I probably would have actually had those finished sooner, but there were just a lot of days all the last couple of weeks where so many small things piled up to completely take the wind out of my sails. It’s been a long time since things have been so hectic that I was basically coming home from work and going straight to bed, but that’s what it’s been. It actually drives me slightly to embarrassment when that happens because I just like to be accountable for why my art is flowing nicely or not.. but it was just those kinds of days where it’s not necessarily some over-arching crisis, but a series of unrelated issues that keep you so focused on problem solving and strategizing and burning up the reserves of personal energy that by the time you get home you’re just utterly done.

We all get times like that. That’s all there is to it. This is, ultimately, the whole reason I’m building the buffer in the first place: because days happen when I just can’t, and that shouldn’t cause me more stress than its worth.

So instead, we celebrate! The inks are done! Today I’ve started shading the Jamet pages and tonight when Tim gets back from the last day of filming cosplayers at Tsukino-con for his next video, he’s going to give me a hand with using this fun little tool my dad got us last year so that I can lay down my flat colors on the Jahrd pages a little quicker. He’s used it a bunch since we got it, and it’s time that I did, too.

I’ve never used an airbrush before because I’m a nervous nellie, but this is the year of trying new tactics until something works. If I’m right, this’ll shave a few hours off of my painting process and that makes a world of difference.

I’ve also been toying with something, and if you’re viewing this from the prophecyofthecircle.com website… then you know part of what I’m talking about! Patreon recently released a new app that lets me post patron-only content directly to my website, so I’m cross-posting the Prophecy of the Circle related Patreon posts to the homepage just to keep it all consolidated. If you’re already a patron, you just have to sign in and let it check out your pledge-level before you can see the content of those posts. It seems to be working fine, with the exception of a few bugs owing to it being a new app (and also to a missed step the first time during installation; my bad). While getting friends and family to test it, we’ve encountered two different errors, but both were related to caching issues where the link was serving up the wrong version of certain pages and resulting in confusion. If you see those, clearing your browser cache generally fixes it. If you’re still having trouble, message me on Patreon and I’ll see if I can get things rolling for you. 🙂

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“Jacind Ardeana (or maybe one of the other elders, back when he was Kantreska) telling A campfire story to some younglings. With an almost ghostly image of a Tekk in the clouds spreading it’s wings ready to pounce, hanging over them. It’s not about any of the characters in particular. It’s all about the awesome image itself. This little group of kids safely huddled around a campfire with a single elder in the middle having this image of a great powerful being hanging over them.”

I went with Vendess for the elder. He’s always been the one with a flair for the dramatic, after all. 😉

This one took me a while. It’s a bit of a complex idea, but I like the result as a sketch. I messed with the composition a bit and went a bit rougher with the pencils this time because the effect seemed right on: smokey and spooky.

And that’s all of them for this month! I’ll open a new post for February tomorrow (I’m actually a bit too tired to be eloquent tonight, but I at least wanted to get this posted before January’s end). Curious to see what you guys’ll have for drawing ideas for me next month. ;D

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“A female tikedi dabbing (the dance move)! XD”

I can’t decide if Eika would truly be the least likely of my ladies to give this dance move a try or the most likely, really…. Either way, she might need a bit more practice, but it’s a good attempt. A very good attempt. 😉

References include:

Markiplier and assorted doofuses, from the panel Tim and I saw at PAX last year!


And Tim himself, very begrudgingly, during a completely unrelated photoshoot:

On a side tangent, I’m almost done inking the comic pages finally?! That took way longer than I thought it would! I just have six out of twenty that need a bit of clean-up.

“Try expanding on that primitive Tikedi railway idea you had a few months ago.  Maybe an intrepid Tikedi engineer is at his design desk trying to draw something that might work…”

The first of three. This was a challenge. I was trying to portray a particular personality and have some fun with the look of this guy, making him look like the hardworking and dedicated type with a roughness to him. I was trying for a look that says “this guy will happily get his hands dirty to build his dream.” I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t just drawing a boring ole tikedi-at-a-desk like I’ve done in the past. I tried to give him some body language and I put more effort into the background and the doodads around him than usual. It was a good stretch of my creative muscles. 😀


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Time for the weekly progress report! Just a small one, even though I’ve been working a ton on this. Pages are at about halfway inked right now. I’ve got eleven-and-a-little-bit done out of twenty, so that’s the completed pile on the right and the batch of still-to-do comics on the left. Inking apparently takes me longer than pencilling these days, which is backwards to what I’m used to. Then again, I’m being more careful than I used to be. Also, Tim spotted an oops where a character switched hands between two panels and I had to drop inking and switch back to pencilling to fix it up and that slowed me down a wee bit; still, I’m glad he caught that at an early stage! This is why I should make him look over my stuff more often than I typically do.

