▶ What's the deal with elves?

As you probably have noticed, they're not Tolkien-type elves. The elves in Haru-Sari are mutants with the ability to wield magic. All humans have a little bit of innate magic produced and flowing within their bodies, but they cannot control it consciously, nor do they produce it as much as the elven body does.

Having excessive amount of magic flood your body constantly has some major drawbacks. First, it stunts your growth until it comes to a complete halt before puberty; as a result all elves look like children, regardless of their true age or their inner maturity. Second, despite their youthful appearance, their life expectancy averages at about 30-35 years. Third, it tends to eat away at their sanity; many (but not all) elves suffer from some form of mental instability.

This mutation occurs in nature, affecting about one in every 30,000 births. Over the past 30 years or so, however, elfology has seen enough advances to allow scientists to mass produce elves in the lab.

Funky coloration of the eyes and the hair is extremely common among elves, a harmless little side effect of the mutation.

▶ Seems like people are mean to the elves in the story?

You could say that. In Yileria, the country where the story takes place, both artificial and natural elves are treated with fear and condescension. The Yilerian law officially considers elves as something above animals but beneath normal humans. Many people would say that they're sympathetic to the plight of the elves, especially natural elves, but that it's simply too dangerous to treat them as equals. After all, they reason, an elf is a walking explosive that goes off every time a switch goes off in their precarious mind. Sadly, this fear is not entirely unfounded.

▶ What's up with people with cat ears, four eyes, etc.?

All of them are considered to be "humans." They're simply humans of different ethnicities. Humans without any of those special traits are called Sanacians. The cat folks are called Felines, the dog folks Veyans, and the four-eyed ones Thestalians. In the region of Yileria where most of the story happens, Sanacians constitute about 60% of the population; Felines take up about 37%, and the remaining 3% is split between Veyans and Thestalians. They are all interbreedable.

▶ How does magic work in this story?

Magic is a naturally occurring form of energy, like heat, electricity, etc. An elf can harness this energy and use it in its raw form, or (more commonly) convert it to other forms of energy. Humans have figured out how to do the same using machines.

Magic and spells are 100% science-based in this world. There is no arcane sorcery involved. No fancy magic runes, no demonic pacts, no elemental spirits.

Spellcasting is about as dangerous as navigating through a minefield. You do it wrong, and you risk blowing yourself up, or causing similar harm to others nearby. It takes years of training to be able to perform spells safely. Consequently, there are strictly-enforced legal restrictions on magic usage.

▶ Was Chi-Min 'born' with the ability to heal?

No. As with everything else in nature, it's much easier to destroy stuff than it is to fix or build stuff. The ability to safely cast non-healing spells is not something that comes naturally, and healing spells are among the trickiest of the bunch. Think of magic as a knife. It's simple enough to slice stuff up... not so simple to cut someone open the way a surgeon does, not to mention the stuff that needs to be done after cutting'em open...

Chi-Min has a decent-sized repertoire of medical spells as well as a few non-medical ones. Most of them were not invented by him, although he often makes his own modifications. Some of them have existed in theory, but have not been put to use due to the lack of elves with medical training. Others have been in use, "cast" by humans through machines and tools.

Also of note: there are many things that Chi-Min cannot treat with spells alone. He uses non-magical methods almost as much as other doctors do. For whatever reason, though, he seems to favor magic when treating June.

▶ What do you use to make this comic?

Adobe Photoshop CS4 and a Wacom Intuos tablet.

▶ How long does it take to finish each page?

I honestly have no idea. ^_^; I rarely finish one page in one seating.

▶ How can I contact the author?

You can ask me questions on formspring, or send me an email. The address is cozypaper ~ gmail ~ com. (Replace the ~ with the appropriate symbols.)

I am also on Gaia Online and deviantArt. Feel free to contact me on those sites too. Just be careful because 'keiiii' and 'keiii' on those sites are two different people... The one with four i's is me. The one with three i's is someone else.