I was 13 years old and on my third re-write of Ki-Chan: Demon Hunter back in 2000. This was election day, and I was sitting in a storage room, trying to think of a real reason why Ti-Chan and the others would leave America. I know I told you before about those dreams I had of everyone in Chichibu, but I had yet to dream of why. But suddenly, I saw a vision.
I saw a dark, slate blue sky. A nasty thunderstorm. I saw White people fighting each other over the Bible and which copy was right. I saw the sky turn red, as Republicans took over the House and Senate. I saw police officers shooting unarmed protesters, and then, I scribbled the following on notebook paper:
The year is 2016-D.E. And these are rough times for many youths. Since the start of the digital revolution of the era A.D. there has been chaos among the many. Earth's population has dropped to a mere 1.5 billion, after centuries upon centuries of religious based war and famine. America, once a proud and bustling nation, is now a police state, where no longer does freedom of speech reign, but instead a watchful eye is cast on the few adventurous enough to speak boldly against a Christian militia. Graveyards of those slain by the government are adorned with stones of red marble, with one caption: Subdued in the name of God.
But despite a country living in censorship, there are still thirsty minds, hungry for a life abroad. Young men and women, starving for sunshine and oxygen, wanting to shed their dreary gray skies and endless rains, in exchange for a more open classroom. And here is where our story begins…
I took out a line about anything apocalyptic, but I remember keeping this paragraph, because at 13 I thought "WOW! What a great way to start a comic book!" and with that, I turned on the radio, where the Backstreet Boys' "The One" was suddenly interrupted by an interesting phrase out of the boy band's home state of Florida.
Fearful, I abandoned writing one more word about America in Ki-Chan's world for four years. The last thing I remember scribbling down was a passage about a paper Ti-Chan was writing about The Statue of Liberty being renovated, and left it at that.
Then this past April, I re-typed the above phrase and put it on page 7 of Ki-Chan: Demon Hunter Book #1. Again, I thought this would provide a decent backdrop for Ki-Chan's world and segue into Ti-Chan's trip.
America... I am so... so sorry.
When Ki-Chan: Demon Hunter Book #1 launches next month, I hope I can see everybody enjoying the book and cosplaying as their favorite characters.
I want to see a chubby Ki-Chan, a tiny Ki-Chan, a handicapped Ki-Chan, a male, female or transgender Ki-Chan. I want to see Ki-Chan in every color combination modern genetics can afford. Bring on the cute, the daring, the re-imagining, Hell, I even want to see a zombie or clown Ki-Chan ~ and I don't even like zombies or clowns!
Just as I would host no limit to a fanart of Ki-Chan, I equally hold no limits when it comes to cosplay. And I want each and every one of my followers to feel comfortable and safe cosplaying as Ki-Chan, Ti-Chan or anybody else I've drawn. I want to see people having fun with my work, and it all starts with me and my attitude.
So my name is Koriander Bullard, and I am taking the #KiChanCosplay challenge. Join me!
And if you need a cheap head start, grab my $10 cosplay kit over here. I'll hand-write your autograph in the cap.
So I've told you all about how I started dreaming of these characters back in 1995. But did I ever tell you that I actually shared three of the characters with you long before I even mentioned Ki-Chan?
For those of you who don't know me, hi. Nice to meet you. My name is Koriander Bullard. I'm a freelance cartoonist known for drawing professional wrestlers in an anime style and for MOON-lighting as some otaku named Codename Sailor Earth.
What you may not know is that I'm also a science-fiction editor and writer.
For a good while now, I've been teasing this series about a rag-tag team of college students with super powers. What you may not know is why I'm doing this at all.