It’s small, and to start off it’s only a couple of t-shirts, but it will not end here.

The store is up and online with two shiny new designs. Lemony-fresh!

There is So Much To Hear in Silence (feat. Shan'rekk)

The Circle is Breaking (feat. Renn'tekk + Jahrd)

Or, in other words, a quick update about merchandise. I’ll keep this very quick so I can go back to making it a reality. First: it is indeed happening. I’ve finally got some designs drawn up and most of the kinks in the process worked out. Second: it will start pretty small, but more will be added as time goes on. Third. When? Soon, though it’s hard to plan these things; monkey wrenches find their way into the machine at the oddest times. If I have my way, sometime this week.

Keep watching this space. Or take a look at the Facebook page. I’m considering sticking a couple of preview images up there once I have them. 😉

Edit: I won’t be around in the audience for as long as I was last time since I’m technically on a small holiday with family, but the Livestream of the translation of the comic is happening again tomorrow at the same time as last week (that’s 2 PM Mountain Daylight Time). Any of you who want to can definitely come watch or, if I’m there, to pester me. I’m, er, quite shy, though. I’ll warn you now. But friendly!

It’s looking like this may become a regular thing. Feel free to stop by. 🙂

If you want regular updates about little things like this, they’re posted to the Facebook page for the comic and to avoid excessive journals that’s probably where I’ll continue to mention these things.

For anyone who’s curious, my friend Foldo is Livestreaming his translation process of the comic, and I’m in the audience. Come and take a look, if you will.

foldo on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

Edit: Comments closed; over the course of a week, with conversations had between here and elsewhere, I believe that I have a plan. Actually multiple plans, in a way. Now what I need is time to bring the plan(s) to fruition (or something closely approximating fruition), so bear with me if I’m quiet a bit. Many many things happening. Thanks, you guys. You’ve been really super at keeping me on the right track and sparking my inspiration.

Life has a funny way of taking sharp turns when you’re not really expecting it. Such is the situation I find myself in currently.

Without a great deal of warning, I’ve, er, found myself in a bit of trouble. I’m staring at a very real, very near future of financial dire straits. In essence, the amount my day job is looking to be very soon paying me is not matching up very well with the reality of bills and rent and groceries, and I am but a singular human with a cat for company, trying to keep myself fed, with a roof over my head, and hopefully to continue working on this story which I’m really, really fond of.

The trouble is, there are only 24 hours in a day, I have to sleep sometime, and to make ends meet I’m afraid I’m looking at two possibilities: one is cutting back on the comic in order to scrounge enough work out in the world so that I can continue to eat and be sheltered,  or to see if ProtC can pull its weight so that there’s even the slightest possibility of it at least helping me to survive. Odd as it may seem, I dislike both options. The first, obviously, because this story is important to me, and I just want to tell it and to see it enjoyed. The second because it may seem odd, but no matter how I approach it (and I have before within my own head, hence the Store button at the top), I feel very strange at the idea of taking money from my readers, even if they offer it freely and get something in return. I know. I’m a crazy person.

Still, I think about you, all of you, and I don’t want to take the story away at all if there’s even a chance of keeping things running smoothly. It becomes pretty obvious which of the two options is preferable. So I pose the question:

If I were to offer merchandise, what would interest you? What can I do? Is there anything that comes to mind? T-shirts and art prints are my favorite ideas because I know how to make those happen, somewhat. Not entirely sure, as I’m rather new to this internet entrepreneur idea and it’s hard to know which manual out in the internet is the right one to turn to, but I have a few leads and ideas. I’ve done some research.

Also since I know that a rather large amount of interest in this story revolves around the art, I’m also considering doing small original sketches and drawings and selling those. I am nervous about handling shipping, but if it helps, right?

I’m really eager to hear what any of you have to say to this. Please, feel free to leave anything that might be useful in the comments. Ideas, thoughts, possibilities or even just encouragement. Anything and everything is welcome with attempting to figure out what comes next.

First, I want to say that I was impressed by the thoughtful comments left on my last journal entry. There were a couple that were really thought-provoking on top of my own fairly basic points. It’s a debate that I can throw my two cents into, but which I didn’t feel I was all that qualified to discuss at length beyond the post itself since… well, politically savvy I  am not so much. Not confidently so, anyway. So while I couldn’t add much personally, I felt the thoughts of others who pass through here were worth pointing out.

Now the reason I’m really writing this: Wow, how neat is this? For some who may be interested, The Prophecy of the Circle is now being actively translated into French at La Prophétie du Cercle! Thanks are in order to one J. N. Squire, who you may or may not have seen wandering around in the comments section. We’ve been emailing back and forth for a while now, getting things ready and today’s the day.

This is so good. When I started posting Prophecy of the Circle, I told myself that my mission statement, so to speak, would be very simple: to just have someone read what I was writing, and look at what I was drawing, and hopefully be glad that they had. If one person took some enjoyment from what I had to offer, then mission accomplished. I’ve achieved that several times over, even made a few friends because of it, and still nothing makes me more giddy than just having someone tell me that they love what I’m putting up here.

And now I get to reach a whole new audience. That’s a really really nice feeling. I hope they like it, too.

Success! I have a desktop computer again and, most importantly, I finally have Photoshop and my scanner running again! I’m still slowly transferring files over in chunks, but all of the most important things are back where I need them. Looking at what I’ve managed to get done on the comic (mostly on lunch breaks at work; no rest for the wicked >> ) and then looking at the time I have left… It’s going to be tight, but I think I can still reach the Monday deadline if I pull a late night or two with painting it. Monday looks very likely. I’ll give it a 90% certainty, barring any unforeseen distractions or disasters. 🙂

While I’m here… The unfortunate part about all this is that I missed the SOPA/PIPA blackout day because I missed the memo since my contact with the world of the internet over the last few days has mostly involved being up to my elbows in computer cables. By the time I found out, the world of the net was a dark, angry place and I was very impressed. TIME Magazine was right on the money to call 2011 the Year of the Protestor. It’s still going on now in 2012.

