The language of Locus

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The language of Locus

Postby Fallen Angel on Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:54 am

I'm too laisy to come to the forum and then put the time in to translate all that stuff in the comic. So suggestion: could you in the future do what they usually do in comics: put a * or a number (if there is multiple text), like ² and ³ and at the bottom of the page, you put it in English.

For the rest no complaints, love what you are doing with this comic.

Thank you!
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Adam Black on Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:06 pm

I can indeed! Is that something that everyone else would dig, too?

I can stick the translation in the commentary under the page or something. I was considering putting it on the comic page itself, but decided against it for two reasons:

1. Seems a little distracting, and
2. Covers up too much artwork. :wink:

But it has been something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Kreox on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:36 pm

So what about putting translations under the page into your comment text and then make one more page for print copies with translations?

like:
Page 10 panel 4 Spook: "You motherfucker!"
Page 10 panel 5 Random-enemy-asshole: "No, YOU, you motherfucker!"
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby myrkari on Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:39 am

Signed up just to say noooooooooo! The whole point is that we don't know the Tongue of the Ancients! I thought one of the best uses of it recently was when we weren't told exactly what the Bana'i said, we just heard Locus' reaction of 'ewwww'-ness and Silk then giving us the general overview - 'her many children' - I really liked that, it worked. If directly under the speech bubble it said [[The Bana'i says 'Templeton, look at my freaky mating spines. Me love you long time. Let's eat these fuckers and then GET IT ON!']] then that would ruin it for me.

I agree that for the lazies among us (or the people who don't remember what things mean from way back in issue 1 etc), putting a translation in each day's comment blurb would be both fine and useful. But putting it on each actual page? Meh, for language-heavy pages, the bottom of each image would start to look like a wikipedia article with all the citations and crap. I say boo to your idea, Fallen Angel :(


Also, Adam: Freakin' awesome comic, dude. Found it a few pages into Issue 1 and been hooked ever since. You win at comics 8)
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Fallen Angel on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:07 am

myrkari wrote:Signed up just to say noooooooooo! The whole point is that we don't know the Tongue of the Ancients! I thought one of the best uses of it recently was when we weren't told exactly what the Bana'i said, we just heard Locus' reaction of 'ewwww'-ness and Silk then giving us the general overview - 'her many children' - I really liked that, it worked. If directly under the speech bubble it said [[The Bana'i says 'Templeton, look at my freaky mating spines. Me love you long time. Let's eat these fuckers and then GET IT ON!']] then that would ruin it for me.

I agree that for the lazies among us (or the people who don't remember what things mean from way back in issue 1 etc), putting a translation in each day's comment blurb would be both fine and useful. But putting it on each actual page? Meh, for language-heavy pages, the bottom of each image would start to look like a wikipedia article with all the citations and crap. I say boo to your idea, Fallen Angel :(


Also, Adam: Freakin' awesome comic, dude. Found it a few pages into Issue 1 and been hooked ever since. You win at comics 8)

If it's one or two sentances, it's not that bad. But there have been pages were most of the text is the ancient language. That makes it a bad page for me, since I can't really follow that days page. I can come to the forum and decipher what it says, but it would take me a while and I don't wanna put the time in just to understand what exactly is going on.

I love Locus, but it is by far my favorite comic. I love that it is unconventional and doesn't follow the rules. But storywise, I was more into 4K.

My favorite comic? I like Blake & Mortimer, Watchmen, Spawn, Torso, Alias, Powers, Sam & Twitch, ...

Locus, it's in there, but, when I get myself a print copy, I might get more into it then currently.
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Adam Black on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:29 am

myrkari wrote:Also, Adam: Freakin' awesome comic, dude. Found it a few pages into Issue 1 and been hooked ever since. You win at comics 8)


Thanks! And, now that you have a forum account, don't be a stranger!

Angel: Give me some more details on this K4K vs. Locus thing you're talking about. What about K4K do you like more than Locus? And are we referring to the K4K webcomic, the first six issues of the print comic, or the issues I ended up writing later on? I'm curious, especially since I've put a lot more work into Locus, story-wise, than I did on K4K.
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby myrkari on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:53 am

Fallen Angel wrote:... and I don't wanna put the time in just to understand what exactly is going on.


