Sly's Comments - Backlog
This last month has been not so productive.
There are a lot of reasons, big and little, that contributed to me falling off the horse this month. The bigger ones include:
- NaNoWriMo: I thought I'd split my work nights so that I'd work on color/ps streamlinging for half the night and then give myself a break from it and write the other half. But 1667 words a night turned out to be a 5-6 hour ordeal, which is bad when you only have 4 productive hours in a day. I've since lowered my daily goal to 500 words.
- Childcare Hunting: Last month I was trying to secure subsidy to get my two small children into morning daycare. This has to do with my sleep anxiety, actually, not the comic, although the comic would certainly benefit from my sleep anxiety getting treated. Anyway, last month meant I filled out forms or waited for appointments with doctors to fill out forms or waited for forms to be processed, etc. Basically, a lot of me waiting for the process to get rolling. Now, I've received subsidy. Which means I had to hunt for childcare. Which...uhm, has yet to be found. At first I was carefully researching to see who the best providers were. Then I was just calling anyone who had an opening. NOW I'm specifically trying to find anyone at all who even offers half-day care to get on their waiting lists, kicking myself over not clarifying that they'd even do that in the first place. Frustrating especially since I'm dealing with sleep deprivation while I'm doing this. It sucks to be an owl. The good news is my son will probably be starting preschool in December, so I only need to find ONE half-day waiting list spot for my daughter. If such a thing exists.
- OWS: Yeah, you probably noticed the little banner at the top of the screen. The fact of the matter is this movement has given me hope for a better America that might be resolved peacefully. I'll be honest, back when Bush was re-elected I started thinking this country was headed for civil war. When I had my son, I started looking for ways to leave the country. That's how concerned I am. To see that members of my generation are dedicated to throwing out the red vs blue garbage and moving this country towards a NON-VIOLENT revolution is more hope than the doctor ordered. I was actually trying to edit the magic effect on ch2p36 (and if you have to ask "what magic effect?"...exactly) when I got the notice that OWS was being raided on Tuesday morning. So from 1 am on, I watched the whole thing go down on Livestream. It was actually kind of a relief when the police cut off the stream a little after 4 am because then I no longer felt duty-bound to witness it. But I've been stuck to the streams most of the time I can manage since. Shout out to Tim, of WATO99: You, sir, are the best damn live reporter I've ever had the pleasure to watch. I hope your voice gets a rest this weekend.
So, now I'm headed for a parenting class this weekend and after that my folks are visiting this weekend for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to say I doubt I'm going to get much work done until November is over. I'm revising my work plans and hopefully I can have a less-interrupted December.
Final note: Anniversary contest WILL be happening this year. I'll put up a proper announcement and rules and such as soon as I can. So watch this space!
So, here's where we are a month later. I've been making my monthly goals so far, which I find very exciting. I'm still not sure how long it will take us to do a new page, since I am still figuring out how to color again and Luth'rai hasn't backgrounded any of the new pages I've done.
Anyhow, this is the new to-do list/progress report format I'm going to use. I think it's clearer about what's done vs. what needs to be done. I'll update it monthly so you all can see how close we're getting. That way you can just click "back" to see how much progress we've made during the month.
You may notice that I changed the number of redux pages there are going to be. This is because, unlike my position on the matter last month, I have decided to change the script of the beginning of chapter 1, instead of using the same text and just redrawing the cramped pages. I have added a scene and am cutting back some of the narration. I just feel like it was too much text for an art form that should be about visual storytelling. Also, the pacing in the later half of the chapter is so much different than the first, so this will fix that too. So, pretty much pages 1-11 will be redone. I'm guestimating that they will be 16 pages at this time, but they will probably be more. Don't worry, the old pages will remain on the web forever, a testament to the fact that I was once a n00b.
On a different note, Webcomics Con was a lot of fun. It was very strange to see Kite again (and give her her commission in person!), and it was strange to see Kern not stressed and actually in a good mood. I felt like T. Campbell's groupie or something; pretty much all the panels I went to were his and I beseeched him for wisdom on many a topic. I also got his new book, Guilded Age which I will have to review at some point because it has me thinking a lot about fantasy comics in general. It was also fun to talk to wizard with copics Stefanie who was sitting behind me. The staff was on-the-ball and highly considerate and I'd like to give a shout-out to Andrew (actually his name is Brian) for finding my watch face after it had falled off and was missing up till the end of the con. All in all, can't wait for next year!
On a final note, I draft new pages on Saturdays. I typically draw from noon to 4 pm, then again from 8 to when-I-cannot-progress-anymore, usually about 2 am. I finish any work not already completed on Sunday evenings from 8 pm until done. The reason I am telling you all this is: I do it live on the internet, via my livestream account. I announce that I am live both on my DA account and on Twitter. You are all quite welcome to come hang out, ask me questions about my process, etc. I love company, especially when I start to get tired and still have a lot of work to do. :)
Here's an existence update. Yes, I haven't updated this space in nearly two years, but that's because it's a pain to update. Similarly, I never figured out how to update the progress bar, for lo, my math sucks to much to figure out how to calculate a percentage of the OMGSOMUCHWORK I have left to do before I feel ready to relaunch this site. So, I've done away with the progress bar and have posted the to-do list. Hopefully this will help mitigate your despair, oh ye faithful.
On what my work situation looks like at this time: I like my new workspace. It is much more together and usable than the last one. My daughter is now 1, sleeps through the night, and shares a steady bedtime with her brother. I have quit WoW and just about any other hobby I had for now and am focusing solely on art in my non-child time, which, granted, is still sparse. My hope is in the next few months I can make a major dent in my to-do list, and then hopefully my son will start preschool in the winter and my daughter will remain a low-key child and I'll feel like I'm capable of running a web comic again by spring.
I'm experimenting with Livestreaming. So far, I like it and plan to make Saturdays my "drawing new pages" day. Please feel free to drop in and see how the work is coming, ask me questions about the process, etc. Observe the new Twitter box under the navigational bar and refer back to it (or just follow me) to know when Livestreaming is occuring. Alternatively, I also have a Live/Offline box on my deviantArt page.
Last little order of business: We'll be attending the maiden voyage of Webcomics Con. Come see us in the exhibitor's hall, and you can see the freshly pencilled pages in person. :)
...actual last order of business: I have plenty of flattened pages I haven't gotten to shade at this time, but still plenty of pages that still need flatting. I cannot pay you for your work, so the ideal candidate would be someone relatively new to photoshop (or gimp! We had one flatter do great work in the gimp) who would benefit from the tutorials we include and the practice. E-mail me at theslyeagle(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested.
Well. It's...late OCtober. Like, been a year since I officially went on leave, I think? I had hoped I would not be taking a year off comics. How do women work and have babies? Oh, the mysteries.
I've been wanting to get this announcement up since August. Where the time went, I do not know. Well, I do sort of. I just didn't anticipate how hard it was going to be to get back into the swing of work. Which...was dumb of me because I spent a year working on Ambition before I was ready for the initial launch. Which, oh hey, we're coming up on the fourth anniversary - January 8th. In my perfect world, we'd be relaunching about that time. In the real world, I don't think there's any way that's going to happen. We upgraded to CS3 this summer, and while it's an amazing program, some of the differences from 5.5 to CS3 are a hinderance in that...well, some of the major tools I used to create shading in 5.5 do not exist or do not do the same thing in CS3. So, at this point, I'm trying to work out how to color the pages (and in a timely fashion!) all over again. Frustration. I'm also working to upgrade overall page quality yaddayadda technical shtuff. Suffice it to say that I worked all the way into Chapter 2 with a 4.4 gb harddrive machine, and the compensations I made show whenever I consider printing. My new machine isn't top quality by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it can handle printing quality work. I suppose I should say now that we're currently considering a print option for Ambition. Probably Lulu. An "if you want, you order" sort of deal. The comic, of course, will continue to be free online.
I'll probably have another announcement about the Anniversary contests and other things next month. And, as always, you can e-mail me with questions or to join the "We're Finally Back" mailing list.
Like it says, you can find us at Connecticon next weekend. And you can buy that image up there as a print, too.
As for the comic, we'll start putting effort to get it back underway and updating after he convention. The to-do list to get it up and running again is as long as my leg and Luth'rai is managing a stageplay in August, so I'm not about to make time estimates. Although I will say that Benny's suposed to start daycare in September.
Hope to see you at CTcon!
Beware the Ides of March. For I may update the site with no warning.
Contest results are in! I'm working on the free sketches for all of you. To see higher-reolution versions of the entries, go here.
So, the state of the comic. Some things I can do with a baby in my lap. (In fact, he's in my lap as I type this.) Drawing continues to not be one of them. Still, I'm trying to get back into the habit. I'm picking at old pages, trying to get some of the unfinished ones colored. Every time I look at the first three pages of Chapter 1, I cringe. Really, the text on those three pages whould be spread out over eight pages. I was such a n00b back then. >_< Anyway, I will probably not be fixing that anytime soon, as once I get back to the being able to devote time to drawing, I'll be focusing on the new pages. I'm still very excited about this chapter and I can't wait to get back into it.
That'll still have to wait for the baby to be a little more independent. In the meantime, I'm still offering to take down e-mails for a mailing list - I'll send out an e-mail announcement when the comic officially returns from hiatus. E-mail me at theslyeagle_at_gmail.com, and I'll put you on it. Alternatively, we've got an RSS feed.
I hope to see you all again sometime soon!
I intend to finish the filler over the next week or so. How lame is that?
Benny is a beautiful baby boy, and I love him with all my heart. He also sleeps for no more than two hours at a time, generally speaking. I'm constantly sleep-deprived and have no social life, so it's extra depressing that I rarely find time to even draw. I'm told month 2 is the worst for a baby, but this doesn't do much to cheer me up about how bleak it looks for me to get back into doing this comic any time soon. I'm fairly depressed about it. But, hey, an opportunity for you guys to cheer me up! ...you guys are still out there, right?
The good news is that I haven't lost interest or don't like the comic anymore. I still really want to do it. So it will return. I just can't predict when that will be. The pediatrician has promised me that I should have something of a schedule with the baby by the time he's six months old. I am praying that he settles down closer to three months old, but that's because my prayers of him settling at two months have not been answered. I love this comic, but right now my son is more important. I hope you all can understand.
For those of you who are sick of checking back and getting nothing, feel free to drop me an e-mail at theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com, and I'll add you to a mailing list that I'll send out when the comic officially resumes.
My thanks to all of you for still reading.
It's been...30 days since you last heard from me. I'm terrible, and I'm sorry about it. But I can't do anything. As much as I want to work on the comic, right now even, I'm rather physically incapable of doing so until I figure out how to draw while lying down. My belly is very much between me and the drawing table, and sitting upright for long periods of time is painful. To top this off, I'm back to the first trimester tiredness, so at least 12 hours of every day is spent sleeping, and most of the waking hours are spent reclining or lying down. Walking, er, I mean waddling, is done whenever possible, although do to fainting spells I'm not allowed to do it unsupervised. Heh. My downstairs neighbor gives be disapproving looks when she catches me inching down the stairs to check the mail or get some fresh air. >.> Luth'rai yelled at me for carrying the brand new diaper pail up the stairs. The EMPTY diaper pail. It'd just been delivered by the UPS guy... I got it from naturalbaby.com, 'cause we're going cloth for both ecological and financial reasons. $200 will get you diapers, covers, cloth wipes and cleaning lotion. Compare that to, what, $18 twice a week for disposables alone? Before you add liners and disposable wipes? Yeah.
But enough about the baby. Oh, only not. He's due at the beginning of November, and I'm looking forward to being able to breath and bend over again. Since I can't do the comic, I'll just not do it. I'll be taking about six weeks after he's born to recover and figure out how my life works. The Prime of Ambition will return no later than January 2009. We'll get you updates on that as we figure out what's doing.
In the meantime, check out Luth'rai's side of things, as she'll be running the show for a while.
We're still working on page 9, as you can see (but hit refresh to see more of it!), and also on page 10. However, September looks pretty bad for updates of any kind, and I'm tempted to just take the month off. I'm having some sort of medical problem that is forcing me to be in bed more often than not. The good news is that they've ruled out diabetes and blood or heart problems. The bad news is that they still don't know what's wrong with me. Which leaves me hoping it's just another pregnancy thing. Yay.
Furthermore, I'm without Luth'rai. She's gone back to school in hopes of bettering her job prospects, and school is an hour's drive from here. On top of that, she's stage managing a three hour play every weekend. So, school on the weekdays, theater on the weekends, and work all the time leaves her precious few hours for eating and sleeping, and frankly, I'd sooner have her eat and sleep than work on the comic.
So, my current plan is that I'll give her the rest of the month off from the comic and spend it doing what I can when I can. Then, once the play's over, we'll work out a new schedule that'll be compatable with her school schedule. And hopefully she'll have a car, too.
In the meantime, I'm now a fencer over at Comic Fencing, a pretty sweet webcomic review site. This week, I reviewed The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo. Go check it out.
And check back sometime next Friday for a more finalized update schedule, and probably even a little more page 9.
This page has spent about three months on Luth'rai's drawing table. It's spent about three days on mine. ...hm, for some reason, that seems a bit disbalanced.
There are a few cameos present on this page. I'll let you guys try to identify them for now. ;) I'll identify them for certain when this page is actually done.
As for the next page, page 10, I'm going to South Carolina on Friday and won't return until after Labor Day. Neither Luth'rai nor my scanner will be coming with me, so there will probably be no update while I'm gone. Right now, I'm hoping for regular updates after I return. However, I've been having more and more trouble with fatigue and syncope these past few weeks. The doctor has me on iron to see if that makes a difference. Time to cross fingers, again. Geez. I've been pregnant for a long time. And I still have over two months to go?
In other news, I'm 25 tomorrow. That's a quarter of a century for me.
We're back online with Buzzcomix, so don't forget to vote! See you in September. Also, congrats to Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson for being the most solid performers I've ever seen in any Olympic gymnastics competition. And I've been watching since Barcelona. Well done, girls!
Quick update: We're back on with Buzzcomix, so you can vote for us again. Furthermore, I've changed the vote incentives for both TWC and Buzz. Vote TWC to see some gestural scribbles I did while watching women's beach volleyball and vote Buzz to see a magical birdman Luth'rai did while waiting for cues at the theatre.
Speaking of Luth, she does have new glasses ($600...ouch) now, but they're giving her a horrible headache. I'm going to drive her back to the optometrist's soon to hopefully get that fixed.
Luth'rai's at the optometrists having an eye exam and getting new glasses, hopefully. I don't see this page, or any artwork, getting done from her until she can see again. Funny that...needing to see to be able to work with a visual medium. Who'da thunkit?
Personally, I can't wait for her to finish laying out the agricultural market scene that is panel 1. I love drawing all the random little peoples going about their daily lives. The kids playing in the street in panel 2 was a heckova lotta fun to do. ^_^
Eloise in that final panel was even more harder to draw than usual, because the Olympics are going on. If that seems like a non sequitor, I shall explain. The tv has been on in our house more this past week than it has ever been since we got cable over a year ago. On it, I've been watching athletes. Lots, and lots of athletes. Lovely physically built and fit women...who are not stuffed into corsets. Trying to draw a soft-ish bodied woman with her organs squished out of the way to make for a smaller waistline proved quite the challenge. Yeesh. I'm very impressed with NBCs coverage for the 29th Olympiad. Their online coverage has made it possible to catch the sports I'm really interested in but are never aired (coughequestriancough). Furthermore, ever bother you that you get to watch the US's gymnastics routines, but no one else's unless it's super exceptional? Well, you can watch ALL the performances online. I'm totally loving this.
So, update plans for the next few pages. Three months spent on this page, so far, and it doesn't even have any dialogue. But we're determined to finish it. We will not let it beat us. I was really, truly hoping to have it done today so we could get page 10 up before I go south for the last week of August. No dice, so I'm not sure how things are going to work out. It's safest to say that I'll be in the Carolinas from the 22nd until September 2nd, so don't expect page 10 before September 10th. We'll try to get it up anyway, because dammit, I want to get on with the story before I'm forced to take a postpartum hiatus in November. Well, doing the best we can, I guess. Argh.
Table in the Artist's Alley: $150
Gas and Parking: $88
Appearing in public alongside a number of other great webcomickers: Pretty damn cool.
I don't have Mastercard. Or money, really. My share of the expenses was roughly $216. My "profits" were $84.25. That's...about $130 in the red, isn't it? *sigh* For the record, parking cost more than gas.
But it was cool. In the alley, we chatted again with Jessy , Lem, Ed, and the Comiku Girls. We also met Karen and Lyn, who were our table neighbors. We didn't see much of Mookie and Dirk this year, as both were in the Dealer's Room being sad that they were next to the guys who were selling knockoff katanas and blaring Michael Jackson. Ugh. Made me not mind that I was in the same room as the video games, featuring Rock Band half so much. I also got to meet and chat some with Sam Logan and Aaron Diaz, whose hand injury, for the record, did not prevent him from bowling against my husband. Note: my husband beat both of them twice. Does this give me gloating rights?
This year had some new highlights in the form of...fans! Whoo-hoo! I'd like to thank Margaret, Ally, Sarah, Aimee, and Patty for stopping by (as well as a couple others whose names I did not get - I hope you know who you are)! You made our month! It was also nice to see you, Robert Howard. I'd give you a shout-out if you still had a website. ~_- Apparently Alex of Garanos dropped by while I was not at the table, so I didn't get to see her. Which was a bummer, as I actually read her comic. Oh, well.
Well, lesson learned: Cons are twice as tiring when you're pregnant. And with the exception of one person, no one noticed I was pregnant. I had to explain that to everyone else. And I just started the third trimester this weekend too. Sheesh, guys. I couldn't see my toes throughout the month of July! :P
We finally saw The Dark Knight on Monday, after the con. A very good movie, but a hideously lame superhero movie. Why? Batman was even less inspiring than the refugees. You were cheering for the bad guys. I mean, come on! Everyone else is believing in something and fighting for (their version) of a better world. What does Batman do? Mope about his ex-girlfriend and play at being a one-man mission impossible. And talk real deep when in costume. But Heath Ledger as teh Joker was teh ossim. And very disturbing. But ossimly so.
Well, in final notes, I sold a grand total of 13 bookmarks out of the 100 I ordered. So, I'm looking at ways to make them available for you guys over the net. I hope to have an update on that in a few weeks. Check back next week for page 9, which Luth'rai has promised us. Hold her to it. ;)
This is the bookmark I hope to be selling at Connecticon. It's double-sided. I ordered 100 of them, and I've never gotten anything through this printer before, so I'm nervous with how it's going to turn out. Mostly because I do all my work RGB, and the printer does CYMK. Such conversions are a nightmare.
This was not my original bookmark concept. I'd meant to feature all five of the main character's new portraits. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible, as I'm just too tired all the time and ran out of time. >_< So, did this design with the two elves. You've got your scowling elf on one side and your smirking elf on the the other. It's like yin and yang with no balance. >.> Maybe I'll finish my original concept in time to sell them at Bakuretsucon. Or at the very least, to update the character page with. The current character portraits are kinda old.
Lessee...in other news, I've started playing Okami on the PS2. I've been meaning to play this game for some time. I haven't gotten very far with it (kinda like I'm usually sleeping or working), but it's a lot of fun. Games that make me have to solve things creatively are my favorites. ^_^
In final news, next Wednesday marks my and Vriaeliss's wedding anniversary! We'll have been married three years! Where does the time go?
Well, back to preparing for the con. (Or maybe I'll take a nap.) I hope to see some of you guys there!
Happy Birthday, charlend! ...sorry it's not a real update.