I’m hoping to get the inks finished this week, and then I can launch into finishing the pages. That’s going to be a sweet feeling.  I’ll definitely be done by March 5th, but man am I glad I pushed things back from February 5th. I would not have made it by then. No way.

In not-quite-comic-related-news, I mentioned last time that I was going to launch back into sketching, and I have! I’ll get the first of those posted tomorrow, starting with the first of last month’s Request-a-Sketch results. 😉 I’ve got two out of three done and they were loads of fun and I really enjoyed how they turned out. It’s definitely worth it to make myself doodle before I do serious comic work.

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Good news to report: I’ve been getting somewhere with getting the comic up and running again. In the last few weeks I’ve figured out a new way to write scripts and outlines, started using thumbnail sketches to guide my artwork to completion, which has resulted in much faster and much less frustrating pencil-work, I’ve finished those pencils and I’ve started inking. All ten weeks’ worth of buffered comics are well on their way to being done. I’m evaluating my timeline, however, and I don’t think I can entirely complete them all by February 5th without rushing things, which I really want to avoid. The point of all this was always to start out again on the right foot and get myself completely ready before I start again, so with that in mind, I’m pushing the end of the hiatus back to March 5th instead. I can’t imagine needing more time than that, at least. I can 100% guarantee that Prophecy of the Circle will return to its regularly scheduled action sequences by then, and it should be much easier to manage this time around.

I also have some more guest art for you guys, and it’s courtesy, this time, of long-time reader and awesome artist Wolfcry! (with links for her DeviantArt and Tumblr for you folks) There’s at least one piece by her that I’m posting today.

As always, if you have anything you’d like to contribute, I’ll be overjoyed to post it here. Send your fanart in via the form over here or send me a link to it and I’ll make sure it shows up on the homepage. You guys are the best. 🙂

Apologies for the silence over the last week or so. I’ve been devoting all of my creative time to building the buffer for Prophecy of the Circle’s return and to try to do the best work I can while I’m at it. The thumbnail sketches I created before have been super helpful, and it really sped up the pencilling process so that I could work more detail in, which will also result in better inks and better pages overall. I’ll get going on inking these over the course of the next week, and also posting some doodles and sketches again now that I have the largest and most complex parts of comic-making out of the way.As an update to overall progress of bringing the comic back, I keep looking at the calendar and thinking that I probably can’t get everything done by the February deadline without rushing things. I’m considering pushing the date back to March 5th so that I make sure that I do a good job and get things sorted out just right. I can’t imagine needing more time than that, at least. I’ll make a news post on the homepage to that effect soon. I got an email a couple of days ago and there’s a bit more guest art for me to post there this week, too, so I’ll have some good news to mix in with the less-good news. Hurrah!

(Photo courtesy of Tim, the only one of us who could get tall enough by standing on my desk chair to photograph all of the pages in one go. Thanks, guy!)

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I’m still here! Back briefly with a report. The hiatus is going well so far. I’ve been taking time to get back to other artistic endeavours and trying to figure out how to balance everything out. It’s not easy to get right, but I think I’m on the right track. As far as Prophecy of the Circle goes, I’ve been trying to lay down more groundwork ahead of time in order to take some of the guesswork out of the week-to-week. There’s a public post over here at Patreon that’s a bit about that, but essentially my previous circumstances led me to a habit of flying through fiction by the seat of my pants rather than actually making a detailed plan to work from, and it worked when I had more day-to-day time. It doesn’t in the current situation, I find that I need to do that legwork ahead of time. My current plan is to write out scripts for the entirely of Chapter Three and then build a bank of thumbnails so that when I do draw a new page, I don’t have to think too hard about it. Instead I just have to fill in the details and put it together. It should speed up the process. I’m also still working hard to create a buffer of ten weeks’ worth of comic pages to post into the queue here on the homepage, and that’s what might end up taking a bit of time. I’m hoping to be ready in time for the February 5th deadline I’ve set, but to be honest, I’d rather do this right and not have to stop again than jump the gun and wind up in potentially the same trouble as before. If things winds up taking longer, I’ll keep you posted. Periodic updates will keep happening here, and I’ll keep Patreon up to speed as it happens.

I’ve also had a generous offer from at least one fan, PezWolf, of some guest art. He’d gone ahead and made a three page comic for me a while back, centering on a character from one of my Inktober sketches from last year featuring a tikedi with a passion for flying machines and a willingness to go headfirst off a cliff without a net. He’s generously suggested that I could post it as filler, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for that! I’ll be posting the first page of that this coming week. If any of you out there have other works you’d like me to post in the meanwhile, let me know! I’ll happily put them up to fill space and time.

With the holidays impending, I hope you’re all doing well. Thank you again for sticking with me through tough times. I’m eager to get back to being comfortably on my feet and getting this story told once more.