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C09P20 – The Temple

C09P20 – The Temple published on 14 Comments on C09P20 – The Temple

The Dream Eater temples are very inspired by Asian pagodas, and we’ll be taking a look at a lot of the development sketches for this location on the Friday blog this week. I knew from the start that this would be one of the design elements that would be modeled quite closely off of our real-world examples. I just don’t think there’s much improvement to be made on the beauty of that architectural design.

I’ve spoken before about my trip to Japan. One of my favorite parts of the trip (aside from discovering the delightful relaxation offered by a bath-house) was visiting temples. I loved the incredible beauty and tranquility of those places. Gardens that seemed so wild and natural, and yet were highly cultivated and meticulously maintained. Buildings and spaces that seemed both simple, in the broad strokes of their design, but complex when you examined the details. However, I think the thing I found the most peaceful was one temple that was dominated, above all else, by the noise of cicadas. Normally, this wouldn’t be something you’d think of as soothing. However, most of these temples were not in isolated areas. They were in the middle of cities. Not only that, but the temple grounds were often filled with people, not to mention the other members of our study tour. However, the incessant, overwhelming buzz of those insects blocked out everything else. You could be sitting quite close to someone, but not hear anything they said. It was possible to lose one’s self in the sound, and just float in that noise, until it became like a kind of silence. It’s a bit peculiar to describe, but I remember feeling…free. Very at peace, in a world of sound. It was quite an unexpected, spiritual experience.

What kinds of places do you consider spiritual or freeing?

14 Comments

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In Japan, cicada’s sounds are seen in the same way Westerners view birdsong. When American comics *might* have incidental chirps in the background, they’ve got miiiiiiiins. Though, Japanese comics tend to be a lot “noisier” than American ones.

I love going to the North Shore region in Quebec (where my mother grew up and I spent many a summer and winter holiday). It’s fairly isolated, and the St. Lawrence is a powerful presence. Because there’s not a lot of traffic on the narrow highway even during the day time, you can be within sight of it on the rocky shore (as in big slabs of rock, though there’s some rocky beaches too) and not hear it at all over the constant wind and surf. If you pay attention, sometimes you can feel the throm throm of the iron ships 17 miles from you sailing to or from Sept-Iles further north. Gulls rarely congregate in numbers, so there isn’t even much in the way of bird sounds, though you might see all sorts of shore birds. Winter is even quieter, even though the sea is rougher, because the thick snow dampens all sound and a lot of animals have migrated or are napping. All the little sounds that accumulate in your hearing even though you don’t realize it are cut away by the wind, and that silence can make you feel like the only thing in existence. Which is probably why everyone I know from there has a habit of humming at odd intervals!

This page caused one of my roommates to peek her head around the corner and ask why I’d just blurted “HOLY GOD” in a loud voice. I mean wow, look at that rendering. Your artwork improves by leaps and bounds with every chapter, I swear to God.

As far as spiritual or freeing places go — well, years ago I was lucky enough to see the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. It’s as if some titan took a sledgehammer and shattered a grassy mountain, so that the ground just STOPS and goes plunging down this dizzying, terrifying slope, nothing but jutting rock, down and down until it hits the pounding waves — but they’re so distant you can barely hear them, or so I remember. The wind seems to almost consciously shove you toward the edge, and there are horror stories about careless tourists who’ve been thrown to their deaths when they came too close. (They’ve built a wall there for that reason.) Everything about that place, the impossible heights and the wind and the sense of danger, is terrifyingly beautiful. You want to run away and edge closer at the same time.

I’ve met a lot of people who describe very peaceful places as spiritual experiences, and I agree that they’re wonderfully relaxing, but for me the words “spiritual” and “freeing” seem oddly attached to places like Moher.

Gorgeous establishing shot! 😀 I think my eyes will be in awe for quite some time.

The temples in Japan are beautiful! My favorite was the Inari shrine in Kyoto, and not just because it’s dedicated to fox gods (which is a bonus for me). The line of tori walking up to the shrine is breathtaking.

And while quiet woodsy places tend to be more spiritually fulfilling to me, I remember when I visited churches in Rome and was awestruck by how beautiful they were. And noise-swallowing; unless mass was happening in the church, there was a sense of awe and quiet in the building. With all the beautiful art and architecture surrounding me, I would have been tempted to convert to Catholicism right then and there (which was the idea I’m sure).

Dang. I wish I could draw backgrounds and landscapes like that.
Also, can totally see the real world influences, and you used the reference very well while still making it fit into your world. I’ve seen a couple of instances where authors try to put things into their fantasy world which don’t quite fit and don’t blend with the rest of the setting. This doesn’t happen with you. All the elements you put into your story flow nicely from each other. Good job.

That’s a breathtaking view! But I wasn’t expecting a Dream Eater temple to look like a pagoda. Based on his appearances, I thought his temples would be a little more primitive but I love this surprising new perspective on Dream Eater!

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