I guess this is where we differ. If I don't get something, but I want to get it... I'll damn well find out what's going on. I give it a bonus mark for getting me interested enough to want to find out. Not knowing everything all at once doesn't ruin my enjoyment of something. We were never supposed to understand the tongue of the ancients from the very start. I know it's not quite the same, but you wouldn't start saying "You know what, it's kinda too much effort to read this every day, can you just email me with what happens at the end", right?
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Adam Black on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:43 am

Here's my current system for introducing the Tongue of the Ancients in the comic:

I try to keep it to a minimum. The Bana'i had the most dialogue of anyone so far. Up until that page, there were a few words peppered here and there. I didn't really string out a complete sentence until the end of issue five.

In the link above, we have Silk's first big entrance (from Isaac's point of view), and she's doing what she normally does: speaking in the language of her childhood. And, while what she's saying isn't exactly obvious, I hope it's obvious that it's a greeting, or at least an answer to Moondoggie's "hey, sexy!" greeting.

(For the record: "Etharzi'de gi, ulfheonar" = "Peace to you, wolf-skin")

"Shen'to Bana'i'hii darsar?" is her second sentence, and it should be fairly obvious that she's asking, "where's Spook?" I gave two clues in this: one, she refers to him by "Shen'to Bana'i", which we know is his name from issue one. Second, he immediately answers, "right here, baby."

"Laida'to dosii...!" isn't explained at all, but I figured it was obvious in context. That's right where someone would say, "oh my god!" or something similar.

The dialogue from the Bana'i a few days ago isn't quite as obvious, but it wasn't meant to be. However, I dropped two hints there, as well.

1. "Templeton...ethyyd'to ola..." are the first words out of her mouth. On page two of this issue, Silk refers to Spook as "ethyyd'to ola". Now we know the two are married, so this is a name she's calling her husband. As such, I hope it's fairly obvious that it means something affectionate.

(for the record, it translates to "my heart". Literally, it's "heart of me")

2. Silk translates part of the Banai's monologue at the end of that page--the "many daughters" thing. Locus' "eewww" reaction should also be an indicator of what was said.

For the record, though:

"Templeton...ethyyd'to ola..." = "Templeton...my heart..." (Templeton...heart of me...)
"Ge'trian iada'de plosi pasa'i'to ola..." = "You will be the father of many of my daughters..." (Thou shalt be father many daughters of me)
"Niisa'ka ola...!" = "Come away with me...!" (Come away with me) <--this one actually translates literally, which isn't common.

The Bana'i doesn't speak a lick of English, and on Monday's page, she's going to do a lot more talking. All of it will be in the TotA. However, it should be fairly obvious what she'll be saying because of the responses from the other characters in the scene. if it isn't, respond in this thread and I'll give a translation.

I have a lot of readers who are multi-lingual and are most likely used to this sort of thing. I also have a fair amount of readers who are conlang fans and enjoy deciphering the TotA whenever it pops up. As the issues progress, I'll be repeating certain words to the point where they should be familiar, which will allow me to introduce new words and phrases. These can be deciphered by the context they're in, in regards to the words everyone should already know at that point.

The words everyone should already know by now are:

gi = you
ola = me
(word)'to = (word) of
etharzi = peace

There are a couple of others, but I can't recall them offhand, and don't have time to dig around for them right now. I should be working instead of typing all this out. :lol:

The gist of the whole thing is this: it's not necessary to understand the TotA when it pops up. Not word for word, at least. The context should always be pretty clear. Not knowing the word-for-word translation shouldn't be a problem. I won't be hiding anything important in a language no one knows.

There's a movie called "Zoot Suit Riot" which is a good example of this. It jumps between English and (Mexican) Spanish quite a bit. Now, the only words I know in Spanish are the bad ones (thanks to a Mexican cousin of mine), so the Spanish parts, to me, sounded like: "Blah blah blah fuck blah blah shit blah blah blah whore...". It was pretty amusing. And, while I couldn't tell exactly what Edward James Olmos was saying at times, the context was clear--from his voice inflection and his mannerisms. There were entire scenes where I didn't understand a word (except for the profanity), but understood exactly what was being said. This comic will (hopefully) be the same.

You guys are, as always, more than welcome to keep me honest on this, though. I'm not the greatest writer on the face of the planet. So if there's anything you want to know, feel free to post it in the forums or get ahold of me directly.
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Fallen Angel on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:47 am

myrkari wrote:I know it's not quite the same, but you wouldn't start saying "You know what, it's kinda too much effort to read this every day, can you just email me with what happens at the end", right?