For those of you who want to see page 9 finally (myself included), please send your encouragement to Luth'rai at a.luthrai_at_gmail_dot_com. You can do it, Luth! I believe in you~
Connecticon fast approacheth, and I continue to scrabble to get everything together. This is NOT helped by the fact that I had a fainting episode on Monday. I did not actually lose consciousness, so to this day I remain a syncope virgin (is that applicable?). Fortunately, it happened at the doctor's office, so I got assistance right away. Unfortunately, they're not entirely sure what caused it, although the doctor suspects vasovagal syncope over low blood sugar. I'm under orders to rest whenever I feel faint and not stray far from home by myself. Seeing as I've had frequent light-headedness and/or dizzy spells since the first trimester...this means I have to go lie down very often. This when I already feel like I'm not working often enough. Grrrr.
I'm working on something new to sell at our table this year: a bookmark! Still not sure if I'll be selling them for $.75 or $1.00... I guess I'll see what the quality is like, first. I'll probably put the design for it up here next week, as I really doubt Luth'll have gotten the page back to me in time. *sigh* But you all should come to Connecticon. It'll be crazy-fun-times, and you can stop by to say hi! And buy stuff! And possibly get a sneak peak at Luth and my secret project...
On a final note, yes my current rat-girls are named Tsunade and Nariko. Nariko is adorable, but terrified of anyone who isn't me and hates being outside the cage. Tsunade is a little homely, but very friendly and loves nothing more than exploring. I loves them so. ^.^
Long week. And this week is going to be longer.
So, Connecticon is in less than a month, which means we need to get our stuff ordered by next week. I also have three parties in a row this weekend - an Independence Day cook-out, and then two family reunions. Oi. And then probably some time spent with the mother-in-law. In light of all this, there can't possibly be an update on the 9th, so we're not even going to try.
As for an update this week, please hit refresh to see it. There's some more shading. Yeah.
Sorry, things have been so spotty lately. Our internet was spotty yesterday, too. I don't like Comcast, but they bought out all the other internet providers in Brattleboro. *sigh*
Go find out Where the Hell is Matt? It should make everything better. ^_^ See you all in a couple weeks! Hopefully with the ever elusive page 9!
Some shading updates, but not as many as I'd hoped for. (Hit refresh if you don't see any difference.)There's...so much to do on this page. 0_0
So, the current deal with page 9. We've scrapped the entire first panel (which is on par with panel 3 on this page) and are trying a different angle. Luth'rai built the Agricultural Market Square in Google Sketch-up to figure out why the last angle wasn't working and...well, let's just say it's been figured out. We've not scrapped the other two panels on the page, though, so I've got a good feeling about maybe finally showing this sucker to you guys next week. Then again, it takes me about 20% of the time to doodle in people than it takes Luth'rai to draw people. Now there's a scary thought.
Sadly, not much to report this week. Been tired, been oversleeping. Also been having lots of acid pain in my esophogus. Blagh. I've also played around some more with the Spore Creature Creator (but not very much, be proud of me ^_^), and got a facebook account. It's quite strange. I'm being friended by people I've not heard of in years and years. Do they know I'm having a baby? Heck, do they even know I'm married and a college graduate? Awkward.
Well...full-color, but no shading. Man, that looks really bad to me. Luth'rai, didn't you say you weren't going to flat color in texture anymore because it's too time consuming? Now you're just making my own plain old colors look bad. >.> I'll be working on it more this coming week. Maybe it won't looks so strange once I've shaded it all.
Leaf and Ayne still do not belong to us. They belong at Chasing the Sunset. Be sure to check it out!
Page 9...I'm hopeful that Luth'rai will be able to finish it by next week...but there hasn't been much progress on it during the last three weeks, so...I dunno. So, we'll hope for the next page, and be happy for shaded last page if all else fails?
In other, more consuming news: It's a boy! The baby that loves to spend his time kicking me in the bladder, that is. Man, that makes sleeping difficult. Monday we had the anatomy ultrasound. As it turned out, the placenta is attached between my stomach surface and the baby, and he was taking advantage of this and hiding behind it. He had his face right under my belly button, which cast a shadow and made it hard for the doctor to see what he was trying to see - the brain. After a lot of diligence on the doctor's part, he was indeed able to make sure that all parts of the skull were accounted for. Everything's accounted for, actually. 95% of all serious birth defects are ruled out. Yay! ...it just took over an hour, and me with a full bladder and a baby kicking it because he didn't like the ultrasound. *sigh* Maybe he'll find new places to stretch his legs in the future.
So, yes. Spore's Creature Creator has just come out, and like many, I've been bitten by the Spore bug and can't wait to get my hands dirty. My username is SlyEagle if you want to look up what I've done in the Sporepedia. Sweet, sweet wonderfulness. ^_^
See you all next week!
"These don't look like the Dwarven Lands..." And...that's because they're not. Leaf and Ayne also aren't ours, as they belong to Mithandir and Alien of the charming Chasing the Sunset. Feiht is also up there in panel 3 - but you can't see her because she's invisible. ;)
Well, in the amout of time it took Luth'rai to finish the backgrounds, I was able to color that ONE panel you see in the top corner. WOW, am I out of practice. I spent as much time trying to figure out how I used to color as I spent coloring, I think. One day for each character and one more for the background. Eep.
So, I've decided I need to get back into coloring things. Over the next week, while Luth works on the background intensive page 9, I'll continue strengthening my coloring muscles and have more of the color up for you on the 18th. Then page 9, probably without any color, but we'll see.
We're going to try this out for a bit. New pages every two or three weeks, but color updates every Wednesday. Maybe that'll get us back into the swing of things. With any luck, we'll be back in our A game and resume normal weekly updates after Connecticon. Oh right. We'll be at Connecticon in the Artist Alley again. Come say hi and buy something. ^_^
So, yes. Now you can check back every Wednesday for something new! See you next week.
Woof. Things have finally settled down around here. Someday I will learn that spending a week with family = a week and a couple days of recuperation during which no work gets done. Not that it wasn't awesome to see my family and have them at my place, mind. It was just kinda un-awesome for getting the comic done.
So, Page 8 is on my (new!) drawing table with only the last panel to go. So, we'll put it up on Friday, maybe even with some color. On the 11th, we'll try to have it up with color. On the 18th, we aim to post page 9.
We want to do this comic. Really, we do. Somehow we'll pull ourselves out of this rut. Just please be patient. ^_^
Yeah, no update, yet. Bugger.
I'm writing this on the train. I love how Amtrack provides 120v outlets at each seat. It lets me work on my computer while I ride for...nine hours. Oi. I could have finished the work for page 8 except there was a bit of a hiccup...okay, more of a cough and a nasty head cold that I came down with Saturday night. I still have it, and it's so bad that my midwife said I could take something with phenylephrine in it, which is something you're not supposed to take while pregnant. I hope I shake this thing soon, or this family visit is going to be sucktastic.
So Granitecon was decent enough. A $25 sink, plus gas, and I sold nothing, but it was a good, relaxed Sunday con. Which is good, because, given the cold, anything more demanding might have killed me. I had another writer-looking-for-artist pitch made to me, and it was admittedly the first project I might have considered taking. I didn't though, as I obviously have enough problems staying on top of this one. I saw some old acquaintances, met some new people, and had a few shoutouts planned... The URLs of which are all on my desk back in Vermont, and I'm now somewhere in Connecticut. Now there's an example of great planning for you. Bah, I have a cold. Give me a break.
Back to the update: I would have made Luth'rai scribble up some filler, except she has the same cold. I'm going to be rather busy until next Tuesday with family stuff, but I will be back in the vicinity of important things like Luth'rai and my scanner this weekend, so I'm going to go ahead and reschedule page 8 for May 28th and leave page 9 at June 4th for now. This is feasible because Luth'rai tells me she'll be working on her part of page 9 while I'm in Maryland, and Luth'rai rarely lies to me. We'll see how it goes.
Sorry for all the crappy scheduling these days. Things should settle over the summer. Then it'll be a race to build a buffer before the baby is born. >.>
Until next week! Happy Memorial day!
All I can say is "much better."
I've been in a lot of pain this week, and throwing up pretty consistantly. It's practically part of my bedtime ritual to hang out beside the toilet for twenty minutes before turning in. My abdominal wall is loosening to make room for the ever-growing baby. If that doesn't hurt enough, my organs are feeling awful crowded. My stomach muscles can't even muster a decent heaving, making the act of puking prolonged and highly uncomfortable. I can't move suddenly, open windows, or pick up anything heavier than ten pounds for fear of tearing my abdominal muscles. Whee.
Furthermore, I'm hopping on a train to Maryland on the 20th to attend my brother's college graduation. This'll keep me engaged for a week at least.
In light of all this, please don't be too disappointed if I don't manage to get page 8 up next week. I'll do my absolute best, honest.
Or, if you're so inclined, you can harrange me in person this Sunday in Manchester, NH. At the last minute, Luth'rai and I have decided to attend the Granite State Comicon again. If you're in the area, feel free to stop by. We'll have a table and sell-ables. And we'll be hanging out with the guy who does Atomic Robo. Whoo!
...I guess now's the time to fess up that I have seen Iron Man. Twice in the past week, actually. This is saying quite a bit. I like comics, but I tend to hate American-made comic books. Especially the superhero ones. No offense to Jack Kirby, but I dislike the over-the-top Marvel art style. I dislike the nine-heads tall and ultra-masculinization (c'mon, even Marvel women have extra-manly faces). I dislike the total lack of facial expressions (there are, like, three per comic. On three different character varieties). And despite all the various claims readers make of "depth" and "character development," it always seems infantile at best. Am I supposed to be impressed at rudimentary characterization? Wow, this is better than what you find in first grade beginner books? Isn't that selling out to comics not being a true artform?
So why, exactly, am I seeing all these comic book movies? Not sure, really. I've liked some of them (Spiderman 1 and 2 and TMNT)...loved a couple, even (V for Vendetta and 300). But I was not enamored by Batman Begins, I wanted my money back from Fantastic Four, and...why did I subject myself to Ghost Rider, again? ...I think it had something to do with Nick Cage and Rawhide. Anyway. Iron Man was not a comic I was exposed to when I was younger, unlike Spiderman and Batman and Exman...X-men, sorry. So I can't say anything to the comic. But this movie is ending up on my shelf. It's simply an exceptional piece of filmwork. Maybe not a new all-time fav like V, but it ranks up there with Pirates of the Caribbean for enjoyability and rewatchability. And sweet ensemble work and movie magic. So, highly recommended. Get the soundtrack too.
You might laugh. In fact, go ahead, and you'll be the one with the last laugh. This page pretty much accurately represents how I felt when Luth'rai handed me the "completed" pencils of page 7. The potato is a metaphor. It is a metaphor for "what the hell is this?" Which is what I thought as I stared at what had previously been pretty good artwork if I do say so myself. For the past two years, my artistry has been developing, strengthening, deepening. Over the past year, and especially this past chapter, this "collaboration" business has been the most difficult obsticle to keeping regular weekly updates. And when I saw this page, the reason finally dawned on me: Luth'rai does not understand my artistic vision. Perhaps she never has. Hell, she can't even follow basic instructions. I mean they are walking through a tunnel. One *ing direction! How ****ing hard can that be?! I carefully describe the angles and lay things out in a thumbnail when I give these pages to her, but no! She listens intently, says she understands, and draws whateverthehell she wants! Regardless of whether it meshes with the mood and energy of the page or not! It's like she can't read my mind! Misunderstood by my own coartist, the shame! I cannot work like this. It's demeening and harmful to my delicate artistic soul. I cannot go on.
....Okay, in all seriousness: DO NOT WORRY. WE ARE NOT BREAKING UP OR QUITTING. But we are still trying to figure out how to work together. It's an ongoing, refining process. We've got something going for awhile, but then we're both developing our styles and subconsciously changing what we're doing and how we're doing it. And every now and then, it utterly smacks us in the face just how much our wires have crossed. So, as much as we hate to postpone the next scene another week, we're going to have to. Pages 8, 9, and 10 are architecturally intensive, and we're still trying to sort out page 7. One tunnel, people, and it showed us how much we've been fudging for the past few pages. We've got some ideas as to how to restreamline how we do these pages so that we can get back into a coloring swing, and hopefully back into a weekly swing. Yes, I know we've been working on this for the better part of the year. And I'm sorry, but we've got to do this, and it's going to take some time. I expect that we'll resume weekly updates in August...mostly because I happen to know that the scene that starts on page 14 will be easier to draw. Actually, that'll be three scenes in a row with consistant, interior settings. None of this walking around a bustling city business. Ha-cha.
In related news, my husband and I recieved our "economic stimulus check" from the U.S. government. $600 that we did not previously have. Ha-cha X 2. I've used my portion of it (in addition to preordering Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation) to get myself a drafting table. I am very excited, as this will be the first drafting table I have ever owned. All the pages you see here are a product of me hunched over a clipboard, usually on the floor. Seeing as I'm about 14 weeks pregnant with stretching pains in my lower belly (not to mention random dizzy spells), this has become an increasingly difficult way to work. My desk is...uhm, laptop friendly, but I'm too short to be able to hunch over it to draw. Our apartment is to small for a table, so we don't have one. The other nice thing about my drawing table is that it's a fold-away. And it comes with an adjustable stool. ^_^
Last piece of news: I was back to vomiting and fatigue this past week. Apparently, there's nothing to worry about, as both I and the baby are healthy. However, I have tendonitis in my left foot and right hip. This is apparently caused by hormones screwing with my ligaments combined with the sudden weight gain. I can't take anti-inflammatories to treat it because ibuprofen and such will mess with the bloodflow to the fetus. Whee. I hope the doctor is WRONG and I will NOT get tendonitis in my drawing wrist too (he thinks I may because I use it so much). So yes, on top of everything else, it will hurt to walk and sit up for the next month or two. I begin to understand why making babies was a reasonable sole vocation for women for so long.
Next week: Page 7. Week after: Page 8. If humanly (or griffon/dragonly) possible.
Chivalry is dead, isn't it, Eloise?
We apologize for the lack of backgrounds, but it can't be helped at this point in time. Luth'rai's been sick, you see. She will finish them when she is no longer in danger of dripping snot all over the page. In the meantime, use your imagination to see that they are walking through the gate tunnel.
I do not know what is wrong with the shoutbox. I have contacted the support peeps and hopefully it'll get sorted out. In the meantime, I still want to hear your comments about the page (I love comments!) so do recall that we have both a FORUM and EMAIL.
Still working to normalize my life schedule so we can do full-color again. I think I'm getting better. At least, I've been sleeping from 12 am to 11 am or thereabouts for a full week now, and some mornings am able to get up as early as 10. Whoo!
We resently went to see Nim's Island, as we are fans of both Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler. And Jodie Foster plays a best-selling author and Gerard Butler plays her Gary Stu. The interaction between those two was much fun, but not worth the pain of the rest of the film, nor the cost of the tickets. Most painful was the portrayal of a bearded dragon...constantly doing non-lizard things like squawking in a parrot voice. Concerning was the lack of the "No Animals were harmed in the making of this film" notice...at least, we didn't see it. Erk. The ending was particularly...unfulfilling.
It's spring! FINALLY! Too bad I messed up my ankle and can't go walking. ;_; New page in a couple weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for a cameo appearance. ;)
Bill: ...but I dun wanna be excommunicated!
Ted: Don't worry! I am suave and debonair!
Yes, Jerome is an important person. You didn't honestly believe the government would entrust an important task like a decoy mission to a random ragtag group of adventurers, did you?
So we're a few hours late, because I really wanted that first panel done. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out and my eyes hurt from several hours of staring at the bright light. Magic is so much fun. ^_^ What will be obvious in later pages, if it's not already, is that only priests of Alos carry supernovas up their sleeves, so all Jerome really did was prove that he is who he (and his official papers) said he is. And blind and entire courtyard. Jerome, thou art a gentleman and a scholar. And a show-off.
Continuing the battle with fatigue. This week I'm down to needing only twelve hours of sleep a day. Yippee! I had my first sonogram on Monday. The baby is a healthy, wriggling sea monkey of ten weeks. Which is loads of a relief. Also loads of a relief is I qualify for both Medicaid and WIC. This makes affording the baby a lot more feasible. And I now have dental insurance, w00t. Well, on to the next page. We're taking two weeks on it in an attempt for a full-color update. Like, all the panels colored. Wouldn't that be something?
On a final note, congratulations to Cheeko for going indie! You can find the new official site for her wonderful comic One Question HERE.
Yeah, so it's been about a month since you've heard from me. This is because for the better part of March, I've been either in bed with chronic fatigue or hugging the toilet with chronic nausea. I've lost over five pounds when I'm supposed to be undergoing a significant weight-gain. Fortunately, the doctors at the OB/GYN do not think this is any cause for concern and, like they promised me, after the 8-week mark came and went, I've been feeling significantly better. So much so that I am now going to return to my usual life of not puking and sleeping all the time.
So, after a month of medical hiatus, Ambition will be returning with a new page next week! And it is now April 2nd that I am telling you this, so you have to believe me. :P Speaking of April 1st, my vote for best prank is split between Sarah Ellerton over at Phoenix Requiem and Gmail, although there were a lot of good ones scattered throughout the internets. Luth'rai and I are wet blankets, uncreative wet blankets even, and we did no pranks. In fact...the only time I've bothered pranking on Ambition was the first year, when I replaced the yellow text with pink. And that's honestly the best I've ever come up with. >.>
Provided I got the html sorted out with Comicgenesis, you should be able to see some color update to page 5. If not, and you see a big blank spot where there should be a page, click "previous" to see it. I'm not altogether pleased with it and will likely do some fixes, but for now, it makes it much more obvious what's happening on that page.
Until next week!
Well, I've been wanting to do this page for a long time. And...I'm still wanting to do it. Bugger. The magic effects aren't quite up to par yet, eh? Or the rest of it. I'll try to get the color together for next week so you all can see what's really going on, although I do hope you can tell well enough as is.
For the record, action sequences are difficult.
Well, a lot of bombs dropping here in Ambition-land. I'll leave Luth to tell you her side of things. On my side, well... This page was late because I wasn't feeling well. I'm not feeling well again and can expect this to be an off and on thing for the next three months. If all goes well. See, I had an inkling at the time, and was in denial, but the home pregnancy test is a bit hard to argue with. (Pah, I resolve to spend more time with my husband, and look what happens.)
So yes, I'm pregnant, and I'm telling you this because it's going to affect my performance. Some women can breeze through this like they aren't hosting an alien parasite right next to their intestines. I am not one of those women. I will spend the next couple months sleeping twelve hours a day and wishing the prenatal vitamins made you fell better like they are supposed to. However, I've still got my heart set on full-color updates, and by golly, I'm going to get them to you. Every other week. I hope. Pray that this pregnancy goes better than the last one?
So. Where's Waldo?
This page took forever, but I had a lot of fun doing it. Yes, I drew all the little peoples. And the dogs and some of the horses and mules. By hand - there's no copy/paste. I wonder how many of them there are? I didn't count. The flags and uniforms and Jerome's papers (more once it's all photoshopped in) are of my design, and I've been researching these things all month. On the uniforms - I was pretty much on my own for designing those. Military uniforms as we know them were pretty much invented by the Prussians in the early seventeen hundreds. That's musket-era, and not particularly useful in a world setting where canons are at the rudimentary stage. The costs of outfitting an army aside, it seemed to me that a city guard should have uniforms to go with their partisans, so...there we have it. On the cuirass - yes, it's round. I know fantasy is supposed to do form-fitting armor and all, but that's, quite frankly, stupid. Armor that's flat against your chest is heavy and almost useless, as the Greeks discovered.
Now then. I suppose it's time for the low-down. Or the down low, as I am about this. Obviously, we've not been managing complete weekly updates. There's several reasons for this. For one, we're out of practice. Back before the November break, we weren't coloring, so we got used to spending the full week on the pencils. Habits are hard to break. For another, we're experimenting with how we do this. Luth'rai's taken to flat-coloring the backgrounds, and now we're reworking how we do the pencils. It USED to be I'd do the layout and characters, then pass the page for the backgrounds. While that worked relatively well in the jungle for a time, buildings are another breed. And we were never quite satisfied with what we put out under that method. So, we're trying to perfect a more back and forth method, where both characters and backgrounds are under development together. Finally, I'm trying to shed the "plastic/claylike" look on my shaded characters that was so prevelant in the Prologue and Chapter 1. While I've gotten the hang of cloth and leather, skin still continues to elude me. This has led to frustration and fixation regarding the matter - I spend as much time working the skin as I do the entire rest of the character.
