Evan Dahm has created a number of novel writing systems for use in his comics, which fall along a spectrum of intelligibility. Some have no meaning, others are meant to represent sounds or concepts, and others still are fully fledged constructed scripts in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien's tengwar.
Many of the references on this page came from a thread entitled the scripts of overside which was started by the user "rain", who only posted two more times in that thread before leaving the forums.
- Seen-Script is Dahm's first invented script, which he used for one page in Rice Boy before using it more extensively throughout Order of Tales. It is a phonetic alphabet with roughly six vowels and thirteen consonants. The latter can be altered to indicate voicing. Words are written in a cursive manner between two horizontal guidlines known as "trunks", making Seen-Script easily recognizable.
- Machine-Script started off as gibberish in Rice Boy, but was made into a fully-fledged alphabet for Order of Tales. Thus, apart from the Black Teeth gate, the Machine writing in Rice Boy is meaningless. Like Seen-Script, it is a phonetic alphabet, and its symbols are angular and squared. Machine-Script can be written in many different directions, including a sort of boustrophedon. However, word boundaries are not indicated, as in Chinese, making it sometimes difficult to read.
- Sahta Script is Dahm's third and newest writing system, which he introduced for Vattu. Unlike the others, it is an abugida, like Devanagari. It was used in two places pre-Vattu,<ref>http://www.rice-boy.com/store/cartographer.jpg</ref><ref>http://www.rice-boy.com/site/diskvattu.png</ref> and has been used more extensively as Vattu continues.
- The Trill-Tongue, as it does not have a clear correspondence to English or any other language, can be seen as a sort of "conceptual" language, with each written symbol standing for some kind of idea. The proper interpretations of these symbols have been debated on the Koala Wallop forum.<ref>http://forums.koalawallop.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2191</ref>
While sound effects in Rice Boy were written as English onomatopoeias, particular sounds that characters make have been represented as symbols in bubbles.
- Creatures infected by Lonely Land speak in squiggles, which can be seen as whimpers.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/132.html</ref><ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/134.html</ref><ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/154.html</ref>
- While dressed as the monster of the Red Mountains, Infin speaks in symbols made up of radial lines, which seem to be a sort of pointed silence or emphatic grunt.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/261.html</ref>
- When Koark whistles, it manifests as an elaborate spiraled symbol, which is also produced by the birds of Skystem.<ref>http://www.rice-boy.com/order/index.php?c=001</ref><ref>http://www.rice-boy.com/order/index.php?c=601</ref>
- The Fluters' pipes in Vattu make a sound when played, which is represented by a symbol made up of dots and lines. The symbol changes in different contexts, and seemingly represents different sounds being produced by the flute. While the dots appear to represent the number of finger holes that are covered, the lines may indicate the tone or shape of the noise (although this is unclear). There have been three different symbols shown so far:
- While it presumably has some kind of meaning, Ridrom's Prophecy is famously unreadable, as it is written in the language of the Avatars. The presence of this script indicates some link to the Avatars, such as with the torn banners in the third panel of p171, which mark a religious space.
- The Frog-Men of Sunk have a writing system which is used in the Book of Spatch, which has at least 15 unique symbols. However, it does not appear to actually be readable.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/020.html</ref><ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/047.html</ref>
- This script may graduate to readable, however, as Dahm has apparently decided to transform it into a legible system (much like what occurred with Machine-Script). The only evidence so far is the use of this writing system to spell out "Spatch" on a forthcoming character portrait.<ref>http://twitpic.com/418r32</ref>
- Whetton seems to have its own writing system using either large characters or a kind of two-dimensional structure.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/171.html</ref>
- The design on Golgo's bottle, while likely decorative, could be using elements from Trill-Tongue and the Avatars' language.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/105.html</ref>
- Banners on Rice Boy's wall seem to be labeled with some kind of script, possibly that of Whetton.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/007.html</ref><ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/008.html</ref><ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/010.html</ref>
- A very complex series of characters is written on the back of Calabash's door.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/029.html</ref>
- Knosus' box of seeds is labeled with an unknown writing system.<ref>http://riceboy.jho-tan.com/see/117.html</ref>