Luth'rai's Comments - Backlog

Hey, an update for all your crazy folk who still check us out! And by "crazy" I really mean "totally awesome."
Work is slowly progressing. Flat-colouring bores me to tears, but I've livened it up with the audio book of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series. (And if anyone knows of any good audio books they like, feel free to drop me a line- I've got a lot more colouring than just one book can cover.) Alternately, if there's anyone who'd consider lending a hand with the oodles of flat-colouring in return for our undying love and gratitude (because we have no money), our ears, arms and .psd files are wide open. Wide. Open. I'm assuming people know that our emails are listed under the "About Us" section, and if you didn't- well, you do now.

I'm also suffering from one of those nasty and tenacious colds that are flying around and love to linger. This is my third week of a mildly runny nose and coughing up a lung. I even caved and went to Price Chopper the other night at 2:30 a.m. to buy some Robitussin so I could sleep and not throw up because I was coughing so hard. And I don't often voluntarily take medicine. Naturally, the proto-human (otherwise known as "The Baby") finds my racking cough hilarious and even mimics me from time to time. And yesterday Sly and I both felt so lousy that we just chilled on the couch and watched the first two discs of season one of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse series. ...I think that was more TV time than I get in a month.

I have a lung to finish hacking up.
Stay healthy, folks. Later~

Aw man... Sly already made an Ides of March reference, which means I can't. Phooey.
Anyhow, a big "thank you" to everyone who entered our contest this year. It's really amazing to have people still willing to put in the time like that for a comic that hasn't updated for... yeah.

Work and school continue to dominate my time. Or try to. I fight them every step of the way. This past week has actually been spring break for me, though it hasn't been all that great because I still have work- and a lot of it. Sly and I have both joined the local dojo. So every Thursday evening we each don a glaringly white gi and belt, my mom comes over to babysit, and we toddle off for a couple hours to come limping home. It's great.
I hope spring is treating everyone all right. It's still fairly tentative around here, but it's working on it- slowly but surely.

Wow. Hey, it's been a really long time, hasn't it? I'm sorry about the sudden hiatus in filler- I mean, baby gets born, everything turns upside down... I almost got back on track, then I got a viral respiratory infection (which was all sorts of "no fun"). Now I'm still not back on track because of various medication difficulties. You'll still get your dragon info... eventually- I promise you that.

Not much else to report on. I'm 24 years old now, and find it no different than 23. I'm still on winter break from school- a fact that I am singularly grateful for every single day. I continue to dislike my job and wish that art actually paid for itself. One day, perhaps.

Ambition's third birthday.. A scary thought. Nevertheless, we find it upon us. While 2008's unproductiveness is exceedingly depressing, I think things like, "BABY" are good excuses. Nevertheless, we aim to do better this year. Much, much better.

New Year's Resolutions? ...I didn't make any. Though in retrospect, they should have been, "I will stop playing so much World of Warcraft. I will stop playing so much World of Warcraft. I will stop playing so much World of Warcraft...

Here's to a better and more productive year. Great start, eh? >^.-.^<

Long time no see!
No, we're not dead.
No, we haven't been abducted by aliens.
No, we "[insert lame excuse here]".

I spent a lot of time in the car. September was my month of ... suck. Yes, Month 'o Suck award goes to September '08! ('s always September...) Work, month of theatre performances 3 times a week and school. Dear lord, never again.
The play's over and done with- much to everyone's joy. Now it's just school and work. School is unfortunately an hour's drive away, and I have to be there 4 times a week.

Oh wait, you don't care about that. You want to know what's going on with the comic. So yeah, because of Sly's condition, comic-proper has to stay on hiatus. But because I'm no longer being devoured by the theatre on a nightly basis, I intend to innundate your senses with as much dragon-related blather as I possibly can. Complete with sketches and diagrams. My goal is to get that up Saturday evenings - preferably on a weekly basis. We'll have to see how it goes at first. So hey! Be prepared to actually learn about Orisian dragons! If you can read my handwriting, that is. Throw a shout in the box if you have any problems, and I'll either write better or just use a font. Questions and the like can be tossed into the forum, as always. You all know (or will, soon enough) how I love to prattle on about dragons.

Where was I? Oh, my self-indulgent little rant on how my life is kind of lacking at the moment. My weekend has been reduced to Sunday, only, because Monday I'm on/getting to campus from 1 to 10 pm. While I'm only there for two classes, I think it's safe to take Monday off the classification of "weekend." I'm learning how to be a clinical lab tech., which includes phlebotomy (we practice drawing blood on fake arms, then each other). While most of my class is needle-phobic, I seem to be needle-phyllic, as I keep volunteering to be stabbed. I, myself, have drawn blood once, and done a capillary stick on myself (jabbed my finger with a lancet). It's been fun.
What hasn't been so fun is the actual school. No offense against anyone who goes to a community college, but... it feels like high school. I'm constantly sitting back thinking, "Excuse me, I already have my degree... Can I go now?" But... Enh.

Lastly, my fencing class has picked back up, though instead of doing rapier we've become a long sword study group. Long sword is awesome. Of course, now I really can't read a sword-fight scene in a book without much scoffing and snorting. I plan on throwing together a series of comic strips about how "Fantasy Gets it WRONG." You'll likely be seeing those interspersed with dragon-filler.

And that, as they say, is that. Sorry for the huge glob of text, but... deal. And come back next weekend for more dragons. Rawr.

First off, I'm writing this in the theatre during rehearsal. I brought my laptop along to do some sound editing during all the parts where I've got nothing to really do (unfortunately, this is the better part of rehearsal, still).

So let me tell you about my eyeglasses epic:
My mom was kind enough to pay for my frames, lenses and exam (I'm paying some of it back, though - I love my mom). I got my new glasses and put them on.
And discovered something had to be horribly wrong.
The world just... didn't match up between my right and left eyes.
I was assured that my eyes just needed to adjust, but... I've had glasses since I was eight and this felt... different. The next day, my eyes were a little better, but not much. It felt as though someone had taken my right eye and set it back an inch and a half into my skull. Oi, the headache. So Sly drove me back to optician's, I had my right eye was tested again Lo and behold, the result did not match the lens I had, so they replaced it. After nearly a week of not being able to see properly and without a headache, I was in heaven.
The frames I picked out were naturally expensive. They're the Flexon kind, because I have always been rough on my glasses. Up until I was 12, I went to get them readjusted nearly every week (by the same tech, who still works there ^_^ ). Once I was 12 I could readjust them on my own more often than not.

All right, onto the page.
Panel 2 is done. No, it's not coloured (as is plain as day), but pencil-wise, it's done. Panel 1, as you can see, is coming along. With goats! I'm really, really sorry this is taking so long. I was not expecting to be nearly knocked out of commission for almost an entire week because of eye problems. (Death threats can be sent to a[dot]luthrai[at]gmail[dot]com.)

Last of all, earlier this week I was introduced to Dr. Horrible and his Sing-Along Blog. I'm... trying to think of the words to accompany that... and they're not coming. You should watch it. If only so that I won't be the only one with the songs stuck in my head.

I swear, the world conspires against me on this page.
So yeah, as Sly mention earlier, my glasses broke Friday afternoon... about fifteen minutes before the business world shuts down for the weekend. I did make it to an optician's, but all I found out was that I didn't have much in the way of options. Sly managed to tape them back together for me in the late-late evening while we watched the Opening Ceremonies to the Olympics in Beijing. Unavoidably, the lens isn't sitting properly in the frame now, so focusing on moving things gives me a headache. This includes looking from the clipboard to my references.
Today I'm off for an eye exam and hopefully new glasses, provided my lenses are in stock.
If I could, I'd draw without my glasses, but that doesn't work because my face needs to be about four inches away from the paper. Grah. Anyhow, not much from me this week because I'm getting last minute work done on the page before I leave.

So ConnectiCon has come and gone. I didn't get everything I wanted to done in time, but the important things were accomplished (ie: tablecloth). I had wanted to paint up a couple more signs, like a price list, and two "Artist will return"'s. Hopefully I'll get them done in time for the next convention (hopefully) in October.

In regards to how this convention went... My aunt and uncle were once again wonderful people and put us up for the weekend. I'm sad that we didn't get to see them more as we were mostly at the convention, which was pretty cool. No, we didn't break even. BUT. People actually came up to us and said, "Hey, I read you guys!"
Do you have any idea how amazingly cool it is to be looking up at someone who says that? To your face? So to everyone who came up to say "hi"- Thanks. A lot. A lot a lot. I did happy little Luth-dances while you weren't looking. We also saw a lot of people from last year who stopped by to say hi- which was similarly awesome. (I'd like to say thanks to Chris and Kenneth and their friends for hanging out by the table on Saturday and letting me in on some wacky-fun conversations.)

Got to meet up with Dirk Tiede of Paradigm Shift (I bought his books. >^.-.^<). He's a really cool/neat/nice guy who's been kind enough to answer my questions on doing perspective. Go look at his comic, and you'll understand why I asked him.
We also got to see Jessy of So and Sew Plushies. Her plushies are adorable. You know you want one. I mean, I'd want one if I wasn't perpetually broke- and I don't do plushies. And she's awesome.
We got the chance to talk some more with Lem who is guilty of ossim. Kinda like this year he was just a few tables away from us instead of on the other side of the flippin' building. Right, did we mention that the Artists' Alley got moved at the last second? It wasn't too bad in the end, really. We all got to be in the same spot and had more room.
And of course we saw Mookie of Dominic Deegan. He's the CTcon celebrity after all. Oh, and he's cool. And fun. And more ossim.....
And Robert Howard of Tangents (which is unfortunately down at the moment) came and spent a while chatting with us for... A good long while. Yeah... Overall, there was a lot of ossim to be had.

This year we actually made it to the party Sunday night. It was at a bowling alley, several hours after the con ended. How did we kill our time? We went to an ice cream shoppe! A fancy one called "Coldstone Creamery." A) They have good ice cream. B) They mix it up right in front of you, grabbing paddles and chopping in nuts or cookie dough or whatever. If you're ever in Connecticut around Hartford, I suggest you go there (they are kind of pricey, though). At the actual party, I socialized, rather than bowled. It was only then that I actually got the chance to talk to one of our neighbors- Lyn. I was on the far side of our table and we were on the end, so I didn't really get the chance to talk to anyone around us. Which is too bad, because our neighbors seemed pretty cool.

And.. Uhm.... Oh! Right. Sly and I ran our first panel, "Mythology and Fantasy," or something. It was fun, though absolutely nerve-wracking up until I was actually in front of people. It was kinda rough (sorry, guys), but definitely a learning experience. I hope we can smooth it up and run it again next year. I think I also want to try and do a "Dragon Anatomy" panel. I mean, it's only my degree. ; )

Whew... That's a lot of text. If you miraculously managed to slog through that, I'm impressed. Honestly. All in all, it was a good con once more. Now my Nilla Wafers and I shall see you next week with page 9!

And ConnectiCon draws ever closer. Originally, I was supposed to do up a bookmark, too. Unfortunately, other concerns took precedence. Maybe for the next convention? I do like how Sly's turned out, though... Even if Audj is so angry-looking.
Tomorrow, serious work begins on the tablecloth. Sly and I made a trip to Mal-Wart and bought *gasp* an iron! And an ironing board! Weird. Never thought I'd buy an iron. It prolly won't get used much, but when you need an iron, there's usually no substitute for one.

And no, I haven't forgotten about the page. I've actually been working on it, starting with the smaller, less intimidating panels. There should be something of the more finished variety up next week. Once the stress level from CT-Con has dropped back to its normal level, things will move faster than frozen molasses in February (ie, like it has been).

And.... Stuff. Yes. Lots to do, so I'm gonna go do it.
...I've been working at the hospital for a year now. Pardon my young age, but wow.... That's a long time.
Right. Stuff. Doing.

An update!
...Of filler. Yeah, sorry about that. Sly speaks true when she says it's a half-page establishing shot of a busy marketplace. Granted, she puts in the busy. I just put in everything else. 9_9
It's slowly coming along though, and makes me yearn for the time when an indoor setting is reached.

Aside from the page, ConnectiCon preparations are about to kick off into high gear. Next week I have an interview with the director of the Clinical Laboratory Technician program over in New Hampshire (I'm pretty nervous about that). There's still my usual linen-monkey job to do, my regular procrastination antics, theatre starting next week, and a commission or three. And all I really want to do is hole up somewhere and study Medieval-Renaissance warfare. ....Which is not a helpful desire at the moment. I mean, there will be actual fighting on a variety of scales in Prime. Eventually. Once we get there, I think it's safe to say that we want to approach such things with a large measure of realism. I think we've even said that before....
But that's later and this is now. So I guess the only thing I can plead for in my defense (in regards to, "No, I don't really have time to study this right now") is "temporary obsession." Or maybe not so temporary... I did want to be a medieval historian for a while when I was growing up.

Ah, right. So. Me. Sidetracked. Lots. Yep. As far as the filler goes- Yes, this actually happened. The times Bannock drinks from her water bowl -unsolicited- are few and far between, so that when it does happen, it's something of an event. (Normally I offer her water from a syringe.) This scenario is exactly like what happened when she pooped for the first time after coming out of winter brumation. Meaning it led to me dancing around with glee, singing her praises for what others would call a trivial event.

And on that note, my list of things isn't getting much shorter. I also think "taking a nap" has moved itself upwards in priorities. See you all later, and thanks for reading still.

Like I said in the shoutbox- Sorry for the delay. There's quite a few reasons for it, actually. The first is that yeah, I lost my palette file for this section of the city. Arg. I don't know how or when, but somewhere along the way, it has disappeared from my hard drive. And I repeat: Arg. Another is that yeah, yesterday out internet connection was completely shoddy. We just gave up on it for a while.

The next page is still slow in coming. I'm afraid to say that I'm still scrabbling to prepare for ConnectiCon. Sure, it's a month away, but you may be surprised how fast that month can fly. Inventory to restock, portfolio to re-organize, panel to plan, money to be saved, plans to be planned, tablecloth to do, display to arrange.... Oi. But hey, I'm looking forward to it.

Oh! Exciting news! Books. >^.-.^< My library has increased with coolness. Observe:
Arnold, Thomas F. The Renaissance at War.
Delbruck, Hans. Medieval Warfare.
Gravett, Christopher. Medieval Siege Warfare.
Lane, Frederic Chapin. Venetian Ships and Shipbuilders of the Renaissance.

And I'm awaiting:
Oman, Charles William Chadwick. A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages.
Hale, J. R.. War and Society in Renaissance Europe, 1450-1620.
Delacampagne, Christian. Here Be Dragons: A Fantastic Bestiary.

...I feel like such a geek. ...And if anyone happens to know of any good books on medieval/Renaissance warfare, feel free to let me know (a[dot]luthrai[at]gmail[dot]com).

And if you have not checked out Where the Hell is Matt?, you need to. Yes. Need.
And if that wasn't enough of a feel-good thing.... Discovery Channel gets it right, too. The World is Just Awesome. Boom De Yada.

I spend an entire week thinking of all the witty things I could type up in my updation-comments. Then update day comes and I'm completely blank. It's really quite frustrating.
Don't ask how many layers have gone into this... Or how many left to go. I don't know about Sly's end, but my end of it was and is layer-riffic. What certainly hasn't helped this page has been a lack of sleep and Spore. The trial version of the creature creator came out the other day and the full version is now downloading as I type. But hey, at least I've got the flat-colouring done... mostly. Some of it obviously requires touch-up, while the rest cries out for finishing. Both of those require more than 5 hours of sleep in the past two days.

That yellow house in the foreground there? The one next to Jerome? Uhm... It's not going to be that shade of yellow by the time I'm done with it. And it'll have actual windows, too. ...That horse might also be a horse of a different colour... We'll see. But hey! A coloured page!! It's been a while since that's happened, hasn't it?

Page 9 on its way for next week. It... Has another panel like the third one here that's going to be a bit of a doozy. While I like wide, atmospheric angles... They're a pain to draw.

....My lizard is currently trying to tell me something, and I've no idea what. She keeps scrabbling at the side of her tank and looking at me. And... Oh, she ahm... made a mess for me to clean up. It was hiding under a fold of newspaper. I love that Bannock doesn't like a dirty tank and will let me know when I need to do something about it by scrabbling furiously and giving me pointed glares. Unfortunately, she glares a lot and scrabbles when she wants to get out, too. ^.=.^

Oh, and the Creature Creator finished downloading... Uhm.... See people next week!

Panel two brought to you by a telephone pole.
I discovered that telephone wires are a good way to figure out vanishing points and the like. I've spent quite a while outside on the sidewalk, wandering around with a ball and a ruler, making weird faces and talking to myself (the ball is my focal point). Now, if you've looked at the Lemallian map, you'll know that the clocktower is a fair distance away. Just to give ou a vague idea of size, is all. No, it's not a small city; it's a bloody huge clocktower. At least it's supposed to be.