These past weeks, and past two months have been similar, I have literally had no life beyond working on this comic. I get up, turn on the computer, stumble about the house while I wake up, then get to work. I go to bed when I can't keep my eyes open anymore. This really hit home when I took an hour break from working to get a back massage from my husband (my back's been really bad all week...maybe from hunching over a keyboard?). When I got up to get back to work, he thanked me for spending some time with him. You know what? Not cool. I'm very devoted to this project, and I love doing it, but this is not healthy.
So, we're going to temporarily go to an every other Wednesday updating schedule. We hope this'll give us time to finish the color on these last few pages and figure out and settle into a better method for working. One that lets me spend time with my husband and friends and play WoW occassionally. We also hope that this will only last through March, at which point, we'll return to the weekly schedule.
So, no page next week. But certainly fresh color.
Happy Year of the Rat. Your "fu" character is upside-down.
(Disclaimer: Waldo is not on this page.)
Someday, perhaps, Than will get tired of the sound of his own voice.
...okay, that's highly unlikely.
He may, however, in the near future, learn that speaking poorly of Phillipe in the presence of loyal Cerisian citizens may not have been the brightest idea he's ever had... >.>
So, lots of exposition on this page. For you eager beavers out there, there's a few more things about the political situation if you poke around the Oris and Lemallian parts of the World Setting section. For those of you who don't give a rat's bum about Than and his political views, all you really need to know is as follows:
Phillipe Dubrique is the king of Ceris. He's got enemies. They've killed both of his sons. His daughter is currently in Sheren (this city, even), and he'd like her back, thanks. Oh, and Augustus is king of Sheren.
A few things now, before we get on with next week:
First, congratulations to the winners of our Fanworks Contest: Saker for visual art and Canterrain for prose. (Well, whaddyaknow, CT wins by default after all =P. Honestly, it was too hard to try to compare the fanart with the fanfic, so we just spilt it into two categories.) Thank you to all who entered! They were all great and it was a really hard choice.
Some of you may have noticed that the site has been slow or unavailable. This is caused by server issues and the only thing we can do about it is cheer our administrators on as they try to fix the problem. Sorry about that!
As for what's going down at Ambition. Obviously, we didn't get caught up on color like we'd hoped. There is progress on both pages but, we had a sick weekend over here. So, between trying to do three pages and being sick, this one goes up uncolored. Page four is more Luth'rai than me for the visuals, so I'll be trying to finish the coloring on...these three pages whileshe does that. We'll definitely have a page next week, but it may too be uncolored, and we might take a catch-up week after. We'll have to see.
Speaking of seeing, I finally changed the voting incentives (and I barely remembered how)! So vote! See you all next week!
Don't look now, Audriel. You're surrounded.
Didn't finish the shading in time. Again. wtf. I'll continue to pick at it throughout the week (the first page has similarly been picked at) and hopefully next week we'll suddenly have three fully colored pages in chapter 3...instead of 3 mostly colored pages. I need to get a bit looser with the color, I think. Nine days to complete a page doesn't quite work for "weekly" updates. >.>
Contests are now over, and we'll announce winners next week. Well, except for the Name of the Gods contest, seeing as there were no correct answers. We're currently debating posting the correct answers and retiring the contest. As for the Fanworks contest - we received five entries and we're having a hard time picking a winner. We'll have to pick one though, as it's too expensive to hand out five free prints. :P
This week was movie week for me. I saw three movies. Whoa. Stardust I'd already seen before. Just came out on DVD. Still love it. As Luth'rai is raving about, I also saw Sweeney Todd. Don't get me wrong; I liked it very much. But I didn't go out and get the soundtrack and listen to it on repeat for the rest of the week .*coughhackwheezelikeLuth'raicoughcough* Johnny Depp of course gave a magnificent performance as the titular character, but I felt he was totally upstaged by Helena Bonham Carter who gave a fabulous performance as Mrs. Lovett. And I mean fabulous.
Tonight I also saw Juno which I expected to enjoy very much given what I read about it. And I did enjoy it. I'm usually not one for comedy, but the dramedy can do it for me when witty dialogue is the clincher. Was quite so here. I was surprised to find I connected much better to the prospective adopter mother supporting character than the teenage girl main character. ...I guess I'm just not a teenager anymore. This may be a good thing.
Not a movie, exactly, but we also got through Baccano!, an anime I've been avoiding for some time because I knew I'd love it. At thirteen episodes, it's not nearly the time sink most anime tend to be, so it was fine. 1930s America, jazz-agers and mafia. I have a wretched soft-spot for that. Beautifully executed non-linear plot and gorgeous animation, but I can only recommended it to the 18+ and strong of stomach at that. The animators have some thing for exploding fingers... Not breaking or smashing or smearing - exploding. If you have any sort of hand injury in this thing, your fingers fly apart in fingery chunks. Gah. (Was quite pleased by the Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop cameo, by the by. Watch for him - he's on the train in his flash-back hat. ^_^)
Next week: Another page.
So, a couple miscalculations this week. For example, my brother came to visit this week. He brought his Wii. Nothing a little self-control couldn't overcome, sure... And page 2 does have the characters on it. But it doesn't have much in the way of backgrounds. We both also kinda forgot that Luth'rai was scheduled to have her wisdom teeth removed this week. Good thing the dentist's office called to confirm, eh? In our defense, the operation was scheduled two months ago - plenty of time to forget.
The procedure went well, and Luth'rai is doing well, but is still groggy and achey. We decided it would be best to postpone this week's page another week to give her time to recover and me time to spend with my brother before he heads back to Baltimore. We feel pretty lame about it, sure. We didn't want to skip any updates for several months to get our good name back, so to speak. Meh, it'll happen. Maybe I can use the time to make a semblance of a buffer? ...I had a buffer back in the day. WAY back in the day. >.>
Final reminder about the contests. You've got four more days until Canterrain wins by default. Although maybe he doesn't want competition. XD
This episode of Ambition is brought to you by the color yellow.
Audriel is happy on this page. Eloise is touching someone who isn't him. How about that?
Oh, and Than? You might want to put those away before someone sees them. Oh. Too late.
I've been looking forward to this page for some time - the reasons being panel one and panel five. These panels are also the reason the page is a bit late. After visualizing them for so long, wanted to get them right, you know? Panel one should be obvious from the new section in the World Settings arena on Lemallian. Panel five is also obvious. ...except for what's not obvious. Uhm...yes.
Well, what a way to kick off the chapter, yeah? Late. Even after an extra week on it. Obviously, there could be excuses in that I learned how to color an ocean on this page, and then there's that city, and...you know? I wanted it to look right so I took my time? Yup. I do hope we get a lot faster as we get back into the swing of things. It was good to finally do a page again. Get the story back up off the couch and all. If we can stay on top of this chapter, things like panel 5 will be explained by this time next year... Wait, progression? Now, wouldn't that be something?
Obviously, I haven't finished the shading on this page. That'll be remedied after I sleep, thank you.
Eleven days until the contest deadline, folks. Get those entries together! ...wow, that's actually a lot of time left. And...even more wow, Ambition is now two years old. Huhn.
Now that I've both slept and eaten, I will attempt making some form of comprehendable statement. Or something.
So, here is our map of Lemallian - the city where we'll be staying for Chapter 3. I had hoped to be completely done with the map by now, but Luth'rai only had time to do up the wealthy district (which is kinda silly, because it makes no appearance in the comic at all). Still, theres moe than enough there for you guys to get the idea, and I'll update it when the map is more complete. For the record, said map is on 6 sheets of graph paper. The "large" version of the map is actually quite small compared to the physical one. It should be noted that the thing is not exactly to scale. I'm completely amateur at designing maps and buildings and such. The roads in particular are shown much larger than they'd actually be. Even so, I hope you all like the city - we'll be here for a while.
I think I'm going to make the "Spotlights" section of the World Setting a usual thing to show off our concept work and such (seeing as only roughly 20% of such work actually shows up in the comic). I'll add Bellis (the town from Chapter 1) to the Spotlight section once we find the map for it - it seems it got misplaced during moving last year.
Last year...wow. It's 2008, isn't it? Yikes. Time to make good on all those resolutions and promises, eh?
Just a reminder that Ambition's birthday fast approches on the 8th. Because it's still so close to the holiday season, we've decided to push the contest deadline back to the 20th to give you all more time to work on entries. So please enter! Back next week with an actual page.
It seems the year will end much like it began. And I'm hoping that'll be the last of it. Ugh.
We've decided to postpone the page 1 update another week. We started it two days behind already from taking an extra two days to complete the chapter cover, and we still have some world setting work to finalize before Luth'rai can even start the rather intensive establishing shot. On top of that, Luth'rai has discovered that she has to work extra hours on New Year's day, rather than getting time off. So, rather than start back up already behind, we're pushing our deadline back a week so we'll be on top of it. So, page 1 goes up on the ninth. I'm working to get the city map and some information about it htmled up and into the WOrld Setting Section for you guys. We'll have that as our Wednesday update instead.
Another reminder that January 8th fast approaches. Because we can't keep a deadline around the holiday season, we can hardly expect you guys to do the same. We're pushing the deadlines to the Anniversary Contests back another two weeks. So, the deadline is now January 20th - same as last year. Ambition still turns 2 years old on the 8th, though. ;)
Only two days late, right? Bah. Page 1 will probably be late too, although it's still scheduled for January 2nd at this time. It has some kick-ass establishing shots that are making Luth'rai cry...
So the Chapter 3 cover was two weeks of work. Well, so it goes. I think it was worth it. Don't be surprised if I redo the borderwork and text on this page in the near future, though. I'm not happy with it, but I'm too burnt out at the moment to think of something to do instead. I may tweak some of the shadow work too.
All told, it's a good chapter cover, and actually represents what I want, unlike poor Chapter 2, whose cover still goes unfinished. Some notes about this cover - I originally intended to have them on either side of a wall in Lemallian, but Luth'rai suggested we use the front of the cathedral instead. I think that was a much better idea. So this is in front of the San Attillio Cathedral in Lemallian. I spent a good long while designing this sucker, so I'll probably give it a spot in the World Setting Section once we've got all the concept art cleaned up. It's made of rose limestone and alabaster, I believe. Oh, and the paper is made of hemp, for the curious among you. Ambition is not done on hemp paper, because it's not so good for pencil drawing, but you all should use hemp paper for non-art stuff! Save trees!
Okay, few more things... Oh, got another baby rat on Wednesday (didn't delay the update per se, but certainly didn't help the timeliness). Her name is Nariko, and she's...definitely the omega, poor dear. Tsunade is very happy to have company again (her sister died the day before Thanksgiving, and she was sick awhile with the same thing, but recovered), but she also wants to still be the one in charge of the cage. 9_9
Contests are still going on. The deadline is still set for Ambition's birthday on January 8th, but I'm considering pushing it back a couple of weeks because it seems it's too close to the holidays for a lot of people to be able to participate. Feel free to drop me a line if you'd like to enter but need more time.
Until next week. Have a happy New Year's.
Well, then. Welcome to the new site! Yay!
If you want to see where all my efforts have been going for the past month or so, take a gander around. There's a bit of new content (not as much as I was aiming for, but a bit) and a lot of things cleaned up. Overall facelift, too.
As always, new layout=new problems. I wager IE doesn't like this development in particular. If anyone knows how to tame Internet Exploder, please take a look at the source code and tell me how to fix it? It'd help so much. And even if you DON'T know anything about html, you can always just click on everything to make sure it all works and report errors to me if it doesn't.
So, there are a few more changes going around here other than the new site. Foremost, we'll be changing our update schedule to weeky on Wednesdays. This will (hopefully) work better with Luth'rai and my schedules and help us maintain a timely update schedule for the coming, oh, year. The Chapter 3 cover will be posted the day after Christmas, and the first page will go up January 2nd. My New Year's Resolution? Full-color every week.
Just another reminder that Ambition's second birthday is fast approaching. Which means that the contest deadlines are as well. January 8th, people, hop to it! Contest Rules.
So, see you all in a little over a week, and have a happy holiday!
Happy Chanukah. Does anyone in know where I can get
candles in southern Vermont? Because my hannukiah has remained sadly
unlit this year. ;_;
We don't go long without Mary Sue complaints, do we? We've been reviewed again, this time by Dr. Haus on Comixtalk. *sigh* Some people have no patience.
I am sick. Or actually, I'm finally better. Caught a stomach flu or
sommat and spent most of the early week curled up in misery. That and
playing the game the filler is based on. Okay, so for "only six hours
of gameplay," Heavenly Sword
is frickin' awesome. I'm not sure what I like the most...the
"emotion-capture" (coined by me), the intensely wonderful polygon work
(I love the way dead enemies are "animated" - ragdolling physics that
make sense for once), the sweet, sweet fighting system (me vs. 500 guys
at once, and yes, they're all visible on the screen), or just flat out
the score. Seriously, where do I get the soundtrack? I really, really
want the soundtrack.
I could prattle on about this game for hours, but I won't. I'll just
mention a couple highlights. Funniest thing in the game is the sixaxis
implementation. It's minimal in the actual fighting, and it's also
pretty simple "shake to recover" and "shake to initiate aerial combos."
It's more important for the ranged sections, where you can guide your
missiles all the way in by tilting the the controller. Hurts your head
as far as physics is concerned (having now made many a cannonball jerk
upwards into the target at the last second), but it's a heck of a lot
of fun. It's a gorgeous game. Highly recommended.
I have, in fact, also gotten some work done between the hugging the
toilet and slaughtering asian-esque soldiers with quirky british
accents by the thousands. I think we'll manage a site relaunch at some
point during next weekend. Yay!
Reminder that we're holding Second anniversary contests. Rules are in the forums.
Half-assed filler done by...me! I'm sorry I didn't
finish it - I spent all of Saturday working on it. Saturday was
supposed to be my day off. Now I'm entirely burnt out. Bugger. I'll
pick at it throughout the week and try to get it done.
I tried leaving some progress updates in the shoutbox, but it doesn't
even work for me anymore. So, I've gotten a new one - it will go
online with the new site.
It's December. Well, the November hiatus was not particularly
productive. There's still a lot of color left to do. However, November
is over, so that's getting backburnered. December is for Chapter 3.
I don't know when we'll start the new chapter proper, but I'll give you
an idea of what we still have left to do:
The new website. I spent all week breaking my head on html, and it's
actually mostly done. The World Setting and About Us sections still
need coding, and there are a half dozen or so images I still need to
make, but considering what needed to be done, that's really good. This
week and the next will be dedicated to finishing the new site and the
Chapter 3 cover. I'm hoping to launch both on the 15th.
for resuming regular updates, we still have a lot to do to prepare
for the new chapter. I need to break the script into pages and finish
the map for the city. It's currently six times the size of the map we
used for Bellis back in Chapter 1. It also includes some difficult
design work, such as the city hall, cathedral/abbey, and wharf and
drydock. We also need to make another font. So, seeing all that needs
to be done before
we can start working on the pages, I'm not sure when normal updates
will resume. I'm hoping for before the end of the year, but with the
holidays coming....hard to say.
So, my heartfelt apologies. We're working on it. Honest.
So~ We're doing our birthday bash again for 2008. Which means contests.
Which also means prizes. Check out the details in the forums.
Announcement! The rules for the 2008 Birthday contests are up. Check them out in the forums. Thank you.
This week's guest filler was done by Karn!
...who has no comic of her own, as far as I know. Thanks for giving
Bashirah some fan love - she's a-lovin' it. As you can see.
from my parent's house in Maryland in between family stuff, here. And
trying not to fall asleep as I type. Barely got any work done this
week, but I was expecting that. :/ I have no estimates for when we'll
get back underway with Chapter 3. We'll talk about that next week I
By the time you all are reading this, I'll probably be on the road for
the eight hour trip back. My husband and I are hoping the Saturday
traffic will be much lighter than Sunday traffic, y'see. When I get back
I'll post the details for the annual(?) contests that we're having to
celebrate Ambition's upcoming birthday on January 8th. So, check back
Sun/Monday for details for winning free prints and cameo appearances.
Two pieces of news, one good, one bad. The bad is that one of my new
rat babies, Ayame, died on Wednesday. ;_; We don't know what happened.
She and her sister Tsunade seemed to have had colds for the past week,
but it didn't seem serious. So far, Tsunade still seems okay. I'm
pretty sad about this, though.
The GOOD news is that Luth'rai is now 23, as of Thursday. XD Happy Birthday!
Hope all you American types had good Thanksgivings! I know my intestines are still getting through it. >.>
This week's guest filler was done by Thane! Check out her webcomic/manga Chirault - it's pretty good and actually updating, which is more than we can say this month.
Page 36 is finally complete (yay!). 10 panels takes...a long time to color. I've been working on Page 31
as well and will try to have the completed version online before I get
in the car for my 8+ hour trip to Maryland. Yay, going home for
This week was a lot of color, scripting, and not-sleeping but not for
lack of trying. I think I spent at least 12 hours a day in bed every
day, too tired to do anything, but not getting sleep. Frustrating.
I'm too spacey to think of anything else to say, so I'll just wish everyone a good Thanksgiving. Until next week!
Two words: We suck.
No, really. We do. Page 36
is what we have to show for nearly two weeks
worth of work, and it's not even done yet. Of course, yes, we've done
other work that's not showing up here yet (one example is that we've
started working on the map for the city that's in Chapter 3), but the
filler is a pretty apt representation of every day this week. It
figures. We cut out movies, World of Warcraft and other games, and any
possible social life we have left out of our schedules to make more
time for the comic, and what do we do with it?
Go right back to doing the biggest time-sink ever invented: collaborative writing.
RP-rough drafting might be a good term for it. Take the amount of time
it takes any one person to draft a scene for a story and multiply it by
at least 3, and that's how quickly roughing a scene goes when it's the
two of us working on it simultaneously. Sure, it's a hell of a lot of
fun. Sure, it's technically working on the comic. But, geez...this is
chapter 16 we've gotten, granted, a good deal of work
done on. Is the work we've gotten done this week worth another week
behind schedule? No? I thought not. Erk.
Well, we need to stop sucking and start working. I don't want this
comic to be stuck on hiatus for much longer while we keep taking our
sweet time on an already finished Chapter. So. As director, November
30th is the cut-off for Chapter 2 work. No more until Chapter 3 is
underway. We still have work to do for Chapter 3 so it can get
underway, but I think that'll can be done in two weeks or so. So.
Tentative relauch date: December 15th. ...won't be much of a relaunch
what with the holidays happening right after but at least we'll get the
chapter cover and the new site up. Maybe even the first page before New
Certainly before our Anniversary. January 8th will be Ambition's second
birthday, just so you all know. We'll be holding a few contests around
this time - I'll post more information soon-ish, so keep your eyes
peeled. Also, I'm still accepting filler art. It'd be much appreciated.
Also, I had three characters around for the work we've done this week, not only one. For the record.
Well, typical. We've just started and we're already
way behind schedule. Gah. What you see is what you get this week. Page
36 is all colored and about half-way shaded, but may not be ready for
another two days or so at our current pace. We were supposed to do not just
that page, but the whole duck sequence this week. Instead, I spent most of the week in bed with a cold. Argh.
We'll see how this week goes. Maybe we'll get a handle on things. I
sure hope so, because I've got a lot of things to do for this comic
besides coloring. >.>
Well, the astute of you will notice, we now offer advertising space with Project Wonderful.
So far, we haven't made much in the way of cash, but I expect that'll
change soon (kinda like it'll take 5 days before our web traffic shows
up appropriately). The idea is we'll save up a lot during our revamp
and have a big advertising push when we relaunch the site with the
start of Chapter 3. Yay! Now, whether that'll be December or January
remains to be seen.... >.>
Breaking news over here is Ayame and Tsunade - my two new rat girls!
