Carbonear artist launches online ninja comic

Nicholas Mercer
Published on December 29, 2015

Putting your work out there for the world to see is a big step for an artist working in any medium.

It creates the chance for open criticism and questioning of something that is dear to their hearts and has taken up plenty of time.

However, the payoff can be huge as people start to celebrate and accept your work.

That's what Carbonear-based artist Myles Reichel, 29, is banking on as he drops the zero issue for his comic book "A Ninja Story" one page a time on the book's website —

"I've been working on this project a long time and it was big to let it go," Reichel told The Compass.

The website and weekly page release was the right step for an artist looking to get his work out. The Internet has the potential to take projects global and the schedule of releases helps stoke appetite for the character and the comic.

"I had a lot of people I trust tell me that the website was the way to go," said Reichel. "The response has been pretty good. I noticed through the Facebook page that 250 people have navigated to the website through the link. My friend Liam (Dawson) has been handling most of the webmaster duties ... We think it's a pretty cool website and its only going to get better. We're still feeling it out."

"A Ninja Story" is a tale of man and how he navigates his life and perceives the world. Reichel drew and inked the first dozen pages already online. He has a binder that has art and layout for another dozen or so pages.

It revolves around a trained ninja named Yasahiro, whose skillset affords him a "unique perspective during his travels around the world, living in the shadows, and his ability to accept the cultures of the world as his own make for some interesting stories," according to the website.

Perspective is a big thing when producing a piece of art as different people see different things in it.

Just as Yasahiro is seeing the locals in the comic through a different perspective as others, Reichel hopes his readers' opinions of a page differs from another person reading the same page.

"Thematically, the story is about perspective in a way," he said. "It's how we each view the world and how we interact with the world. It's how we perceive the world in a nutshell.

"I wanted to allow the story to be seen through different eyes."

Different artists for every page

Reichel sees the book as a possible jumping off point for not only his work, but for the work of other local artists, and international professionals, as well.

He sees a different artist tackling a different issue and looks forward to seeing the approach that each artist takes with the character and the different style each page could have.

"When the story really picks up, we'll have artists available take several issues and see a progression in their art style," said Reichel. "It can be an outlet of sorts to help further their own careers."

The idea of the Yasahiro is not a new one for Reichel. The character was created when he was 16-years-old and immersed in the role-playing world of Dungeon and Dragons.

In that paper-based tabletop game, players create a character and move through various worlds completing quests and fighting monsters.

Reichel thought it'd be a good idea to have a ninja character amongst the likes of paladins, rogues and wizards.

"I'd go up there every week and I had this ninja character that was based in a medieval world," he said.

A couple years after creating the character, the idea for a comic book came about. Reichel has drawn and re-drawn different panels, re-jigged pieces of the story and came up with other ideas about how to tell the tale in that time. It was all leading up to the release of the first page on Oct. 8 and every Thursday since then.

"It's been a decade in the making," said Reichel. "I'm at the point now where I know my art can tell a story, so I can see this progression. I want it to be like Batman and Spiderman, because I want it to sit on the same shelf."

The pages being released online are all a part of the book's zero issue. The goal is to release the first issue as a physical book and then continue to tell the story as a bi-monthly endevaour.

Reichel has started a GoFund Me account in hopes of raising the necessary funds to help with the production of the title.