I don't think I want to mention how backgrounds took a full week. I shake my fist long and hard at panel three. Panel five on the other hand, is a complete cop-out. Observe the following IM conversation:
Luthrai: .....Ohh..... potential crap. Angle for p5. ...Is it going to be showing the main gate?
Sly: ................
Luthrai: ....That is a line of dots I don't like.
Sly: likely...uhm....
Luthrai: .........
Luthrai: fork.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of cop-outs, but the part of my brain that deals with perspective feels like the coagulated jelly stuff you find on the inside of tomatoes. Or jellyfish.

I also have good news: My tablet is on its way back home! The cord has been replaced for a reasonable amount of money, so it will hopefully no longer shut my computer down when I try to plug it in. And drafting tables are amazingly cool pieces of furniture. I'm currently using one that used to belong to Sly's grandfather (it's very nice). I had to rearrange my room to get it to fit, and I'm now severely lacking things like "floorspace," but I'd say it's worth it. It's made this page so much easier to work on.

Lastly, summer is here. I hate it. I was made neither for heat nor humidity. The humidity finally broke last night with a storm and the best lightning I've seen in years. Today was actually a bearable temperature, and I can only hope that the rest of the week follows suit.
Oh, and speaking of heat and hating it- If you haven't read A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, you should. It's actually kept me from slamming through the new Simon Green book I just picked up, and it takes a lot to keep my nose out of a Green book. Like... A lot a lot.



Granite State Comicon came and went in a bit of a flurry. I mean, we were so on top of this one that we handed out table registration and fee in when we got there. But get there we did. We came. We saw. We sold absolutely nothing. Well, almost true. I ended up selling a small print towards the end of the day to Jason Casey, the artist sitting across from us (a href="">alternate site. He's a cool guy, so you should check out his stuff. And no, I'm not saying he's cool just because he bought something; I honestly enjoyed talking with him.
Both Sly and I were sick, so we had a box of tissues and a bottle of hand-sanitizer under our table. Nevertheless, she made the rounds to talk with fellow artists, while I was mostly lame and stuck to the table. However! Being lame did not prevent me from meeting people like Scott Wegener of Atomic Robo! He had a really spiffy trick regarding perspective and comic panels. It shall be put to good use. Sly was the one who talked to him first and heard this tip, came back and told me, I later wandered over to his table to say, "that is the ossim-est thing ever, thankyouthankyou," only to find that he'd gotten up and found his way back to our table. He was also cool to talk to. And a nice guy. And I think I've actually found a physical comic book I'll actually read now.
Colin Tedford also stopped by to chat. He has a funny little comic of his own, and introduced us to the Trees and Hills Comics Group. It's made up of comic artists from Vermont, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts... Very snazzy. It's like a conspiracy of comic artists... Maybe that's what a group of comickers should be called... a "conspiracy," hmmm....
Shelby Hamel stopped by to give us a sample of her comic - I must say, that's a good way to advertise. Thumbs up. ^_^
I saw, but did not speak to Shawnti Therrien of Am I Immortal and Azraelangel. The former we've met before at Connecticon, and the latter we met at the last Granitecon.
I know Sly talked to more people than that. Heck, I watched her. Unfortunately I'm working from memory and a pile of business cards. So I apologize to anyone whom I've overlooked.
I'm also falling asleep between sentences, so I think I'd better turn in for the night.

Panel 1 brought to you by Google SketchUp and WoW.
You will hear me extoll the virtues of SketchUp loud and long. However, the one thing I'm not too crazy about is the camera. Likely because I'm still learning to work with the program. After I got sick of getting stuck in the ceiling, I gave up and ran my warlock to the Magic Quarter in the Undercity to play around under the arches. It actually worked out pretty well.

Since last week, we've gone to see Iron Man twice. It's a cool movie. Like... I can't do it justice with any amount of conciseness. If you haven't seen it, you probably should. I mean, I wouldn't mind going to see it for a third time. My budget says otherwise, but my budget is not the boss of me. Why are movies so expensive? I thought they charged enough for food to make a tidy profit,let alone. Anyhow, it's a great cast, memorable dialogue, and put together very well. (The music is awesome, too.) And if my parents had named me, "Pepper Potts," I would have had a word or two to say to them by the time I was 12... They wouldn't have been happy words.

And speaking of awesome (albeit on a different scale), have you seen this? It's coolness in a bucket with a lightsaber-shaped handle. Watch. Enjoy. May the Force not be used against you in humorous ways.

What? Oh! The page? Right! I should talk about that. So the backgrounds for panels 2, 6 and 7 had to be redone. Working with Sly to plan the backgrounds for 6 and 7 took nearly as much time to do them, but hey, it resulted in backgrounds we could be more-or-less happy with. I think the thing that drives me nuts about perspective is that you can really tell when it's off. Makes sense, doesn't it? We live in a 3-dimensional world, don't we? The cool thing is that I'm learning something with each page... Hopefully I'll be able to put those things to work to improve. ....You'll probably hear that a lot.

And in other news, the cat ate my tablet cord. Arg. It'll be fixed, though. I'm sending it in to get repaired. C'est la vie.

I'm trying to remember why I thought that subjecting myself to this embarrassment was a good idea. It's perfectly-flipping-obvious I can't draw people, thankyouverymuch.
...The reason's not coming. Screw it. And after glancing over Sly's rant, I've got my own bone to pick:

"Collaboration." This is what wikipedia has to say about it:

Collaboration is a structured, recursive process where two or more people work together toward a common goal — typically an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature — by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

Why, in the name of mycorrhizae, is the failure being dumped on me, eh? Yeah, Sly tries to give me pretty detailed descriptions of what she wants the backgrounds to look like - most of the time. But is it really my fault that she can't remember simple (and crucial) words like "horizontal??" I mean, really. Might I also add that Sly sees a good number of these panels in progress -the time when it's easy to bloody redo the whole thing- and what? Can't interpret my multiple guidelines that are oh-so-not-carefully thrown down in a layered mess? Apparently not, because it's only after I hand her a "finished" page that I get the info that this wasn't what she wanted. At all. Times a billion. To the nth power, just for kicks. She doesn't even have to say anything. Heck, I don't even have to be looking at her to feel disappointment-vibes emenating from her. They darken the room like... like... dark, little disappointed things of emo! For the love of apple cider, I'm an empath. NOT a telepath. Get it right, sheesh. Oh, and I'll have you know that you can't use empathy on a piece of paper. I've tried, believe me.

---Ludicrously dramatic sham-rant over now. Please continue reading for things like truthfulness.---

...Though I'd like to point out that Sly has forgotten the word "horizontal," before. And yes, it resulted in redoing a panel a couple times. But I can't get on her case for it. Not with the number of things I've forgotten.
Anyhow, yeah. Collaboration is hard. Especially when you're combining the abilities of a gestural artist (does it by feel) and an illustrative artist (does it by ...uhm. Not-feel). The wires have been getting crossed more and more often lately. It's frustrating and disappointing for Sly, and frustrating^5 for me. Though last night I think we may have figured out a process to start cutting down on these problems. Now we just have to put it in action and see how it goes.
And yeah, I'm sorry our update-schedule has been suffering so much, but.... well... it's necessary.... Again. Because I know we've used this excuse before. This time, though, I think our methods of dealing with it will work- and Sly'll even learn about perspective. >^.-.^<

I'm currently tired and sore. It's a very important thing to s-t-r-e-t-c-h before physical activity- Remember that (I had fencing last night). My left knee is twinging, and somewhere in either my right knee or lower back is a pinched/compressed nerve (so the nurse tells me) that has resulted in a 4 or 5 square inch patch of numbness on my foot. It's been like that for 3 weeks, though I'm on anti-inflammatories for it now. The good news is that I'm not sick anymore. That cold I had wiped me solid for a complete week- it's been a good long while since I had a cold like that. ...I found I didn't miss them at all. For an entire week I was either at work or in bed playing WoW (because it was better than sleeping). And if I wasn't in either of those places, I was on my way from one to the other. And the only reason I was at work was because I'll get in trouble if I take another sick day between now and.... June? I forget. But whoever decided that hospital employees get 6 sick days/year was an idiot. I'd also like to mention that all my sick days were taken on the days when I only work 4 hours. *grumble grumble grumble*
See you guys next week! Promise.

[Luth'rai is currently MIA.]

Good save, Ted. Good save.
Bill... You get points for enthusiasm. Good job.

This page brought to you in part by Google SketchUp**!
All these tunnel-like shots through the gate's arch are things I have no idea how to do. So I whipped up a rough mock-up of our large Lemallian gate and got the perspectives I wanted from the camera and sketched them out. ...I'm such a lazy background artist. Though I guess I could do worse than just taking my horizon lines and vanishing points from an architectural modeling program.

Oh, those panels with large expanses of nothing but a horizon line for a background? Those lines denote that I will be busy with Photoshop, as there are some things that I do not dare to attempt with a pencil just yet. The battle with perspective moves ever onward. ...I should make up an anthem to that... Something defiant. Hmmm....

As of last night, I've started taking fencing classes- and not your standard pansy foil-type of fencing, either (using the term "foil" loosely and with no offense intended to other fencers out there). I'm talking rapier fencing. Nearly three pounds (or so I'm told) of hand-held pointy death, once a week for two hours. Boo-yah. ...My arm is so tired. You wouldn't think three pounds is all that much, but hold it at arm's length from yourself and parry, thrust, etc., and it's not going to be too long before you feel it. Unless you do it often, naturally.
The instructor is a friend of mine, and has been after me to start these classes for a while. Fortunately for me, he's letting me barter artistic services for free classes. Good deal. I did some SCA fencing up at college, but it wasn't really for me, so I dropped out of it. Historically accurate 17th century rapier techniques on the other hand, sound more like my cup of tea. history-geeking violent cup of tea. w00t.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a three pound weight to work with to make my pansy arm not so pansy.

**No, not officially.

Yeah, we're lame. We didn't do anything for April Fool's Day. In fact, I kept forgetting what day it was until Sly reminded me. ....A whole lot of things made sense after that... >.>
I think Phoenix Requiem's Jonah and the Tardis tie with Gmail's Customizable Time option this year for coolest prank.
And that reminds me that I need to watch more Doctor Who.

So while we may have been too lame to do something for April Fool's, we aren't too lame to update! Sorta. It's better than the radio silence you've been getting, isn't it? To which there also seems to be an end. And if things take a turn for the tiredness and no updating again, Sly's shown me how to update the site. Good things all 'round.

Hope everyone else is enjoying spring- We've still been getting snow. Last night we got a thunderstorm and rain, though, so I guess there's hope for us Vermonters, yet.

And once again, Luth serves as the Than-aggressor model. At least this time just involved me waving a broom about instead of slight, though definite pain. (My ears also were used for the Jerome close-ups.) >^.-.^<

On a heavier note... Yes, that family crisis that I had to deal with last week... Last Wednesday I got an unexpected call from my mom. My dog had taken a major turn for the worse and was to be put down. Sly and I drove the forty minutes to the vet to meet her and my sister there so we could all be with him. We had Dexter with us for nearly a decade so it's hit pretty hard, as I'm sure most of you can imagine. I said "my" dog even though he's lived with my mom because as far as he was concerned I was "his" human. Makes reciprocal ownership only fair, yeah?
Trying to work past it and all inasmuch as I can, but I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a bit slow to regain my feet. It actually shouldn't interfere with the comic too much, since we've dropped to this bi-weekly update rate and all.

My little sister also just spent the last several days with me. Which was a lot of fun, honestly. We watched things like Firefly and hung around doing nothing much. Like I said, 'twas fun.

Yeah, not much from me this week.

Sly: *holding up the 3rd panel* "Multi-pass!"
Luth: . . . >.-.<

For those of you who haven't seen The Fifth Element, that reference will mean nothing to you. For those of you who have... well, it might take a bit of scratching, but who can honestly forget Leeloo's proclamation of, "multi-pass"?
(Now the funny part is that Sly is the one who hates this movie, while I like it. And yet she's the one who comes up with the reference.)

One day perspective won't whup my tail as hard as it does now. Until then, you (and I) will just have to deal, and I'll just sing frustrated songs while erasing furiously. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually rather pleased with how the gate came out; but I won't say that it wasn't a pain, or that it's perfect. Oh, just so we're all clear, the two smaller gates that are meant for pedestrian traffic bring you out to the raised sidewalk within the city. They're meant to be the same depth as the middle gate, but the way they ramp up messes with the perspective a bit.

And along with perspective- one day I'll be able to draw birds! And bird tails! The road up until that glorious point is lined with even more frustrated songs. Ah, well. Let's call it a "learning experience," wot? As well as a lesson in patience and serenity. Or something.

Now hopefully you've all read Sly's comments first, so that when I say, "Yes, we're dropping down to bi-weekly updates," it won't come as a shock. We hate to do it, but after discussing it we've agreed that it's the best thing to do for now. Granted, I've managed to have a life on top of the comic (since I don't do as much of the work), but it's still not much fun to have to tell your friends that you've been up to "work and comic," when they ask where've you been for the past month. Let me reassure you though: It will be temporary, and it's not like we're going to be slacking.

Uhm... So do we have any news that's a bit more cheerful? Ahm... I've got new gloves. They're warm, cozy, and best of all, fit my pathetically skinny hands more or less. Needless to say, I wore them while doing most of the backgrounds here. It's always a blast when you're cold enough to wear gloves while you're inside.

Anyhow, it's bedtime for me. I'm not afraid to say that this perspective-heavy page has burned me out for the time being, though I expect I'll get over it in a day or so. [All that walking back and forth to Perspective's house, y'know? Just so we can spend an entire evening sitting on opposite sides of the table, eyeing the other uncomfortably. Every now and again one of us will laugh, but it's a tense laugh, make no mistake. After several hours of stiff conversation, I take my leave of Perspective, and trudge back home. There, I can curl up within my boundaries of "does not do backgrounds," "prefers the organic to the inorganic," etc.]

I'd like to add my congratulations to Sly's to our contest winners. This year's winning entries proved to be a bit difficult to pick; not like they're ever easy, though. Again, my sincere gratitude to everyone who entered- we both deeply appreciate it.

Re: This week's page-
Do scribbley stonework on the wall before the page gets scanned. Doing it in Photoshop is not fun. 9_9 Live and learn, I guess.
This week I've actually been working a lot. Either on the page, research, castle architecture/design/etc., commissions, etc. Luth's been a busy little dragon and it shows. It's weird, I think I could easily sleep eight hours a night and be happy.... as opposed to my usual six. Or four. (I don't like sleeping a lot, so eight's... a lot of sleep.) I know part of the "sleeping more" thing is medication related, but not all of it.
Anyhow, I'm hungry and tired and a bit cold. I think I'm going to go fix all three of those problems and leave you all with Than's monstrous line-- I mean the page. ^_^;
Yay, politics. >^.-.^<

First off: Thank you very much to everyone who entered into the contest. Results will be posted soon (I imagine). ....sometimes I'm not nearly as "on-board" with this whole "scheduling" thing as I'd like to be. >^.-.^;<

Second: I'm four teeth poorer (along with several hundred dollars). Thank you to everyone for being understanding. At least... you all seemed pretty understanding... >.> That filler that Sly put up was pretty much verbatim (though I never actually told her to bite me). To anyone who looks forward to the same procedure: It wasn't a picnic, and I wouldn't want to do it again, but it wasn't half as bad as what I was expecting. Not exactly words of encouragement, I know, but I wouldn't dread it too much.
I had my follow-up this past Monday and apparently everything looks like it's healing well. So... Hurrah!

Since then, well... I've been up to some things. Like going to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I very much enjoyed it, though I tend to enjoy dark musicals a lot, so it's not as though that was a surprise. I thought both the acting and singing to be very well done - the latter almost surprisingly so since most of the actors aren't singers. Of course, now I have songs of bitter barber-do(o)m stuck in my head and a hankering for meat pie. Seriously. I want meat pie. I've had meat pies in London before and they were fantastic and not sketchy. Of course, it's a bit hard to find a London meat pie in southern Vermont. Alas.
Also been reading some of Niccolò Machiavelli's works. I finally sat down and read The Prince, and now I'm reading The Discourses and The Art of War. They're all well-written and amazingly informative if you want to learn about warfare and politics. Which Sly and I do. Politics will be cropping up a lot in Ambition and we would prefer that they made sense. As far as learning about warfare goes... Well, we've already mentioned the involvement of mercenary groups later on in the story, and I've always been a trifle uncomfortable with knowing next to nothing about the specifics of warfare. That's certainly changing as time goes on, though. These books might not be particularly long, but Machiavelli is not one to waste time or words when it comes to writing. (I wish I could write like him.)

