“When I Went Into The Subway

Hearing rumors of noises coming from a subway that closed down ages ago, a girl named Alison Chambers disappears within. Years later a sudden unexplained cross-platform broadcast states a simple request:

“Meet me at the center of the world.”

‘When I Went Into The Subway’ (affectionately referred to as WIWITS) is a mixed media anthology series about memories, holes, holes specifically in the ground, falling into holes that are in the ground, tripping and falling into holes that also happen to be in the ground, calling people you met once on a train your friends, and cities that happen to be underground (in holes).

Drawing inspiration from Alice in Wonderland (if it took place inside of a dirty metro), WIWITS explores a strange surrealist underground city, the people who end up there, and the sinister circumstances surrounding memories and perception of the place once they’ve gone.

WIWITS is a work in progress. So far there are over 100 (some rougher than other) comic pages detailing the exploits of those who venture into the subway.

As an anthology, each chapter follows a separate trip down into the metro. Each chapter is named in similar accordance to the title: “When I went into the subway, I…..” with the blank filled in. So far there are six chapter concepts outlined.

A Work In Progress

Production is a mixed media affair, with simple loops and traditionally crafted textures being layered in after effects for complex animation.

one of the storyboard panels in WIWITS, during preproduction

Textures and process

All textures used in WIWITS were hand-marbled in my home studio. The marbling process involves thickening a solution with water and carrageen, and then combing paint over the surface of water. Once you’ve created a desirable composition, you capture it by dipping a piece of paper into the vat. These textures were used on the water, the waterfalls, the hand rails, and the rock wall respectively.

Mapping Out The Colors

a sketch from a much later chapter. during production individually bits of the plant creature will be blocked out with marbled paper.
the most developed pages have a focus on high contrast colors, and layout. None of these are considered ‘finished’. These are all strictly works in progress.

Thumbnails, Previews, and more

Each Chapter is self contained. At this point in the project all reviews function for thumbnail and color blocking. Here’s a few of the page thumbnails for chapter one, where the main character is led by two people down a river near the surface of the metro.

Note: Dialog is not solidified at this stage, and pages are not currently uploaded sequentially

How To Support This Project!

Right Now, there’s no kickstarter for this project. I would like to have the first chapter ready to publish (or pretty dang close) before any type of crowdfunding occurs. However, I’m occassionally sharing work in progress shots and behind the scenes on my patreon.

You can also follow me on twitter and instagram (@ratshien) for updates!