They're so cute...and...itty bitty. Only four weeks old. They're scared
of their ginormous cage that they'll grow into. I hope they get used to
it soon. They're much too cute to live huddled in the corner.
As a final note...it's not too late to send me guest filler art. Seriously. I have exactly 0 pieces and any filler strips I don't have to do is more time to devote to getting the comic back underway. Send any contributions to theslyeagle[at]gmail[dot[com].
See you next week - with color upgrades (we mean it this time!)
Psht, no I'm not holding your hand for this one. You're smart - figure it out for yourself. And keep reading. :P
Also, please keep in mind that even on "normal" pages, if you're not
looking carefully at the art, you're missing most of the story.
This page represents 100% of...my work. That's all me. Huhn. Guess
I can't blame Luth'rai for any errors. Must say, I've been looking
forward to doing this page for a long
time. It was fun and experimental, but I've decided that digital
painting takes too long. What's that? You think I've been painting
already all this time? HA!
The splash panel is very surreal to me. I look at it, and remember
painting it, but it really looks like someone else's work to me.
I'll drop a few notes about the page. Indian grass is neat. That's what
we got in the bottom right corner. The tree is a cottonwood, in full
autumn phase. The autumn motif was something of a last minute change,
inspired by October here in Vermont. The colors really got to me, and I
was itching to use them. The motif for this sequence was scripted as
spring, but I think autumn works equally well, possibly better, with
different undertones. Yeah, highly metaphorical here. Yay!
Also, finally got a chance to use eyeshine. Orisian elves have it, so
that's what's going on in that middle panel. Just in case that caught
you all off guard.
Now for the sad news. I had to put Kasumi down on Thursday. I'll spare
you the gory details of what was wrong with her, but I'm very sure it
was the right thing to do. This is still a very sad time for me. She'd
been a part of my life for the past three years and was a very, very
special rat. Okay, time to stop before I start crying again.
So. Chapter 2 is finished. Woo! At this point, we're going to take a
break from the story for the month of November and go on a revamping
spree. So yes, coloring all the pages we missed and revamping the site.
While the story proper will be on hiatus, we'll still be here. I've yet
to recieve any guest pages, but I'll get some form of filler up
for you guys every Saturday (and I actually mean Saturday. Gasp!),
along with news about how things are coming.
So. Off we go. I'm still accepting guest pages - e-mail me at
theslyeagle[at]gmail[dot]com if you have a submission. Until next week!
What's that, Than? You can keep secrets from them, but they can't keep secrets from you? Hm?
One page left. Sooooooooooo close. I can't wait to finally finish
this chapter. Of course, I've saved the most experimental page to date
for last. >.> But I can do this! Yar!
And not just because I'm riding on a huge Nightwish
high. ...okay, it may very well be because I am. I'm on a massively
huge Nightwish high. I, like probably any other fans out there, was
pretty nervous it was the end for Nightwish when they fired their lead
singer Tarja Turunen two years ago to the day. Well, after much waiting
and hoping, they released the single Eva with their new lead
vocalist Anette Olzon. I cried when I heard it, both for joy because it
was still Nightwish and also in sorrow because it was Nightwish without Tarja. But I think Nightwish has more than proven that it's fine without Tarja. Thriving even. As bittersweet as that is.
Dark Passion Play hasn't left my cd player
since I got it (or my playlist since I ripped it). It'll take more
words than I care to write here to say how good this album is, but I'll
probably write up my thoughts on it elsewhere (say, the forum).
Aaaaand, last night I finally got to see them live in Worcester, Mass.
It was my first metal concert and my ears are still ringing (my younger
brother assures me this'll wear off after 24 hrs. or so). That show was
worth every minute waiting for it, though. I was supposed to go with
Luth, but she couldn't make it, so I went with my husband instead. They
played all 14 minutes of "The Poet and the Pendulum," an epic piece I'm
totally in love with and totally expected to not be played live. Wow.
Wowowowow. Anette wins. In some ways, she's better than Tarja.
Okay, I'm going to stop squeeing now. Two last things. A) Still looking
for guest strips for the November hiatus! Please send any contributions
B) I mentioned last week that I might start a donation drive to get
surgery for my rat, Kasumi. Well... I'm not going to, at least not at
this time. She's currently too ill to undergo surgery, and while we're
treating what we can, she's not likely to recover. :-/ Please keep her
in your prayers.
The triumphant return of Eloise! And her less-dramatic cohorts.
I've been wanting to draw this page for SO long now. And it didn't come
out quite right. ;_; There comes a time, when drawing, they I gues you
just have to say "screw it" and bite the bullet. So, a
less-than-perfect page 40. Oh well.
Word to the wise, though. If you want a fully-colored page done in
a week, don't reintroduce three characters that you haven't drawn in
nearly a year at highly dramatic angles. You don't have 12+ hours to
spend on every panel. I sure didn't. ^.^;
So, this one's likely being shunted into the coloring queue. I'm
starting the next page. Maybe that'll get colored. Maybe not. At this
point, I just want it DONE. There's too much bad energy from a rough
year hanging over this chapter. I need the finish, and I need the fresh
start. And I'm so close.
Huh...this page more or less represents my week, so I don't have much
to say. I'm enjoying Vermont autumn? I love autumn, especially in
Vermont. Uhm, I've been playing Arathi Basin. I love Arathis Basin to
death, often mine. Although way less often as a tankadin. I've
discovered that I'm more respected as a player on the Horde side than
the Alliance. I played AB for the Alliance for YEARS, and am an old pro
at it, but no one ever, ever, ever wanted to listen to me. On the Horde
side, people *gasp* follow my advice. In fact, since I play with a few
friends with whom I'm designated leader, I'm often the battleground
leader, and no one minds me just taking over as commander. We've won 11
out of 12 all week. I don't understand why the Horde has a higher level
of intelligence, but I'm pretty much waving farewell to the Alliance. I
was your best ninja, the old dog jack, and I capped thousands of flags
for you; and you spat on me. Now I will divulge all the details of your
disfunctionality to your enemies and reap the rewards from your
downfall. And how do you like them apples?
One of these days, I'm going to write up an illustrated guide to Arathi
Basin tactics. Too many people just don't know how to play it.
Hm, final thoughts: Some of you may have read this comic long enough to
recall my rat Kasumi. She needed surgery back then, and she needs it
again now. I have NOT set up a donation dealie at this time for her, as
I'm going to talk to the vet about another payment plan. I was able to
get the last set of tumors removed on a bi-montly payment plan, that I
am unfortunately still paying off. So, I don't know if I can add more
to my balance or what, and I know she's just a rat, but she's an animal
in my care and I'd like to treat her. Depending what the deal with the
vet is, I may be asking for donations. ANY help will be appreciated.
Audriel is recalling page 13,
in case you guys aren't. I know it was a long time ago. Like...January.
Eeeesh. Thus the countdown to the end of chapter 2 continues, with only
3 pages left. I will reiterate that we are going on hiatus for
the month of November, after Chapter 2 is completed. The reason for
this is site clean-up. During the month of November, there will be no
new pages; however, we will be coloring the incomplete ones and going
back and fixing text problems with the older pages (making them more
legible). In addition, I'm revamping the entire site. This is a lot of
work to complete in only one month, and we hope it's actually doable.
In the meantime, I'd like to put out a call for guest strips
for me to run during the month of November. Please e-mail me at
theslyeagle[at]gmail[dot]com with any submissions. I'd much prefer to
showcase some other artists out there than throw some crappy sketches
up every week.
In stunning proof of the existence of a loving God, Cougar returned
home on Saturday morning repaired and with the harddrive in tact.
Ignoring the fact that I'm playing WoW again, this means that there is
a very, very good chance that we'll have a full-color update this
weekend. Personally, I'd really prefer the next three to be in color.
Less for me to go back and do later. >.>
I cant compete with Luth'rai's comments, so I won't even try. All I do
anymore is draw, it seems. This was a pretty good page to do, by the
way. A couple things didn't turn out the way I wanted, but I'm pleased
with the overall flow and the expressions I ended up with.
Oh! I updated the dropdown up there, so you should be able to navigate
the archives a little better. Also made some small changes to the page
on elves and added a couple things. Yup.
Back to work on page 40 for me.
Oh, Cougar, how I already miss thee.
Seriously. Going back to the old hardware just to put the text
in. It was like [Copy] *griiiiiiiiiiind* [Paste] *grrrriiiiiiiiind*
[...Save] *grrrriiiiiiiiiii[goes off to do something for five minutes].
So. Painfully. Slow. How did I manage to do all those other pages like
So, Cougar didn't exactly die last week; he just went into a
persistent vegetative state. Erm, which still means I can't use him. I
managed to back up all my important files by doing a harddrive
transplant into Luth's Cutter. (Note to other studios: This is just
another great reason to have all artists using the same model.) So, the
good news is we haven't lost the work we've done. The other good news
is that Cougar is under warranty and arrived at the repair center
today. The bad news is they're estimating 5-7 business days before he's
fixed and back in the mail. ...yay. So, bottom line for me? SUCK.
Bottom line for you? Definitely no color for page 39, and PRAY if you
want color for page 40.
...it's a good thing my pencils can't short out, huh?
Well, only four pages left for this chapter. So close! Reminder that
we'll be taking an end-of-chapter hiatus to go back and finish coloring
the pages for the month of November (and only November, we hope).
During that period, we're looking for guest strips to use as
updates. Please send any
contributions to theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com, and remember that we are
went pretty well. It's not the sort of con that's geared toward us,
what with the grand majority of congoers going "Comics on the internet?
And they're free? Huh?" But the price was right and it was a decent way
to spend a Sunday. I sat next to one Mitch Breitweiser
feeling that awkwardness one feels when they end up next to someone
they know is famous, but they know nothing about. I
also wondered the whole time just when Marvel comics started
having good art in them. I sold three prints, one of which was a copy
of Elvenpath to a guy who wants to get it tatooed on his back.
I find this somewhat surreal, but I suppose I should be honored. I
didn't look around the show, much. Mostly spent it working on this page
and chatting with another
webcomicker who was there as a volunteer.
This con once again convinced us that we need a book. Well, we're
almost done with the free scripting of one of our projects - White
Knight - and I've been looking into self-publishing. If anyone
knows about good places to print full-color perfect-bound graphic
novels, please drop me an e-mail. So far, it looks like our
best bet for the project is Lulu, which'll probably cost us over $20
per book, meaning we'll have to sell it for $25-$30. I'll say more
about White Knight some other time. ;)
I'm...never gonna live this page down, huh?
Oh well. 'twas worth it. So, we're back to color. no idea how well
we'll keep up
with the color in the coming weeks, seeing as even a simple page like
this took far longer than expected. I chalk a bit of that up to getting
used to the new hardware and a bit more to experimentation and even
more up to just plain being out of practice. I spent a good amount of
time wondering "So...how did I do this again?"
For the record, the ammunition round for Bashirah's duck-bombing here
happens to be a male blue-winged teal. Just in case you all wondered.
Chapter 2 is finally winding to its end with this page kicking off the
final scene. At the current pace, it'll be done at the end of October,
at which point we'll begin our (hopefully just) November revamping
hiatus, during which we'll finish the color for all pages involved,
giving the website a make-over and the World Setting section a major
update, and finalizing the script for Chapter 3 (it's written, but not
broken into pages yet). I'll also be looking into getting high
resolution pages available for download over at Wowio. So, I guess now's a
good time to mention that we are looking for guest strips for the
duration of November.
We'll stagger as many as we get over the course of the month, provided
that they fall within our web-rating standard of Web 14 (basically
means keep the language/sex/violence moderate or lower). Send any
contributions to theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com. Thanks!
In final news, drop by the Granite State
Comicon (aka Granitecon) on this Sunday for a chance to see us (and
buy some stuff.) Seems like it'll be a nice smaller con, too.
last thing. Luth'rai's new machine is called Cutter? Well, mine's
Cougar. I forgot to mention earlier. They're the same model, with
slightly different specs. I'm still having screen trouble. I got a
privacy filter to try to tone down the glare. It works pretty
well...as...a privacy filter. So well even I
can't see the corners of my screen. It doesn't help the glare much and
makes it difficult to color so... Back to needing a custom screen.
Which will cost another $300, it seems. Well, time to start saving. And
I guess work on the next few donation wallpapers.
Also, Within Temptation
is pretty damn sweet.
Than, what are you not telling us this time, eh?
Well, then. You all may recall back when I did the page with nine
panels that I was never going to do a nine-panel page again. As you can
see, I've kept my word. This page has ten.
No, I don't know what's wrong with me (although my blood test results
show that there IS, in fact, something wrong with me...although it has
nothing to do with this page). This page was something of a nightmare
to lay out, and I'm disappointed with the way 6, 7, 8 flow kinda
backwards, but c'est la vie. I think it'll be better with color,
particularly Than's spell there. It'll have some effects once
I mentioned something was wrong with me. Not to TMI, but I had blood
work done to see what the cause of my fatigue may be. The lyme disease
is over and done with, fortunately, but now I have cholesterol level
problems which will only be fixed by work on my part. I don't think
this'll effect the comic, though.
What will arrives tomorrow. That is to say, the privacy filter for my
screen. If it makes it bearable to stare at my new screen for hours on
end, we may have a color page on Saturday. Yay!
Not much other than page, oversleeping, and World of Warcraft happened
this week, although I'd like to wish all my fellow Jews a l'shanah
...right, I'm making challah again. I should go do that. See you next
I'd kinda hoped to get this one fully shaded and all, but at the time
of typing this, it's not even flat-colored. I intend to get to work on
flatcoloring it after I update the site, though. A lot of this is so I
can get used to my new hardware. That's right, my new arrival is here!
I'm typing this on my shiney, shiney Alienware Area-51 mobile. It's a
little too shiny, actually, particularly in the glossy screen area. To
the morons who decided that anti-glare should no longer be an option on
notebooks: "bleep you." Anti-glare lcds are probably the only reason I
still don't need glasses given that half my life is spent staring at a
computer screen. ...sigh, I need to buy a privacy filter. Maybe that'll
stop the eye-fatigue and headaches.
Other than that, this machine is hella sweet. Need to break in
the keyboard, though. It's rather resistant to the pressure of my
fingers. I expect that there'll be a rise in the quality of the pages
just from working on this thing. Already, I'm getting smoother text
bubbles. I expect it'll take me a while to get used to the machine
enough, though. Took me two days just to set everything up.
Ignore the fact that my work computer now plays games - we are not
going to miss another update through the end of this chapter. And
we're trying Saturday as our new update-day. So, starting next week,
expect updates on SATURDAY, not Friday. If that works, we'll keep it.
If it doean't...er, we'll figure out a different day.
I'll try to change the voting incentives soon.
Oh, and a heads-up. We'll be attending the Granite State Comiccon on
the 30th. It's a one-day only thing, and I think it's only $5
admission, so if you're in the Concord area, you should come check it
out. And drop by our table to say Hi and maybe buy some stuff.
Sorry, girls. The anti-yaoi mechanism was active.
If the last page was a bitch, this was an even bigger one. But it was my
bitch. ...okay, yeah. So I went for some very difficult angles in this
page. I think the end result is more than worth it. See? I can do
action sequences. Yar.
Hm... News. I am sick. Again. This time I'm on medication for it.
>.> If I'm to believe the doctor, I should be feeling a lot
better next week. Of course, I've got a wedding to bridesmaid at
Lynds!) and then not much time to recover from that before I have to
hop on a plane for the next weekend. So, I continue to maintain that
will be spotty until September. Mm, September, September. We've
promised ourselves that we will pull our act back together in
September. Whether it's safe to promise you guys that as well
remains to be seen. So close to finishing Chapter 2 at this
point...only eight pages left, which should mean we'll conclude
in October. I think you guys will enjoy Chapter 3 a lot more. It too
will focus on character development, but it also gets moving with that
whole, uh, plot thing. You like plots, right?
We'll get page 35 up before I head off to Maryland, although it will
likely be without color. Perhaps I can get my parents to help me
finance a new computer finally. That would really, really help.
More bad language. We're rated "teen," after all. For the record,
"Bitch" describes this page very, very well. Because it was. Page 33 in
the script was seven panels. I really don't know what I was
thinking when I scripted it like that, because there was no way I could
effectively portray the sequence of events in flippin' seven panels. I
took all of Monday and some of Tuesday just to rework the sequence. I
ended up with twelve or thirteen panels, depending on some panel
content factors. There was no way I was puting twelve panels on one
page, so 33 has been split into two pages, giving us yet another page
between us and the end of chapter 2. Oh well. Also, nine panels is a
lot more work than the usual 6/7 that Ambition pages tend to
have. The next page will have four panels, I think, but I love killing
Luth'rai, so one will be a massive underpanel.
So don't expect the next page to be on time. Or in color. In fact...
Luth'rai and I are thinking of changing our update day. Two and a half
years ago, Friday was a great update day. I could work Sunday through
Thursday, snagging Luth'rai early in the week for backgrounds and
having Friday and Saturday off. The first year, the only updates we
missed were due to holidays or health problems. Schedules and
situations changed, making Friday not so feasible a day anymore, as I'm
sure you've noticed. For a while, it was tighter, but I could still
manage, but now we face a singularly difficult problem: The days I have
work are the only days Luth'rai has off. This is certainly compounded
by Luth'rai's theatre habit. If she came home and stayed home
every day after work, we could still work together, but she doesn't.
She has Sunday off, but that's the one day of the week I go to work
(and it throws off my schedule immensely, seeing as I live like a
normal person during the week, and work 1 am to 8 - 9 am Sunday morning
So scheduling is currently a huge issue. I am going to quit my job (for
more reasons than the comic - being able to attend church and actually
spend time with my husband when he's home instead of working and trying
to get sleep is important), which means I need to find another way to
make $200 a month... >.> I'm not sure when I'm quitting,
but it probably won't be before mid-September. In the meantime, we'll
continue to have one update a week - we're just not sure which day of
the week as of yet. Expect Sunday or Monday for the
meantime, and we'll let you know for sure when things are worked out.
It's also safe to assume that there will be no (real) color for the
rest of August, what with theatre for Luth'rai and a wedding and 90th
birthday bash for me to attend.
Mm, final thoughts. A thank you to Mr. Howard for the review
last week over at Tangents.
I'm wondering if author responses are appropriate? I'm not sure.
I really need to change those vote incentives, don't I?
Well, I had intended to use the three days after returning from
the convention to finish up the color from last page, but it didn't
happen. The plan was to take a day to destress and then get back to
work. The day to destress happened. Then two hospitalizations happened
after. The first was my cat and the second was my father. o_0 My father
is recovering from surgery and doing well. My cat...we still don't know
what's wrong with him. He's running a fever and possibly
So. The PLAN as far as Ambition goes. July 27th updates will resume.
Not only do they resume, but under no circumstances will they be missed
(shy of bombing or power outages.) We do not promise complete
updates, just story updates at least. Come the conclusion of chapter 2,
we will be taking a month to clean up our act. That is, we will finish
Chapter 2, and get all pages complete with complete color (which will
go up as we finish them). We will also
finish preparing for Chapter 3. Once Chapter 2 is completely complete,
we'll go forth with Chapter 3. We'll be back on track with a fresh
start and maybe even more updates. We'll just have to see. I'll keep
you guys posted as things take more shape.
To keep you guys occupied in the meantime, we've got a discussion
thread in the forums regarding which of our numbskull elves will
My convention update is above, so I'll finish up with the hell, er Dell
update. Attourney General ftw. I finally got in touch with Dell's
mystical Customer Complaints Department and they are letting me return
their blasted merchandise for a full refund (of my time not money). As
of yesterday, the bloody laptop and back up battery are in the mail,
never to be seen again. Good riddance, good riddance, good riddance. Of
course, I'm not playing the victory music until I've got the refund
check in my hands, but... Good enough for now! XD
I'll drop a final shout-out thanks to Luth'rai's relatives Debbie, Bob,
and Tammy for helping us afford the Convention. You guys r0xx0rs.
