I am so sorry about this one, guys…. I had a bit of a minor wake-up call today and realized that an update I’d meant to post here never made it to the front page of the site. I’ve made noise about it a few times, but this year’s definitely proven to be one where I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. A comic buffer was built, a comic buffer disappeared under weeks of spontaneous stress, a comic buffer was built again and that comic buffer is kinda barely being maintained now. I keep on thinking I’ve got it, I’ve got it, but it’s still pretty hard to keep one step ahead. Some of that’s because of time, some of its because of stress. When I started this comic I was working 24 hours a week, max, at a fairly easy low-paying job and taking care of pretty much just myself. I’m currently in a job that takes up more than 40 hours a week, involves a longer commute, and stresses me out enough that I take it home with me, which affects my productivity in nasty ways, plus I have a proper home and family in the mix now and that adds a lot of new factors.

What this comes down to is that contrary to my optimism in the earlier part of the year, I haven’t actually been able to fix the problems with the site. In truth, I’ve discovered over the months that there’s more subtly wrong with this website than I’d previously anticipated. I did spend a while after the last post trying to fix things that were broken and that I thought would be easy to fix or change so that they’d work well instead of badly, failed on all counts, kept trying, and then my job-related life did that thing where it spontaneously spun into chaos, I lost track of time in a ridiculous way, and here we are still on a slow site where a lot of basic functions are kind of not-worky or partly not-worky and not as simple to repair as I’d originally thought they were. But I should have said something sooner.

I can’t make any promises because ultimately I have a feeling this might be a rebuild-from-scratch kind of issue. I mean, part of my dashboard is broken back here and I don’t even know how that could have gotten borked. And there’s a lot more, and it’s honestly been happening over a course of years in little bits of bad code accumulation. I’ve got a bit of time coming up next month and I can give fixing it a shot then. Hopefully it won’t involve a complete rebuild, and instead just a partial one, and I can get it done and back on track.

Again, I apologize profusely for how long in coming this explanation of my silence and the numerous site hiccups has been. This was the most tardy post I’ve ever made on an issue that’s probably driving more of you mad than just the one who finally brought it to my attention. I’ll try my best to make it better.

First off, I have some goodies for you again from the Fanworks page! Yet another batch of fanart from Alexander Shakalov, who is becoming a staple of these news posts, first of all. I got some darker work this time and man, I wish I was as brave in my stories as this particular fan is in fanart. 😉

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And there’s a new piece by Pezwolf from DeviantArt, who’s been a great guy to talk to there and on Tumblr over the last few months. 🙂 He has a few more, but I’m saving those for a special occasion. You’ll see! 😀

Second, a little bit of news and a little bit of talk about how I’ve been doing. I just celebrated a small personal victory today. After some tough times trying to keep up, I finally have the beginnings of a buffer of comic pages, so I can relax and fit a bit more into my days now. 🙂 I’ve also got some help in the future, and that saves me a lot.

I often find there’s a bit of mystery behind the creation of webcomics. They take a long time and a lot of effort to put together, if my experience is in any way universal. The story (if it’s like mine) needs to be planned in advance and mapped out so that there’s good pacing page by page and chapter by chapter, it all has to be drawn, inked, painted, scanned and formatted somewhere in there, there’s text and effects to put on to finish it off, and then there’s getting each page set up to post on (sometimes) several sources. I post mine here, on Patreon, on DeviantArt, Tumblr, and Tapastic to get as much exposure as I can. Some of those sources update earlier or later than others with Patreon always being first and the main site always being second. There’s reasoning for all of it, all depending on how the different audiences respond and and when and what will drive traffic where. There’s also advertising. I need to make sure I make regular noise about postings both here and on Patreon, and I have to make that noise on several different social media channels (hooray for Hootsuite) because not everyone likes Twitter, or not everyone likes Facebook, and again, it’s all about broadcasting widely. Each one of those social media networks has a different format for their content, so it all takes a while to put together. Ultimately having a webcomic is a little like having a full time job on top of my real full time job. And I still need to make dinner, keep the home clean, make sure my cat is fed, make sure the bills are being paid on time, and all the other bits of minutiae that we all have to deal with. Somewhere in there I also need sleep. Y’know.

And that is why I really, really, really need to always have a few weeks’ worth of comics and Patreon content finished ahead of time (the aforementioned buffer). It’s just necessary so that if I get sick or if I get sick and tired I can just take a day to chill and it doesn’t hurt the progression of the story. Because I moved twice in the last couple of months and I’ve been very recently doing so much work to put my life back in the order it was a little over a year ago, I didn’t have much time to build that buffer. I’ve been working deadline to deadline since November. It’s tiring. It takes the fun out of things. It’s not a good way to go about this business. Having even just the one week ahead that I do now is a huge relief. I can stop for a few minutes here and there and recharge.

