Okay ... So, last journal update, I'd mentioned that I had some art I'd put in storage and was considering taking out.
Truth is, I've been having cold feet over it.
See, in 2012 I started working on an idea for an original series of sorts that would involve personified ships, after being inspired by the likes of "mecha musume" artists such as acea4 of Taiwan, who has been doing a graphic novel titled Shermanga Wars (a wordplay on "Sherman" and "Manga," I think). I've come to dub my own project "The Oakenhearted," as you can see in the teaser/preview comic that I've taken out of storage. I had uploaded that on October 21, 2014, the same day that the ship featured in said preview (USS Constitution) was launched in 1797.
You'll notice that in the commentary for that picture, I mentioned that Kantai Collection launched in 2013 and how popular it's become. That's the reason I kept having second thoughts about doing anything with The Oakenhearted, putting up images only to either put them in storage or remove them. Not because KanColle "did it first," mind you—personifying war machines has been a thing since at least the 90's, so it's not like either title is breaking new ground here.
However, people have a tendency to look at anything that has similarities to something they like (or something that is popular) as a ripoff. Taken to the extreme, you get cases like the one fan who sent Universal Studios a nastygram accusing them of ripping off of Twilight with their 1940s film "The Wolfman." That's where my apprehension kicked in: I don't want The Oakenhearted to get dismissed as "a lame American imitation of KanColle," or a "me-too," or something like that.
If I keep going with this series, I want it to be judged on its own merits, not in comparison to more popular titles. I'd been worried it just wouldn't be possible. I'd passed around some of the work I've done on The Oakenhearted to people I know, and some of those who play Kantai Collection bluntly told me "yes, they're going to call this a KanColle ripoff." That's why I've sat on this for several years at this point.
Recently, though, some other friends have encouraged me to go through with it. And ... well, I figure now might be a good time as any: Fallout 4 was released today. Since it takes place in Boston and features its own take on USS Constitution, maybe it'll spark some interest.
I'd really like to hear feedback on this idea—if you'd like to see more or what. I have other artwork related to The Oakenhearted I'd been doing in recent years (and more recently) that I may put up as well.
That's all I've got for now, gang.