Last week we sent the backers of our Indiegogo campaign a real treat: a copy of Masayo’s yearbook from the NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY.
We had a blast making these. Some people I suppose like to keep their yearbooks pristine, filed carefully on a shelf for future reference. Maybe. Those people shouldn’t go to the Academy, I guess, because delinquent ninja kids delight in scribbling all over each others’ yearbooks. We wanted to give people the sense of the energy and madness of these kids, and have a lot of fun in the process.
Like the comic itself, the yearbook was a marriage of art and writing. Dave did the “photographs” (not sure how robust camera technology is on NINJA ISLAND, but let that slide) and I wrote the accompanying text, and then we worked together to figure out what the kids would scribble all over the page.
The pictures are fantastic, of course, and I tried to write funny bits in the yearbook text, but the rambunctious doodles and scrawls of the kids really make these pages spectacular. Take a look:
This is the original page.
Chamberlain Wong is not the happiest school administrator, obviously. I wanted to subvert the usual platitudes in this sort of book and have the Chamberlain really lay into the bad kids that make up his school. I think it really offends him that these kids don’t take tradition and honour seriously.
Also, these things are always put together by some group of students, who don’t know much about printing, so they didn’t leave enough room for his full message. Probably just as well; I think he was just getting warmed up there!
And obviously the Academy has a student council, and you can only image what a student council made of disobedient ninja kids is going to be like. Millicent is of course on the Student Council — I imagine they get her to do all the work, but she’s never the president because, well, everyone pretty much hates her.
So that’s a funny sort of page on its own, sure. But look at the final version, with all the scribbles and scrawls all over it:
You can see these kids don’t take their Chamberlain or the school very seriously. It was Dave who did all the lettering, and I think he did an amazing job making all the handwriting styles look so different. The stick figure ninjas show up all through the yearbook, and if you look carefully you can see notes from all the REFORM SCHOOL NINJA GIRLS.
This page on its own includes notes from Masayo, Ritsuko, Millicent, Eri and Yumi.
Can YOU guess who wrote what? We’ll send a copy of the complete yearbook to anyone who can correctly point out which note is from which NINJA GIRL. If you’ve already got a copy, then you already know who wrote which (we included a helpful legend at the back of the book so you can pick their handwriting out).
Post your guesses in the comments below! This contest will wrap up Friday, December 7th.