Ersatzverse – Tsukinosagi’s Journey, Page One

So here’s page one of a project I’m calling “Tsukinosagi’s Journey”. I wanted to tell some stories set in the Ersatzverse, but I didn’t want to do a full-blown comic or anything, as I thought that would take up too much of my time. I settled on this, a sort of half-way between a regular comic and prose, which will hopefully be possible to update with some regularity without interrupting my normal comics work too much. I’m considering trying a few different approaches with this Ersatzverse concept, possibly there’ll be just regular fiction set in this universe or standalone one-page comics or pics, I don’t know. For now, though, Tsukinosagi’s adventure will be chronicled like this. In this page we also get to meet the mother and father of Tsukino and her brothers. They’re also both knock-offs like everyone in this universe, with the dad being named Inamo Maimuni and the mom being Furumi Maimuni. This is probably the only time we’ll see either of them, their death and haunting really just serving as the genesis to Tsukino leaving her home to search for her brothers. I have a number of misadventures planned for this young lady, hopefully you’ll get to see them all eventually.
I don’t know when the next page will be, but hopefully it won’t be too far off from now. There will probably be other Ersatzverse stuff dabbled in by then, but we’ll see.

Ersatzverse – Jikati Chimuroketto

For now, this is the last new member of the Maimuni Brothers’ “Feel-Good Bandits” gang, and the only female. I wanted one girl in the gang, and Jikati’s a mix of a couple characters I thought would fit into it well. She’s the first Ersatzverse character that’s a fusion instead of a pallete swap, but she might not be the last. At any rate, the next Ersatzverse piece from me will actually be a comic page (sort of, I’m trying something different), though there’ll be more pin-up introduction pics like this down the line.

Ersatzverse – Taeru and Sajari

Here’s two more Esatzverse characters, Taeru and Sajari! Taeru’s on the left and Sajari’s on the right, of course. Like usual I won’t be directly explaining who each of them is based on, though I don’t doubt most of you will know right away. They’re both members of the Maimuni brothers’ “Feel-Good Bandits” gang, and I think either would make good bottoms for the brothers (or they could be paired with each other, too). Taeru’s a bit of a shark boy, with an affinity for water (which conflicts with the arid desert that the bandits operate out of). Sajari’s the gang’s chef, but like the rest of the gang is also a competent fighter. I’ve currently got only one other member of this group in my head (though more could be added later). There’s a decent chance she’ll be the next character I introduce to y’all.

Ersatzverse – Tsukinosagi Maimuni and Yakuni Tatani

So here are two more characters for the Ersatzverse, the little world I’m building that’s populated by knockoffs and mash-ups of licensed characters. On the left we have Yakuni Tatani, a farm girl and childhood friend of Tsukinosagi Maimuni (or just Tsukino) on the right. Tsukino is currently the closes thing I have to a protagonist for this project, as I do have some storyline ideas for her that will probably play out in some fashion eventually. Probably Ersatzverse stories will be several separate stories with different lead characters, but Tsukino will be one of them. She’s the younger sister of Holu and Molimo that we saw before, and has an innate ability to see and communicate with ghosts.
Now, I’m intentionally not mentioning who the inspiration for Ersatzverse characters are for a couple reasons. One is, I think it’s just kinda obvious and might be a little insulting if I spelled it out each time. But second, I think part of the fun for a concept like this is spotting and recognizing people on your own. Not all of them will be as face-slappingly obvious as the Maimuni brothers were, but many will be and the rest will still be fairly apparent I think.

Ersatzverse – The Maimuni Brothers

So this is the first pic in a concept I’ve been half-bouncing around in my head for a couple years now. For those not familiar with the term “ersatz”, it’s basically just a fancy word for a knockoff, which should hopefully explain why these characters look so familiar. I was inspired by some browser games I’ve seen where they use recolors/redesigns of popular characters to try and skirt copyright. Obviously copyrighted characters isn’t a huge concern for me, given the type of work I usually do, but for some reason I felt really drawn to the idea. So I’m trying to establish this new universe/setting for me to work in, called the Ersatzverse to just put a plain label on what it is upfront. I don’t know 100% how I’m going to actually use the characters in this setting, if I’m going to do comics, or just images with text similar to the Studio Tour pics, or do fics for my literature section… It’s possible I’ll do a little of all my options, since I don’t have one specific narrative that I want to focus on. For now, though, I’m planning to just release little pin-up pics of characters I want to introduce y’all to. I didn’t really want to do another “bio” series on top of Applebridge and the Spookyverse bios, so this will have to do.
So, let me introduce you to the Maimuni Brothers. On the left we have Holu Maimuni, the younger brother, while on the right is Molimo Maimuni, the older brother. These two are the leaders of a small group of desert bandits known as “The Feel-Good Bandits”. They don’t have any special powers like their more familiar counterparts, but are both skilled fighters. Despite how I drew them here (and I admit they turned out a bit more intense than I’d intended, but I kinda like it) the bandits aren’t proper villains or anything. They’re closer to Robin Hood type figures, I think, though they’re still notorious outlaws. They got their nickname through a habit of holding up wealthy caravans and not only taking the valuables, but ravaging any members of the caravan who caught their eye. Their sexual prowess being unmatched, their name is a direct reference to how their victims are left feeling after they escape.
The brothers have a sister, and her and her best friend will likely be the next pic I do for this setting. I don’t know for sure when that’ll be, I’m kind of anxious to get more characters out but I also don’t want to over-saturate my brand with them, so we’ll see. I imagine it won’t be too terribly long, though.