Lacie and the world of Crazy Sunshine was one of the first personal projects that I started to work on during my own time throughout University. For over seven years the project has taken twists, turns and developed further than I originally intended, and a little over a year ago it became a proper webcomic series.

Now, 100 strips later, I want to share my thoughts on how it managed to get here, and where it’s going to go!

Crazy Sunshine was the name of my portfolio site many years ago. It was named as a tribute to the famous Pillows song, featured in Gainax and Production I.G’s anime series FLCL.

Back then, I hated using graphic tablets and everything was drawn with pencils, pens and copic markers. Whenever I would update the layout of my site, I would add a numerical suffix onto the end of the name. After Crazy Sunshine 3, I dropped the name entirely and started using a new name – “Overdrive” – expressing the fact that I was pumping out at least one illustration a day in order to improve my skills at digital drawing, instead of ignoring it.

During the time Overdrive was being updated I went back to my original characters, and started making 4-panel strips (known in Japan as “Yon-koma”) in order to develop their personalities and introduce them to the internet. Since Overdrive was mainly a portfolio site, and I had no idea how to make connections within the webcomic world or even use any sort of Social Media, these strips were updated whenever I felt like it. Needless to say, my first step into webcomics crashed and burned, leaving a very sour taste in my mouth.

But I never stopped trying to use Lacie and the gang in other projects. I made a couple of interactive visual novels in Flash, many illustrative works, poster designs for local organizations, even some graffiti, and to this day still keep a “Crazy Sunshine Bible” – a sort of giant Word document – detailing every single idea I could come up with regarding the Crazy Sunshine universe, and basic storyline with a whole load of story arcs to go along with it.

In 2010 I moved to Japan and started a new life. I was listening to some old music while cleaning out my hard drive and came across Crazy Sunshine by the Pillows again. It sparked something inside me.  I felt like if I really tried, one more time, I could express my characters and their world to the internet.

Crazy Sunshine, simply code-named “4” on my hard drive – even to this day – is what you are looking at right now. A proper webcomic, with 100 strips, an evolving art style, and a handful of original characters and jokes that you hopefully enjoy! I retained the “Overdrive” name from my previous sketch blog and created a Tumblr account where I can continue to pump out artwork!

As for the future, did you know Crazy Sunshine was originally meant to be a fantasy/action/adventure/comedy series?

This idea came to a halt because I wanted to make a comedy that was easily relatable to the readers. Last time I checked, humanity doesn’t go around fighting big monsters in mechs or by using black magic. However these past 100 strips, I feel, are a window into how the main cast of characters live out their lives under the same roof. How they interact with each other, how they handle certain social situations, and even their clothing sense, are all documented within these 100 strips. As one reader put it, there is so much potential being put to waste by having these characters “mope around the house all day”…

Well, I agree! I would like these last 100 pages to be a cornerstone – an introduction – to this crazy band of characters, because from now on, slowly but surely, I want to transform Crazy Sunshine into something much more epic. I want to keep the original gag-per-strip format, but also include a lot more characters, action, and fantasy elements, and also one, big, overarching story that keeps the world intact.

Well, until Lacie gets her devilish hands on a Doomsday Device again…

While this kind of hybrid webcomic may confuse and detach new readers, I hope that if they find the newer updates interesting enough, they can simply read the archives and get to know the characters from this precious – albeit massive – 100 page cornerstone.

The world of webcomics is tough. Writing is tough, speech is tough, layout is tough, and yes, drawing boobs and hands is tough. But nothing is stopping me from continuing to evolve this series to a point where I can lean back, fold my arms and say “Yep. yep, this is it.”  That day is a far, far away.

In closing, none of this would be possible without the support of my contacts, my networks, and of course you, the reader. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to another great 100 strips!