For the record- those are supposed to be Modicana cattle, an Italian breed. I didn't want them to be strolling by heifers, so I did some research. And if there are any Italian speakers out there, can any of you tell me what this site is about? At least... I'm pretty sure it's Italian... Looks like it to me.

Until next week!

[Comments Pending...if she ever gets out of bed....]

And now, so much is explained about Than.

Yeah. Right. Pretty yellow, though, aye?

Before I get any further though- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTER! Wednesday was her birthday. >^.-.^< Oh, and happy birthday to Ambition, too. Feels to me like we've been doing this a lot longer than two years, but that might just be me.
It felt pretty nice to get back to work on the comic. Though that city gave me more than one headache. I'm rather looking forward to when we get to see it more up close and personal rather than the far away and removed view we currently have.

Haven't been feeling too great, lately. I've been kind of out of it- and rather prone to doing stupid things. Like absently touching the metal grille of an electric heater, then being surprised that it's hot. Things seem to be going a bit better now, though. w00t.
Not a whole lot more to talk about, so I'll see you folks next week.

Before I go: See those gulls in panel 4? Those are Heermann's Gulls (Larus heermanni), in breeding plumage. These gulls live on North America's Pacific Coast, but their breeding grounds are limited- one island serves 95% of the species' breeding population. With all their eggs in one basket, so to speak, the main threats to Heermann's Gulls consist of various disturbances on the nesting grounds (egg harvesting, industrialization, tourism, predation, etc.).
What You Can Do:
If you follow the Audubon link above, they'll give you three links at the bottom of the page if you're interested in assisting with the monitoring and conservation of not only Heermann's Gulls, but birds in general. There's the Christmas Bird Count, eBird and CIPAMEX's Important Bird Area Program. (Note: That last link appeared as a 404 for me.)
The Christmas Bird Count (or CBC) is the "longest-running citizen-science monitoring programs in the world," according to Audubon. It's also one that I've meant to get involved with for a while, but haven't been able to as of yet. You should check it out, though.

As of late, I've been playing amateur architect and pretending I can draw buildings. You'll see this for yourselves next week. Steel yourselves, I say... Steel yourselves.
As it is, if you look at the update, you can see my twisted mind at work on the wealthy district. Next I have to go back and fill in all the blocks Sly put in with smaller streets and generally make things look crazy.
Right now I've got lighthouses on the brain, as I've spent the better part of the evening researching them. They're pretty cool, though, so I don't mind. As a result, I've had Birdhouse in Your Soul stuck in my head for the past few days. It is entirely the fault of this verse:
"There's a picture opposite me
of my primitive ancestry,
Which stood on rocky shores
And kept the beaches shipwreck free.
Though I respect that a lot,
I'd be fired if that were my job-
After killing Jason off And countless screaming Argonauts."

(I heard that the song is from the point of view of a nightlight...or something. I don't know for sure, but I could certainly see that. I only know that it gets stuck in my head very easily.

In other news. It's cold. Or it was. We ran out of oil earlier, and had thus been forced to find inventive ways of heating the apartment for the past three days. Boiling water on the stove works wonders, we find. It also makes the grease melt off our kitchen walls... Not so cool, but at least our walls are cleaner, yeah? Anyhow, the- or rather, a downside to having no heat (besides outside temperatures dropping and inside temperatures hovering around 60'F at the warmest is that my lizard, Bannock, has to weather it as well. I nearly gave myself a heart attack the other night because I thought I killed her by forgetting to turn her heatlamps back on overnight. She's fine, currently warm, and the recipient of a good portion of my attentions as well as the right half of my (new- thank you, Mom) MP3 player's headphones.
Note to Self: Bannock doesn't seem to care much for rock music. Alas.

I guess my only other news of note is that I finished playing Assassin's Creed earlier today. It was a fun game, though I'm saddened by the fact that stealth didn't play into nearly as much as I was hoping. Rather than being the offspring of Tenchu and Prince of Persia, Assassin's Creed is more like the latter, with aspirations to parts of the former. In fact, the times when you have to be stealthy are few and far between. It certainly helps if no one sees you disembowel a guard, but it is by no means vital. The fact that you can climb most everything is still pretty sweet. I'm a bit biased though, as I'm a born climber. I climbed out of my crib, I climbed up bookcases if left unattended, I was the monkey on the monkey bars, I got myself stuck in more than 1 tree fort, and I was always trying to see just how high I could climb the tree. Any tree. My idea of "fun" when I was little was climbing up monkey bars then jumping off them, trusting my dad to catch me. (That's what I've been told, at least, but I'll believe it.) Anyhow, Altair's climbing animations are wonderfully done and very smooth. They're also varied enough so that I never got bored with watching them.
The ending was pretty abrupt, though. I mean, sure it screams "sequel" and all, but that's no consolation for the fact that you're left standing there going, "Hunh... Well... That was.... Dangit! What's going on?!"
I still liked the game a lot, though. And I'm quite certain I'll be getting the rest of the trilogy (as that's what I hear it's supposed to be). Mm... I might do an actual review.. But now now. Kinda like I've got a cityscape to do.

*is recuperating from the holidays*

Assassin's Creed is a cool game. (More to come...) >^.-.^<

Mirrormask is better than I expected (the previews never really 'grabbed' me, y'know?). Hurrah Jim Henson Company! And Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean!

Hope everyone else had a good holiday.

New site!
New kinks.
Still, kudos to Sly for working it out. And to Vriaeliss for fixing up the forums, too. Everything looks all nice and snazzy.
Winter has finally come to Vermont! Over the course of the past few days we've received 18 to 24 inches of snow. w00t, say I! Once more, walking becomes a wonderful frustration, and to walk anywhere in a timely fashion requires that you redefine your version of "timely." I've been doing a good deal of walking- mostly to work, but also to the dentist's and the oral surgeon's. See, I need to have my wisdom teeth out- a.s.a.p. The operation is scheduled for next month, and I'm doing my best to not think about how much it's going to cost me. Rather, I'm tryng to focus on how much it won't cost me because I finally have insurance again. >^.-.^<

Mm, so not much from me in the way of comments this week. My mind's drawing a blank and I'm a bit more preoccupied wih the fact that I'm going to have to start drawing cities again. On the one hand, it'll be fun, and a change of pace. On the other hand... Can anyone say "Daunting"? The good news behind that is that we'll be getting chapter 3 underway in the near future. (You're allowed to cheer.)

Oh, and happy holidays to everyone, too. >^.-.^<

No, Luth didn't follow through with a diabolical plan to obtain a PS3.
Of course saying that would be a lie.

Yes, Luth is now the proud owner of a PS3- I assure you (*cough*Xbox users*cough*), this decision was not made lightly. I've never owned a console gaming station before... it's kinda weird. But cool.

Anyhow, the first game bought was Heavenly Sword (English-speakers, go to the UK site- the US site seems to be kinda buggy). Sly and I had read some reviews that claimed the game was "repetitive" and had too many hard puzzles.... We do not know what they were talking about. The game is beautiful. The puzzles are few and pretty darn easy. And it's repetitive in that it's a video game and "these buttons" do "these things" when pushed in "this order". You know, the constants that make it a game rather than life. I think one of my few gameplay complaints would be that the first mission where you play Kai, the little cat-ninja-archer girl (who's 18), is one where you shoot at guys running (and dodging) from cover to cover at night. I think that the Aftertouch idea- where you exert a limited amount of control over a thrown or propelled object through the SixAxis controller -is one that is better introduced when there is distnce, light, and relatively stationary targets. Like catapults. Those made perfect target practice.

And, just so you all know... Andy Serkis is awesome. I mean, the rest of the cast they found was great, too, but Serkis just stands out. He's a wonderfully sketchy bad guy. He also was the dramatic director for the game- meaning he directed all the motion capture. Kinda like he's the guy you associate with motion capture nowadays.

So if you ever have the opportunity, I totaly suggest you try out Heavenly Sword. (And yes, I did end up killing an oraguman-thing with a watermelon.)

I'm not going to hope that I'm not coming down with something as my wanting to be asleep 1/2 the time I'm home is indicating. Because that would be no fun at all.

These comments brought to you live! From Luth's mother's house in New Hampshire.
Or not so live.
At least they've been brought, eh?
I've spent an entertaining evening watching Army of Darkness with my mom and sister.... I was actually stunned to hear that my mother had rented that. On purpose, even. I mean.... Well, she's my mom, y'know? Followed by some fun conversation, my sister and I then watched The Gamers on my laptop when she was supposed to be in bed. So Mom, if you happen to read this, it was my fault. Yep. 'Course, I didn't have to twist her arm any, but... still my fault. >^.-.^<

Speaking of watching things, I got to watch this demo of Assassin's Creed. It had me drooling. I mean, it looks like Tenchu and Prince of Persia got put together. And an equation like this only equals lots of Luth-Love. Is a PS3 to be seen in the near future? Quite possibly.

You want to know something weird? I seem to have a wireless internet connection at my mother's house... I have no idea how, except that I'm leeching off a neighbor without realizing it. But this is cool, because it means I get to work on my laptop, rather than my mom's crash-happy desktop.
Speaking of crashing, it's something I need to do. Work was hard today and Sunday I get to look forward to at least half a day of moving heavy stuffs around. So! I bid thee all good night, and turn in to the sleeping bag on the floor of my sister's old room (she took mine when I moved out).

Many many thanks to Karnanyd for this week's filler, starring a very pretty Bashirah!
.....Karn's got nice handwriting, too... I hadn't actually noticed before. Anyhow. It's a very cute idea, and I love how Karn executed it. >^.-.^<

Ambition's 2 birthday is coming up! Again, there will be contests. Sly has the details.

Random tangent: It's rather daunting when your co-workers decide to volunteer/nominate you to head up the whole "decorate the department for Christmas and attempt to win a pizza party" contest-thing. Because I'm the "artistic" one. So... I guess we'll see how that works out... I'm more of an illustrator rather than designer. Ah, well.

I've had the apartment all to myself this week... It's been pretty nice. Don't get me wrong, I'll be very glad to see Sly and Vriaeliss this weekend, but I am enjoying the quiet space. I've even been trying to take advantage of it to get colouring done... It's been working, for the most part. The holiday/birthday thing's made it a little difficult, but ehn. Whatever. I've cleaned the apartment as well, and on top of that, I've even been remembering to *gasp* feed myself! When left to my own devices, I tend to forget such basic needs. >^.-.^;<
Speaking of such basic needs... I think it's time to go take care of dinner. And then colour. And not play F.E.A.R.. Because that would be counter-productive.

And I need to stop forgetting that blinking is a good thing to do... Sheesh.

Thanks for the art, Varethane! *lurves the filler*
Next week, Karnanyd was kind enough to send in a guest comic, so we'll be posting that. Advance thanks to Karn, though. >^.-.^< ...and I'm actually lame because I never emailed her to tell her that I loved it. Attempt to rectify! Karn! I thought your comic was great and mightily cute. >@.-.@< (...okay, so that was a really lame attempt at rectifying, but I'm kinda wiped right now... [lame excuse, too])

Ah... Moving on, shall we?
This week, I've worked on the chapter 2 cover some, uhm... free-scripted more with Sly, and... worked m'job. Pre-holiday rush at the hospital - Oi. Extra work hours for Luth, along with extra tiredness, extra stress, and extra pain because concrete floors suck. I've also been going on 3hrs of sleep per night for the past 3 days. So, well-rested and coherent is something Luth is currently not.

Ahm... Random news. It's my birthday next week on the 22nd (Yep, Thanksgiving... upon which I was actually born, so I guess that makes me a turkey-baby) So yeah... I'll be turning 23. Hunh. Sorry, I'm still kinda like, "What? What birthday?" So it hasn't really hit me yet. Maybe it won't. *shrug*

Not really a whole lot to say on this end. Sly and Vriaeliss are off next week, visiting, leaving me all by my dancing lonesome. I don't really plan on doing much except vaccuuming the rug, maybe mopping the kitchen floor... and other various household tasks that don't ofen get done around here. Oh, and getting work done. Of course. To those who celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving. >^.-.^<

Y'now what? I never thought that I could ever be scared of Julie Andrews. I thought wrong. (If you've seen Mary Poppins, I suggest clicking.)

Wooo! I did filler! Totally Sly's idea, though.

And like Sly said:
We suck.
We're trying hard not to, but... It's largely an uphill battle.... We'll do it, though - we're both stubborn and want to get it done.

Mm, so Sly tells me that I'm allowed to let slip that these 11 characters are all mercenaries (there are more, too, just not here), and that they're pretty much all me. Reason? Well, up 'til then, I didn't have very many characters in the story and we both thought that I ought to have more. Sly was looking at some of the later chapters and realized she needed a whole bunch of mercenaries and hadn't done anything with them and went, "Hey, Luth, you want them?" To which I went, "Yay!"
(Later I went, "What was I thinking!?" Honestly, try being 11 people simultaneously. Now try doing it for 10 hours straight. For a few days in a row. Let me know if your brain hasn't short-circuited.)
I love my mercs, though. Lock 'em in a room together and you've got hours of entertainment. >^.-.^<

Back to the page! Or rather, the page that isn't up because it's not quite done. I'll blame some of my slowness on the fact that I spent the entire time it took me to colour the backgrounds thinking, "So... How did I do this again?" Hopefully I'll catch on and go fast on the rest. Scratch that. I will catch on and I will go faster.

Elick pointed this cool bit of paleontological awesomeness out to me. Read it. Watch it. Then, go to and try to contain your glee.
....And bear in mind that those instructions are totally biased (as if you couldn't already tell). Having been after skeleton and skull references for months, this site made me dance. Really, I wiggled and squee-ed in my chair. Not to mention that the concept of this alone is cool. Putting fossils through a CT scan or two (or a lot) and get getting a 3D computer model? From which you can make a physical wax model? Which you could then get cast in bronze? >@.-.@<

The geek shall subside for the moment.
See you next week.

Well, slow but sure progress is being made on the gazillion pages we need to colour still. It's been a while since I've done much colouring, so it's a "Quick! Hurry up and remember how to do this and do it!" kind of thing for me. ..... Half-Life 2 doesn't help. However, this has been rectified, as I just beat it. [w00t!] Now I just need to not get my grabby little hands on HL2: Episode 1. 'Cuz that would be bad timing.
Oh, did I mention the Half-Life series is cool? Because it is. I ask myself why I didn't start playing these games earlier. I mean, you're a theoretical physicist! With weapons! Does an FPS get any better? Well, it would if you could do just a little bit more with Dr. Freeman's oft-mentioned, but never seen M.I.T. Ph.D.. As it is.... You push a button... Flip a switch.... Plug in a cord.... And that's most of your lab-usefulness. Ah, the jobs you can get with a degree. They stagger the mind...

Speaking of jobs and degrees... I received my lab tour earlier this week. It looks cool. Of course, the two positions people tend to like the least are the ones where it's you using your brain. This means that you could screw up and someone could die. ...So far, those are the positions that sound the most interesting... ...barring the "death" part. I didn't get to see everything, though, so next week I'm going to stay after again and see the rest of it. To get any position there, though, I'll have to take some classes... somewhere. And unfortunately, I have no car... Or really any idea of how to swing job + classes. But that's because I haven't asked, yet. I still have information to read on various lab positions and such.
.....dude.... I could work in a lab....
...I'm still trying to come to grips with this idea.

Um, what I did for this page? Nothing. Obviously. Except comment on how skinny Jerome is; though I don't think I'm one to talk about someone being skinny. I swear, every time I go home, my mom asks me if I lost weight, because I look skinnier. *sigh*

One last thing.... Have you ever read Robert Louis Stevenson's, Treasure Island? If you haven't, you should. I've had a copy for years and years - given to me for some occasion when I was a lot younger and couldn't even read the first five pages of the thing without losing interest. I read it now and go, "Oh wow... This is fantastic!" So. Seriously, go read it.

The Colouring calls!

So, would you like to know what I did for this page?
Okay, not quite true. I made some brushes. The grass and leaf brushes to be precise. And, ah, that was it. Pretty snazzy as far as I'm concerned, as it meant I could spend a little more time than usual working on other projects. And not playing Half-Life 2. Nope, not me. Luth? Play a computer game? Naaaah. You're crazy. >^.-.^;<
(Oh, and by the way, Half-Life 2 is awesome. I mean, I've heard a ton of good things about the Half-Life games, and I haven't really seen anything contrary to what I've heard.)
And those projects I mentioned? You'll be seeing some of their results next chapter.

