nasin nasa issue one - sike noka

Jul 15, 2019

Fans of toki pona you are going to love this: A new series of comics is coming out by the artist Vacon Sartirani, and the text is in toki pona, presented in sitelen sitelen. They will all be available free online, and you can view the first one now on either tapas or webtoons. Something I’m really excited about is that he is also making printed copies available through patreon. Subscribe by July 31st to get a copy of the first issue.

Vacon is naming the series nasin nasa and the name is apt as it explores a reality that is both wonderful and weird, infused with a wicked dark humor. I love being in his universe the way I love following Frank through the worlds of Jim Woodrig; it’s delightful and dreamlike, but something dreadful lurks around the next corner.

The text is sparse and direct, so the story lends itself well to toki pona. And the drawings are gorgeous. He has made an incredibly effective use of duotone, and within that constraint, the textures and glossy highlights are so lush I have to remind myself that everything has been rendered in just blue and red. Take a look at the frontispiece here:

Red riding hood tells her grandmother about the wolf on the road.'

Also note how beautiful Sartirani’s sitelen look. I have tried many times to fill in the volume of my own sitelen sitlen and don’t think I’ve ever matched his success. They look like mylar balloons that are deciding between bursting and floating off the page.

If you are versed at all in toki pona you might be asking yourself just what a sike noka could be. Without giving anything away let me just say you’ll know it when you see it. And if you find you can’t wait for the next issue be sure to check out more of Sartirani’s work on his website.