It certainly isn't like that. I like checking in 3 times a week. I also donate monthly and I'm planning to buy the issues (once there are 8, then the shipping to Europe is the most interesting).

The thing with the ancient language is just that it is used quite frequently. There are comics were something isn't translated, but it isn't as elaborate as it is used here sometimes, so sometimes I get the feeling I'm missing something.

And Adam, the difference with 4K: Storywise, they are both very different beasts. I think they are both very complex, but differently so. Your webcomics were simple, but very cool. I liked them more than the first few issues of the print comic. But the print revealed to be totally mindstaggaring and you took it to great heights when you took over.

But I think the difference is with Locus:

-KISS 4K was done by several people. So you had lots of good ideas combined.
-There is already a somewhat familiar history with KISS
-KISS 4K was also partially in print, which ultimately is a much nicer read and that also gets you a bit more involved with the webcomic
-4K had a great navigation at drunkduck. You could select any page you wanted to check back on something. With Locus you have to press previous, wait for the page to load, press previous, wait for the... Imagine having to do that 10 times or so.

But like I said: Once I have a print copy, I'll get a bit more into it. So, it's got nothing to do with your writing and penciling skills, Adam :smug: :smug:
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Adam Black on Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:11 am

Fallen Angel wrote:-4K had a great navigation at drunkduck. You could select any page you wanted to check back on something. With Locus you have to press previous, wait for the page to load, press previous, wait for the... Imagine having to do that 10 times or so.


That's all going to change when Locus moves over to Outland Entertainment in November. They've got a great archive/link system over there, and it's because the guy who runs the place (Matt, a friend of mine) used to work at Platinum Studios and managed some of the DD code (if I remember correctly, which I don't).

Basically, what Matt did was take the DD system and code his own version, by hand and from scratch, from the ground up. I'm absolutely giddy with excitement to move this comic over there. There will even be a built-in RSS feed and a comment box on every page!

As for K4K, you're absolutely right. It was a lot of fun to take others' ideas and run with them. I had a good time on that comic, even if it did end in a less than stellar fashion. :lol: I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

As for the TotA stuff...you're really not missing anything by not knowing exactly what they're saying. I will be introducing more of the language as the issues progress. I even have a plan to do an entire issue in this language, but that won't happen for at least a couple of years yet, and it'll be a standalone issue when it happens. It'll be more of a novelty item than anything else--an alternate version of issue 11 and/or 12, to be precise. But I can't say more without giving EVERYTHING away! :D

The TotA Language page on the Locus Wiki will be a good place for anyone who wants to learn more about this. It's pretty bare right now, unfortunately. I have a lot to add to it, but not a lot of time. I'm trying to work ahead to the point where I can add a bunch of stuff to it this weekend, but I'm not 100% sure that'll happen.

As for print comics: I'll be collecting these in 3-issue trade paperbacks. The first three issues are 99% ready for printing--I have one piece of art left to add to it that I can't seem to find the time to get drawn up lately (ARGH!). The TPB that will collect issues 4-6 should be ready by late November/early December.

Just in time for Christmas! :wink:

At any rate: I'm glad you're sticking with Locus, despite the page layout and language hints. I'll be improving both of these things in the next month or three--both by moving Locus to OE and by adding to the wiki. So hang tough just a little longer! The problem of being a one-man comic-makin' army is that you never have enough time, energy or hands to get everything done that needs done.

Good news is: when I move back home next summer, my daughter and her fiancé have agreed to help out. She's going to help me out with the secretarial/bookkeeping stuff (which I'm terrible at) and he is going to help out with merchandising, sales and distribution. By this time next year, this whole shebang will have shifted up a gear or two.

That's the plan, anyway.
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby myrkari on Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:06 am

Maaaan, I bet today's comic is annoying you, huh?
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Adam Black on Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:56 am

I hope it isn't bugging anyone. I've introduced a couple new words which will be explained on the very next page, and in-depth next issue.

In stories like this, you always have to have a character who asks the questions that the reader would be asking, and in this story, that's Isaac.

So on Wednesday's page, Isaac's going to be asking some questions. :D
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Re: The language of Locus

Postby Kreox on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:55 am

Adam Black wrote:So on Wednesday's page, Isaac's going to be asking some questions. :D


With story and world like this, I doubt he will ever shut his mouth :lol:
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