A general FYI for everyone: Breaking a two and a half day fast with Chinese take-out isn't the best idea in the world, as my digestive system so informs me. Of course, only getting a mere 6 or so hours of sleep after after pulling an accidental near-all-nighter might also be partially at fault.

Oh! Something I've been meaning to put up for a while before our catch-up month of November! Dress Like a Time Traveler Day was brought to our attention by a friend. Last I knew, it was tentatively scheduled for December 8th. At the very least, it sounds like a blast. The unfortunate thing is that I work on Saturdays (and it is a Saturday). This is what afternoons were invented for. And the even better part is that you could get away with running up to some random person and accost them in some crazy but harmless fashion and they won't try to hurt you for it where we live. Personally? I say go for it. If you can, that is. Sly and I have talked about a few ideas already. >~.-.^<

And lastly, some news regarding my work: I'm going to get a tour of the lab Tuesday! My foot in the door scheme has succeeded! I'll actually get to find out if I want to work there instead of the laundry. At the very least I'd expect it to pay better. And I'd (hopefully) get to use my brain. Those are two big pros right there. A large con is that it could very well be a huge increase in hours. I like only having to work 28 hours a week. I could deal with 32, I suppose, but anything higher would start interfering with everything else I do. I tend to hold onto a workload of close to three jobs more or less, but I only get regularly paid for one of them. *sniff* And naturally it's the one I like the least. But that's whining best saved for later. Now, it's time to finish up chapter 2, so we can move onto the bigger and better chapter 3. ....I think it's bigger, at least..... It's definitely better. Like, a story actually begins to start. If anything, Ambition is on the slow-paced side of things. We're all the way through chapter 2, and the story has yet to appear still. But it will. Oh, it will.

And, very lastly.... I miss Kasumi. It's not like we knew each other very well, but I still liked having her and her sister around.

Well, the theatre is over - for now. Instead, I'm picking up commissions from my co-workers. I'm just not happy when I'm not busy, apparently. And of course, as a procrastinator, I'm busy because I never do anything. >^.-.~<

And as I'm sure Sly has mentioned (we write our comments without really talking to one another), she and Vriaeliss went to go see Nightwish in concert. Originally, I'd been hoping to go to this concert too, but as it turns out I had other obligations to attend to *coughStageManagingcough*. Nevertheless, I admit to being on the jealous side of things, despite hearing about how loud things were and ears still ringing and whatnot. See, my ears are pretty sensitive, and many is the time I can hear Sly's music from her headphones while across the room (or even in the other room). So if she and Vriaeliss were saying how loud they thought things were, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I wouldn't have enjoyed myself very much, as I'd've been preoccupied with how much my ears hurt, rather than how cool Nightwish is.
(Honestly, that doesn't help the jealousy factor very much. I mean.... Nightwish..... ...Ah, well.)

Um... Other news... Other news, other news... There has to be some, doesn't there? Um. Hm.

Yeah, not really coming up with much. I mean, we've got one more page of this chapter (w00t!), then we've got to shift like there's no tomorrow to finish all the colour for this chapter, attempt to build up a buffer for the next chapter, finish up the new site, and anything else we can think of. It'll be fun. ....Yeah... fun.

As it turns out, I apparently bolted from last night's post-production party a little too soon, as I was just informed (via email) that they had something for me. Oops. I'm not very good at parties - too many people per square foot. Plus I was tired and car-less, so I didn't want to hold up the ride I had hitched for the evening. ....I feel bad now. Though not terribly so, because I'm self-centered enough to know that I was exhausted and really just wanted to go to bed last night. *sigh*

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to immerse myself in Morrowind for a little while.

Oh. Well... Theatre's been going well. Apparently people are under the impression that I make a good stage manager. >o.-.O< Though I must admit, I've had a lot of fun learning how to talk over a room full of people, and wander up to strangers, introduce myself, and proceed to (politely) boss them around. >^.-.^< The actors are all great people to work with, and I hope I get the opportunity to work with them again in the future. Next week is our final week, and hopefully it will be as good as this past week. Last night? Our theatre seats 75 people. There were 79 people there (we put out folding seats). So. Sold out house. Wicked cool. And the atmosphere is different than a regular play. I think it's because these are 10 minute plays, so the expectations are different.

In other news: I've been introduced to Arathi Basin in WoW. It's so much fun. The only downside to the entire thing is that I'm a priest. Therefore, when you hit me, I go *squish* pretty quickly. At least, that's when two or three people are hitting on me. One-on-one, I tend to be able to hold my own... just not as well as some other people. However, because I'm a priest, I don't really care about hurting you; I care about keeping my buddy alive long enough so he can hurt you more. Or capture your flag or whatever. I do that, and I consider my mission accomplished. And I can do that. So it's cool.
This morning, actually, I played a lot or Arathi, even though I was supposed to be finishing the backgrounds. >^.-.^;< However, there turned out to be something like a 20 minute wait time to get in, so I finished the page during those, and then turned to commission work when I was done.

Other than that... I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I hear Into The Woods calling my name. Have you ever seen that? If you're at all into musicals, you should. I mean... Well... Just see it (Or rather, a portion of it).

No longer do Audriel and Than float in nothingness! Oh, and Bashirah, too.
Re: Panel 2. (Paraphrased by Luth)

Sly: Hey, look at this awesome angle from which I drew Than!

Luth: Yeah! Awe--...some.... Wait. I need to draw Bashirah from that angle, too.... >.-.<
This is to say that panel 2 probably took the longest for me to finish. I'm still not all that comfortable drawing birds, particularly from odd angles. Sly finally ended up sketching an angled Bashirah in for me, which I then cleaned up and tweaked a little, and then Sly cleaned that up, so that our styles mesh a better. >^.-.^< I do like how Bash turned out in panel 4, though, so I'm not gonna complain about how awkward she was back in 2. 'S'kinda funny, birds are so simplistic in shape... and yet, so complicated. Or maybe that's just my inexperience talking. Anyhow, birds are cool. Uber-cool, even.

As you may or may not have guessed, I'm running another show at the theatre. The good news is that it only runs two weeks, and it starts this Thursday. It's a series of 10 minute plays, 6 of them, in fact. We started tech Sunday, and by "we" I really mean "I". For the past two nights, I've stood back in the lighting booth, taking down cues as the directors/producer throw them at me during rehearsal -and this is music and sound, mind you. Last night I was actually setting up cues and programming them into the lighting board while running lights. Which might sound impressive (or not), but it's really not that bad. What gets bad is when the plays are short and have multiple cues scattered throughout, and land me trying to program cues for the play next in line, running sound and lights for the play going on now, and taking down notes and corrections from the directors. Simultaneously. Or rather, as close to simultaneously as I can get. *sigh* I love theatre.

Today marked the end of my three-month probation period for my job at the hospital. I passed, so I can keep my job. >^.-.^< Essentially, the review went like this:
Manager Cool-Guy: So. You're doing excellent work. Everyone likes you. Keep it up. Just stop being late.
Me: *thumbs-up* Awesome. Will do.
Yeah, my one problem at work is that I've shown up late more times than I care to admit. More times than not, I had a legitimate excuse (meaning it wasn't, "Um... I have no willpower in the morning and just went back to bed...."). But even a legitimate excuse doesn't change the time, so I shall instead be grateful that my manager is a nice and understanding guy.

Besides comic, theatre and work, I've also been playing. Things like... Oblivion. Can anyone say "love"? Granted, so far I still like Morrowind better, but Oblivion has it's high points, too. Take vampirism, for instance. In Morrowind, if you picked up vampirism, forget it, no one's going to talk to you except for a select few- and most of them are the vampires of the Clan you then belonged to. Everyone else will go, "AHHHH!!! A vampire! Stay away!" Whereas in Oblivion, vampirism is not the crippling condition it was before. People interact with you normally, until you've gone too long without chewing on someone's neck. At that point, you'll not only toast in the sun, but look really freaky and everyone'll go, "Stay back, monster!! You're not getting any of my blood!" All you need to do at that point is go find a sleeping somebody, -quietly- chew on their neck, and you're hunky-dory again, just lacking some of the more extreme vampire-powers. (Best vampire power ever? One of the minor ones, so you never lose it. Let's you see in the dark, and sense everything that's alive around you. Granted, it must be a loose definition of "alive" because zombies and skeletons count.) Um, right, that was a lot more of a ramble than I initially intended. Well, if it doesn't interest you, y'don't read it, right? So it works out all right in the end.

So I've got to scram. I've got a cue sheet to write out and triple check in the next 2 hours. And not play Oblivion. Yes. Um.. Later.

Quite a bit to report on, today.
First off, GraniteCon! GraniteCon was a nice little con, really. I believe we were the only webcomic there, so I felt a little out of place. Especially because I've never read much in the way of comic books, so it was all like, "Oooo.... Um... What's that?" Only not as much as you'd think, because I hardly left the table. When all was said and done at the end of the day, I actually didn't sell a thing, but Sly did. >^.-.^< I didn't actually expect to sell anything either, and if I went to cons with the solitary goal of making money, I'd be horrendously disappointed in no time flat - which is why I go to these things with a slightly different set of priorities. Suffice to say, I thought the con was a good deal of fun (they claimed it was a low-key year - I believe them), as well as a success. The trip over was even pretty nice, even if Sly and I tacked on some twenty minutes or so to our drive by going the wrong way on the highway first thing in the morning. A rocky start, but the rest of the trip went smoothly. Which was great, because I've never driven to Concord before. And the most recent times I've been there, I was asleep most of the way there, making my recollection of directions not helpful. Which is why MapQuest is so wonderful. I am hoping we get to go back next year, too. We got to meet some awesome people, and see some awesome art. (We got to sit next to this guy. Wow.)

Re: Things I've stumbled across while online.
Freerunning is awesome.

I heard tell of a fourth Indiana Jones movie in the making. If this is true, you will not find a happier Luth. When I was little, I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. Archaeology was at its coolest when it was with the Jonses. This was my opinion, at least. And y'know what I didn't realize? Steven Spielberg is old. >O.-.o< I swear, I never gave any thought as to how old the guy was before. And I don't think I've ever really even seen a picture of him until now, either. So colour me surprised. Or ignorant. Either will do, I think.

So... I claimed I had a lot to report on... But apparently I don't..... Oh! I remember!
I finally got to see Ghostrider with Nicholas Cage. It had it's good parts. It had more of it's not so good parts. We didn't think it was all that great a movie, but when you've got two flaming Riders thundering down a dark road on a flaming horse and a flaming motorcycle to a remixed version of "Ghostriders in the Sky", I'm not sure where you can go wrong. Truth be told, that was probably my favorite part of the movie. A lot of the parts with the villians reminded me of scenes out of Buffy, which I'd rather not think about, so I won't say much more than that. Nicholas Cage, however, is still an awesome actor.>^.-.^<

Bad movies to wait until later, I have awesome (if egocentric) news: My own laptop came in! This of course means that I can now play all the games I've had for a while, but have been unable to enjoy. Like Max Payne 2. Which I just beat. And I started it... Friday, maybe? Eheh. It was a good game, though. I think I might try some of the harder difficulty settings and see how much I really suck. >^.-.^< And anyone who enjoys the Max Payne games, may I direct your attention to Max Payne: Payne and Redemption. "No one has happy endings."

Well, the past week has really just been me and my new computer (whom I've named Cutter after the Cutty Sark) getting to know each other. I think we'll get along fine, though it's taking a while to get used to this 1920x1200 screen resolution. Everything's so tiny. >O.-.o<

Before I get lost in "bad movie rant", I'd like to point out that that this page is experimentation-central. To save Sly some time, I did most of the shading on the backgrounds (minus the trees in the first panel). Sly then went through and fixed things up, of course, because we really do colour in completely different styles. And yes, Sly and I will be at GraniteCon on the 30th. If y'happen t'be in th'area, y'should drop on by. Admission's jes' $5, y'know.
All right, I'll stop the accent.

So, remember that movie I went to go see last week? Dragon War? Don't go see it. Save your money, trust me. Up until now, Dungeons & Dragons has been my bad movie example (yes, I know there are worse ones out there- but do they have dragons or Jeremy Irons? Hm?). Well forget that. Dragon Wars makes Dungeons & Dragons look decent. Scary, eh?
The plot is... nonexistent, really. The dialogue painful, and reality/basic common sense seems to have gone on a vacation of indeterminate length (certainly more than the hour and a half running time of the movie). Explanations for what the heck is going on occur mainly in flashbacks. Or in flashbacks of flashbacks. And I would love to know why 500 year-old "Korean" mythology decides to reincarnate itself in another culture halfway around the world. I'd say that the easist way to simply describe the movie would be to call it "random". Because it was. I'm not even sure where to start in on it...
Oh, and the dragons... Hurt, really. The giant snakes, or "Imoogi" (or even "Imugi") bordered on the cute side... Almost. But that was because they didn't have limbs. The one actual dragon that makes an appearance in the film was nice enough to look at, until you saw the legs, which looked to be tacked on as an afterthought. The serpentine animation of it was good though, in my opinion. The dragon-things with wings, however, did not win me over. Their physiology was typical of the modern fantasy dragon (meaning "it made no sense"), and their flight was... Well, it shouldn't have been happening, how's that?
All in all, the only way I would suggest you see this movie is with a friend. A friend with which you can mock it. Else you will likely be sad. Or miserable. My friend and I enjoyed ourselves only because we went to see it together, knowing full well it would be bad. In fact, we drove down to Massachusetts to see it at the nearest theatre it was playing at. But then, we tend to be masochists sometimes.

You know what I want right now? Pancakes.

Hey, guess what?
There's no more jungle!!
*dragon dance*

That aside, this page went a little faster than I anticipated/whined to Sly. Personally, I put this down to the incentive of going to see Dragon Wars. I don't hold much hope for it being any good whatsoever, I mean, they shorten the name down to "D-War". But hey, it's a dragon movie, right? I gotta go see it. I'll let you know how bad it is later, 'kay? ; )

Ummm....... um um um ummmmm.

I don't really have much to talk about, 'cept I've been feeling pretty blah all week. Like, I've been exhausted all the time, to the point where I'd get home from work, change out of my scrubs, curl up and sleep until dinner. And get cold at the drop of a hat. Right now, I'm wearing 3 shirts, have all the windows closed, and I'm still cool. So yeah, I hope I haven't come down with anything, and I hope it clears up soon, whatever it is.

Oh! Duh! I ordered a new computer that ought to be here soon! It's an Alienware Area-51 m5550, like Sly's, but spec'ed a little differently. I's all excited. >^.-.^<
And in other news, I got to meet an online friend in person! I spent the entire day kind of freaking out, but it was a lot of fun. I've never met someone I originally met online before, so it was a new experience.
Aaand, it's time to go catch a movie. D-War! Yar!

A page? An update? Is this allowed??
Brace yourselves: It is.

So my job has been... Not so bad, really. I love being scheduled for only 28 hours a week. >^.-.^<
My list of commissions.... Needs to get shorter. It slowly is.
Theatre has been.... virtually nonexistent. I'm technically an assistant producer to a series of 10-minute plays. So far, I've gone to one meeting, missed the auditions, and I will eventually be teaching the directors (all actors themselves) how to use the lighting board. I'm knowledgeable! Huzzah!
My WoW life? Um. Ah-heh. >^.-.^;< "Places where Luth feels like a total dork: RPing on a normal server (it's what party chat was invented for, doncha know)." And yet, "Places where Luth loves to be: RPing in WoW, period."
My financial life is (as if you cared).... WHY do I keep allowing myself into Borders??!!? I've picked up the fourth volume of Qwan, by Aki Shimizu, The Man With the Golden Torc, by Simon Green, The World's Greatest Buildings, by The City Press, and The Best of Italy, from VMB Publishers. Resolution: Luth buys no more books for 1 entire month.

Ever wonder what would happen if the Prince (of Persia) and Lara Croft duked it out? Who would win? The answer? Neither! Because they'd start duking it out Broadway style!

That's really all news from me... I could whine and whine about drawing plants, plants and more plants, but where's the fun in that, eh?

So, you want more excuses for late pages?
'Cause I've got those coming out my ears.
My co-worker at the laundry is out sick this entire week, leaving me to do her job and mine. I've been getting help from just about everyone in the department when they can spare a moment, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm not fully prepared to run the entire laundry room myself.
This week is also the final week of my stage-managing gig. On the one hand, I'll miss it. On the other... Man, I can't wait.
And then there's a wedding to attend this weekend. Granted, I can't make it, because I have to work, but there's people visiting whom I haven't seen for a while.
Then just tie all that together with a pretty bow made of exhaustion and you've got my week. >^.-.^<

Have you seen The Flight of Dragons? It's based on a book by the same name (and one that I've talked about in the dragon thread), and stars the author as the hero. The moral of the story is: Science wins. Period. But magic gets runner-up for being inspiring.... So magic gets shunted to a retirement home.
All in all, it was quite entertaining in a slightly unexpected way. Sometimes it was kinda scary, too. I mean, it's an animated film from...the early 80s. That's just a bit scary in and of itself (hey, I enjoy The Last Unicorn, too, but I'm being honest).

