Thursday, August 18, 2011


A four parter.  Kinda.

So as I hope you've all seen and already purchased, Rachel's Haven has an eMagazine called The Haven Quarterly.  It was made to help drum up some much needed money for Rachel's Haven.  A mere $10 got you a copy.  But our dear sweet Petra realized that not everyone had the $10 to spare.  So she made an offer.. cap any of the contributing artists, and she would donate $10 in your name, giving you a copy of the mag. I figured she would be drowned with offers, but only one person took advantage.  And lucky for me Kelly decided to cap little 'ol me.

Now I love gifts as much as the next girl, but I have an honest problem accepting them without expressing my thanks.  And no, I don't mean saying (or writing) 'Thank You'.  This doesn't apply solely to caps, as I tend to give gifts to people who give me birthday and even Christmas gifts.  So I knew I wanted to make Kelly a cap.   But I seem to get people bothered when I do this, so I also wanted to keep this small.  Just a quick 'thank you' cap.

Well we all know how I work in a 'quick cap'.  They normally end up becoming massive stories requiring multiple images and panels.  But I VOWED that this wouldn't happen this time.  I even started by making my design a mere 500x500 instead of my normal 1000x1000.  That way I would have a set limit on space for the story.

Now looking through Kelly's preferences was.... odd.  She has a LOT of preferences up, but the main points that caught my attention is that she likes to experience a transformation for short periods of time.  If there is to be sex in the cap, she prefers lesbian.   I also noted that she listed some preferred universes including SRU, Great Shift, MAU, and Bikini Beach.  Now I normally don't go for writing in various universes. I feel that I am treading on all to familiar ground, and that it is very limiting.


Hmm.. I'm trying to limit myself anyway... so why not give it a shot.  And then it hit me... if I really limited the text, I could make some similarly designed quick hit caps utilizing several of her preferred universes.

To make it even easier I saw that she liked the model Denise Milani.  So I searched for her images and found some great ones.  I looked at each and just tried to think of it working in each universe.  When I saw the nurse my thoughts ran like this:   'Hmm.. that could be a SRU.  She was looking for some healthcare and got that instead!"

Once I had that image and universe down I continued out like that.  Bikini beach was the easiest, as Denise seems to love Bikini sets.  The picture of her all galmmed up worked for a Great Shift (making Kevin into a fictionalized 'Denise Milani' came later).  I had some others, but I decided that three vignettes would be fine.

So I started writing... I was looking for maybe a single paragraph, or even just a few sentences.

For the SRU the very first thing I wrote down was this:

Kevin was dragged into strange shop by his girlfriend.  When he saw the card for 30 days of free healthcare, he had to give it a try.  30 days later walked into the free clinic for her last day of work.  Of course she got the standard greeting;  Hellloooo Nurrrse!!

But when I put it into my preset design, along with the image, I found that I really hadn't left enough space for even that much text.  So I started working the design, and the image to give me more space.  I almost had it, when I realized I wanted to add 'Vignette' as a title.  I worked it again so that I could fit the title in... but it just didn't look right to me.  I think it MAY of worked.. but that nagging voice kept telling me that it needed 'more'.

So I went back and wrote out what I thought was a good basic story.  And of course had 2 pages worth of text.  Without saving what I wrote (sorry about that), I started deleting out everything that I felt wasn't necessary... I finally had it, by using the cut down story along with expanding the design to 1000x500.  But the text was rather small, and the last line fell off the panel.  The only thing I saw that might make sense to drop was the actual transformation itself.  It was two paragraphs and honestly didn't add much to the story.  So I cut that out and played with the text size to make it fit.

And there I had the first panel.

Now even though this had taken a lot more time than I though it would, I still wanted to make similar caps in other universes.  So I went back into word and tried to write up similar story for Bikini Beach.

The only problem was that every story idea and chuckle I came up with for the story involved continuing the SRU story.  After struggling for several minutes I finally relented and wrote a follow up to the first cap.  So naturally when I came to the Great Shift story, I just went ahead and continued it.

I was fine with making this a trilogy of vignettes.... but I couldn't seem to wrap it up.  Plus I realized that ending with the Great Shift, left Kelly stuck in that body.  So reluctantly I went back to the drawing board to write a finalle involving the MAU.

Now to all you MAU fans out there, I did leave this one as vague as possible.  While I enjoy a good funny SRU story occasionaly, have read several bikini beach stories, and through Martha learned about the great shift... I had never read an MAU story.  Beyond knowing that it was an alien device that changed bodies, I rally don't know a thing about it.

So I went to fictionmania to search out a story just to find out what the device looked like, and its basic transformation theme.  Luckily the random MAU story I found reference Elrod W as the originator, so I looked up his original MAU story "Morphic Adaptation Unit: Sam's Revenge".  I didn't read it all, but I got what I needed to make this story work.

The last thing I did was to add the backgrounds.  The first three were obvious... a red cross, a bikini model, and some studio equipment.  But what the hell could I use for the MAU?  I finally settled on the man/woman silhouette figuring it represented Kevin and Kelly's alternating forms.

Here are the original photos along with the original photos I used for backgrounds.  No, I didn't edit an actual red cross... I just drew one.  And I closed the bikini model out without saving it, but I didn't change it that much.  It was a silhouette and I just changed the bikini colors and used it twice in the background:


  1. I said a few things to you about this caption over chat, But I wanted to say that while I don't like messing around with the established universes out there, my favorite part about this story was mixing so many of them in one series. That really seemed to breath some much needed life into them for me.

  2. Thanks again for making these Caitlyn! It was good to read how you started simple. Overall I really love how it turned out in the end though.

    I think you did fantastic work with the universes, even though the MAU one is a tiny bit inaccurate.

  3. @Kelly,

    Thanks for saying that. Now I'm always open to criticism, and don't think of it as bad at all. Since I probably won't read any MAU stories, but may be called to make an MAU cap again, could you tell me what was wrong?

    And of course if there is something that could have done better with any part, let me know. That way when I cap you again later, it will be that much better!