You know, Than, no one's making you stay up... *sigh* Boys.
Okay, first of all, I'm really sorry for this half-assed update on top
of all the other ones. Really. I feel like shit on the inside. But I
simply didn't have the time. I would have had the time if
things had gone smooth at the printers. Things did NOT go smooth. But,
I have hard copies of the prologue and chapter 1 (with a couple errors,
oh well...better than the first dozen round of errors) that you can see
at our table at Connecticon. These past ten days I feel like I've
barely been alive. I've certainly barely been here. Where the heck did
the time go? How come conventions take so much preparation? Why is my
bag still not packed when I'm supposed to be on the road in ten
Well, a couple comments about this page, which I will likely finish as
next week's update, along with *fingers crossed* one of the other
not-all-colored pages. I just wanted to point out Than's speech slip in
panel six. Orisian is Than's fourth language, and Than prides himself
on his fluency. Some of you might have wondered at, since Than's a
noble, his use of contractions and slang. Well. When speaking in Dark
Elfish, he never touches them. In Dark Elfish, he's the epitome of a
well-bred gentleman. In other languages, however, he prefers to
display his control of the language instead of his social
status. However, it's still his fourth language and it sometimes shows,
especially when he's angry or tired. Any grammar teacher would cross
out "you aren't" and write "you're not." I wonder if any of you know
why, and furthermore if you know what caused the mistake?
of our two stubborn dolts is going to succeed over the others?
I'm off to the con. There will be updates of sorts after the con. Yup.
This page is more done than this, but I don't have time to finish it as
I have to run an errand to Connecticut today, which will take me the
better part of the day. I figured a flat-colored version is more
comprehensible than a half-shaded one. There's also been work done on
last week's. I'll have both completed ASAP.
Panel 1 turned up an unintentional Herge tribute while I was working on
it - decided to go with it. After all, Herge did a lot for story
comics. Now I get to see if any of you have a clue as to what I'm
I've been working on improving my line-art for the past few months. In
specific, and some of you may have noticed, I've been working on ears
and mouths. I've gotten more comfortable with elf ears nowadays - they
feel more solid to me now than they did, and more importantly, Than's
and Audj's ears are distinguishable from each other by shape alone
(YAY!), so I've been working on adding the final factor to elf ears -
articulation. Orisian elves were always meant to have ears that move
(not a lot, but some), but I've been avoiding using that until now, as
I was afraid of over-exaggerating and unintentional comedy (I did move
ears from time to time for comedic effect, you may recall). I have a
much better grasp on how elf ears articulate now, so, take a
good look at Than's ears on this page. They're now a full part of the
Mouths: actually, I've been lifting techinques from Masashi Kishimoto
(previously, I was studying Masakazu Katsura for ideas on how to do
facial expressions, if you're curious). Say what you want about Naruto,
but I still consider it to be one of the better manga in existence and
definitely one of the best still running.
No Dell news. Catch you all later.
Still working on the shading. It'll be done...when it's done. In the
meantime, the story continues for you.
Because of the lack of shading, it may not be entirely clear what
Than is doing in the sixth panel, so, I'll clarify: You may recall that
Than got a nasty scratch on his wrist back on page 3 of this chapter?
He sees an opportunity to wash the blood off, so he's taking it. Kinda
like how he sees an opportunity to rub Audj's nose in things...
Let's see... lots of news this week. Changed the donation incentive
finally. Been meaning to do that since April. I didn't manage to finish
the piece I wanted to change it to, but, oh well. I still hope
to finish it in time for Connecticon,
but, seeing as that's July 13-15, and it's almost July... Geez, I have
to rush my butt just to make up the business cards. Here's hoping I can
manage on my husband's computer seeing as I still don't have one of
my own. Correction, I still don't have one that can handle 600 dpi.
The poor broken one that I'm still doing these pages on can barely
handle 200 dpi, so...yeah.
What's currently happening on the computer front - I'm trying to
convince my mom to help me finance an Alienware. She wants to wait to
see how things with Dell work out first, which saddens me, as I truly
doubt anything will be settled before the end of the month. Heck, I'd
be surprised for things to be worked out by the end of the year. I have
officially taken legal action against Dell and opened a case with the
Attourney General of Vermont. Dell is supposed to contact me by June
29th and resolve things to my satisfaction or risk further legal
involvement. I'll be posting the official complaint that I filed in the
forum...and other fora. Feel free to e-mail me fora that would be a
good place to post this sort of thing, or spread the work yourself. I
don't want Dell thinking they can get away with this.
I'd like to post a quick shout out to Marten Kahr, who offered and
is now hosting the downloadable Drakish font,
which I've been meaning to find a host for for nearly a year. Now you
guys can type like dragons...kinda!
In final news, Comic Genesis is getting a new server this weekend, so
there should not be any more outages once everything moved over. While
everything's being moved over, however, things should be spotty. So,
bear with us, and remember that we have a mirror site.
See you next week. Or earlier with this page shaded.
Just taking the advisory rating out for a spin, here...
Phew... That only took for-bloody-ever. I'm not going to offer any
explanation other than I dove into this page knowing what I wanted and
not knowing how to achieve it. The trial and error cost me several
major headaches and has pushed page 29 back to next Friday, but I
think, on the whole, it was worth it. I'm not offering any explanation
for what's going on - youll just have to wait for the next page, which,
as I said, won't be up until the 22nd. Sorry, but this little fae is
showing up on the next page too, so if I start on her tonight, she mayt
be done by then. >.>
As a consolation, I offer you a "making of"-type animation. HERE
As you may have noticed, Comic Genesis has been on the fritz. There are
two major reasons for this. One, the server is running at 150% capacity
and, consequently, failing. We get to hope the big guys replace it
soon. Second, there seems to be a major error of somesort in the
AutoKeen updater, which is basically crashing and preventing
ComicGenners from updating. Our admin, Kisai, is working her tail off
on it, as evidenced by this update, but she's still not sure what's
causing the error. So. We now have a barebones mirror site over at
DrunkDuck. It's nothing fancy, and will never be much more than the
archives, but it's likely to be online when this site isn't. So, if you
can't get the comic here for whatever reason, I'll have it over there,
complete with announcements as to what's going on, if I have any.
In other news... I think I may need to sue Dell. They do not feel
obligated to replace the broken computer they sent me with one of the
same specs, and they also do not seem to want to let me return the
latest incorrect replacement for a refund. They also refuse to put me
in contact with someone of authority, making me deal with rude and
incompetent representatives on the bottom rung. I'm going to e-mail the
attorney general to see what I can do. This is obscene. Lesson learned:
Do not ever, ever, ever get a Dell. Ever.
See you Friday after this one.
Technically you guys shouldn't be able to see the elvenpath either, but
you get reader priveledges. ^.^
As I'm sure you guys have gathered, the color will be late this week.
The reasons are manifold... Well, first off, my brother came up on a
short notice visit and I wanted to spend time with him. Time with him
equals not time with the page. Second, there is something
horridly wrong with my cat, but the vet can't tell what. In the
meantime, I get to deal with him hissing and spitting and rawling
and...you get the gist. Third, wretched humidity. Those of you out
there who deal with graphite with any frequency will understand.
pencilling the page took nearly a third more as long as usual.
Forth...I'm training Luth'rai to help me with the coloring. w00t! This
will slow us down for a bit, I expect so you can expect the color to be
a bit late for a while. But in the long run, we hope, this will mean
less time needed per page, which wuld mean we can reach that far-off
dream of updating twice a week.
Even without the color, I'm really pleased how this page came out. The
dynamic between these two...well, it's pretty much why I'm doing this
comic. XD Despite the pure head on angles, I think the art plays out
nicely here. Panel 4 is almost perfect. Eee!
It's a new month, but I still don't have a new wallpaper for the
donators. I'm considering using background featuring the high-quality
Elvenpath glyph as the new donation incentive....
And, as you all have probably noticed, every other week I have new
computer tales of woe. Replacement #...what are we on? 4? Well,
whatever. It arrived. It, like replacement #3, has the wrong parts
and the wrong operating system. The next replacement should be
underway soon. Honestly, I'm saving my surprise for when they get the
damn thing right.
Calculating shortest route. Please stand by.
Phew. This week's page brought late to you by...this week's page. I
think that's pretty self-explanatory. I've had this page in my head for
over a year now, and I decided to take the time to do it justice. I
hope justice is done. ^_^
I know some of you were hoping that Audriel would get a chance to shine
- well, here he is doing just that. Even a touch on the literal side.
And on a side note, Karnanyd supplied me with an alternate page to
one on Friday morning. Even more shining occurs there. XD
I know a lot of you now have a ton of questions about magic and how it
works in Oris. Well, tough.
Just kidding. We get some scant expanationy-type stuff next week.
Really, would I do that to you? ...yeah, probably. I will
get to work on the World Settings section...someday.
Not much going on right now. My brother is here visiting, and my cat
seems to have gone psychotic (okay, more psychotic), but
there's not much happening. Still no computer, surprise surprise.
Thanks to the bunch of you that sent advertising ideas. We're going to
follow up on them this weekend. See you all next week!
Audriel, you've been upstaged.
This was an interesting page to do - specifically, the light source is opposite
what you'd expect given the dramatic elements on the page.
Specifically, you don't generally step downstage into the darkness, and
you don't turn your face away to the light. However, I think it gives a
different perspective on the element of lighting for dramatic effect.
That Than steps into the shadow to steal the "spotlight," as it were,
has some poetic justice to it... It works, I think. Not sure how well.
Just waxing intellectual on my decision to use physical blocking in the
scenes of this comic.
Anyway. Pages nowadays take a full five days to complete - 2 for
drawing, and three for coloring. Being sick cuts your days shorter,
especially when you're vomiting and therefore can't eat. My energy has
been at a real low this week, hence the late page. Sorry about that.
Also, that we're back up to five days of work per page is frustrating.
I had it down to four a while back, and I was working on trying to cut
it down to three, because then we could feasibly update twice a week.
But back to five... *sigh* At least Luth'rai graduates tomorrow and is
henceforth done with college. Now I can work her like a dog. XD ...or
I'd like to make a brief shoutout to Mr. Myth and his webcomics review
blog, Damn Good Comics. He posted a
review for Ambition
on Monday that totally made my month. And it's been a month that could
use some making, believe me.
In not comic related news, I've started looking for new music.
Specifically, I've picked up some albums by Kamelot and Epica - both
very, very good. They're not Nightwish, sure, but there's only one
Nightwish. :p I also picked up Apocalyptica - interesting, but not as
good. I also have a torrent for a Leaves' Eyes album, but it's
downloading...not. Alas. Yay for symphonic metal.
There is also computer news. Of the infuriating variety. Replacement #3
arrived. It works, but it has the wrong screen, the wrong
video card, and worst of all the wrong OS. I called Tech
support before I even bothered turning the damn thing on. "How do you
know it's wrong?" I looked at the specs on the orderform, dummy. "Well,
turn it on to make sure?" Yup. All completely wrong. "It's got a better
processor, though. And Bluetooth." For all the bloody good that'll do
me when I'm running a system with Windows Vista. Long story
short, this guy was an utter n00b. He knew almost nothing about
computers, and it seems that Dell doesn't have supervisors working in
the tech support offices. It took three hours just for him to
figure out how to get the complaint into the system and such. He also
kept forgetting to put me on hold while he did stuff, so I got to hear
a whole lot of how the techs aren't working. 9_9 Best
part was listening to him talk to the "dispatch coach." Heh. "What do
you mean, she's got the wrong screen? What is she talking about? How
does she know?" "She just keeps saying it's wrong...I dunno." "But
that's just...oh...oh, wait. She's right. That's...not the right
screen. We gotta get that back here."
And now I wait for replacement #4. As soon as I find the complaints
department at Dell, they're getting their due. >:[
Teenagers can be so full of themselves.
Hey, look at that! We're back! And pretending that this page did not
take me nearly fifty hours to color. Or something. I swear, I've spent
my life coloring this week, wishing the whole time that I had a working
screen to do it on. But I don't, because the Dell replacement that was
ordered on the 1st of May has not arrived. In fact, there's
been no hide nor hair of it, metaphorically speaking. I expect shortly
after I finish updating, I'll be on the phone dealing with more tech
support. ARGH. All of you, do not get a Dell! Do NOT ever get one! Ever!
In other news, despite multiple trips to the vet this week (or maybe,
because of?), Kasumi is recovering from her surgery nicely. I was
tempted to post pictures of her thirty stitches and drain, but decided
that would be too gross. ;)
Now, in comic news... Understandably, we've had a significant drop in
traffic since we went on hiatus. It seems we've lost about half of our
regular readership, which I find awfully depressing. Also, you'll
notice that the Fantasy Banner exchange no longer exists, so we've also
seen a major drop in new traffic as well. Annoying, because
that was the last good banner exchange on the web. Well, we plan to
advertise on Alpha Shade
later this month, and maybe Buzzcomix as well. If anyone knows any
other good, and inexpensive, places for a webcomic to advertise, please
drop me an e-mail at theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com. Also, if you guys
just spread the word around a bit, that'd be awesome.
Voting incentives have changed! See you all next week with another page.
Alas, I did not have Luth'rai back in working condition this week. And
also, while I did do a fair amount of slaving over various
things that need doing for Ambition, I have bloody nothing to
show for it (I've been working on the May donations wallpaper all
day...and got almost nothing done). Sometimes, there's just no justice.
And speaking of no justice... The Trials of the Replacement Computer,
I received the new harddrive on Monday, plugged it in, and happily
watched it do it's little installing thing. Happily, that is, until it
had the exact same freezing problem it's been having all three
weeks I've had it. I call the guy who helped me last time. Voice
mail. Sigh. Back in the queue with me. Finally get a guy who,
fortunately, spoke English. We run some troubleshooting, and it's very,
very clear to this particular fellow now that this computer is @#$%ed
up. Finally. He asks me what I want to do, and I tell him I
want a working computer. Maybe a working one that isn't this one.
So, he custom-ordered replacement #3 for me. Identical specs, but not this
one. Heh. All I have to do is send Replacement #2 back when #3
arrives. Third time's the charm, maybe?
In other news, it seems we've received some controversial
reports in the forum for The
Order of the Stick. The thing that deeply insults me here is the
claim that I copied R.
A. Salvator's Drizzt with my original character Than. The reason
this angers me so much is two-fold: 1, it accuses me of intellectual
theft, and frankly art thieves are the scummiest scum of the earth, so
I resent that. 2, it attributes my hard work to another
artist (technically author, I guess, in this case), which I appreciate
just as much. I'm influenced by other works just as much as the next
artist, and I have in fact read the Homeland trilogy, but I did not
copy it. Hell, I didn't even mimic it. But on the oher
hand, this thread in the forums has gotten us over 200 referrals, so I
guess there really is no such thing as bad publicity.
So, in final news, some of you may remember Kasumi.
She had mammary tumors again (not bad, considering the last one was a
year ago) that were nearly identical to the last case, only they grew
at an even more alarming rate. As the vet said, "Gotta remove the rat
from the tumor." The good news here is that they're already taken care
of. The vet knows and trusts me now, so he was willing to do the
surgery and let me pay it off over time with a payment plan (not to say
I wouldn't appreciate more rat-health donations, but it's not
life/death now). Last I heard she was doing well, but they're keeping
her overnight to make sure her sutures stay closed, as she's a lot
older now so her skin is a lot less elasticy.
And while we're being all ecologically-minded this week, I'm pretty
sure I have some American readers here. You guys should help protect
Next week, away from the creator drama and back to the story!
I'm almost done coloring page 9, plus I've picked at a couple others.
I'll put at least 9 online later today. The reason for the delay is,
So, last week I shipped Replacement #2 out to the service station to
get it fixed. It came back today. I pull it out of the box, find a note
saying they replaced the memory. Good, good...I turn it on. It freezes,
as per usual. I say a few choice words. I then call the tech support
agent with the accent I can't cut with a knife. I spend most of the day
leaving messages everywhere and being entirely unable to get ahold of
him. 7 p.m. rolls around, so I take a well-deserved shower and then a
deep breath before I hop back into the infernal pool of advertising
that is the waiting queue of Dell tech support. Finally got ahold of
someone...turns out my case number is incorrect. >.< I start
explaining the problem from scratch... However, the guy is not only
intelligible, but competent! Paraphrased:
Guy: Oh, I found their report.
Me: Oh, good. Can I stop doing all the pointless troubleshooting now?
Guy: Says your harddrive is faulty.
Me: Well no shit, Sherlock. Why didn't they replace it?
Guy: You're not supposed to send your harddrive to the repair center.
Me: Except that the harddrive was the thing that was broken, so I did.
How else would they know it was faulty?
Guy: Well, right... So, it worked with the harddrive they used there.
Guy: Um, so, I'm going to send you a new hardrive, okay? A fully-loaded
harddrive, so you don't have to install everything again. And I'll also
send that driver's disk that you were supposed to get and didn't.
Guy: And here's my extension if that doesn't work. And here's your case
number, plus the numbers you were missing that made it the correct
Me: ...wow, thanks.
Guy: Have a nice day.
Maybe tomorrow, I will. Still working on the new site layout. I expect
I'll finish it come summer.
Sorry about the lack of news last week, guys. I had no FTP, so no way
to upload anything. I also had no computer. Replacement #2 did
arrive in time for me to take it down to Maryland with me. However,
replacement #2 has faulty hardware. Namely, it freezes, usually at
startup. It works perfectly well during the rare few hours that it may
actually work, but there were not enough of those to get any actual
work done, really. I spent most of the time trouble-shooting, trying to
find any way to get it to work. Way too many hours later, and
still no dice, I called DELL tech support when I got home and spent
nearly just as many hours on the phone with them, doing all the exact
same trouble shooting I'd done all week before they were convinced
they had sent me a second broken computer. Now I'm sending this
one back, to get it fixed instead of taking my chances with a
replacement #3. *many bad words go here* If I could get a non-Vista
laptop anywhere else, I totally would. Stupid not having money...
So, I'm still working on my trusty old falling apart laptop with the
dying screen. Didn't actually finish any pages this week either, with
all the time on the phone with tech support, but I managed to pick away
at the new layout whenever I was on hold. As you can see above, the
graphic work is nearly done. Then I just have to code it. Har har.
I'll try to get some color-completed pages up throughout the week. See
you next Friday with, hopefully, better news.
It feels like I've given you guys more excuses than pages this year.
Fortunately, by looking at the archives, I see this is not the case.
Out of the fourteen pages scheduled to have gone up so far, you've
gotten twelve. Some have been late, and half have not been colored, but
they are there.
So, on with the excuses, right? Of course right. The excuse is the
scene change. The entire lunchtime scene took place on a shady incline.
That meant large trees, shrubs, and not much else. While these pages
still represented 32-40 hours of work for me, they were only 1-2 hours
of work for Luth'rai. I even let the amount of detail slip for them
because they were part of a "talking" scene and the setting wasn't so
important - Luth'rai is working very, very hard on school and is
majorly stressed. Suddenly we have a scene change which makes the
environment important again...right when Luth'rai's boiling down to her
deadline and cannot afford to up her workload back up to 6-10 hours on
So, I am giving her the month of April off.
I, however, am NOT taking the month of April
off as well. There are nine pages, not including today's that are not
fully colored in the archives, as well as the chapter 2 cover (which
remains unfinished because my computer cannot handle the file size -
barring replacement #2 having troubles like replacement #1 had, I'll
finish it on the new hardware.) I am going to go back and finish
those. Replacement #2 is supposed to arrive on Tuesday, and if it
arrives before I have to catch my plane to fly south for my
grandmother's 90th birthday, you should get something of a coloring
spree update. So, because NEXT Friday depends on UPS, I promise
nothing. The next two Fridays however come with the promise of color in
the archives and maybe even crappy filler comics. And speaking of
filler... I won't say no to a little help from fans. It any of you want
to make a guest comic of some form, go ahead and send it to
theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com, and there will be updation! ...I'm really
sorry to delay this scene though...it's a really good scene,
especially if some of you are tired of Audriel seeming lame. Oh
well...you'll just have to wait.