And it’s at this point that I want to say a great big thanks to my boyfriend, Tim! He’s been watching me slam my head into the wall for a few weeks now, the poor guy, and trying to figure out how he can ease my burden. No one’s ever been able to before, but he finally came up with an idea that’s going to save me a lot of time and headache. He’s busy himself, being the kickass cosplayer that he is, but he does love playing in Photoshop, so when he does have time he’s offered to help me with the most boring part of the job: formatting the comic. That’s scanning my finished artwork, piecing it all together when the pages are too big for the scanner’s glass (the Jahrd pages always have that problem), and then putting panels together, cleaning up the lines, color correcting, resizing it for different platforms, etc. Oh my god. Oh my god does that ever take a load off of my back. He even offered to build the speech balloons for me, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have a solid enough script ready for him to work off of for that bit. 😛 I do everything in sketches and point form notes. Alas. But man does his effort ever help.

What does this mean for you guys? I know there’s often been a problem with me not responding very quickly to emails and the like. There are people out there who want to have extended conversations with me and that especially causes me guilt because I just haven’t physically had the time to keep up with it all. I still don’t think I’ll be able to manage anything extremely large in the near future – I need a several week long buffer built for that and that’ll take me several more weeks to complete – but in about one week’s time I’m hoping to be back on track enough to be able to improve my turnaround time on communication, at least. Keep an eye on that.

Things also on the To Do list for the next week: get the Hiatus Tale and filler art compiled and out of the archives. I said I’d do it and I will. Very, very soon. Promise. 🙂

Less soon, but also on my To Do list: redo the archives if I can figure out how. There are a few ways in which they offend me, currently, but I need to do further research to fix the problem. It’s always something.

I just need a nap first. 😛

Just before I went on hiatus, I received another batch of awesome interpretations of the world of The Prophecy of the Circle from Alexander Shakalov. 😀 I always adore the style of these. They remind me of fantasy movies from my childhood like The Dark Crystal and The Neverending Story and that just makes me so happy! There are more pieces from him and others over on the Fanworks page. 🙂

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….and I mean it this time! Back to regularly scheduled and dependable comic updates. To celebrate, starting at midnight PST tonight, there’ll be a new comic page every single day this week! I promised that I’d finish Renn’tekk’s story and post the whole thing in one batch, and so it shall be done. 🙂 You can also get the whole thing in one post for a $2 contribution over at Patreon if you absolutely need to see these last five pages right now. Which… I, of course, have no problems with… 😛

Regardless, it’s good to be back! Next Monday Jahrd’s story will continue and then Jamet’s will as well on next Thursday. Patreon goodies will also start appearing at regular intervals again tomorrow and will continue as per usual. I don’t anticipate needing to take another break for a long, long time. I’m eager to get back to this story!

Keep an eye on the news posts here, too. In a few days there’ll be another fan art update! I got a third batch just before my life got extremely hectic. I need to do a bit more catch-up behind the scenes and then I’ll have those ready to post and show off as well.

Let the week of art and story begin! 😀

First, thank you guys so much for being so awesome. 😀 I know I’ve been very quiet lately and I apologize for that. It’s been almost a month so I figure it’s time I let you know the state of my being.

I’m finally getting into a regular feeling routine again, for one thing. 🙂 It was pretty tough for a while there while I was unpacking and organizing into our new home and simultaneously starting a new full-time job in an office here in Victoria, but as of this week things are starting to feel normal again. For the first time in weeks I had both the time and the energy to sit down and draw and I got all four of the remaining pages of Renn’tekk’s story drawn in an hour and a half.

As I write this, they’re all inked, scanned, and laid out as black and white files waiting for color.

The one bit of bad news is that I was hoping to get the coloring finished this weekend, but my Intuos5 tablet’s pen decided that it had suffered enough years of abuse and it finally just up and died on me. Some bit inside that I’m not technologically saavy enough to identify broke off and took some teeny wires with it. Snap! I need a new pen.

Those things aren’t cheap, but I’ll bite the bullet and get one. I need it in order to keep working, and frankly, I really want to get the comic back on track in early February if at all possible. I’m so very, very ready to be back to making comics.

In the meanwhile, I have new content for Patreon that I can still make with either a pencil, a mouse, or a keyboard, and I think I know a tablet that I can borrow until mine is functional again.

The tentative date for my triumphant return to Prophecy of the Circle, even despite all of this adversity, is February 6th! I’ll let you guys know if that changes.

Thanks again for sticking with me through all of this chaos! Its been a hell of a trip, and you guys always had my back. I’m grateful. <3

First! If you couldn’t get the holiday wallpaper when it was first posted, try it again. There was a posting glitch and the link I had input didn’t take, so I had to code a quick workaround. All should be functioning as intended now. 🙂

Anyway! As many of you know already, I’ve been somewhat in limbo since September. I moved from Alberta to British Columbia and its been a long haul. For many months, my stuff’s been in storage while I’ve been home-hunting and job-hunting.

