, school in the afternoon, and school in the evening. And if I'm really lucky, school in my dreams. My program is basically a full-time job. Except that instead of wages, I get homework, which explains why most of my evenings won't be free either. KM's a hobby of mine and I love it to bits, but a regular schedule would not be conducive to sanity or a passing grade.

Thirdly, I'm away from home all summer, and though I'll be churning out all the pages I can, I won't have access to a scanner. Which means a regular schedule would be impossible even if I spent all my waking hours working on KM.

Finally, I'm working on a joint anthology which I want to make as professional as possible. More details about this later.

4. What's up with the random Japanese words in the comic?

I blame it on an overdose of anime/Megatokyo/online Japanese dictionaries. When I first started the comic, I believed, naively, that a sprinkling of Japanese vocabulary would work in a comic that took place outside Japan (heck, the story doesn't even take place on Earth!). When I grew out of that phase, the use of random Japanese became a rather frivolous homage to the elements that most inspired the creation of Kurenai Mashin. I have since stopped injecting random Japanese into the mouths of my characters, but there are a few Japanese terms I've decided to continue using. Some of them are names, such as the "Kurenai Mashin". Others belong to that wonderful class of Japanese name suffixes (ie. "-san", "-chan" etc), because they bring another level to the characterization.

5. Who are you?

bluebug : Creator/writer/artist. And yes, it's spelt "bluebug", "bb" for short. No capitals, I'm funny that way. I started the comic way back in 2001, first on Geocities, and then I moved to Keenspace. KM is a project that I hope to see from beginning to end. It's a nice epic story that goes on for a quite a while and takes many twists and turns along the way. The story is pretty hard to describe because it takes the characters over a long, complex journey whose focus sharply changes directions a few times. I first started using an "anime" like style in 1999 and I've been working on my style ever since.

Likes :
| Naruto, Full Metal Alchemist, Ghost in the Shell, Monster, Bleach, Hikaru No Go
| LOTR (I,II,III), Matrix (II and III sucked), Gladiator, Donnie Darko, Shawshank Redemption, Boondocks Saints
| Tad Williams, Charles deLint, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Louise Erdrich, Terry Pratchet
| Tapioca, Spicy food, sleep (who needs food when you can sleep!), art (I can easily go without meals when I'm working on a piece of art)   
Dislikes :
| Pink, creepy crawlies, zombies, scary movies/scary stories/ creepy people :P

Queen Godzilla : Former part-time artist for KM. QG for short. She did some pages for KM from September 2003-September 2004 when I lost half my soul to school. Which means I only have one 8th of my soul left, having sold the rest of it for chocolate long long ago.

6. How long does it take to do one page of the comic?

It takes me about 10+ hours to make a page. That includes the sketching, inking, CG work.

7. What inspired the comic?

Rurouni Kenshin is the most obvious influence overall. The idea of a killer assassin was born from a melding of Kenshin and Musashi (a real life samurai). But look past the katanas and the billowy pants and you'll see a story rooted in fantasy and betrayal. KM isn't a story about one assassin and his many epic fights. That's only one arc of the story. I hope that those who read the comic will be able to take a step back and see the many facets of the story.

The other influences have all melded together ... I'm sure there are elements of Inuyasha and Lord of the Rings in it as well.

8. Where did you learn how to draw?
Like a lot of artists out there, I had very little formal training. I've loved drawing for as long as I could remember and throughout my life I've learned by trial by error. Most of my improvement has stemmed from drawing the comic by virtue of sheer volume and experimentation.

More questions?

Ask away in the forum or by email.
bluebug = kurenaimashin(at)yahoo.com




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(c) 2001-today bluebug. All site material is property of bluebug unless otherwise specified. Stealing means you wish the squirrels to mistake your eyeballs for acorns. Truly.