What is Berserk?
Berserk, crafted by the late Kentaro Miura, is a masterpiece manga that plunges readers into a nightmarish medieval-inspired world. At its heart is Guts, the "Black Swordsman," a lone mercenary marked by trauma and tragedy. Miura's storytelling delves into the complexities of human emotion, portraying guts as a deeply scarred individual navigating a brutal and fantastical realm filled with supernatural horrors and human malice.
Guts’ journey, from his mercenary days in the Band of the Hawk to the traumatic Eclipse event, unfolds against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of despair. Miura weaves a narrative that transcends typical fantasy boundaries, exploring themes of destiny, friendship, and the pursuit of identity. Guts’ relationships with characters like Griffith and Casca add layers of nuance to the story, revealing the fragility of human connections amidst overwhelming adversity.
Berserk's world is a character in itself—a grotesque and captivating backdrop mirroring the psychological and physical struggles of its inhabitants. From towering apostles to the ethereal realm of the God Hand.
Berserk's success lies not only in its evocative art but also in Miura's ability to elevate manga storytelling. The series is a visceral journey through the darkest aspects of the human soul, challenging readers to confront the brutality of existence and the indomitable will to persist in the face of insurmountable odds.
It's more than a manga; it is a literary and artistic masterpiece. A legacy which endures through Guts’ epic saga.
Ben Krefta is on a journey to becoming an artist worthy of creating a Berserk fan art tribute
Berserk left a lasting impact on Ben, inspiring his creative journey and leading him to eventually create this artwork. His artistic growth mirrors Guts' relentless spirit, a character known for his resilience in the face of tough challenges.
Decades ago, when Ben first got into the dark world of Berserk, he was hooked on Kentaro Miura's storytelling. But back then, Ben admits he wasn't skilled enough to capture the depth of Guts' character. In fact he could barely draw at all! Despite many frustrations, his determination to continually improve, led to years of practice and honing his skills. Deciding to document his progress, Ben created these progress images and time-lapse video below showcasing the stages of shading and rendering. This wasn't just about the final artwork; it was a nod to the countless hours spent perfecting his craft, a visual journey paralleling Guts' struggles in the pages of Berserk.
The time-lapse video below reveals the evolution from an initial sketch fully rendered finished art. Ben uses Photoshop with his trusty Wacom graphics tablet to add colour, depth and texture to Guts' worn appearance. Each shading layer is a deliberate choice, using his signature comic book airbrush style to add contrast and vibrance into the artwork. The video captures the gradual refinement of details and subtle nuances breathing life into the two-dimensional drawing. It's not just a showcase of technique; it's a visual narrative echoing the arduous journey of artist and character.
Ben hopes that sharing the creative process, the struggles, and triumphs of Ben's artistic journey will inspire others, in the same way Guts and Berserk did to him. The final stages of rendering mark a personal triumph. The last brushstroke isn't just about completing an artwork; it's overcoming self-doubt and creative hurdles.