"Shattered Innocence"

You know, it's strange . . . I'd first gotten the idea for this piece (including the title) sometime in mid-late August and didn't think much of it because I couldn't think of what to do with the background. But then came the events of September 11th, and this idea shot right back into the forefront of my creative mind the moment I first saw the replay of the one plane crashing into the second World Trade Center tower. Why I so quickly associated an image of a 15-year-old, post-7th-Space-War Jamil (thus the scar already being there) with the real-life terrorist attacks, I don't know, but somehow it just . . . fit. And I know that in GX it was a mass colony drop that killed billions and here it was four hijacked airplanes that killed thousands, but as I was watching all of this on TV, I started to see a haunting similarity, and so I started sketching this out the next day. Everyone was affected by those events in one way or another, so although it may seem strange that I'm using an anime character to reflect my emotions, it was the only way I could think of to show how I felt about it all.

As for the drawing itself . . . I normally don't use pen for anything other than outline work, but I felt that a serious piece like this needed a stark black-and-white look that only ink would achieve. So considering my lack of experience with the medium, I think I was able to pull it off pretty well; it achieves the look I wanted better than I thought it would, and he genuinely looks sad here, something that can be really hard to portray in artwork. The background is of course a photo of the World Trade Center rubble I scanned out of a magazine and then heavily altered, and the white shadow-like effect around the actual drawing was added to make it stand out from the background and give it a little more of a doujinshi flair. But doing this drawing was so depressing; after a few days, I was about ready to lose it just because I couldn't stand doing something so sad, so I'm really surprised that I was able to keep it together and finish the piece. I still wanted to do this regardless of the real-life events; if the attacks had never happened, this would've just ended up looking very different from what you see here. But there's an interesting line in one of the GX episodes midway through the series that relates well to this: "However, the word 'if' doesn't make sense when applied to history."

For those of you who are familiar with the GX storyline, I'm sure you can easily figure out the symbolism within this piece. Though America has been scarred by these horrific attacks, we aren't losing hope, and now we're fighting to make sure that another tragedy like this never happens again. Sound familiar?

-Dedicated to the victims and survivors of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as all the brave men and women who have risked their lives in the search and rescue efforts. May you never be forgotten, and may this terrible tragedy never happen again.-