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Feature Leftovers: a Hoenn Saga [Pcaara]

Howdy, Nuzlocke Forums! Long time, no feature, huh? For those of you who may be new here, I'm Bug! I do a lot here and there around the forums, but from time to time I like to shine a spotlight on the content of my fellow forum goers. And hey, speaking of new, here is a comic that is one of my new favorites:

The cover for chapter one of Leftovers: Baby Steps. Asadi sits on her bed, looking out the window with a worried expression. In her hands is a book titled 'Pokemon Training for the Anxious'.
Now we've had a small few non-challenge run comics come to our forums through the years. I'd like to think I could count them on my hands, but likely I could only count them on one hand. It makes a lot of sense, considering the whole premise of our forum is Hard Mode Pokemon. But, for the comics who have wormed their way into our fold despite their differences, they hold a special place of intrigue and wonder in my heart. Leftovers is what I would consider, by far, the most outstanding example of this. The comic follows the homey and familiar source material of the Hoenn games, and yet still manages to take me on a brand new journey that makes it feel like it's my first journey out onto route 101. Today, I'd like to take you on that journey with me.​

Leftovers follows Asadi, a nineteen-year-old girl on the daily grind at a teeny Pokemart in quaint 'ol Littleroot. But among the humdrum and tedium of her day, it becomes quickly apparent that something is amiss. She is nineteen now, and hasn't left town like the throngs of 10-year-olds before her. Each day she passes by the town exit she has an excuse; "There are too many people, maybe tomorrow." or "I can't take these with me, I'll try next time." And just as it starts to feel like maybe Asadi is just nine years too late for her own journey, the gentle nudging of the people around her helps her finally take her first steps towards her own trainer journey.​

The cover for Chapter 10 of Leftovers: See ya Around, Seaside Town. A human character and marshtomp are back to back. Around their shoulders wind creeping vines, which at the bottom form into a troubled sea with a boat afloat.
Leftovers brings to the forefront a theme of what it is like to be left behind. From Asadi's fear and anxiety holding her back for years and years from being a trainer like the rest of her peers, to Miss Gidget-- a woman whose past seems to have never really left her-- this theme manifests itself in a variety of ways for each character. As much as they all try their best to be kind to one another, their personalities and ways of coping clash in unexpected ways (ways that have surprised even the author). The characters, and their unique struggles, are the lifeblood of this story.​

Pcaara's art and design choices are one big way they push a whole new look at places we know and love. Page-by-page, panel-by-panel, the world is laid out to show us familiar locations in ways that look lived in and real, drawing you further into the world she has created for the characters. And as with a lot of webcomics, the execution of this only gains more depth as the story conttinues. Pcaara states in the preface to Leftovers that the comic was intended as an exercise to improve their art and storytelling, and the growth of skill is visually apparent. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for comics that show a journey of artistic growth, but from chapter one to chapter ten, just from the covers alone, I hope you'll agree with me that the improvement is astounding. ​

A wild Poochyena pounces at a frightened, younger Asadi. Professor Birch and a Torchic stand in the background, unable to stop it. The text reads: 'But not every Pokemon is a friend... Not everyone gets to leave.'

The Marshtomp (Sammy) peeks up from the side of the bed.
And this improvement over time has a lot behind it. Pcaara has been kind enough to share with us an in-depth look at their design process for the characters of Leftovers. Pcaara mentions at the start of the thread that their senior thesis focused on character design, and that process saw them stripping down and redesigning their main cast. If you, like me, get the tinglies at the mention of seeing the behind the scenes of a fantastic work, you won't be disappointed. It's detailed! It's professional! I adore it. This showcase is an intimate look at the evolution of the comic, the love behind it, and a sneak peek at the future of Leftovers. ​

And what does the future hold for this webcomic? Pcaara has been sharing snippets with us on The Drawing Board of what they're working on. Spoiler alert? The next chapter looks fantastic! But if you don't believe me, keep your eyes peeled. She streams on Picarto from time to time, allowing us all a glimpse at just what this wonderful comic has in store for us next. Plus, if you've ever wanted to directly interact with the creators of your favorite comics, popping into their streams is an excellent way to show them some love.​

One Makuhita thrusts another so hard, they literally burst out the side of the panel.

That's it from me today, Nuzlockers! I'm excited to have had the chance to share this awesome webcomic with all of you. If you're interested in reading Leftovers, hop on over to the thread and join the discussion! The entire comic is stored on the thread, making for easy reading on the forum. But, if forum reading isn't for you, there are also links for Tapas and Deviantart.

If you liked this feature, and would like to see one about a forum work you feel deserves a spotlight, shoot a message to any (or all!) of our featurers to let us know what's up! Or if you wanted to take matters into your own hands, there is a feature a fan run thread where you can promo the work of your fellow forum-goers, and become the featurer you've always wanted to be (you know it's your destiny)!

But until next time: Never give up. Never forget. Grind like hell.
Good luck, and happy Nuzlocking!​
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