From the Vaults: Zelda

I'm not a Legend of Zelda fan. Which, oddly enough, is the very thing that attracted me to this call for submissions.

Early last year, cartoonist Raven Perez hopped onto the semi-secret Webcomic Creators Facebook group and encouraged people to contribute to a digital anthology of short Zelda stories that he would distribute for free.

Here's the tiny Zelda tale that I submitted in April 2013:

Storywise, it's nothing special. Just a few brief pages that sum up my general distaste for the concept behind Zelda (and other "save the helpless princess!" stories).

But visually I was seeking to experiment. Inspired by the vector art my collaborator E.D. used in our Super Haters story arc, I wanted to push the color-heavy art style I'd utilized in The Edge of the Earth one step further.

I drew some raw lineart for my Zelda story that I eventually cleaned up and turned into this still raw (but decidedly less crappy) lineart:

With the lineart in place, I crafted my digital colors. A typical vector art process, I guess. But it was all new to me at the time! (Not to mention really tedious.)

Then I submitted my short story to Raven and patiently waited. Finally, a couple of weeks ago he decided to nix the project for good due to the low number of submissions he received.

No biggie. These kinds of things fall apart all the time. I'm just glad that the Zelda Jamthology is officially dead so I can unearth this comic... FROM THE VAULTS!!!

8 Responses to “From the Vaults: Zelda”

  1. Raven says:

    Sorry it fell through, but I did want to say thank you a ton for your submission! Maybe Zelda was the wrong one to pick? We'll have to try it again with something more broad possibly.

    • Nick Marino says:

      Thanks for trying to put it together! I never would've attempted this short story without your call for submissions, and what I learned from making these four pages has helped me a lot with my digital coloring process.

  2. JB says:

    kick ass. I like Zelda, but don't love it. So I'm with you 100% in seeing Link get his damn due.

    • Nick Marino says:


      to me, the Zelda games are kinda boring so it makes me hate Link and his princess quest even more! (and by "Zelda games" i mean The Legend of Zelda because i've only played the first one for the NES)

  3. Nick very nice color work. I do think you have to find a solution to 3\4 views of things the same color. Links nose getting lost in the flesh tone of his face. You solved that problem on the dragon getting his head cut into by moving it in front of the dragon. However I think the sketch get the pain of the action a little better. I am very impressed with your lettering on this and books you traded me at MoCCA. The B.F.K.A.T.B.2 was very funny.

    • Nick Marino says:

      Thanks, Doug! And I totally agree with you!!! I was kinda sloppy with my approach to the 3/4s view.

      If I were to tell this story now, I would figure out a way to merge the expressiveness of the lineart with the crispness of the vector colors so the facial features would have some definition.

      BTW another inspiration of mine for this story is your work because I love the way you create exciting forms out of blocks of color!

      And thanks for what you said about the lettering! I'm passionate about making sure that my letters are never the weak spot on the page. It breaks my heart to see someone draw a fantastic page then half-ass the lettering.

      • I think that a merger of the line art and the vector color would be best. Finding the right balance between the two would be key to this style. I would focus just on details.

        • Nick Marino says:

          Thanks for the advice! Honestly, I don't plan to revisit this style any time soon. Too time consuming! I lose my enthusiasm too easily to do this again.