So...Luth'rai talks about the vernal pool over in her box (I added it
to the script after she ranted - I think it fits pretty well and adds a
bit more color to the scene (salamander!), anyway), I will talk about
resurgences. I thought I'd be lazy and forward you to wikipedia...but
wikipedia sucks and has no articles on the phenomenon. So. You've got
water (from precipitation, thaw, etc.) going downhill. For whatever
reason, the water insurges - it seeps into the ground. Usually
that's because there's water-soluble or porous rock or a cave or some
combination thereof. The water runs underground for a while and then
for whatever reason resurges - comes back above ground. Could
be that the ground is now saturated, below the water table, no longer
porous, whathaveyou. That is a resurgence. It's often a pretty good
indicator of active caves (a lot of resurgences flow through cave
mouths) which is why our drow friend would be interested in it.
Whoo....lots of chatter today. Closing points - I've decided not to
change the donation wallpaper for this month because we're barely
updating. I'll change it in May, when we start updating normally again.
Secondly, I saw TMNT with Luth'rai. Unlike her, I never watched
the Turtles as a kid, so I had no fond memories of the franchise going
into it. Now, I'm usually a bit hard on movies anyway, but I have to
say I liked it. I'll probably even buy it when it comes out on DVD.
Yeah, it was VERY cheesey and the plot was paper-thin, but it's the
kind of cheesey that's actuall funny because it's not loaded
down with slapstick (and the one slapstick scene - Raphael vs. the
Stitch clone - was amazingly funny). Also, I'm a bloody sucker for
roof-top freestyling and there's nothing I love more than a fight scene
without slow motion. Boo-yah. This movie had S-rated animation,
dear readers, I kid you not. Only qualm was the sound mixing, and that
might just have been our theatre. Go see it.
Finally getting some of the dirt on Than, yeah? Well, don't get too
excited. I'm not about to start flashbacking yet. XD
I sent the new computer back. Because it seemed to have problems, I'm
even getting my money back. Of course, I'm not getting it back
until they've recieved and reshelved it. >.> Then, and only then,
will I be able to get replacement #2. So what was wrong with that
computer was NOT the screen, it turns out. Apparently it was the video
card. Someone bought the best screen available with the crappiest video
card available. And then I did the same thing by buying the refurbished
one. Heh. When I finally get replacement #2, it will have a good video
card. For the time being, I am careful with this computer and I hope
that the screen does not fall off completely when I fly to Maryland for
my granmother's 90th birthday. I don't know if I'll be able to manage a
colored page on the 14th, but I'll try. You'll get a non-colored one at
the very least.
New month - I am working on the April donation exclusive wallpaper now.
It'll be available with next week's page. And, lo, the voting
incentives have changed, so vote to see my shoddy pencilwork!
So much for updating every week in March. *sigh* I
really apologize for the missed update, but it really couldn't be
helped. You may recall that my computer screen was dying and I was
getting a new one. Well, the new one is here, and I'm having all sorts
of problems with it. For one thing, it did NOT arrive with all the
drivers already installed. (And they also failed to include a driver
disk.) For another...well, I got a new one because the screen on my
other one was dying, right? Well, I got meself a "TrueLife" vibrant
color monitor. Something's wrong if my dying screen has better colors
than this "vibrant color" one, says I. For another, it randomly cuts
out and won't connect to the web, and it won't save my windows
settings, and...oh, I'll jut stop ranting. The bottom line is I think
I'm sending this one back, if at all possible. And I'm not getting this
model again if I can help it. Don't get me wrong, the Core Duo
processor is sweeter than honey. But I can't work this way.
will be a page next week, because I'll be doing it on my old computer
at least, and not spending hours and hours just trying to get the new
one to work.
That said, I hope the joke comic brings a smile to your faces at the
I may have lovingly rendered this page more than absolutely necessary.
...nah. But it did take about seven more hours of work than I thought
it would. In reference to Luth'rai's comments about the use of the "God
Light," I experience no shame in admitting that I scrounge a lot of my
dramatic effects from film and theatre. My story-telling is mostly
manga-influenced, but manga is not in color, now is it?
All in all, a fun page to do. Very dialogue-light to make up for the
last page. ^_^ This scene has one more page, and this chapter has four
or five more scenes. ...this is a frickin' long chapter. ...or maybe
chapter 1 was just very short.
This may be the last page I ever do on my beloved, six-year-old
Inspiron 2500. It still runs, as the page attests, but I didn't want to
wait for the screen to just fall off, so I now supposedly have a
refurbished Inspiron 6400 on its way in the mail. Mm, $23/month payment
See you next week, hopefully on better hardware. ;)
In other words, "The difference between you and me, Audriel, is I am
informed and logical, and you are neither." Only not quite as snobby.
I hope you guys can stand to read all that text, there. Than can
certainly prattle on. I like to keep the pages text-light, as a general
rule, but it seems dumb to dedicate a whole page or two to Than's nerdy
moments, so instead you get a panel of info-dump.
So, with this page, I discover I am now capable of coloring a full page
in a day and a half. New record! I even managed to do things like eat
while I was at it. Yeah, miscommunication between Luth'rai and I + Sly
going to job interview and working on wallpaper = late page. >,<
But, I tenatively have a 1-day-a-week job delivering newspapers during
unholy hours. If this works out, I can work 8 hrs. a week to pay the
bills and still be able to do the comic! Yatta! Donations will still be
useful, of course. ^^; Especially since my computer is now broken, and
I need a new one. Actually, I've been needing a new one for a long,
long time. There's barely enough RAM to run Photoshop and Netscape at
the same time on it, and the screen and keyboard are dying. It's a good
laptop though, still chugging even though it's always getting harder to
do art on it. But now the screen hinges have snapped off and it's only
a matter of time before the screen falls off completely. I've
discovered that I can buy a laptop ten times as powerful as this one
for 2/3rds of what I paid. Now I feel old, remembering a time when
gigabytes were expensive. If the job works out, I can get a new one on
credit. It'd nice to be able to see the actual colors I'm working with
on my actual screen instead of having to check on my husband's computer.
On a final note, I fixed a small error on the last page. In the
scripting, I had our boys eating bread, and put "barley" in
tentatively. When I got to the part with them eating the bread, I
actually did research to see what grain would make the best "camping
bread." Bread gets moldy, yaknow? I discovered that bannock keeps well
and you can bake bannock loaves in a pan over an open fire without much
trouble, so I used pictures of that for reference. ...all that work and
then I forgot to change the text when I copied the lines over. 9_9
Yes, that is a short joke. I hope some of you all get it, because I
certainly don't. Being a meager 5'1" myself, I was the brunt of many a
short joke all through school, and never understood what was so
funny. I mean, honestly, what are you supposed to do when someone comes
up to and goes "You're short! hyuk hyuk", congratulate them for not
Oh, well. Maybe Than is sensitive about his vertically challengedness.
You'll find out next week.
Well, it certainly felt good to finally be able to work full-time on
the comic again. The unfortunate news is that the days of me being able
to work full-time on this comic may be very short lived. A good part of
the reason for the move was that we simply could not afford living at
our old apartment, and the unfortunate thing is by moving we've only
managed to save $150 a month. Granted, that's quite a bit, but the
collection agencies do not want to hear it. Our budget is still short
by $2-300 a month. Granted, $300 a month is not very much money, but I
still need to come up with it and unless I magically find a job that
lets me get away with working one day a week, I'll have to give up time
that I spend working on the comic instead. Which means either no color
or fewer updates.
However, I'm willing to see if I can get away without the job first.
I'm making an exclusive wallpaper that will be sent to readers who
donate $1 or more during the month of March. You can preview some of
the wallpaper lineart on the Buzzcomix incentive - I'll be finishing it
up and having a better preview this weekend. As long we raise $300
every month, you guys will get at least four fully-colored pages a
month. If we can't, I'll probably cut down the update schedule when I
get a different job. So, either way, you still get the comic.
The voting incentives have changed - see you all next week, with
hopefully better news. Oh, and Happy Purim.
Contrary to previous conjecture, Than is not mooning Audriel. Just
showing off old battle scars. This happens to be the largest visible
scar on his body - the bigger ones are internal. Yay skeletal
fractures. I actually tried researching arrow wounds to try to figure
out what the scar would look like, but in the end I had to use my
Now, before anyone starts picking on Audriel for being squeamish, I'll
point out that just about everyone on Oris is kinda wound-shy. This
would be because healing magic, such that there is, is rare and not
nearly as capable of reversing damage as healing magic in most world
settings. No one's tossing "cure" spells around here. Balance
magecraft, mana weaving, and natural elfin magic are all forms of magic
that can heal, but only by speeding the natural processes up. Priests
are able to implore their gods for miracles, and that's basically your
only hope if you're hurt beyond what a physician can heal. Also, if
you're dead, you're dead. Resurrection is a very, very rare miracle.
It's more likely to occur if several hundred souls get sacrificed to
the dark gods than if your nice god liked you. And why would someone
who consorts with dark gods want to bring your sorry ass back,
Well, stressful as it was, the move went well. My desk is even set up
again, although it's in a room with no heat and no internet access
amidst hundreds of boxes waiting to be unpacked. Oi vey.
See y'all next week.
A lot less faith now, eh? Honestly, I wasn't able to even start
the next page. I forgot how much a pain moving is. >.> I'm still
optimistic about getting the page up on Tuesday, though.
That said, I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's. A foot and a half
of snow certainly didn't cool mine down...much. ;)
This filler is, in part, Karnanyd's fault, as she brought it to my
attention that, on the whole, there's no information about the Sh'bera,
or other races for that matter. I was aware of this, but...yeah. I have
a lot typed up about the elves currently, but it's incomplete, so I
haven't uploaded it. But here're the raider fatigues. So, now if any of
you feel like drawing random Sh'bera raiders/soldiers, you know what to
have them wearing.
...I really do need to get up more world setting info. We seem
so generic still, and Oris isn't all that generic. Well, it is...but
there's still a lot of work I've put into it that just doesn't show up
in jungles. For example, the elves are broken into six subraces.
Audriel is actually part of a racial minority. Orisian elves are very
much not Tolkien elves in many respects. Orisian dwarves are,
heck, respectful and respectable and not intended for comic
relief in any fashion. Orisian humans are...well, they're humans.
Whaddya want? But seriously, I need to finish typing up all that world
history and stuff so you guys can read it. And distract you from the
fact that we still don't have color... ^.^;
Hope to see you Tuesday. Maybe I'll even have internet in my
office/studio by then.
Bwaha! I upload it early! Now I can pack.
It may interest some of you to know that this page is officially our
50th (not including chapter covers and the like). Our goal is to also
have our 100th before the year is out. Which means we'd be into chapter
4 before 2008. Which further means you'd actually have any idea who any
of these characters are. Wouldn't that be cool?
Anyway, this page continues with more conversational character
development. I hope it's not boring you guys; I'd rather hoped to be
updating more frequently around this part, but alas, I am switching
apartments. Next week's page will likely be in black/white too.
BUT after that! Then there will be color! And Luth'rai and I wil go
beck through and color all the uncolored ones! And I'll finish up with
some more additions to the world settings page! And things will be
beautiful! I have faith! ...which doesn't mean that you have
faith, but you know.
The voting incentives have changed.
Teenagers shouldn't be allowed to be right, eh, Audriel?
I hope it's clear what's going on on this page; that is, that Audriel
wants something to say to what Than said on the last page and can't
think of anything. In scripting, I actually held off on continuing this
scene for months while I waited for him to think of something
to say. Fed up, I turned to Than and said "Do you have
something to say?" and he said "I sure as hell do." So. Audriel
forfeited his turn, and thus the scene can continue. Says I.
Well then, I suppose I should announce the contest results...
Oddly enough, I didn't get a single correct answer for the Name of the
Gods contest. And here I was afraid it would be too easy.
As for the griffon's name, out of the eighty-four names we had to pick
from, we chose "Araguis," suggested by Saeria.
Congratulations to her.
Also, congratulations to Varethane for the winning entry in our
fanworks contest. We got quite a few nice entries, but hers stood out
for composition and polish. Thanks to all for entering! All entries can
be viewed here.
We're moving this week and the next, but I think we'll still be able to
get a non-colored page up on Friday (provided there is internet at the
new place in time).
Voting incentives have *gasp* changed!
How's that for a conversation stopper?
Not too much to say about this page, except that I think I failed on a
couple of the expressions. This scene will rely on a lot of
expressions, so I feel the driving urge to get them right.
Cause if I don't, the characterization is off.
As Luth'rai said, we are housesitting this weekend...for $$ even. We'll
also be going through all the contest entries - winners will be
announced on Friday with the next update. I'll also be posting the
fanworks entries in the fanart gallery, so if you have a website you'd
like me to link your entry to, drop me an e-mail.
Wow...my comments are shorter than Luth'rai's for once. How odd.
I have a feeling that a number of you will be somewhat disappointed by
this page. There was talk going on about whether Than is a "good" or
"evil" drow, and this page very deliberately avoids answering that
question. This is only chapter 2, folks. There's a lot of
ambiguity to come before conclusive evidence starts to settle into
place. But, I promise you this: you'll know a lot more about
both Than and Audriel by the time this chapter comes to a close.
So much news...
Obviously, I didn't finish coloring. I put this page into grayscale, as
I think it reads easier without random colored bits. I think you should
expect black-and-white for another month or so. Luth'rai has moved in,
but we're moving into a new apartment on the 1st of February. The good
news there is that Ambition will have a studio as a result of
the move. The bad news - we have to move there first. After we
move, I'm going to train Luth'rai how to help me color, and we'll go
back and color all those pages I had to skip. Once that's done...maybe
our update rate will pick up to twice a week. That's our goal, at
least. If you hang in there for us, we'll hang in there for you. There will
be an update on Friday.
contest is technically over, but there's an entry that got an
extention until the weekend, so I'll accept any other entries through
Friday. I think we got a decent turnout for our first year, actually.
Winners will be announced on the 30th.
Final piece of news... Well, this year is continuous tragedies for Sly,
it seems. Some of you may remember my rat Kasumi from the summer.
Again, thank you all who donated to help me afford her surgery. She is
still fine, if depressed. Her sister, my equally beloved Mizuki, died
on Friday afternoon, though. She had a series of medical emergencies
throughout the week that turned out to be caused by a brain tumor. Even
if we'd known beforehand that she'd had one, those cannot be treated
like Kasumi's tumor was. It's quite sad...she was a little over two
years old. Fortunately, they had her on a pain killer, so she wasn't in
too much pain.
Don't worry, Audj, Than's got your back. ...oh wait.
Well, let that be a lesson to you all; never turn your back on
a drow. For any reason.
I have a half a dozen other jokes to go with this page as well, but
that's enough, methinks. Well, we're back color. Complete with
experimentation! Phew, if I'm not out of practice. Did it always take
all this effort to color? ...it did, didn't it. Meep. Well, I'm working
on coloring the pages that were missed over the insaneness of the
holidays, so I'll get back up to speed soon. I hope.
This page is, yes, a bit late, at least in it's entirety. It's lateness
is not caused by Legend of Zelda: Twilght Princess.
Well...not entirely. It is more related to rat emergency #2. Nope, not
Kasumi, this time. She is still well and good. This time it's her
sister Mizuki. Mizuki seems to have let her teeth grow too long...
Fortunately, this shouldn't be as expensive as a surgery for tumor
removal. Not by a long shot. But it was still cause for concern.
On a final note, the
contest is still going on, so keep spreading the word and working
on those entries.
We're back. But not in color. ...oh, bugger, where to begin...
We'll start with the bad news. They tell you not to tell too many
people that you're pregnant before the end of the first trimester
because 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriages. Well, I was 100%
certain that coloring wasn't happening because I was pregnant and
didn't have the energy, so I decided to tell you guys, to be fair.
Well, seems the joke's on me. And I'm not finding it at all funny.
There's no color this week because I lost the baby. I really wanted to
muscle through and get the color done anyway, but that was before the
bleeding set in in earnest and I really did need to rest, so, I
apologize to all of you. Double that with Luth'rai's hectic week and be
amazed that there's any page at all. For the morbidly curious who want
more details, I present my
I'm pretty depressed and in mourning, but I'm hanging in there. I
really want this comic to go somewhere this year, and I'm pretty sure I
can get the color back for next week (Luth'rai, in fact, already has
next week's page). So, the good news. Monday, Ambition turns
one year old. Yay! Please spread the word about our contests, details
We only have a handful of entries, so if people need me to
extend the due date (currently the 22nd) in order to enter, I will.
Incentives have changed. I deal with depression by doing random
projects. Here we have the first (TWC) and second (Buzz) floors of a
house I designed.
Whew. The text took roughly eight times as much time as it usually
does, but I really wanted to represent the timing of the dialogue
visually as accurately as possible. I think it works. I also took more
time on the expressions than usual. I think it paid off in that Audriel
looks more masculine than I usually manage. Whoo! Well, here Audriel
has the opportunity to learn why you shouldn't start arguments with
Than - you won't win. Now. Who actually thinks our dear narrator will
learn his lesson?
So, as I mentioned last week, January 8th will be Ambition's first
birthday. In celebration, we are holding
three contests, the
details of which can be found HERE.
They even have prizes.
Please spread the word! Contests aren't much fun without entries, you
A final reminder, there will not be an update on the 29th, as both
Luth'rai and I have familial obligations. So, Ambition will
return next year...which is frighteningly close. We hope to be in color
again when we return, too. I am working my
(now-oversized, thank you pregnancy) butt off to get some holiday
filler up to tide you guys over, but with hopping on a plane tomorrow,
I don't know if I'll manage to finish. Well, with or without filler, I
hope you all have happy holidays, especially you Jew-types like me,
whose holiday ends tonight, and you got no bloody time off with which
to celebrate it. ^_^ Tis the season. Cheers!
No color this week. The holiday rush is proving a bit hellish, and will
likely continue to be. It kept Luth'rai from being able to touch the
page until Thursday, and then there were things we had to attend
(granted, we didn't have to go see Eragon but that was
only a two-hour diversion, and hardly counts - we'll be posting the
review of Century Fox's latest ill-fated venture in the forums later
on). So the page was also a day late, and I apologize vastly for that
as well. As preparations for the holidays are keeping Luth'rai living
40 minutes away without access to a car, I will not promise a
page next week, and if there is one, it will likely be in pencil
without color. There will be no page on the 29th - I will be out of
town for the week prior so I won't have time. (You can, however, expect
holiday filler) I have every intention of going back and finishing
coloring these pages, and I hope Ambition will have its act
back together come 2007.
Just in time for Ambition's birthday.
The Prime of Ambition debuted on January 8,
2006. Since we're a webcomic and all, we thought we'd take the
traditional route and celebrate the anniversary interactively. Namely
with contests. Details will go up in the forums in a day
I hope to see you all next week!
Yay! I got to draw character interaction again. I've been missing that.
I bet you have been too.
Oh look. An unfinished update. How original. Ready for the excuse? It's
I am pregnant.
As in, going to have a baby.
As in, pages will likely be late/incomplete for a while while I sleep
through my first trimester. Things, like my energy level, should pick
up after that and updates will likely return to normal (for you guys
at least) until I randomly disappear for a month or so in July on
something I'll call "maternity leave." While the main Ambition comic
storyline will cease for this time as well, Luth'rai is actually
working on a project to keep you all entertained in my absence. But
that's not for a while.
Being pregnant has called my attention to something, especially when
the doctor sat down with me and the food pyramid: I don't eat very
well. In fact, I eat rather poorly. Because...good food is expensive.
And though my husband and I intend to apply for state aid (since the
baby magically makes us qualify), that'll take a while. Sooo... I've
been putting off doing the donations/tip jar for some time because I
wanted to have the whole "thank you" wallpaper set first. Well, it's
winter, and I need fruits and veggies. Tip jar is up. Wonderful peoples
who donate will get the thank-you wallpaper whenever I finish it.