Ahhh... I'm kinda rambling now. Full week and 3 hours sleep makes Luth... loopy. A-yep.

Whooo boy. Sorry for the delay, guys. I just went through the second weekend of theatre performances, so I'm starting to get my life back. Only 2 more weekends to go, and then Luth is out of the theatre for a while.
On the job front- I recently switched positions in my department. Now, instead of working up on patient floors 32 hrs/week, I'm down in laundry 28-36hrs/week. So of course, this shift in hours meant I worked 48 hrs last week, on top of going to the theatre for rehearsal every night. I never want to do that again. Ever.

Back to the matter at hand- being the page; I entitle these 2 most recent pages as, "Return of the Bloody Undergrowth." Y'see, while Sly was doing all the colouring, I felt it would be pretty mean to give her all these small-leaved bushes to deal with, so they never really showed up. Now that I'm the one doing flat-colour on the backgrounds, there ain't no excuse for holding back. I can't wait until Audj and Than are out of the jungle. Or at least.... until one of them's out of the jungle. It's not written in stone that they both get out, y'know.

Life is honestly a blur sometimes.

Connecticon in a nutshell.
I'd try organize this by day, but I honestly don't remember. How lame is that?
We went to Connecticon. Barring a few mishaps (like being shut down 2 hours early Sunday), I had a lot of fun. We got to see Mookie of Dominic Deegan again, we met Robert Howard (cool guy), Lem (who does Bunny), actual fans (we were surprised that anyone there had heard of us- with the exception of Mookie, whom we met last year). I am now the proud owner of the "Ninjas can't catch you if you're on fire" shirt. We sat a table away from Flipside's Brion Foulke again- just like last year. We also got to briefly hang out with Dirk Tiede (awesome nice guy of Paradigm Shift), Brion Foulke, and Jennifer Brazas (the nice girl who does Mystic Revolution). We helped them carry stuff out to their car Sunday afternoon and Dirk and Jen let me borrow their cell phones in two futile attempts to call my aunt to get her to pick us up 2 and a half hours earlier than planned. We then tagged around with them a bit longer before going our separate ways. 'Twas fun. Oh, and Hawk from Applegeeks made the rounds and stopped by our table. The cool part was that he recognized us from the two and a half hour long webcomic panel we participated in this year.

All in all, we met cool people, had fun, sold stuff, and saved money because my family rocks. One aunt and uncle put us up for the weekend with free room and board, and another came and gave us free rides to and from the con. Aunt Debbie, Uncle Bob, and Aunt Tammy- You guys all rock with coolness, just so you know and in case you ever check this site out.

Monday we lazed around and went to go see Ratatouille. Fun little movie. You should see it.

Tuesday was back to work with me. Back to work, and back to the theatre. I go to work, get run ragged cleaning stuff, run home, throw food at the lizard, grab food (if I'm lucky) for myself, and run back out the door to the theatre. Come home several hours later, say "hi" to Sly and Vriaeliss, and promptly crash.
Today, Friday, happens to be my day off, but I get to work the weekend.
Lucky me.

1. Luth'rai has a job.
2. Luth'rai is stage managing.
3. Luth'rai is going to a convention.

Therefore: Luth'rai has ceased to exist.

This is what I had typed up last week.

Anyhow, Friday before last, Sly and I drove down to Connecticut... Rather, I drove, and Sly was the passenger (I hate driving on highways). We visited my aunt and uncle, who are wonderful people and are letting Sly, Vriaeliss and I stay over for the duration of Connecticon. They gave us Chinese takeout for dinner, let us take most of it home, and then gave us money when we mentioned we wanted to go to the bookstore. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my family? So, in this financially armed manner, Sly and I got to Borders in Manchester a scant 30 minutes before closing time (which is 10pm). She was out to find Making Comics, by Scott McCloud, and I was still after Gray's Anatomy.

We found both. And more....

Y'know how I mentioned earlier that I needed supervision in a bookstore? So does Sly.
Books recently purchased:
Gray, Henry. Gray's Anatomy. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Media Group, LLC, 2003. (Originally published: Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical. Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Company, 1901.) [Huzzah! The illustrations! The information! Awesome!]
McCloud, Scott. Making Comics.New York: Harper, 2006. [Scott McCloud rocks my world. Seriously.]
Shimizu, Aki. Qwan: Volume 3. Los Angeles: Tokyopop, 2004.[>@.-.@< The backgrounds..... Oh, the backgrounds....]
Muscolino, Joseph E. Musculoskeltal Anatomy Coloring Book. St. Louis: Mosby, 2004. [Sly found this one. It is amazing. The muscular system, layer by layer, in understandable chunks.]
The House Book. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 2001. [Finally! The world's architecture at my fingertips! Bring on the urban backgrounds!]

Don't ask what the bill was. You don't want to know.
Then, Thursday I stopped by another Borders while running an errand. What was I thinking??!
Oh right... I wanted books. >^.-.^<
Moore, Alan, and David Lloyd. V For Vendetta. New York: Vertigo, 2005. [I like the movie better- no offense intended to Mr. Moore.]
Casey, Susan. The Devil's Teeth. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005. [I'm a sucker for shark books. Curse these obsessions of mine, curse them.]

I was going to get volume 4 of Qwan, but I seriously can't afford it.

So I'm off to the con- See you folks later in the week... or next week. Whatever.

Backgrounds coloured on the fly!
What did I do Thursday morning? I woke up and started drawing backgrounds on today's page. Yes, that's right- started. I finished a little after noon, played a little World of Warcraft, and then promptly vanished for the rest of the day over to a friend's house to paint some signs for him. I got back around 10pm, had dinner, and flat-coloured backgrounds. All in all, it's been a pretty art-intensive day. I still have some other drawings to finish, but at this point, I think it's time for a break in the form of sleep.

Been experimenting a little with the leaves on some of the trees, as y'all may have noticed. I've been making the foliage on the saplings a bit splotchy, letting the background behind show through a little. How this looks shaded is still a bit of a mystery, but we'll find out in the near future.

Connecticon approaches with alarming speed! Prints have been ordered, table space arranged, and we all have a better idea of what we're doing this time round. (One day I'll order prints when I actually have money. Wouldn't that be nice? To order prints and still have money for food, rent, etc.)

All right, there is hay that must be hit, as Friday (today?) looks like it's gonna be a long day, too. More artwork to finish, a drive to Connecticut and back and... whatever else the day has in store. Being busy is fun sometimes. >^.-.^<

I'm tired.
But I have a job.
Starting July 9, I'll be working in the housekeeping department of the local hospital. Not the most amazing work, but it's a foot in the door for jobs that are more appropriate for me- aka: Labwork.
Other than that... Well, I'm still tired. Y'know how last week complained about having nightmares all the time? They've plagued me all this past week, too. I'm pinning them on the stress of the "Can I afford to pay next month's rent" question - Which is a pretty serious question. Hopefully sleep will go back to normal now that that question's been answered.

I'm trying to think of something about the page- anything about the page. All that's coming is nothing. I drew backgrounds. I flat coloured backgrounds. I listened to music and eventually got it done. Yep.

Ah, here's something: Don't let Luth'rai go into a bookstore unsupervised. It's not wise.
I've been trying to get a hold of a copy of Gray's Anatomy and yesterday I was determined to go pounce a clerk and make them take me to one. (I've tried to find this book before and while the computer claims the store has it, I haven't found it yet. It's aggravating.) I walk into the store and pass by the shelves of the bargain books. Normally I barely pay attention to these things because they rarely have books that I want. This time was different. The first one that caught my eye was Spectacular Australia. It's pages and pages of amazing photos. I sat down on the floor and paged through it, eventually going "Ooooh, references. Me want." And then, from my unique vantage point some 3 feet off the ground, I see Weather. Why did this one catch my eye? Because when I was making up a tropical habitat for my dragon, I had a heck of a time getting the information I wanted- you wouldn't think it'd be that hard to find stuff on weather patterns and such, yeah? With two books in hand, I decided that I couldn't afford a third, paid, and left. But I left happy. >^.-.^<

I think I'm gonna take a nap now.

Lookee! I was useful and did the flat-colouring for the background! w00t! >^.-.^< Now I get to help Sly play "catch-up". One thing I have to say: Jungles have too many plants. Yep.

Really not directly comic related, but there are several things that I need to not do anymore:

  • Play World of Warcraft
  • Play Prince of Persia
  • Rediscover old video games- ie, The Bard's Tale II: Destiny Knight, and The President is Missing
  • Play Battle Knight
  • Have nightmares (seriously, I haven't had a nightmare-free night for... um... about a week- maybe more)
  • Put off projects (dragon-work, tutorial stuff, font, PS work, etc.)
  • Put off getting a job (though I had an interview on Wednesday)
  • Forget to eat (I'm a lot lighter than I used to be- oops. >^.-.^;<
  • Put off dealing with my still-overflowing deviantArt inbox
  • Probably something else. There's usually something I'm not supposed to be doing.

As far as what I should be doing... Well, we won't get into that. It's just too depressing, y'know? Not really, but there certainly is a lot. Top of the list, like I said, is flat-colouring the backgrounds on the as-of-yet uncoloured pages.


Compared to the last page, this one was a breeze. It also helped that I avoided ferns like the plague.

Not really a whole lot to talk about, I'm afraid. The job hunting has begun, just like I said it would. Not really a whole lot in the way of opportunities, but enh, that's what I figured. I actually dropped off an application for the position of "Experienced Groomer" at the local vet. My qualifications? Um.... I get along well with animals. Yep. I can also wield the comb and brush with reasonable skill and vanquish ticks without batting an eye. Can I clip? Nope. Not at all. The chances of me getting that job are nonexistent. Oh well. The most likely job on the table right now is "Environmental Aide" at the hospital *cough-housekeeping-cough*. A job's a job, though, right? Wait... Haven't I said that before? Moving on.

Sly's brother was kind enough to treat Sly, Vriaeliss and myself to Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End during his stay. >^.-.^<
It was great. I mean, it's Pirates. They'd have to work to make it not be great. My only gripe about it is that I still have the uncanny ability of getting attached to the characters that die. Grah. The day I lose this talent will be a happy one, indeed. Oh well. It was still a great movie.

Bwaaaaah... Um... Anything else? Um... Well, I'm getting my tail moving on the font side of things once more. This time I even have a better idea of what I'm doing, so maybe it'll go with a bit of speed? Or... Well, at least it'll go, so let's not push our luck.

Oh. Dell sucks. Unbelievably. I mean, it's absolutely astounding how much aggravation they can cause - without taking Windows Vista into consideration. I'd love to know whose idea Vista was. Then I can kick them in the patella. Repeatedly. From the side. Yep. Arr.




Oh, was I supposed to say more about that? This is my Tuesday. All of my Tuesday. Yes, I know that's not nearly as impressive as the better part of Sly's week, but let's not judge a book by another's cover, shall we? That foliage took a depressingly long time to draw, starting with the giant hosta, there. Hostas are cool. If you don't know what one is, look it up. ....Okay, I happen to think they're cool because they're one of the few types of non-flowering plants that I can recognize in a garden. It's also a shade loving perennial. Now I'll stop pretending I know anything about gardening, because I don't.

Really, the only other thing I can say about this page is that I'm glad I didn't have to colour it. I hate drawing ferns with a passion, and colouring them isn't too far behind that in my book.
And thus concludes my week of relaxation and unfettered enjoyment... which wasn't, really. Anyhow, next week begins the dreaded job-hunting, and I'm hoping I can find a job that has the prerequisite of cognitive thinking. I'm a college graduate now and I like my brain, thankyouverymuch. Oh, right, I gradumicated college over the weekend. Go me. I used to think that after graduating, I'd be eager for a chance to let my brain relax for a while and have some low-brain-activity job somewhere. After my stint at the linen rental company, however, that thought has utterly evaporated. Of course, trying to find a job for which I'm eligible that promotes some good ol' cooking in the brainpan is a bit of a challenge. *cough-understatement-cough*

Job(less) troubles aside, um.... Well.... For good or ill I'll be getting involved in the local theatre again in the nearish future - Potentially as a Stage Manager. >^.-.^< I've never stage managed before, though I was a Lighting Chief for 3 years, so... It can't be that different, can it? Oh wait, we're talking about actors instead of techies here... Hrm... I guess we'll just have to see.

In the meantime, gotta try to beat the heat, as they say. I can handle hot weather, but my New Englander self certainly doesn't prefer it. Especially when I live in a second floor apartment in the one room that somehow absorbs all surrounding heat. Nice in the winter, not so nice in the summer. So I hope everyone else has more palatable weather, at least.

Sunday afternoon shall see me officially gradumicated from college with a Bachelor's Degree of Science.


My oral evaluation last Sunday went really well. My examinator (oh, these misspellings are completely on purpose) seemed impressed with what I'd done, told me I should write a book, and was generally cool and Scottish. My professors were both very cool, themselves, allowed me to do most of the talking (which doesn't always happen), and also seemed impressed with what I'd turned out. I was surprised that they apparently didn't think that parts of the life history of my dragon didn't horribly contradict themselves. I was even more surprised to hear that I (at least seem to) have a good grasp on the concept of life history. >O.-.o<

Anyhow, I'm slowly working on getting it formatted into HTML, and breaking it up so it's a bit easier to read for those who may be interested.

So... Graduation! W00T!

Of course, then I need to start looking for a job... Not so w00t.

Um, with books on the brain here...
Give kids books! For free!

I've been doing a lot of senior-type stuff lately, and am still trying to retrieve my brain from Plan. I actually plan on going back through my paper and making some changes and revisions- adding the stuff I wanted to, clarifying a few things, etc. But I'll hold off on that for a while. In the meantime, I've been introduced to the band, Kamelot, and have been enjoying them quite a bit. And that's really all my news....
Oh! Be sure to note the cool bushes in today's page (like panel 1)! They're really only cool due to Sly's colouring. But cool is cool, right?

And the brouhaha over at the Order of the Stick forums continues!

In the meantime, I'm still working on art for Plan... I need to be finished by tomorrow afternoonish, so I can run up to the campus and hang everything up. I also need to find something nice to wear to my oral evaluations Sunday afternoon. Now, you'd think that that wouldn't be so hard, yeah? I mean, it can't be that hard to own clothes that don't have paint splotches, tears, or other such "casual" features, can it?
Apparently if you're me it can be. Wow. I have... Um. Well, I have a tux, but I think that that would be over-dressed by a lot (not to mention hot). Hm. To the thrift store I go!

...Really not a lot to say, if you hadn't guessed by now. I'm kinda preoccupied with, oh, college. So how about I get back to y'all next week about things, yeah? Yeah.

Feed the animals!

Who mailed 91 pages of Plan, yesterday?
Luth'rai mailed 91 pages of Plan, yesterday.


So my paper for school is all done. And I mean, all done. This just leaves finishing up the art portion, and then the final evaluation.
But did I have some adventures in mailing- whoo boy, I sure did.
Wednesday was supposed to be the absolute latest I could mail my paper. I was told by my teacher that I'd have an address to mail it to, even. So on Tuesday, I pulled an all-nighter finishing up. I eventually caught an hour nap at 8.30 Wednesday morning so I didn't die. Wednesday morning comes and goes and I'm still working. I send an email to my professor asking in he's got the address for me, yet. No answer. Lunchtime comes and goes. I'm taking blatant advantage of every extra minute I get. 1.45pm rolls around, and I finally get a response-

"Re: Sooo...any word on that address?

No. Take a breather. He may have fled the country. I'm trying to find out."

No, I'm not kidding.
Eventually evening came around and I got another email giving me the needed address, so apparently no fleeing had actually happened. I worked some more, crashed for two hours, worked a lot more, and finally went to bed after finishing at 4.30am Thursday. All in all, I went for 42 hours with only 3ish hours of sleep - and I wasn't a zombie for the most part, which was cool.
Sly woke me up some 6ish hours later so I could reformat my paper, write the acknowledgements, and reprint the whole darn thing (which took a while). We then strolled through the beautiful day down to the post office, where I mailed. >^.-.^<

A small wave of euphoria is being ridden, and you can see its effects as I happily wreak my revenge on Sly's forest.
There's always a way out.

Do you want to save 11.4 square feet of rainforest? You know you do. Feed the hungry while you're at it, too.