The good news is that both a home and a job have been found!

The bad news is that in all of the chaos, I’ve fallen woefully behind on comic work, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have time for a bit to do anything new. Starting a new job (my first day is in the beginning of January) is going to take a lot out of me at first and I’m still unpacking and trying to reassemble my home. We’re also currently without an internet connection while we wait for the telecomm company to come hook us up.

I think, all told, that I’m going to be kind to myself and take a proper hiatus both from Patreon and from the comic itself until the beginning of February. By then, I should have my new studio assembled and be settled into my new routine. When I do come back, there shouldn’t be anything else in my way for the forseeable future. I’m looking forward to it. I miss bringing this story to you guys on a regular basis. 🙂

There isn’t much left to Renn’tekk’s story, so I’ll try to finish those up and post them all in one shot once I return, and then we can get back to seeing what’s going on with Jahrd and friends in Gessick.

In the meanwhile, Happy New Year to everyone! Here’s hoping that 2017 is a much kinder year than 2016 has been to so many of us. I love all of you and I can’t wait for more adventures. 😀

Oh hey, lookit that, there’s another batch. X3 Gosh I love seeing others’ interpretations of my little universe. These are also by Alexander Shakalov, but this time I’ve also gotten confirmation that he had a co-artist for these works, so I’m going to properly credit Inessa Ephremova as well this time! Thanks a bunch for these terrific pieces. 😀

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Quick Correction: Whoops! These are actually by Alexander Shakalov and Inessa Ephremova! I’ve fixed up the credits wherever I can find them. 🙂

I just got an email a little while ago from someone I haven’t heard from in ages. 🙂 There’s some new fanart from the ever awesome Alexander Shakalov in the gallery! Aren’t these beautiful? There’s so much story in each of these. 😀 Thanks again, Alexander! It’s such a pleasure to see these. 😀

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Take a look at the Fanworks gallery for a few more of his works from years past. 🙂

Alas, no comic this week. 🙁 I had a really, really busy time last week and just couldn’t get things done.The good news is that I’ll finally very soon have a home! We’re looking to move in late December/early January, and that means I can finally get back into routines and get all of my stuff back. The comic can begin again from where it left off (once I finish with Renn’tekk, and her story is short)! Hurrah!

I’ve also had some very good job interviews lately, and with any luck I’ll be gainfully employed once again! Fingers crossed on that one.

The bad news is that all of that took up a whole ton of time and energy and filled the rest with paperwork, phone calls, and sleepless nights. I finally ran out of energy and couldn’t create a thing (nor could I successfully find the 14-20 hours required for me to do these pages). For this upcoming week I decided not to do battle with my exhaustion and to instead just take it off. Next Monday we’ll return to the regularly scheduled filler art wallpapers and comic pages. Promise. 🙂

There are still some goodies to go up on Patreon, mostly because I’m a few weeks ahead as far as sketches and short story pieces are concerned, but even that’s going to be a bit lackluster this week.

As for my choice of artwork today, I got a message from a reader recently and… let’s just say that you should pay attention to these Inktober doodles that I did a while back all about a crazy Tieke madman who thinks he can build a pair of tekk wings and fly. A little bit of coolness is going to come out of it. More about that when it’s done. ;P

So, as I type this, there’s about a week left until I run out of pre-made comics. The last finished page is scheduled for October 27th. As I’m sure you remember, the move has left me in temporary lodgings for the forseeable future and without my art supplies, for they are trapped in storage, and I can only do finished art with Photoshop at the moment. I didn’t want to continue the current story with a totally different artistic style because that would just feel really disjointed and awful, so instead, this is what I’m going to do:

Pause the current storyline, first of all. For the week beginning with Halloween, there’ll be two filler art posts instead of comics.

After that, I’m starting a new, entirely digital art side story for a while that’ll follow Renn’tekk around. Because I don’t know how long it’ll have to be, I’ll have to stay resourceful with my storytelling. It might stay as more of an exploration of the tekk way of life, or, if things go on longer than expected, I might have more than one side story (fortunately, I have plenty of ideas). Either way, I’m getting ready to post it. I have the first page completely done already and the first ten or so weeks scripted. That story will be posted on Mondays, and Thursdays will be filler art.

When I do eventually get a new home and/or a way to unpack my possessions from storage, I’ll get the hiatus stor(ies) to a good ending, compile it all into a downloadable file that I’ll make available to everyone, and remove it from the archives so that it’s not in the way of a normal read-through in the future. Then I’ll continue the current storyline as if nothing ever happened (as long as one is willing to ignore the gap in time stamps). That way everyone gets exciting new content, I get to keep my skills updated, and the actual plot doesn’t get messed up in the long run.

Again, I’m sorry for all the kerfuffle. I hope this rings as a good solution to a weird situation. I’m looking forward to showing you a different side of the world of the tekk and tikedi, myself. 🙂