So yes. *phew*
On a final note, I have in fact actually changed the vote
incentives this week. So now you have a reason to vote. Yay.
On an extra final note, I will be seeing Eragon with Luth'rai.
I don't quite manage the dragon/science snobbery as she does, but that
I am a horrendous lit/fiction snob will more than make up for that. And
I don't rant. I sneer, mock, and snark. If you're seeing the film in
New Hampshire, you might want to make sure we're not going to be there.
...on the other hand, it has Jeremy Irons in it. It can't be that
bad, right? ...oh yeah, Dungeons & Dragons had him in it
too, didn't it? ..eh-heh.
Sorry about the messy coloring in the backgrounds. I had to go with the
first attempts again this week, as I'm still sleeping all the
time. The good news is I now know why. The bad news is...it's going to
continue for a while. I'll have more details for you all next week
after my doctor's appointment. For now, you all may speculate. Well,
what's going to have to happen is the art quality may suffer for a
while in favor of keeping the story going. Alas. As long as you guys
can tell what's going on, right?
By the by, you may want to check out the "About" section, as I've added
a rather long blurb about the comic.
I intend to change the vote incentives later tonight. Right now...I
need another nap. >_< See you next week with the next page.
Hurray, the end of the scene. Sorry that the page was late. >_< I
overslept EVERY day this week by at least 4 hours (On Wednesday, I
slept 18 hours. 18.). I have no clue why I'm so tired,
but I hope it stops.
I have bad news. There will be no update this week due to the fact that
I'll be out of town all week. Even if my scanner could come with me, I
don't think I'd have time to do the page given all the visiting my
in-laws'll be requiring. So, instead, you'll get some chinsky
Thanksgiving filler. ^_^ Oh, will the lameness ever end?
Personally, I hope December will prove to be a much better month for
the comic in general. See you December 1st!
Yes, sorry. No incentives changed.
Woof. Drawing action sequences is haaard. I think the SEs are silly,
but I think I needed them to convey what's going on. ...hopefully it's
I am sick. AGAIN. After recovering from my achey tired ick, Luth'rai so
kindly passed her cold on to my shakey immune system. Granted, she
didn't know she had it at the time. She came down with it the day
after, and I, accordingly, the day after that. Icky, nasty head cold. I
slept through election day...how's that for being a hardcore
Fortunately for you guys,
I actually know how to tame a head cold, unlike an ick. This page
brought to you in part by Vicks (DayQuil, NyQuil, Formula 44, etc.).
The other part is brought to you by the NOIR soundtrack, my
preferred listening for drawing killing sequences. Mmm... Sing for me,
lovely Italian (and Latin) arias about killing and dying. <3
Hm... I'm forgetting something. Right! Welcome one, welcome all, ye
denizens of ze Deegan Center
of the Internet. Good grief, there are a lot of you passing
through. What does Mookie do with sooo many readers? *dreams lovely
dreams* ... *ahem* It's nice to have you here, and I hope to see many
of you checking back on Fridays, when we usually update roughly 6
panels in pain-staking full-color. Mmm, pain.
Well, then. I think the color looks better this go round. Huzzah. The
Buzz incentive has changed. The TWC one will too, if I can figure out
how to get it to love me. See you next week, and maybe Than won't be
hanging upside-down anymore.
This update is just in case you were starting to think Than was cool.
Or starting to think I was cool, for that matter. Yep. I suck.
This is merely the final colored version of last week's update. And
geez, louis...I am losing my confidence as a colorist. Well, I was
sick... That might account for something...I hope.
Anyway, this week has turned into something of "catch-up week." Page 5
is finally finished, and I'll be adding a couple other things I've been
meaning to later today and/or tomorrow *coughchapter2covercoughhack*.
So yes. Catch-up week. Normal updates will resume Friday with page 6.
And before you complain, be glad you are not Than, hanging upside-down
by your ankle for a month.
Sooo...instead of focusing on how much I suck, why not check out the cheesey horror comedy
that my youngest brother and his friends made that I am shamelessly
plugging. I thought the acting was pretty neat, even if the script
was...um...lacking? There was a script, right? Well, whatever.
Last I checked, my brother isn't actually emo, so, good acting on his
part at least.
TWC continues to not love me, so incentives are swapped so that you can
now see the TWC one at Buzz. Yar. See you all in a while with some site
Whups. *grins the evil author grin*
Everyone tell Luth'rai that the backgrounds are even better than usual,
please? When she handed me the page, I swelled with confidence. I
looked at that first panel and went: "I can color this, I can!" And
look, I did. And it's even up to my preferred snuff. Am I allowed to be
this pleased with this page?
This page is in fact late, by a couple hours. This is due to the fact
that while I was putting on the finishing touches, I knocked over my very
full glass of iced tea. It proceeded to cover my desk and damage a good
number of papers (fortunately, none very important, must of them were
birthday cards from earlier this year or old thumbnails) and 80% of my
Anyone who knows me knows that I take pristine care of my
books...so accidentally damaging three dozen of them in one
blow...let's just say I'm somewhat upset? Of course, the ones that I
keep on my desk-shelf are the ones that I reference the most. Heh.
Damn, that cheap paper soaks up tea quickly. >.< I spent almost
two hours trying to press tea out of the books, one at a time, and
clean all the stickiness off the covers, all the while fighting my cat,
who likes to chew on everything, off of them. Most upsetting is the
most ruined of them - My imported copy of Hikaru no Go volume
18. ;_; I don't have the money to replace ANY of them, much less that
one. *heavy sigh* On the upside, I guess, I finally cleaned my desk?
Maybe this'll cure me of my addiction to sweet liquidy stuff. Yeah.
I have changed the voting incentives. Whether TWC will display it or
not is not in my hands. I will see you all next week, along with what
Than's gotten himself into.
Friday the Thirteenth in October. That's supposed to be bad or
something, isn't it? Good thing I'm not at all superstitious. On the
other hand, I am very not pleased at ALL with this page. Augh.
This is another one of those pages where it looked good...and then I
colored it. ;_; The first panel came out pretty well, but the rest is
like the tea in the Heart of Gold. Says I.
Well...here's hoping my coloring with green improves. I have some ideas
as to how to fix it. I got maybe 20% of everything I wanted to get done
done this week. Argh. I amazingly spent most of the time not getting
things done sleeping. I overslept every single day, all week. I
hope to fix that this weekend. Yipe.
TWC incentive has changed, and I will change the Buzzcomic incent on
Saturday, when I get the next page from the Luth'rai. Ta.
Sometimes I find myself thinking "other webcomics don't have
backgrounds..." Oh well.
This page is the continuance of our little lesson in terminal velocity,
as well as our introduction to the latest extreme sport: Canopy
There are actually quite a few mistakes in this routine. First of all,
his form is pretty sloppy, and he's incredibly off-balance after entry,
so that'll be a large deduction. His free-form descent has its merits
but, as in all judged sports, you can't gain points - you only lose
them. Fortunately, dying is only a .2 deduction, or this sport would
never go anywhere. His landing has style, particularly with the branch
poking up from his hair, but that's a .5 deduction there for putting
his hand down. All in all, this routine wasn't technically difficult
enough to merit a 10 on a perfect performance...which this was far
from. Overall, he gets a 6.2 and doesn't qualify for the Olympics. Not
that they'd let drow compete in the Olympics in the first place.
Heh. I think I'm going insane. ...I bet sleep might help. I think I'll
go get some of that and upload the new incentives later today. So, yes,
incentives will change later today. [Note: I thought I had this in the
queue before I went bed... Guess not. ^^;]
On a final note... I'm not promising anything, because I don't like
having to beak promises BUT y'all might want to check back Tuesday, as
Luth'rai and I might actually manage to complete two pages this
coming week, and have our first twice a week update. Again, no
promises. But we'll certainly be back Friday. See you then.
It feels like forever since I completed a page on time. Granted...it's
been two weeks. So, yes. "Forever."
So, here we come diving into chapter two, quite literally for some. As
you can probably expect from this opening, we will be experiencing a
change of pace in the narration for a spell. Chapter 2 is going to be
at least a dozen pages longer than the last, from the looks of things,
which won't be so bad if we can pull ourselves together for a higher
update schedule. Of course, doing that might not be feasible for a
while, between the Luth'rai job and the JUNGLE. But we will try! Yar!
Encouraging in this capacity is THIS page, which I managed to color in
two days. During these two days, I also managed to eat, sleep,
shower, take an hour-long walk, go to the Wednesday night service at my
church, and play a half-dozen battlegrounds in WoW. So, yes.
Encouraging. Maybe I can finish the Chapter 2 cover at some point this
week as well.
Voting incentives have changed, so be sure to check them out. See y'all
As it says above, I've given up on trying to finish the cover for now
in favor of keeping the story moving. I'll pick at it as the weeks go
by, and maybe it'll be finished by October. I'm doggedly trying to make
it come out the way I saw it in my head, so, don't count on that. Page
1 is currently in Luth'rai's hands, getting backgrounds. With any luck,
it'll be returned to me by Tuesday evening, and I'll get it colored and
texted by Thursday evening. Yes, laugh with me. The only person who
hates Luth'rai's job more than she does is me. >.<
The good news is I have gotten some of the updates around the
site up. The quick navagation dropdown has more options now, so
that navigation is actually quick. The archives page has been updated.
And I've added those the fanarts I mentioned. Go check it out!
...I could cry. Maybe I should. Here's the crappy excuse for a chapter
cover. You don't want to know how much time I've spent on it already.
You really don't. It might make you as depressed as I am. I like the
way the characters came out, even if they took three times as long as I
expected them to, leaving today only for the background. I colored all
day. At 2 a.m. I got to about what you see here and was so NOT pleased
by it that I lost the will to continue. I'm going to scrap the
background and do it over. I'm also going to scrap the border and use
something else. Maybe I can finish it by Saturday. Oh God, PLEASE let
me finish by Saturday?
In any event, this is a half-assed update. I've got some fanart to
upload and a few changes and such, but I don't have the energy. I'll
get them up sometime this weekend, with the REAL Chapter 2 cover,
whenever I finally finish it. *sob* So, yeah. No vote incentivesd have
changed. Luth'rai and I are still doing our damned best to overcome
real life and keep the comic coming. Hope to see you all again by
Sunday. My deepest apologies for the hold-up.
Oh, and a quick-shout out to my brother Ike, who turns 17 today. Happy
This is hardly an update. I think my handwriting didn't scan very well,
too. I'll try to find time to redo the text later today. Don't count on
it, as I'm going to a wedding today. ...my mother in law's wedding. I
find this weird. Gah.
Anyway. I will have the text made legible by the time this
weekend is through at least.
Luth'rai and I are still figuring out how to work around her job
issues. Her having a job wouldn't be an issue at all if she lived
closer, but alas. We have ideas, and we think we'll be able to
continue, and maybe even up our update rate, in the coming weeks.
Remains to be seen how brilliant our ideas are, though. ^ ^;
The voting incentives will hopefully make up for the lack of real
update. TWC sports a series of mini comics Luth'rai did about her new
job. And Buzz has the current progress of the update we'd hoped to have
for today. Alas. Keep your fingers crossed, and we'll see you next week!
End of Chapter 1. Well, at least it's not a cliff-hanger.
*ahem* If it looks like that rockslide took a long time to color,
that's because it did. I'm not entirely pleased with it, but
I'm pretty confident that this is the best I could have done with it at
my current skill level. Late by five hours. Oh me, oh my. I knew this
would take a while to color, so I started on Sunday. However, two
things happened this week that I could not have taken into account, and
thus slowed me down. The first came as compliments from my rat Kasumi
(who is doing very well, thanks again to all who donated for
her surgery), who mistook my right index finger for the kernel of corn
I was trying to give her. She bit me exactly where I hold a
pencil/wacom stylus, so art of any sort was rather painful for a couple
The second was artblock. Hideous artblock. No, it was more creative
block, since I couldn't work on the script or world setting either. I
haven't had such a total creative block since October of last year.
Still suffering from it. ARGH.
As Luth'rai says in her comments, her quest for her job met with sudden
fruition. The only person that is happy is her mother. It's turned out
to be a hideous blow to our production here, so I'm very unhappy to say
that the between chapter special will have to run as our update on
Friday, rather than as an extra page on Tuesday as I had intended.
*sigh* Most fustrating was we had finally worked our production levels
up to the point where we were going to try to update twice a week. Now
we have to reorganize our schedules simply to be able to work together at
all. We'll do our best to resolve this in the coming week and will
hopefully not go on hiatus, no matter how briefly.
Speaking on the necessity of jobs, it seems I'm going to need a part
time one, now that college loans are becoming more than my husband's
paycheck can handle and this whole taking commissions/selling prints
has earned me a wopping $50 net for the whole year. However, I'm going
to try something else first. Sometime this month, I'll set up a
donations wallpaper. Basically, you give me a couple bucks to help me
keep my schedule free to work on this comic, and you get a wallpaper.
If I can get $300 or so a month, I can literally keep working this
comic full-time (and hopefully up the rate to twice a week still). The
donation thingy'll go up my artblock goes away.
I'll upload voting incentives later today - I'm too tired right now.
My hand hurts. A lot. I colored not only this, but seven other
pages this week (for the contest). I'd feel badass, but my hand hurts
As for this page... Is it just me, or does it seem really washed out?
Or that might be my dying computer screen. Grr. The good news is our
new computer should arrive tomorrow! This means I'll get to work in a
higher resolution without photoshop taking several minutes to save and
crashing every few hours! ...or at least I hope.
Well, the world settings pages I'd hoped to finish aren't finished.
Maybe they'll be done in time for Chapter 2 (when we hope to revamp the
site a bit)?
Voting incentives have changed. We'll see you next week with the
spectacular (at least on Luth'rai's end) finale to chapter 1.
Page is roughly three hours late for two reasons: One, we were in Maine
all weekend (visiting Elick, w00t), so work did not get done on the
page then and Two, new scene, so I had to make up a new palette. Took
longer than I expected. But, yay! Last scene in chapter one is a go!
Whoo! Also, mist is fun to color. And on a random note, this page is
brought to you by way of The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack,
which I rediscovered after not listening to for a year or so. It's
gotten me somewhat motivated to work on Elfish again, which is good,
because I need to get around to it, seeing as it may be used in the
next chapter. It also motivated me to get some of the World Setting
section worked out. I hope to have the entire "Races" section up by
Oh right, yes, I'm twenty-three now, thanks, and I did have a good
Voting incentives have changed - they're the next two pages from our
submission for the Drowtales
Manga Contest that we're working our bummies off to get done by
I've been looking forward to this page for some time, partially because
it's the last page in this scene we've been stuck in since June, but
also because it gave me an opportunity to experiment with
lighting-in-eye close-ups. I experimented with relish. It's actually
somewhat embarrassing how the eyes, which took the least amount of
time, are the best looking things on the page. Heh.
All in all, though, I'm pleased with the page. It came by way of a
luxurious pace, so we spent a lot of time on it and did a good job of
it. Luth'rai had a couple days, rather than a couple hours, to get the
backgrounds to me and wow did she use it. I'm really going to
put effort into giving her this much time in the future, so the
background art can continue to look so good!
Let's see... Oh! It's my mother's birthday, so I shout out "Happy
Birthday, Mommy!" ^_^ ...that means my birthday's on
Monday. 23. I seem so old, huh?
The voting incentives have changed, m'dears. TWC features the line-art
of page 1 and Buzz page 2 of our short-story submission for the Drowtales Manga Contest.
Luth'rai's slowly but surely getting the hang of inking my pencilwork,
but that doesn't mean we'll ever do Ambition in ink. See you all next
This page does a lot of speaking for itself. If Audriel is seeming
1-dimensional, that is quite his own fault (although I honestly had
hoped his narration would help that.) There is more to him than
racism; he just hasn't been inclined to show those sides of him yet.
Spent more time on this page than usual. Specifically on clothes. I've
been working on folds and such, trying to make the clothing more
realistic/natural. Maybe you can tell, maybe you can't. In the
meantime, I think the background coloring has suffered some. -__-
Also...I noticed that Eloise's hair has been getting lighter as the
story has been going on. Oops. ^^; It's now back to the near-black it's
supposed to be.
Voting incentives have changed. We've broken into the top hundred for
both sites, w00t! It's up to you to keep us there. See you next week
with the conclusion to this scene, leaving one scene left for chapter
It's now August. The first two days of August saw more traffic for
Ambition than the whole of January. I expect, with this update, that it
will also top February. That's quite some growth. It makes me excited.
My goal for the month is to double my output rate for art. This would
mean that I'd get more than a comic page and a couple scribbles done
every week. That'd make me happy. So far, I am failing miserably. I
have to be quite careful, so that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome doesn't come
back to haunt me... It tried for this page, which is why it was up a
bit late, as I'm sure you midnight checkers noticed.
I'm not thrilled by this page, but it could've been worse. Well,
actually, Panel 2 thrills me. The rest is meh. Tried some expiriments
with coloring leather. A bit too shiny, but I like the overall effect
and will continue this method, I think. With less shiny. Also trying to
figure out a faster, yet better way to do Eloise's skin; she's too
similar a shade to her hair the way I've been doing it. I think up
there in Panel 1 is on the right track at least. Ah...those past pages
with low character occupancy spoiled me, methinks.
Voting Incentives have changed. Joke comic for TWC and a full-color
Austreleus by Luth'rai for Buzz. See y'all next week!
I honestly didn't think I'd be able to get this page to y'all on
schedule. Good thing I was wrong, huh? ...well, it's not a particularly
exciting page afer that last set. Oh well.
Reason I didn't think I'd finish it: both Luth'rai and I spent our
weekends at family reunions. Can't speak for hers, but mine was quite
good. So here's a shout-out to all my 2nd and 3rd cousins who may be
checking out the page now: It was great meeting you all, since I forgot
you from the last get together eleven years ago. Whoops.
But back to the page. Hrum. This is in fact my fastest coloring job yet
at just under 11 hours. Yay! Maybe I'll be this fast for the next one
too! ^.^ Also, I don't think Jerome has bad moods. Ever. What's he so
I've changed the Archives page to something a lot more navigatable.
From there you can see that we have six pages left to go in this
chapter. So, starting chapter 2 in September. And probably an
advertising campaign with it. More readers, yo. So by prints so we can
fund it! Also, vote! The incentives are changed; both are Luth'rai
dragons, the buzz one being a very belated birthday present for me. ^.^
I think it's glorious. ^_^
I was surprised at how well this page turned out. Heck...I think I like
it. *gasp!* Particularly Than's ear, there.I'm finally figuring out how
to draw my elf ears in profile the way they'd look, instead of
defaulting to 3/4 view, eh-heh. I'm also figuring out how to draw
Audj's and Than's ears differently from each other, the way I always
intended to. Hey, hey. I'm...improving. YAY!
Last Drakish page for a couple chapters. Meaning you'l be able to
understand what's being said again. Aren't you happy? And isn't
Austreleus handsome? I must admit, I'm a little sad that he's been
shafted with the Drakish, here; y'all don't know what a cool character
he is. Oh well, the story must go on! And it's not like this is his
final appearance. XD
I'm updating the site a bit this weekend in the Characters, World
Setting, Gallery, and Links sections, so make sure to check them out
later. I also hope to make the Archives section more helpful soon.
Voting incentives have changed: An Austrealeus wallpaper under TWC that
you are free to download and more romanized Drakish under the Buzz. See
y'all next week!
What? You people can't read Drakish? That's odd... I could've sworn
I'd, oh, invented it. Hee hee. Don't bother trying to decode it or
whatnot; it's an actual language. And one that I'd never get the
hang of. *grumbles about inflections* Even so, check back in the forum
later, as I'll be adding a bit of an introductory guide to Drakish
there. And don't worry too much about missing what Than and Austreleus
are talking about there; if you needed to know right now, it
wouldn't be in Drakish, now would it? ^_^ It'll all become clear when
the time is right. Mwahaha. I love being an author.