----------begin transmission----------


----------end transimission----------

Wooo, another week gone by...
That' pretty scary. Only because I have to be done with my paper and send it off to my examinator (evaluator) by noon, next Saturday. I think I'm going to start panicking.
Or not, y'never know. I do have a lot to do, but my professors are sure I can do it all and pull through and whatnot. Of course, they also seem to be under the impression that I'm confident and not nearly as stressed as I actually am. What can I say? I can be a good actor when I want to be. >^.-.^< I am doing a lot better than how I was last year, when I was attempting to finish- I'll agree with them on that. But still, I have enough to do that sleep is going to be a rare commodity for the next 2-3 weeks or so (after I finish my paper, I have 2 weeks to finish up all my art for the project - and then I have my oral evaluations - eep).
But hey, who needs sleep?
I certainly don't. I don't really have anything besides that to talk about. At this point, if it's not Plan-work, I have a difficult time concerning myself with it. So I'll stop bending your ear with my prophesying of my own doom and simply get on with it.
See you next week! (I warn you, I'll likely be quite insane by that point.)

Why the lack of a full update? Well, it's really all my fault, and as I shall explain, I'm not exactly sorry about it, either. Y'see, by the end of April, all my work to graduate needs to be done Done-done. So I can graduate. Like any self-respecting senior, I still have a lot to do- enough so that I can't afford to spend 6 or 7 hours on crazy insane jungle backgrounds due to the unfortunate timing of this scene change. Getting this done for today was hard enough.
So, yeah. I'm not sorry because academics need to be my top priority at the moment. If they're not, a certain parental unit of mine will flay me alive and hang me out to dry. My immediate relatives will then come over and give her no end of grief for not saving any of the "killing me" action for them. And that would mean no more backgrounds. Ever.
I am sorry that the circumstances for this situation exist, though. If these backgrounds were the same "trunk and ground" ensemble I've been fielding lately, there wouldn't be a problem in getting them done. But alas, the scene change prevents this.

Long story short: I'm sorry, guys, but I hope you understand. If you don't.... Well, then I am up a creek without a paddle and shall have to whitewater raft it freestyle back down here.

Onto the vernal pool! Would you like to know why there's a vernal pool? That's my fault, too, really. It's because I raved about them for a while at Sly after I read part of R.A. Salvatore's contribution to the little D&D dragon anthology that recently came out ("Worlds of Fire" or something?). Anyhow, Salvatore's story starts with a black wyrm. Cool. Living in a vernal pool (rather, living in a cave with the entrance being the vernal pool). Not cool. At which a dwarf is getting water and promptly gets eaten. Not cool followed by cool.
Vernal pools are not permanent- they're seasonal. They're natural depressions where water from rain, runoff or seasonal melts collects and stays for a bit and are considered temporary wetlands. At least here in the States, they're a very special, primarily springtime ecosystem and are fairly crucial to the lifestyles of a good many critters and plants. They do not mask wyrm-sized tunnels. The smallest body of water that would do that is a lake, not a seasonal puddle.
Vernal Pools + Cool Dragons Larger Than Your Hand Hiding In Them = ~the heck?
Vernal pools. Check 'em out. You know you want to.

Just because I have to say, Sunday evening I was bad. I took a few hours out of my busy work schedule to save my mind and went to go see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. >@.-.@< can anyone say "love"? I was glad to see that I haven't been the only one who was psyched about this.
Okay, so I'm biased because I grew up on them. They were cheesey, they were silly, and they all remain their wonderful little Testudine selves. The voices got drowned out by the fight music kinda often, so hardly any of the battle banter got heard by us. But hey, since when has the Turtles' banter ever been imaginitive? And people who say the plot(s) were dense or complicated or something? Don't believe 'em. The main plot gets spelled out for you in bright, visual letters more than once. It's also a pretty basic plot. The other plots, if you're paying an ounce of attention, are pretty easy to follow, too, even if you aren't familiar with the TMNT.

Okay...right... I'm done. Yes. I've got notes on varanid activity temperatures I want to write up...
(Don't forget: I am sorry about the circumstances for this forced, though definite hiatus to the story.)

Y'know how you start focusing on something? And just start shutting everytng else out? Yep, I'm kinda doing that witch school at the moment. Of course, I say that, and now I rant for a while about this new TV show Sly and I had the opportunity to watch the first two episodes online. Beacuse I actually rant... I stuck it in the forum. Here.

Besides that, I'm developing tunnel vision as far as life goes, as well as a terrible diet (not that my body seems to care all that much), more stress than people should comfortably think about, and what I think may be the start of a messed up knee.
The only thing I hate more than sitting in a chair all day is having to do it properly. So I don't. And I think my knee is starting to pay the price. So I'm just gonna keep tabs on it and hopefully not forget about it. When I do tunnel-vision on something, I do tunnel-vision. Even to the extent of wondering why my abdomen hurts oddly and taking a half hour to realize that it was hunger I was feeling. >^.-.^;<

So... Page.... Um, yep. Trees. Leaves. Dirt. Not much to say. Except that this batch of backgrounds was done while I was playing good 'ol World of Warcraft. A-heh. Yeah, spent a good long while running back and forth over the Barrens. I might have travel form and all, but that doesn't change the fact that that's a long stretch of boredom - at least, it is when you're over twice the level of anything there.

Well, that's all from me at the moment. Later, all!

I laugh at people with such high Focus scores (even if those stats don't actually exist, because that's entirely besides the point). Ha ha. Of course, my own Focus isn't anything to brag about, being the rather small number it is... except that I have, ohh, four of them. Ah, to be able to multitask and have ADD.

Well, academic-wise, as I've done absolutely nothing for the comic this week:
I now have nearly 40 pages of my paper (39, actually, if the cover pages are included). Now, it's supposed to be a science paper, and yet 16 out of 37 pages is mythology and theories. I'm not even analyzing it, for the most part, either. The remaining 21 pages has seen me barely scratching the science. I shudder to think how long the rest of it is going to end up. Except not, because this is the longest thing I've ever written to date and I can't wait to see how it turns out. ^.-.^
Now you must excuse me, for I have editing to do.

Today's comic is brought to you by the god-light.
Yes, those rays of light in the underpanel are what us theatre folk term, "the god-light" (and by "us" I mean, "me, the techs I know, the actors I used to work with and Sly).
Why is it called the god-light, you ask?
Well, if you look at the dialogue, Than, the general atmosphere and... well, more Than, I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself.
(Note: This is only one example of the myriad ways to use the god-light.)

Tongue in cheek commentary aside.... I suddenly lose everything I could say. Hm. Well, let me assure you all that Luth'rai is hard at work with that whole business of graduating and whatnot. I have 35 pages of a paper, most of it about dragon mythology at the moment, with the science to be started in earnest this coming week. I also discovered that this paper is only 50% of my total grade- I had thought it was 60%, so this is cool news. Of course, this also means that the art and exam portions of my grade are worth a bit more than I had been thinking... That's a bit less shiny. Oh well.
Still in regards to my paper (my paper is my life, my life is my paper... yep)- I've been amused lately at how much information about dragons I have to go through before I even start going into my dragon. I mean, dragons, right? Everybody knows about them, yeah?
No. No, they don't. Well, people know about them, yes. But then there's actually knowing about them. Dragons have been around since ~3000 B.C.- they have a lot of history most folks don't know about, including me. So I'm going to go back to writing about all that... See y'all next week.

It's kind of funny... Even though Sly and I are in the same apartment, we still fail to communicate. Thursday morning, Sly wanted me to draw the backgrounds. However, I had to spend half of Thursday up on campus talking to professors and being told that I can graduate this semester (which is just as, if not cooler than drawing backgrounds - sorry ^.-.^). Which meant that I got to scribble backgrounds shortly after I got home in the afternoon, giving Sly a scant few hours to colour before updation-time. Whoops.

But hey! I can graduate! Provided I finish my work and don't get a job, as the latter would be like shooting myself in the head with a shotgun. It's only another 6 weeks... I don't need to eat, right? Nah. Food is for wussies.
It's kind of ironic that I also got a call from one of the places I'd applied to yesterday afternoon, too. They didn't say "interview," but they did want to know about my schedule. ;.-.; The lady was really nice when I explained the whole school thing, wished me luck, and told me to call back when I wanted them to re-activate my application. (It was an "Environmental Services" - aka: "Housekeeping" - job at the local hospital. Not wonderful, but income is income.)

So things are lookin' up. w00t! Sly and I will communicate better! I will join the ranks of the gradumicated! And-- Oh, I need to go back to work. ^.-.^;

Oh, the fairy tales... Wasn't there a princess involved? Morgenstern, anyone? :P

Mmm, short jokes. Never really understood just how anyone expects them to be mean. Unless said short person is very insecure about being vertically challenged. I mean, there's lots of advantages to being short, and I've had many times where I've thought, "Wow, this would be soo much easier if I was shorter!!" These times often include me wedging myself through a small and twisty cave passage while trying to come up with a creative solution to maneuvering my leg through a space for which my femur is simply too long. It's interesting. (There's a reason "cave elves" are short.)

Well, I think it's safe to say that my involvement on the comic is going to be stuck at simply penciling backgrounds until I'm finished with college. My days consist of getting up between 8.30 and 9, playing a bit of World of Warcraft to wake up, spending the rest of the day working on my paper or illustrations while listening to the Firefly soundtrack, and finally tossing in the towel somewhen between 10 and midnight. And then actually go to bed between 2 and 4 am.
Aaand I still need to find a job. I can last through March, but no longer. Grah. Employment. *snort*

Huzzah for the return of colour! Even though I had nothing to do with it!
And there's snow on the ground in Vermont. Have I mentioned how ecstatic I am? Because I am. Immensely.

From now on, Luth'rai is returning to the brain-fried, overly stressed state that is Plan.
Translation: Luth'rai is graduating this semester and needs to get a certain blue tail into high gear.
But I'm still going to try to pull some flat colouring at least for Sly. We'll see how much I can manage, though.

With that out of the way, I can talk about cool things. Like dwarves. Specifically, the dwarf that shot Than in the back with an arrow. See, he's not going to actually pop up much in the story, so where's the harm in giving him the spotlight for a few minutes?
First off, his name is Ingham. Or "Inghy" for short. He doesn't really appreciate that, though. He also doesn't get along with Than very well. Like, at all. He did at first, but that changed. And yes, he's an archer. An awesome one. He also ain't too bad with a quarterstaff (kinda like his bow could double for one or something). I can also say that when he hits you and means it, it's gonna hurt. Dwarves carry a lot of muscle, y'know?
Oh, and he doesn't have a last name because he got kicked out of his clan. ...I'm not going to say why, though, because I think he'd prefer it if I didn't. All right, so I'm guessing on that, because he's not my character. He's a decent guy, though, even if he sucks at socializing. I loves the Inghy. ^.-.^
I think I might be done spazzing now. Maybe.

Last week I declared that my days of living out of a duffel bag were drawing to a close.
Well, I was half-right.
As it is, I'm still currently living out of my duffel bag (as far as clothing-type articles go), but the duffel has since moved to my brand new closet. I now have my own room, bed, lamp, etc. It's great. Being unemployed isn't so great. Nor is finding out that I have ten weeks to finish up my senior work so I can graduate. Ten weeks. That really isn't all that long. Though I've decided that I'm taking the optimistic route and believing I can finish it all on time. Is this actually the case? We shall see.

Y'might recognize one of the voting incentives (come Tuesday). It's the full-view of my Connecticon dragon picture, in it's very unfinished state. But there y'can see how the rest of the image is laid out and all. And I'll have you know that I made that border, too.

...I'm now trying to clamp down on the urge to dance about and yell how Naruto has stopped with its insurmountable amount of filler and gone back to the plot! Oh, wait... I practically did just yell that, didn't I? Oops. Well... I won't rave about Firefly, though! Nope! Nothing about how Sly, Vriaeliss and I have been rewatching the series and loving it! ...Aw, man - I just can't keep my trap shut tonight, can I?

Before I shout anything else silly, I think I'll go back to schoolwork and flat-colouring the previous pages. There's kind of a lot. Of both *sigh*.
See you next week, yeah? (Pssst. This is the part where you go, "Yeah!" Got it? Good job.)

And Luth'rai's days of living out of a duffel bag draw to a close. As do the days of sleeping under two throw blankets instead of one actual one.
In other words: We are moving. ^.-.^

Now, as far as comments go, I find myself in a bit of a bind. I can only talk about draw trees up to a point, and that point has come and gone. I can't spoil the plot for you, and I can't really comment much on what Than and Audj are thinking because I simply don't know. And I'm certainly not going to bore you with the "details" of my week. I suppose I could pick on Audj, but on a page like this... I just can't. It'd be ganging up on him, and that wouldn't be fair.
So where does that leave me? Without much to talk about is the answer.

Oh, the vote incentives have changed. The brass dragon is just that. A brass dragon from D&D. The other one is one I started while at Connecticon. He got a background and is slowly getting some colour. Those of you who pay attention to my Deviant Art site will possibly begin to wonder if I have a thing for blue.
I do.

And I think that just about wraps everything up. Huzzah! Fiftieth page! *happy dragon dance*

This is a page on which I honestly fell asleep. Whoops. Although, I think it was perfectly justified, seeing as how I'd been awake for nearly 21 hours. Anyhow, it got done. It just happened to be in the morning after I woke up again (Luth'rai is in dire need of a nap).

To the winners of the contest: Congratulations! To Every Single Person who entered: Thank You All! We got a lot of wonderful entries (like, as in all of them. I'm serious.), so thank you to everyone who took the time to make Ambition's first contest a completely snazzy one. Yes, you heard me. Snazzy.

Now, as much as I would love to keep talking about the contest, I need to do things like take a nap, and have some quality hang-out time with my Beardie.
(What? You don't know what a Bearded Dragon is? I gasp in horror!)

I'm trying to remember the last time the backgrounds decided to go so quickly... and I can't. Yep, I woke up at 7 this morning, started working on the backgrounds at 7.30, and was playing World of Warcraft by 8.15. It was almost scary. I did have to go back and do the last two panels' backgrounds in the afternoon, but they didn't take much time either. Now, if only this was a consistent phenomenon, as it'd make updating more than once a week far more feasible.
I hope everyone has a good weekend- I know I will. Hanging out with Sly, housesitting for my aunt, playing with dogs, and going through all the contest entries. Yep, it'll be a blast. Thanks to everyone who's entered (we're still awaiting one more entry, I believe), but it's never too early to say thanks. At least in this situation.
And unfortunately, I am having the absolutely lousiest time of trying to think of anything to say. I haven't done much this week, and most of what I have done has been playing WoW, because I'm a sad geek like that. Sly can attest to that fact.
Mmmm.... over n' out?

Luth'rai is now moved in with Sly and Vriaeliss. Huz-zah. Of course, by "moved in," I mean that I have myself, my lizard, my laptop, some clothes and the books I need for school now (which is 3 boxes) all moved in. My mom can't wait to get the rest of my stuff out of the house. That'll have to wait for a bit, though. : P

Today's backgrounds are brought to you by: Luth's breaks between bouts of World of Warcraft. That close-up of the bush was actually a lot of fun to draw, though I was definitely in need of a break after it. So, yep, nothin' much to say about my end of the page. Except that the thumbnail of the brownie creeped me out a good deal. The bathrobe makes it all better, though.

And to be self-indulgent for just a little longer - I don't have to go back to my job ever again!!!! Monday marked my first day of unemployment. I can't say I'm sad. Granted, I still need to find a job, but at least it won't be working with linens. ^.-.^

Hi, you've reached the answering machine again. No, I'm still not here - the world doesn't save itself, you know. So watch out! The Royal Screw-Up of Persia is still on the loose! ...and shirtless, too, for some odd reason... o.-.O
Currently, I'm only going crazy with moving and finding another job now, so the prospect of my return is seeming to be more and more likely. However, the question is whether or not I competely lose it before then.
You know the drill.
Thanks, bye.

Don't suppose any of you remember this page, eh? This is the page where I played stand-in for Audj and was treated to an entertaining evening of thumb-soreness. This page, however, fortunately needed no Audj stand-in, and thus do I remain a happy, untackled dragon. Frankly, I have no qualms with this, whatsoever.
And now it is time for sleepy dragons to go to bed.

Hi. You've reached Luth'rai's mental answering machine. I'm not here right now, as you may have guessed. Instead, I'm off destroying sand monsters and defying time, fate and physics as the Royal Screw-Up of Pers-- *cough* I mean, as the Prince of Persia. I'll be back after I not only save the world from myself, but also move, find another job, and re-enroll at college. Leave a message after the tone if you can figure out how, and I may even get back to you. Thanks, bye.

Before I rush off, though, here's a couple links that might interest you reader-type peoples, you.
First off: Someone has reviewed us! Go, and read!
And second: D'you remember ConnectiCon? We do. We also remember being interviewed by Joe for Planet Access. Well guess what? That interview is up. Now you can see (and hear) Sly and Luth'rai. ...mainly Sly, because being a natural techie, I cling to the backgrounds. Like glue. Or a ninja.... a very geeky ninja.

Happy Holidays! If you have snow, then I shake my fist at you. I live in New England, it's nearly Christmas, and it's raining. This past week I've walked the hour home from work wearing a t-shirt and a woolen jerkin. I declare this to be the lamest winter ever. *grumble grumble* January had better make up for this. ...If you hadn't guessed: I like snow. I like winter. And right now I have neither.

Grinching aside, here's the page! The backgrounds were done in a whirlwind visit to Sly's apartment one evening this past week. I don't think I spent more than two hours on them. Fortunately, I only had to draw three, as you may recognize the first two from the last page, and one is used twice. Thank goodness for shortcuts, sometimes.

Totally not page related: I found a whole new way to kill even more of the time that I don't have. I bought myself a new video game using some of the Christmas money I've gotten this year. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. If ever there was a game where you played as a monkey, this is it. Wow. I've only played a couple hours of it so far but it's a lot of fun. I mean, you can stealth (pardon me - "speed") kill like in Tenchu (though you can screw it up), but the combat system is actually good and versatile.

Okay, that's enough of being off-topic from me. Once again, Happy Holidays, everyone. ^.-.^

Mm, the holidays are here. Oh, goodie. Things shall proceed to become even more hectic. Backgrounds took a while to do for this page, mostly because I just couldn't get into a drawing mindset. So I played World of Warcraft, instead. Bad Luth'rai. Bad. ^.-.^;
Sly and I did go to see Eragon - on the opening night, too. And yes, we'll talk about it in the forums. We'll talk at length about it. I don't dare say anything else about it here because I just...won't...stop...
And oh! I'm going back to school to finish up and graduate! w00t. Well, first I need to get a loan and get the appropriate forms signed and blah blah blah. But I'm still going back to school. I want my degree. Badly. 'Course, then instead of juggling being a full-time student or having a full-time job and the comic, I'll be juggling having a full-time job and being a not-so-full-time student as well as the comic. It'll all work out, though. So sez I.

And a big thank you to those who've so kindly donated! (It's italics big, even! Though I honestly wish it could be bigger now instead of later.) We're very much appreciative and will show it as soon as we can. I promise.

Let's try this link thing again, shall we?

More Food For Shark

There. They are still in the process of getting it 100% up... I'll post a link to them again when they are.

Re: Page
This page got to go through a lot to get here. Or more like Sly and I had to. I didn't get the page until late Monday night, and Sly got it back from me late Wednesday night, and then Sly has her big news, and I think that all speaks for itself.

Re: Dragons
Who all knows about the Eragon movie coming out this month? (If you have a slightly behind-the-times computer do not click on that link. Check out this one instead. In fact, maybe you should just check that one out anyways.) I finally got to watch a bunch of different trailers and other stuff for it while at Sly's. Afterwards, Sly got to listen to me rant, whine and vent about anatomy, biology, physics and such for... well, I don't recall how long, b'cause I was ranting. I am going to go see this movie though, and I'll likely make small children unhappy as I critique the dragons in the lobby afterwards. Yes, if you hadn't figured it out already, I am a dragon-snob; though I think I have perfectly good reasons to be. Fortunately for everyone, I'm more than capable of being hard on my own dragons, too, so I'm not going, "Mine rule and yours drool!"
And here's where I'll cut my rant short and say that I'll continue it in the forums. In the General Chat\Dragons section. That way, I'll be easier to ignore/reply to for y'all. Maybe some of you can rant with me. ^.-.^ It'll likely lead to general ranting about all modern dragons in entertainment today, just so you're forewarned.

And huzzah for Sly and Vriaeliss!!

Now, you'd think that two artists who were working together on a webcomic would at least be able to accurately communicate with each other on an artistic level, right? Not us, apparently. This is another one of those pages where Sly explained what she wanted in such a manner that I was left with a relatively clear picture.... It just happend to be of what she didn't want. I think it's the fact that we have two completely different art styles. and artistically we just don't think the same way. Oh well.
Other goings-on: I'm a whopping 22 years old as of last Wednesday. I'm acually kind of surprised that I'm still around, given my utter lack of a self-preservation instinct. w00t.
Completely unrelated- some friends of mine and some friends of theirs have launched their own gaming review website. I happen to be lending some of my artistic-y skillz to the endeavor. If you're interested in games and such and have a sense of humor, I suggest you swing by and take a gander - More Food For Shark. Slight warning: It is geared for a slightly older audience, so if you're young/easily offended... y'might want t'think twice about that link. For those of you lucky enough to be neither, I suggest clicking.

This page brought to you in part against Luth'rai's better sense.
See, Monday night, I got to drive to and from Sly's place to get the page. Tuesday after work, I got to backgroundify it; and then Tuesday night it was to and from Sly's house again. That's a fair spell of driving for me, and bein' tired doesn't help much. Anyhow- Page.

More trees. Very exciting. By which I mean not. Though I did draw that last panel in the dark, so that's kind of exciting. For me. And maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to draw uneven terrain, yeah? In the meantime, I shall enjoy being non-productive with my time. ...and my birthday's next week.... o.-.O Eep. And.... well, eep.

Guess what I did?
I got sick.
And then, over the weekend, I passed it to Sly. Bad Luth'rai, bad. So let's just say that any lateness can get blamed on me. Even if it is only a matter of hours.
However, Than twirls pretty, no? I'm of the opinion that he should be upside down more often. I was supposed to draw some fleeing imps for this page... but for whatever reason I couldn't. It was irritating- especially because the backgrounds were giving me grief, too. I'd blame this cold, but I didn't start feeling symptoms until Monday/Tuesday... Arg.
Y'know, I'm finding it's rather difficult to comment on pages when I only see them partially finished before I need to turn in and sleep. Well, that, and the fact that all I do for them currently is scribble with my pencil for a bit and hand it back going, "There. Trees."
So...... yep.
There. Trees.

I'm starting to like drawing trees from a low-point perspective. It's far more interesting than the standard straight-on. My favorite remains the bird's-eye view, though. ^.-.^
So, yeah... Page. Trees. Imps. I drew a few in the last panel to make it more of a mob. I...can't remember anything about drawing this because it was so long ago. Hmm. I like how Than looks upside down, though.
Most of the comic work I've been doing lately is in regards to dragon physiology. Now I just need to start typing things up with some little pictures for added coolness. (I also need to finish fonts, do other dragon stuff, research....things I can't tell you about, and other stuffs. Life is busy.)
I also... need a nap. Yeah. I'm down to about 4hrs sleep per night now, and have mastered the art of falling asleep between the lines of an IM conversation. I'm still working on mastering the art of waking back up again in a timely manner. >.-.<

This is actually a set of backgrounds I'm unhappy with. There's depth, yes, but overall I'm just not satisfied. Some of it I'm chalking up to being rushed, old, and wearing a bandaid on my index finger because of a parakeet bite (which further got crunched between a cart and a metal door). Oh well. It definitely looks a lot better coloured... The page- not my finger. A lot better.
Sort of related, I've discovered an up-side to my mind-numbingly boring job- I've got plenty of time to think about the physiology of Orisian dragons - complete with breaks to read through my textbooks for the info I need. ^.-.^ With any luck, there might be some update-age going on in that section of the site before too long (which translates to: "before the year's out - I hope.")

From how many angles can you draw a rock slide? Oh, so many. Too many. Of course, it's my own fault-
Sly: So these two panels.... I wanted to have one looking up and the other looking down... Can you do that?
Silly Me: Yeah! Of course! Lemme at it!

And then it took forever to do and my hand quickly hated me. I can tell where it lost the will to work and just started scribbling. I dare you to try and find the place, too.

Hmm...I suppose that this means that I really have to get my tail moving on the next page. You seriously don't want to know how behind on it I am. But! I do have two (valid) excuses for my lameness. 1) My job. 2) I'm housesitting. And taking care of more animals than you can easily shake a stick at. Mostly birds. Like this duckling that's cuddling with me right now... And the turkey outside that follows me around.... Yep. Oh, the distractions. ^.-.^;
Right! Page! Doing it. Never fear.

I. Strongly. Dis. Like. My. Job.
This job on the other hand, is a lot of fun. And I rather wish I could this instead of sort and stack linen- or feed it into a machine.

I am, as a matter of fact, utterly wiped and close to incoherent. In the final vestiges of a semi-coherent state, however, I can manage to say that this page was quite entertaining to do. And..... Yeah, that's about where my brain power ends.

Hope t'see y'all soon.

So, I had a nice batch of comments all set to go, only about 3 sentences to add... And then my computer decided to dance with death and freeze, thus losing said comments. Now, I don't curse particularly often, but this certainly caused a fair amount of it.

Anyhow, Sly pointed out to me the other day that as far as this comic has been going, I have a theme song. Kindly (if unknowingly) provided by The Arrogant Worms, it has 4 verses, 2 of which look like this:

We've got rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks,
and water.

Better yet, it's a sing-a-long song. ^.-.^

As far as this page goes... Well, I think it would have been faster if I'd actually used references. Apparently I think I'm too cool now for them. But yeah, I ended up taking this page with me to work so I could work on it during my breaks. I didn't mean to go so detailed on it, but once I started I just couldn't really stop.

...I had more to say... But I don't really feel like typing it back up, and it's not like it was important to begin with. And it's late, and I need to be on my bike and pedaling to work in 3.5 hours on only 2 hours of sleep - if I feel like I can even make it, as I came home sick Thursday. (And the lack of sleep thing wasn't my idea, either. I spent the entire afternoon and evening trying to sleep, and miserably failed, so I just gave up.) If I was smart, I'd be working on the backgrounds for the next page- but as I often assure everyone, I'm not smart. I'll be smart later, like when my eyes don't hurt.


Yar. I finished drawing a jungle. How, I'm not quite sure, as my job as a linen-monkey is draining like nobody's business. My weekdays consist of job, comic-type-work, and sleeping when it's convenient. Crappiest sleeping schedule ever, as it quickly becomes quite apparent that "convenient" is one of the things that sleeping isn't. This means that my "day" starts around 12 to 1.30 am, and ends.... well.... when it ends. Of course, then Friday rolls around and I go to work, come back, fall down and sleep with a vengeance. I rather wish I could skip the "work" part and just move right on to that whole sleeping business.

Griping aside, ....I don't really have much to say. Sad, isn't it? Except to comment that my Gmail account is sporting an ad down the side whose description reads, "Double the phytoplankton. Why wait?" That sounds...rather odd, yet intriguing...

Anyhow, hope t'see y'all next week, and here's hoping there be better news to report.

Post-Script: If you're not nice to Sly after she tried her best to colour my insane background in the course of a single day.... I'll...... Well, there's nothing I can really do about it except be disappointed. So y'hear that? Be nice to my Evil Overlord!

Well, things are looking up a bit on the job front (that today was my first pay day helps, too). I dislike it even more, but something like a schedule is slowly being hammered out. Fortunately, it seems like I can get by on a half-hour nap after work, and then sleep about 4 to 4.5 hours at night. We'll see if I can keep that up. At all. I have a feeling that I'll be seriously sleeping in on the weekends. Egad, I want a car. Sly's right, things wouldn't be so much of an issue if I lived closer.
Regarding the chapter cover, well... I'm a little behind schedule, I'm afraid. I got spoiled on drawing rocks and mountian tops, so I need to re-learn the jungle ways. Well... that, and I wasted a bit of time doodling job-frustrations in the form of comics. ^.-.^; Expect more of those. A lot more.
And y'know what else? That's one of the cutest smiles I've seen on Than for a while. ^.-.^

I have a job. It's quite the sucktastic one at that, too. It's also the source of a good number of problems in the collective Sly/Luth'rai creative world. Y'might think it sounds kind of like a lame excuse - I mean, we did/do. Anyhow, we're trying to get things sorted out as quickly as possible and bring the creativeness back. Hopefully it'll be pretty quick.
Now seeing as how I need to be up and about in less than 3.5 hours, I'm off to bed.
Unfortunately, the only semi-coherent thing I can think of to say about the page so far is:
"Mind yer 'ead."
Though I am rather pleased with how it's coming out, thanks to Sly. ^.-.^

As it turns out, I'm going to the theatre tomorrow, but tonight I am here. Cool, eh? This means I actually get to see the page before you guys. Ha!
La! Rocks, rocks, rocks! And not a plant in sight! Though I don't envy Sly for having to colour them. Though, that first panel did take awhile to draw... It was certainly fun, that's for sure.
Other news: Comic submission finished! w00t!! I was getting tired of waking up and colouring/inking the entire day. Yesterday I spent about 20 minutes (I got bored after that) playing Windwaker and I realized that I hadn't touched a video game since 2 weeks before Connecticon. I further realized that I have free time again. Not for long, though, because I've got a job!! Granted, it's playing with laundry for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but dude, it's a paycheck.
And just to be a bit more of an AD/HD braggart: I've got next week's page sitting next to me. Merely awaiting colour. In fact, y'can even see it - if you vote, that is. We'll (or at least I'll) ignore the fact that I've had this page in my possession and in progress for the last couple weeks. I'm just going to feel cool now.

And guess where Luth'rai is!
The theatre. Again. Last time for a while, though. This time I'm actually teching the entire play (lights, sound, even some props). Here's hoping I don't muck it up..... Here's really hoping I don't muck it up.
Due to the wonderful sense of humor Fate has, the last I saw of this page, the first panel was done, and the fifth panel's rocks were flatcoloured. That was it. ^.-.^;
The backgrounds were nice to do, though. Fairly simple- just rocks, really. ...and some trees. Y'know, the usual.
Actually have to run now- 10 minutes before I leave for the theatre and I need dinner still.
...can't wait until I actually have the time to put some thought into these comments... ah, well.

Again, I'm at the theatre and have yet to see the finished page. What I have seen looks pretty snazzy though. And shiny. So very shiny.
I'd also almost forgotten what it was like to take my time on the backgrounds... I might've gotten a bit carried away on this page, but it was a horrid amount of fun. And, note to self: Rocks are easier to sketch with a .5mm pencil, whereas foliage and such wants the .3mm.
Oh, and Than's good at being cute. But you already knew that, didn't you?

As of right now, I actually haven't seen the page finished. Y'see, I'm acting as a stand-in stage manager/lights/sound-tech for a play and tonight (Thursday night) is opening night. Even though I'm not actually needed just yet, I figured it'd still be a good thing to be there.
However, I don't need to see the page finished to declare that Audj and Eloise are cute in that last panel, there.
...Huh. I can't really think of anything else to say, really. I've been at this theatre every night this past week and so I'm really drained... Oh well, I guess. Here's hoping I'll be more coherent next week - though it'll likely be the same deal where I haven't seen the page yet. Isn't theatre fun?

I think I put the grand total of maybe 75 minutes into this page. Apparently I've now achieved the ability to scribble trees onto mountainsides without actually having to be looking at them the entire time. This was useful this week, as it allowed me to backgroundify the page while watching my 1 weekly TV show. w00t.
I also got to scribble the amethysts. I think they all ended up being a Barion cut... kinda; it's not like I had a reference or anything. But it's now given me an excuse to learn about lapidary. Spiffy stuff. You honestly don't want to see the number of websites I have bookmarked that are solely references for comic-stuff. It's nuts. Heck, I don't even know how many there are at this point.
Back to the page.... Do me a favor and look at panel 3 for a moment. See the seam lines Sly put in on Kevlin's glove? Those make me obscenely happy. Why? Well, why not?

A realization hit me while I was drawing the backgrounds for this page....
Sly hands me a page with characters and lots of white space. A few hours later I hand her a page with characters and scribbles. She then makes it look cool and pretty.
Seriously, these backgrounds are all scribbles.
Not that I'm complaining. I mean, do you know how much faster scribblies are compared to houses? A lot. A lot-a lot, even.
And d'you know what else?
Audj makes me laugh. A lot. He's always so grumpy looking. Silly elf.

And with this, my comedic involvement drops back down to backgrounds. Thank heavens. That last panel took the entire weekend and then some. Want to know why? B'cause it's an entire separate page. Sly's crazy, too, seeing as she coloured it full size. Crazy crazy crazy.
Then those first 4 panels got done Sunday and Monday evening. Not day. Evening. All in all, I think it came out okay for the record time it came out in. In fact, I think that 30-ish ft of chortling dragon is cute.And yessir, Austre is fully scaled in every panel. If I didn't know better, I'd call myself a masochist or something.
On a completely unrelated note: I got to go see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last weekend. And despite having heard some iffy reviews on it, I'll unashamedly say that I liked it. A lot. And while Capt. Jack Sparrow is still amazingly cool, Com. Norrington remains my hero.