I think I know why I never get faster at this. See that dragon shadow?
I could've saved 2 hrs. by doing a simpler shadow. -_-
So yes, Connecticon and the recovery from thereof. I've gotten sleep
and showers since Connecticon, so I am a happier person. Luth'rai said
a bit that I won't reiterate.. I liked it more than the other Cons I've
been too, prolly
because there was more than just anime and people who really
don't know half as much about it as they think they do. Also, we had a
table, so we had something to do between all the events we were
interested in. I said I wouldn't reiterate, but I have to agree avidly
on one point. Dominic Deegan
is cool, yes,
but Mookie is even cooler. I do believe I have a new hero, which is
good, as I've been without one for a while.
What she didn't mention is that we got interviewed. Twice. w00t. The
first was with, of all things, Seventeen
Magazine. Who knows if we'll make the final cut into the article,
but it was cool anyway. The other interview was with Planet Access, a public
access show in Connecticut. Even cooler was the fact that Joe, the guy
who interviewed us, bought a LOT of our prints. Which was nice because
unlike Luth'rai here, I sold poorly. Like, all of 7 prints. So, help me
break even at least by buying my prints? Pweeease? @.@
Voting incentives have changed, so keep voting!
Yes, happy Independence Day, for those of you who are U.S. citizens
like us. Today we celebrate the freedom that the Bush Administration is
taking away. Oops, I noted where we stand politically.
The Declaration of Independence is a brilliant document. I suggest
So yes, off to Connecticon for us, so there won't be comments on the
next page, I'm afraid. If there's even a next page. If there isn't the
auto-updater isn't working and I won't be able to do anything about it
until Monday. So. Here's hoping. Here's also hoping to actually see
some of you at the Con. We'll be sharing half a table somewhere in the
maze that is the Artist Colony. Look for the chicks with the tails. Oh,
and our sign, since that'll be easier to recognize, I'm sure. 9.9 Drop
by and say hi!
can now buy prints of my art.
Yes. Filler. Sorry, but we're quite busy. However, we had to get
everything ordered for the Con this weekend so it would arrive
in time, so we can get back to the page this week. Meaning back to your
This strip hails from a idea I've been kicking
around called "the Lounge." The Lounge is just that...a lounge. It
includes several sofas, snack dispensers, a tv, a computer, two
bathrooms and an air hockey table. Basically it's a place that exists
somewhere within the fourth wall where we (and possibly you) can hang
out with the characters and they can avail themselves of contemporary
goodies. ...okay, so basically it's an area where Luth'rai and I feel
comfortable making joke comics. Granted, these comics, when inspired,
are meant to run as vote incentives and not filler, but c'est la vie.
start a thread in the forum
the Lounge in more detail to get your thoughts.
Vote incentives have changed, and be sure to check back on Tuesday,
whenever you get away from your fireworks and parades, for a holiday
I find I am very tired, so coherent comments are not happening. Well,
except for this one: Squishing all my characters behind a rock and
showing them at mid-distance for several panels?! What
am I thinking? ...not smart things, that's for sure, as they'll be
sitting there for the next couple pages. -_-
So, fair warning: There may not be a page next week. Why? Well, for
starters, we haven't started it yet. I used up the buffer during the
episode with Kasumi (who's doing well and gets her surtures out Monday,
yay), and haven't even started getting my Connecticon stuff
together (yes, the con's not til Juy 7th, but I need to order prints
this week if I want to get them in time for it). Life is kicking
Luth'rai in the head, so it's doubtful that she'll be able to help
much, which is bad, as there's a, say, dragon on the next page.
Plus, there's a lot of extra work that needs to be done for the next
scene of a variety that'll just have to be a surprise. But, yes. We may
have to skip the update til the week after. Time will tell. If we do
have to skip, there'll be some lame filler instead. Woo.
Incentives have changed. They are incentivey.
This page brought late to you by way of rat surgery. And house
constuction. But clarification on that in a moment. First the surgery.
Kasumi is home and doing well. She also looks pretty good, save the
being half shaved and the twenty-odd wire surtures going down her side.
But at least she's rat shaped again. She also seems pretty happy, first
to be home again and second to be rid of that ginormous lump that was
in her armpit. Speaking of the lump, we won't know for sure unless we
do the pathology, but the vet is pretty certain that the tumor was
cancerous. At the very least, it was stealing her nutrients to keep
growing. In any case, he (Dr. Svet performed the surgery, not Dr.
Jacobs as I originally thought) sealed off the veins and stuff that
were going into the growth (or whatever that's technically called; I'm
no doctor) and completely removed the two teats that the tumor(s) were
attatched to. Now we get to pray that the cancer hasn't already spread
to other parts of her body.
Thanks again to all you wonderful peoples that gave money and other
forms of support. LOVE.
So yes. House construction. Or deconstruction, as it were. Apparently,
the roof leaks for the apartment below ours. Apparently, the leak
sprang from where my apartment connected to the roof. Apparently, the
front of my apartment had to be torn up in order to fix this. I really
wish my landlady had informed me. As it was, on Wednesday I stumbled
out of bed to try to find out why it sounded like my kitchen was being
torn up. It sounded like that because it was. -__- If my landlady had
told me, I would've planned around it. Instead, I will just excuse the
lateness of my page to unforseen forces like repairmen. Am I lame, or
Voting incentives have changed. The TWC one in particular is adorable.
This page was a bit of a haul. Mostly do to humidity. Paper just
doesn't respond the same way when there's so much water in the air, you
know? This page also comes late via a detour known as a tutorial. This was done in part
because there was interest and in part as thanks for those of you who
donated to help save my sick rat, Kasumi.
On that note, I have taken the donation link down
because we raised about $250, which will be enough for her to get the
surgery. A HUGE thank you to all of you! The operation is scheduled for
the 15th. I'll be certain to update you as per her progress. Thanks
again! ...if you didn't donate and still really want to give me
money, I won't stop you. ;)
On a final note, I suspect that most of you do not live under rocks
like I do and have already heard this, but in case you haven't,
Congress is currently moving on an issue that might destroy the
internet as we know it by removing the rule of "Net Neutrality." You
all use the internet, right? I urge you American-types to contact your
senators and representatives and tell them "NO, don't give my internet
to the phone coorperations, you cheap sell-outs! Yar! ('k maybe not
quite like that.) Much more info is here.
Incentives have changed. See you next week!
Audriel: "Pst, Kevlin. I do not trust the drow."
Kevlin: "Pst, Audj. Trust me. I know."
So yes, from this excessively green page we discover that Jerome is a
morning person, and that Eloise is a newbie person, and that Than knows
some random and useful things. Whew, that was a
lot of work to bring to you such few details. ;)
And I'll openly admit that Than's little spiel is little more than
personal gratification. At least it's in-character and he rightfully
knows a good deal of stuff with which to satisfy my linguistic needs.
More character development next week, same setting, so see you all
then. With a craptonne more trees, yar. Oh, and voting incentives have
This lovely page is brought to you by our lovely Luth'rai. Didn't she
do an absolutely stunning job? I am in awe. ...oh, wait. I colored it.
She can complain about her 8+ hours that went into the pencilwork all
she wants. I'll just point out the +20 hours that went into the color.
^_^ Aren't we mature?
So, as you alert people might've noticed, we now have a forum. It is
small and lonesome. You, oh wonderful readers you, should fix that. Go
register! And get to type more than 128 characters or whatever the max
is on the shoutbox.
Vote incentives have changed yet again. They're quite lovely. I suggest
you vote and check them out.
I've been looking forward to this page for a while, and am pleased to
say that it almost aspired to what I saw in my mind's eye. I've
also discovered that the coloring can look very nice when you
have enough time to actually work on it. Luth'rai and I have been manga
machines since college got out for her. We'd kinda like to build back
up a buffer so that we'll have enough comics to go on summer
excursions, such as the one to Connecticon Supposedly, we have a table there in the
Artist's Alley, and we'd love to see you guys there in July. We'll be
selling prints, so we'd love you more if you'd come buy them. :P
But the page. It was finished on Wednesday. The roughs for page 12 were
also finished on Wednesday and I spent Thurday starting page 13. And
I'm coloring page 12 today. If we can keep this up for a month or two,
I think we'll make the jump to bi-weekly updates. Sound good?
Somebody shoot me. I discovered while working on this page what I will
say to any pestersome editor that I may someday be missing deadlines
for. I know, because I said it to Luth'rai (who is not at all
pestersome...mostly). "Michaelangelo stared at that block of marble for
years before he even started carving David."
Voting incentives have changed to entice you guys to keep us on the
toplists. Woo. See y'all next week.
What can I say about this page? Other than it took for-freakin'-ever,
that is? No, seriously. I started this page early. Put extra hours into
it early. And yet... Coloring took more than 15 hours...more like 17.
Pencilling easily took that long as well. >_< It is a labor of
love. Yes. And look! White border. Yay!
Yes, Luth'rai did the town map. I was going to do it, but all my time
goes to coloring these pages, and she wanted to do it, so... There you
I beat Suikoden V finally. Played through the last 2
hair-raising hours, which are hair-raising because they include 3
bosses, a duel, and of course, the main final boss...without a save
point. At ALL. 0_0 I spent it going. Augh! I can't lose
here! I don't want to do all that again! Great game, though.
I'm going to play it again. They should've polished up some bugs before
they released it, but it's definitely now my favorite Suikoden. This is
saying quite a bit. I will likely do a series of joke comics based on
the game and run them as vote incentives in the near future. Speaking
of incentives...they have changes. Topwebcomic has a Unicorn by me, and
Buzzcomix has a dragon by Luth'rai. So vote!
This was a wee bit late, as you godless hour checkers might've noticed.
There wasn't corner cutting in this page. I worked extra hard to make
pretty, mostly as a peace offering, since I was too sick to do it last
week. I'm still sorry about that... The other reason Luth'rai and I
have pulled out the stops for this is this is a scene we've been
looking forward to for a while. Yay, moonlit rooftops.
I'm a bit sad about this page, actually. Mostly because I was hoping to
move back to a white background. I think white backgrounds look so much
more elegant than black backgrounds. Unfortunately, the angle in panel
3 is such that it's really over-exposed, and the white border doesn't
work so well with it. So black again.
Hrm...Than looks incredibly adorable in panel 2... He's mine! Mine, I
say! *growls at fangirls* Ahem.
Yes, dear Luth'rai had to draw the background for panel 2 three times.
^^; But it came out very nicely, yes? Hey, I had to draw Bashirah in
the final two panels! So there! I'm surprised she doesn't look bad.
In other news, incentives have finally changed. I'll be moving the
filler and the Easter special to Luth'rai's gallery to promote smooth
reading for the actual comic. ...that is all. See you all next week!
Sorry there's no page this week, guys. I've been bed-ridden since last
week and haven't been able to even upload comments for last week! The
worst of it is the doctor said I can expect the virus to stick around
for another week. Not cool. With any luck, I'll be able to get the page
done for next week though.
This is a filler that Luth'rai scribbled up for you all to tide you
over. She's sick too, so I hope y'all likes it. Unfortunately, I is OOC
in my Ayame attire up there. I never talk lke that. The joke
here has sprung from Tenchu 3. Luth'rai and I play Tenchu a LOT and she
is much better at it than me, but she can't make aerial kills, which
are my claim to fame. So there you have it. Gamer humor.
I used to think having out-of-town guests was a big deal when I was
little. Well, I was very naive back then. I had no idea how big of a
deal it is to have out of town guests in your own house. You
know, that you
are responsible for. Heh. I still apologize that the page was a whole
day late. For those of you who didn't notice I was late, and therefore
missed the joke text-filler, it's been moved to the buzzcomic
incentive, so you can still see it if you vote. The TWC incentive is
now the best dragon that I have ever drawn. ^_^
Well, now, we are finally compatible with IE. The next site overhaul
will occur when Luth'rai's finally created our very own "Ambition"
font, and we'll no longer be using Pristina for our logo. Yays.
And now a question for all of you, you lovely readers, you. I have been
considering getting a forum for this site. It'd have announcements and
page and general discussions and the works. What do people think? Would
you even use it? You can drop your thoughts in the shoutbox there, or
drop me an e-mail at theslyeagle_at_gmail_dot_com.
Oh! And check back Sunday for a holiday special.
Not much to say regarding this page. The first part was a pleasure to
do, while I was working on it with Luth'rai, but then the clean-up and
coloring took roughly 8 times longer than it should have. Blagh.
In other news, Suikoden V is now in my hot little PS2. Which means I'll
be pretty distracted for a while. The pages will still be up on time,
TWC Incentive has changed.
This page was fun to do. Mostly because I finally got to work with
Luth'rai on it. It's been forever since we've worked on this
together, so it made me happy. It was also nice to sit and color the
overpanel while she draws the bird behind me. Especially when it goes
quickly and I hear the magical music of "Um, so I'm done. Can I do the
backgrounds?" Mwahaha. I can't wait until she does all the backgrounds!
Then they'll stop looking like crap. Yep. I also got to draw this while
outside. It being spring and all. Yay. Audj in panel one came out the
closest to what I envision from him...that I've ever drawn. This also
makes me happy. And Than looks more his age on this page, which makes
me happier. So happy.
Incentives have changed for both TWC and Buzz, so don't forget to vote!
No Luth'rais were harmed in the creation of this page. I swear. Slow
Ambition... Comic Genesis was down a couple times. Hopefully that's
resolved, now. And, slow week for me. This page took nearly twice as
long to complete as I expected it to. But it's up, now. Yay. This is
one of theose pages that make me wish I were doing this comic in black
and white... I think the color killed it. But I'm the artist; my
opinion doesn't count. The layout's a touch clunky, but I think this is
the best page I've done yet. I think, from this page alone, everyone
should be able to tell who their favorite character is. ^_^
Anyway. TWC incentive has changed, and I may come up with one to change
the Buzz. Now to go work on page 5.
Well now. This is the last page full of text I swear. There
will still be narrative commentary, but it will be in the
story. Thanks to you all for sticking through the pages of narration.
Was this the best choice for moving the story forward? Probably not.
But the other options, as I saw it, were worse. We could've gone with
the show-don't-tell style, but that would have easily been an extra 20
pages of background info before we got to anything interesting. We
could have skipped it and gone ahead with the story from Than's
standpoint, leaving it in the mound of "stuff to be disovered later",
but we have enough in that pile without adding something as mundane as
the party's mission to it. Besides, I want you to be in-group with
Audriel. Watch Than from the outside for now. Three text-heavy pages
are not that much in the long run. They have a lot of key information
on them, so don't forget it. ;)
On the page itself, I'm pleased with everything but Ms. Ghost Drow's
nose. It is in the wrong place. BADLY. Other than that I am very
pleased. So pleased, in fact, that I'm finally changing the Buzzcomics
Voting Incentive. Voting will allow you to see this page without the
text. The TWC incentive this week is a gorgeous full-color dragon
picture by Luth'rai. Proof that she hasn't been working on her
research paper like she should...
Ick. I think I rushed this page a bit too much... I just might go back
and redo some of it. Sorry it was so very late...I ended up spending
Friday in bed too. I hate being sick... Stupid sinuses. Anyway.
Yep. Tis Than. Not half as cute as he's supposed to be. Weird lighting
angle. But still looking all right. Yes, that is in fact a word bubble
between those mounds of text. One more text heavy page, and then on
with the actual dialogue, I swear!
This was not the week to be late, that's for sure. I finally
got added to Online Comics...which tripled the number of hits! Yeow.
Click on the Button over there to see our listing. You can add us to
your favorites to support this comic. One time thing, much easier than
the voting, eh? Speaking of which, I've changed the incentive again.
Now you can see one of my scribblies! Heh.
This page was almost late. I do hope the reason why is obvious.
It is to me, at least.
Overall, I am pleased. A few mistakes here and there...the glaring one
to me being that Eloise's eye is too high, but I think this page looks
pretty good. ...except for Audriel. I kick him in the shin. Lots of
narration this page, and the next two won't be much better, but the
story will pick up a lot as we go on. I will make the pages very pretty
to hold your interest in between the mounds of text, I swear!
We got a lot of spiffy comments this week... I dance the happy
author/artist dance. Heck, I dance both of them. On a table even.
*ahem* Yes, I didn't change voting incentives last week, but this week,
voting for us on TWC will give you the option to see the first panel
text crowding it in the corner. ^_^ Enjoy, and see you all next week.
It's the boys!
Okay...chapter covers aren't all that exciting. But I think it came out
very well. Than and Jerome look very good, at least. ...can't say the
same for Audriel. Well. If I spent all my time waiting for Audj to come
out right, this comic would never get underway. Had fun with
the background too. Yes...still waiting for the chapter to actually
start. *bows* sumanaidekudasai On the other hand, you folks got
two updates this week, so no complaining! ...well,
you can if you want. I'll stop rambling now.
And here we see the end of the prologue. Yay! Now I can go on with the
story. I hope you are all looking forward to it as much as I am. ^_^
I hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day. Please check back Monday, as
I'm going to try to put up a between-chapters special. Which will have
nothing to do with Valentine's Day... Yeah.
This was one of those pages where Audj was perfectly happy to get along
with my drawing hand. He is, quite frankly, a very moody character,
especially when I try to draw him. Sometimes (more usual) he will fight
me, every stroke of the way. And others...he'll just magically appear
on the page, looking perfectly himself as we see here. Such is the
nature of Audriel. I swear...he's a diva.
Only one more page of prologue, folks, and then we'll do our story in
Oh...this page. No, this scene. Grrrrrrr. Don't get me
wrong. I like the scene. I hate doing interiors, though. I hate
anything that needs straight lines and foreshortening and vanishing
points.... Hate interiors. Of course, interiors are hard to draw, but
easy to color, while outdoor shots are easy to draw and hard to color.
Hm. Well, you'll see me torturing myself with scenes like this often.
News: Buzzcomix is back. Please vote! And vote often. We'll love you.
Well, actually, we love everyone who bothers to read this. But yeah.
And here we have Luth'rai's gorgeous, gorgeous page. I think I killed
it with my crappy coloring job... *sigh* I really need to get better at
coloring dragons... And I need to do it soon. Mostly it's the red. I'm
bad with red...
Oh, and Candoleshio's my hero. Or
one of them. I love the way
he talks. Any 2,000+-yr-old dragon that can say "Oh, yeah?" and still
be taken seriously rocks. And he's just cool.
And Darth Vader said, "All too easy." Well, that was fun. And now I
present our first main character of the story! Whoo! Doesn't he look
snazzy? I'm pleased with him. That picture of him there, with him as
his own little panel? Three hours, tops, baby, yeah.
There are all sorts of little mistakes on this page...glaring angrily
at me. Oh well. I'm not doing this page over.
You will notice
that buzzcomix is down. Ah, well. If it stays down much longer, I'm
taking it off the page. Yep.
First update with page 2. Whoo. Hm. It's Friday the
13th...I don't expect this will end well. *grin* Anyhow, I'd like to
draw your attention to the little voting buttons to the left. We'll be
changing the voting incentives for those every week. The buzzcomix
button will always have the lineart for next week's page, while the
topcomics button will have bonus sketches from either myself or
Luth'rai. (Most likely Luth'rai, as Luth'rai has time to doodle.)
Wow... After over a year of planning, this is finally a
I write and draw most of this comic. This'll be a LONG story, so with
any luck, our speed with the pages will improve so that we'll be
updating bi-weekly instead of just once a week...and therefore, not be
getting only 50 pages or so a year. For now, every Friday. Hm...can't
say much about the story, other than I hope you enjoy it. The prologue
is a bit odd, but there are only seven pages of it before we get onto
the actual story. But yeah. Poke around a bit. I'll be adding new
sections as they are needed (links, gallery, etc.) or are finished. The
World Setting section in particular could use some work. -_- Um, oh,
and about the title...Yes. It'll make sense...eventually. I hope.