Hey, we're back! ^.-.^
First, the page. A bit of a rush job with the backgrounds on my end, I'm afraid - all Connecticon's fault, really. People, noise, finances on the line... it's all very distracting. If I had had the time, I would have scaled Austreleus, since Leaf scales are huge. But no. I didn't even have time to do the backgrounds for panels 2 and 3. On the other hand, I think the page came out excellently on Sly's end. Like Austre's shadow? I want it. Mine. Grr.
Oh, and that path they're all on? Pretend it's not so flat, 'kay? Just look at the pretty dragon and the cool looking font I made.

A "Brief" *snort* Con-Report!
(Concise is just something I'm not, as you may know.) I've never been to a con before- CTcon was cooool.
Okay, so we did have a late start Thursday evening of approximately 4.5 hours, so by the time we got to my aunt's place, everyone was asleep. Well, except the dogs. They wanted to say hi, and for once in my life they did it quietly. We crashed. Vriaeliss slept. I'd walked off about 2 miles of nervous energy that day and I was tired. And cold.
Did you know it gets cold at night in Connecticut? Especially on the floor. Without a blanket. ...I didn't think of closing the windows. No sleep for me. (I do, in fact, know it gets cold in CT - y'know, being born there and all.)
Right, the actual convention stuff.
Sly and I went to some panels while Vriaeliss kindly watched the table. The 2 panels for starting webcomics we went to didn't tell us anything new. But then we also went to 2 of Mookie's panels, and life was good. Great, even. I'm not kidding- the guy's just that cool.
...I even got to shake his hand.
Hero-worship? Me? Naaaah.

I ended up selling more prints than I expected... a lot more, in fact. The first to go were the ones I thought I'd never get rid of, too. Fancy that.
We met a lot of cool people, and a lot of awesome artists - many of whom I hope to see next year. Oh, and my dragons got called "dinosaurs" more times than I can recount. Not that I'm insulted by that, because dinos are awesome, and I do use them as references..but I personally don't see an earth-shattering resemblance. Whatever. I'll take it as a compliment.
All in all, I think my only real complaint with the con was that I had to wear shoes for 3 days. Terrible, eh?

And in a shameless attempt to make money- I've got leftover prints, too. Quite a few, actually. Interested? They're marked down, and y'get free shipping (which translates to "slow" ^.-.^). Oh, and they're signed, too. There's more info in up there with the announcement.

Happy 4th of July you American peoples, you.

Connecticon preparations draw to a close - finally. Prints are all ordered, place to stay arranged, nerves acting up, ...still don't know where our table is....
Anyhow, yeah, inking. Right. I got to ink the top half - y'know, the serious half. Inking with the original would have been much easier as opposed to using a printout of a scan. Oh well.

You can now buy prints of my art.
Normally I'm the one that gets kicked in the head for cracking a joke. Yar. I do a happy dragon dance. ^.-.^
Well, I'm sure it'll happen soon (and often) enough.
Of course, then I told Sly that Than loving the shampoo bottle looked like the prelude to an ecstatic dance filled with singing "la-las" .... and was promptly informed that Than stomped on my head. Alas. This is why I have a thick skull.
So. Connecticon. Next weeked. Meep. In actuality, there are really two things I want to know:
1) When will I stop being nervous about it?
and 2) Where the heck is our table?? The answers to both of these questions continue to elude me.

...Wow. Has it been a week already? Must've been. Cripes, that was fast. So, last week's background's were a night's work, right? These took only a morning. Too bad they can't stay on these mountains forever... *sigh*.
But lookee! Kevlin has a shiny!! Well, two shinies, if you count his sweaty head. And three if you count the maille hauberk. ...And I suppose four for the bastard sword.... Though it's really only the first that I'm interested in, at the moment.
Oh, and have I ever previously mentioned that Kev is cool? B'cause he is.

Backgrounds for this page were merely a night's work for me. Partly because Sly helped. She did a good portion of the first panel, and the mountains in panels 3 and 4 - I only scribblified them. And look! They're all above the jungle and not in it! ^.-.^ w00t. That's really why the backgrounds were a breeze.
Just so y'all know, my email has been changed. This would be because the Draconomicon account has the unsavory habit of crashing my home computer. Not cool. So! Gmail, it is.
Enough from me. I need to get back to work. Plan and Connecticon make for some mighty taskmasters, believe you me.

For me, at least, this page started off as a nightmare but then ended happily. Granted, I am finding forests are getting easier to do - thank heavens. Still time-consuming, but easier. But then, once I got to the last few panels - things got fun; like being able to draw a clearing instead of trees, and Bashirah being cute.
And I also researched campfires. That's a keyhole fire, there, by the by. The fire's in the "hole" part, and then you can rake coals and such into the "key" portion to cook over. Spiffy, no?
Lastly, I got to try my hand at drawing people's gear (and a corset). That was interesting.

And I'd like to also say thanks to everyone who's been able to donate money for Kasumi - it really does mean a lot to everyone. ^_^

jungle, n. 1. wild land overgrown with dense vegetation, esp. tropical vegetation or a tropical rain forest. 2. a tangled mass of intense and confusing density depicted with tiny pencil marks and varying shades of colour, esp. green.

-Syn. 2. See agony.

Of course, I didn't do all of it. Not quite. Yes, Sly went and did some, too. And then I went and added to it. A lot. But I am incredibly grateful that I didn't have to colour it. Cripes, drawing it was bad enough. I thought the last page ate my time? No, it merely politely snacked on it compared to this.
Isn't Jerome such a crazy morning person? I almost want to kick him in the shin for it.
Oh, and to further uphold the level of maturity we strive for, I'll counter Sly's 20 hours of colouring with the fact that I technically don't even have 8 or so hours to do backgrounds. This would be because I'm still very much working on schoolwork, on the verge of getting a job (ick), and stretched thinly in effort to keep up with all the other projects I'm responsible for. So there. :P

Pencilling the Backgrounds: Panel 1 was the easiest- I didn't have to do a thing.
Panel 2 was the 2nd easiest- It took maybe 20 minutes.
Panel 4 was the 3rd easiest- It took.... I don't know how long. Longer than it should have. I can't draw leaves very well, y'see.
Panels 3 and 5- Well. Bashirah was actually done months ago on a separate sheet of paper. The forest was more tedious than hard. Tedious and time-consuming. Oi. And those houses? The tops of houses are a lot easier to draw than their bottoms. I didn't know that until now. And did you know how hard it is trying to make an angle look even without a protractor? Argh.
Guesstimating, I'd say that drawing the backgrounds for this page took maybe 8 hours or so (not counting Bashirah). Granted, about half of that time I was going about 1/2 my pace, but still... That's a long time to be staring at a page. I say I can complain about it because I'm the co-artist. So "ha." And "ha" again.

These backgrounds got a tad rushed as I was moving out of my dorm at the same time, and believe it or not, I do actually need at least some sleep. And trying to draw houses from so many different angles - as much fun as it is - isn't something that should be done at 4am when exhausted.
That's the church square up behind Audj's head in the first panel. I'm proud of it. If only because it isn't rooftops and it isn't farmland.
And can you believe that this page was done early? You have no idea how cool this is! I mean, I've got the next page sitting next to me and the backgrounds are just about done. Very cool.

That roof that's visible in both the 1st and 4th panels- the one that looks like it's got extra creases in it? That's a gambrel roof. They're cool.
These backgrounds were fun, if a little rushed. I temporarily forgot that hey, there's an entire town spread out around Than and Audj. And it gets to be seen from all these different directions. Those last two panels weren't all that much fun- not the attempt to get things looking the same, but to figure out just what was going to be seen. I sat awhile with my little town map in front of me going, "Hum.... Ah... That'd be visible... and so would that, and that, and that, and that.... oh, and that, too." Oddly enough, I didn't have this problem for panel 2... (And yes, I got to make the map for this town. It's actually not quite finished - but you didn't hear that from me.)
There was acutally more detail present in the backgrounds of the final two panels, but I think some of it got lost during cleanup, and then, hey, it's nighttime. You start to lose definition of things.

I've got this book, y'see. It's called The Old House Book of Classic Country Houses. In it are detailed floorplans and diagrams of many spiffy houses. This book is my life-saver. It's also informative. Do you know what a gambrel roof is? I do. Because of this book, accurate architecture in this comic is possible. w00t.

Fact: (recently learned) Sly and I do not see eye to eye on matters of perspective.
Fact: I fully drew and detailed the roof in the second panel a total of 3 times from 3 completely different angles.
Fact: I'd rather not go through something like that again. Conclusion: In the future, Sly and I will thoroughly discuss angles before the background gets drawn.
Go us.

Griping over with, I'm highly impressed with Sly's wee-hours-of-the-morning colouring. Huzzah for Sly!

Fetch me a child of five!
Okay, so Sly would never say any of that. Well, that's what she gets for letting me write the dialogue of the filler.

So Fred, unlike Bob here, gets a rather uneventful evening at work, guarding that little forsaken alley of blind corners.
Ever play Tenchu 3? I'm sad to say that the basis for this comic needed little exaggeration. Unlike Ms. Queen-of-Falling-Death over there (Sly), I can't pull off an aerial stealth kill worth beans. I honestly don't know why, and it's irritating. Even moreso because otherwise, I'm fairly good at the game - meaning I make a fantastic back-stabbing sneak.

This was all done directly in Photoshop in a day and a half. Not even. I'm still in the process of getting healthy, and on top of things like homework and teching, I don't have much spare time. Y'know, it's amazing how much faster comics go when you skip that tedious step of actually drawing them. And things like "planning"? "Spacing"? Pshaw.

Well, I've spent the entire week being sick; four days of a fever and now I'm into the hack-hack-cough-cough stage. And I'm the one who got Sly all sickly-like. Ah, to live on a college campus is grand, no? Thankfully, my part of this page was done last Friday, right before I got sick.
If I had known that the houses in the last panel were going to be that visible, I think I would have spent a little more time on them. Oops.
Now I get to focus on getting healthy and staying healthy, as well as catch up on all the work that I was supposed to do over this past week. Oh joy.

The first thing I'm going to do is be shameless, and admit that my favorite part of this page is the oil lamp. However, I do believe that the reasoning behind this is that it's the first inanimate object that's not part of the architecture or a piece of furniture that I've gotten to draw - and, it doesn't believe in silly things like "straight lines."

And I think that there should be several "Huzzah's!" for Sly, here, since she's spent so much time with site and making it do what she wants- maybe not quite to the point that it'll jump through hoops on command, but still... So, Huzzah!! Properly Working site!

Now comes the time where I don't feel so comically useless. Comical, yes. Useless, no. 'Cause now I get to do backgrounds!! w00t. And do you want to know what I've discovered? Backgrounds are fun to do. Although.... I admit that I was completely eyeballing the perspective throughout the page - and I definitely messed it up in the last panel... What can I say? It was 4am and I was in a bit of a hurry.
Oh, and I like drawing Bashirah's back and tail - as it takes all of...ohh.... 20 seconds.

Oh, Audj... you're so hostile it's kinda cute.

Hey look - I got to actually draw stuff for this page! Like Bashirah. Personally, I think birds are difficult to draw, and I was expecting to be hunched over this page for hours working on 3 little Bash-es. But no. Getting her to like me and actually go onto the page for the over-view on Than's bracer - that took the longest, but not even half the amount of time I was expecting. And then getting her into that last panel? Psh. Easier 'n fallin' off a log, sez I.
Oh, and I drew those two tables in the foreground. Go me. I can draw furniture. As long as it isn't chairs.

I think to date, this is my favorite page (even the drunken peoples make a repeat appearance). And, even better, I helped with it! Yep, I acted as a stand-in for Audj while the Sly and me put our heads together in trying to remember that thumb hold. That is to say, I grabbed her shirt and she grabbed my hand in various ways until the technique worked like a charm. So you can all take it from me that Audj has every right to be cradling his thumb. He really does - But that doesn't mean he's not still a pansy.
That grab hurts enough when your partner isn't trying to hurt you and cares about your well-being. I can also assure you all that Audj will have a bit of difficulty getting that thumb to move properly for awhile. (I also advise in being extremely careful if you feel the need to try that grab out - even if it's only on yourself. ...right, my conscience is now clear.)

...Aren't y'all glad we're thorough? ^_^

That keris - I want it. It's shiny, pointy and sharp. What more can you ask for?
Well, I suppose you could ask for a sweet looking page, but I'd say you already got that. ^-^ You guys really don't want to know how much time I've spent looking at this - and I didn't even draw it!

I do, however, have a question: Why do drow always get cool hair? Not that I'm complaining...but it just seems that drow and awesome hair go hand in hand.
Mental note to self (that, naturally, I share with everyone): Do not attempt to write comments after spending the day racking brains over a paper....

Mmm....the drunken peoples. I like the drunken peoples. They're sittin' there, having a good time, completely unaware that they are sitting not 10 feet from the main characters of the story. They're probably all laughing their heads off at some completely random remark that was completely nonsensical, and in the non-drunken reality, completely un-funny.

That aside: Yes, my comment is late. I was in the process of moving back home for spring break, and then on a road trip. Very much away from the internet for awhile. And yes, my comment is fairly random. I'm sure y'all can deal. Or just not read it and look at the pretty picture, instead. Because, yes, it is pretty, as I'm sure you can see. I particularly like the fireplace, myself - as a background element, that is. I am in concurrence that it is a weird lighting angle, but I think it came out quite well, overall.

...yeah... so this is where I dance around and extoll the talents of Naomi, here... and...yeah.... I'm really tired, so I'm afraid you're going to just have to consider them extolled.
Oh, and I laugh at Audj! Always.
And Eloise's hair is shiny. @_@

And yeah, I don't really know what to say, except of course, "Wow." And, "I need sleep. And I need to do stuffs so I can gradumicate."
For now, however, I shall continue to feel lame and almost comically useless.

Huzzah! Page 1!!!! *dragon dance*

Chapter 1. Now the fun starts, yes? I very much like how the cover came out.. it's pretty... And I can say this because I didn't draw it. I can also say that I want Jerome's turtleneck... Dark blue being one of my favourite colours and all. My period of inactivity continues...not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I've always liked Audj's gloves. They're Just wanted to share.
And I also wanted to share that I have been productive comic-wise. Yes, I made fonts. They won't show up for... erm... a couple months, maybe? Which isn't really a bad thing, because they both need some shake-down tests before I'll be happy with them. So that's two down and ....I don't want to know how many left to go.

Sometimes I like Harry, and other times I want to strangle him.

Actually, scratch that. I like Harry and all, and I'd love to throttle him. But it's far more entertaining to hand him six feet of rope and see what he does with it. (I would also like to make a disclaimer: I am a college senior. I am also soul-less. And I swear, someone just handed me six feet of rope in the form of academics.)

I very much like this page - particularly Audriel. And I am so glad that I didn't have to draw all these headshots...I'd die. Instead, I get to make random and almost completely unrelated comments. ^_^

Way to go on the homework, Harry... Way to go.
...I think I can leave it at that. The curtain's shadows there on the door in the middle make my day; as does Capt. Sillendrey and his facial expressions.

w00t! ...or should it be *sob*? I never can remember... Anyhow: My page!! I think it's still very much alive and breathing, personally. But hey, don't mind me, I'm just the lieutenant, here.
You see all those little scales? Yes, all those tiny, little, form-fitting scales there. There's the *sob*. I wanted to shoot myself several times over. But that would've made a mess, so I refrained. Besides, I needed the scaling practice.

That arrow towards the right-hand side in the foreground...
It makes my day.
In fact, this entire page makes my day. First off, because I didn't have to do anything. And second, because now we get to laugh at Harry and his ill-fated comrades. ...Well, the more soul-less and heartless among us get to laugh. As I belong entirely in the soul-less category (thoroughly for academic reasons, I assure you), I take this opportunity to laugh.

My turn to say a word or three about the title, seeing as how it's the one I really pushed for (so if there's confusion stemming from it you have me to thank). Once you know the plot, it makes sense, honest. As long as you're not thinking mathematically -- though actually I'd argue that it makes sense mathematically, too... Anyhow, I guess you'll just have to wait and see.
Oh, and look - I drew a background. Dragons are perfectly viable backgrounds, you know. Granted, I think it's rather difficult drawing them in odd chunks like that.

...and who says I have time to doodle?!

Hey! Yeah, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of work - but hey! Success! I draw the dragons and various assorted wildlife, and do (fortunately for college-senior-me) not nearly as much of the work. Here's hoping for enjoyment all 'round.