It just goes to show how amazing the internet is as a voice of the world. I was born when the web wasn’t available to the public. I remember when it slipped into households around the world, and I’ve watched it change everything through the course of my life. It’s astounding, the way it’s become such a foundation for society all over the world, and how dramatically and quickly it’s changed the way that communications and media are used. It’s opened up a whole ton of gray areas that weren’t there when I was born and yes, one of those is the issue of copyright.

I’m going to drop this here for your viewing pleasure, although you’ve likely already seen it a dozen times:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

In a world where the results of hard work and creativity are composed of insubstantial data that can, in seconds, be picked up, multiplied millions of times, and scattered around the globe without significant cost or clutter, the old ways of thinking cease to fit, and I understand that it’s hard to come up with a reasonable way to look at and deal with the result. But that’s what the internet is. That’s what we’ve wrought, the way forward that we’ve embarked on, and who we are when we’re a connected global community. The reality of it has to be faced, not buried and censored and blockaded, especially at the expense of the little people like myself. The internet has been a haven for people like me – it is the reason I even have a voice – and while copyright infringement hurts in a way that every artist, big or small, feels, the methods outlined in SOPA and PIPA aren’t the way to handle it. It’s too broad for its target, and power lies too strongly in the wrong hands for something as complicated and user-generated the web. I don’t want to go back to even a shadow of what it was like when I was born. When I was small, and already telling stories because it’s what I love to do, I remember the looks of pity I’d get and the lectures I’d hear about how hard it would be to get anyone to hear what I have to say or see what I had to show: that it’s a business world, and that I didn’t have a head for business, and I was creative but looking at an uphill battle. The world wide web arrived, Twitter and Facebook and WordPress and DeviantArt arrived, and it changed. For the better, for the better, not just for the worse. You can all hear me, I can tell this story, and I’m still not a business-minded person. That is huge and I don’t want to see it damaged.

As a Canadian, I’m slightly on the sidelines since it’s not my government that’s trying to push this ludicrous thing through. As a creator who can only thrive where I can share my work with the ease that exists today, and who would still be depressed, alone, and trapped with a story in her head that she could not tell if it weren’t for the free and open internet… I’m right in the middle of the mess and I strongly oppose this thing.

No real surprise, I suppose.

Certainties of life: death, taxes, and the inevitable burnout of a computer. Two out of three became a prominent part of my weekend, but it’s the last one there that requires an update from me here. I knew it was coming but alas, not the day nor the hour. It’s an old PC and for ages it’s been giving me signals that it’s not as healthy as I’d like. Saturday was the day when I could no longer ignore it, and it was a pretty major and sudden failure. BOOM.

Fortunately I still have my laptop so I could at least post the comic (which, also thankfully, was complete enough that I didn’t desperately need my PC), but next week’s is in question. I have a new computer to replace the old already (yes, the explosion was that bad) but it’s the rigmarole of getting it pieced together, running, everything installed, all the files back in place, and happily connected and functioning while I script, draw, and paint the next comic in the time that remains on the side. I’m optimistic (as well as a slightly crazy breed of stubborn) but there’s a tiiiiny chance that next week’s comic will be late. Probably not skipped entirely, but yeah, late. I’ll keep you guys posted as the weekend draws nearer.

It’s also a given that I may be scarce this week, which is awful because I’m already badly behind on keeping up with correspondence.

Aaaaahhhhh somebody stop time for me just for a while… XD

Seriously. I’ve been drawing a page a week for two whole years? What am I, insane?

Oh wait.

Yeah.

Dang. It actually happened! An insane month at my day job caught up with me in a horrible way and alas, there’s no way I could get the comic finished on time for this week, especially with me fleeing from the city to the wild lands to visit with my family. I’m a stubborn creature by nature and I refuse to leave you guys with nothing though, especially in the Christmas season. Thus! I cobbled together this little something to fill the gap. Family and peace are what I think of this time of year, and so the art followed suit. Plus, it’s a bit of a present to all of you. I’ve had many a person wondering what Jahrd’s mother really looked like, as we only catch a glimpse in the beginning and likely won’t see much more than that. Now you know. :3

I hope all of you are having a wonderful and relaxing holiday, and I’ll see you again in 2012 with more of the story.

Do you ever have that happen? You go to repair a  small thing to make a process a bit simpler, and then, as you’re looking at it, you realize all the things that one small change is going to effect? Then you start making a list of many small changes you need to make. Then you start thinking about all of those ways you wish you would have done things differently when you first designed the bloody contraption. Some of that was really bone-headed dunderbrain thinking and it’s sure taking an awful lot of effort to keep everything running. Next thing you know, you’re tearing the whole mess down and starting from scratch.

On that note, welcome to the entirely new Prophecy of the Circle website! This is not at all how I expected things to look when I started revising a couple of weeks ago. I should have probably expected that. It’s how things always go. Maybe this time the system that it runs on will stay the same, at least. Any major overhauls I feel called to perform in the future should be a lot easier now that the whole site is running off of Comicpress rather than a combination of WordPress and my own bumbling HTML disasters. Seriously, what was I thinking?

As a quick overview of changes, it’s mostly that I’ll have a hell of a lot less work to do when I upload a comic now, and the site generally looks different. The biggest visual changes are that I’m no longer doing the click-through-a-thumbnail process to get to the comic. I was always iffy about that, because while it was good spoiler protection, more clicks generally means less user-friendliness and that’s no good. Besides, that degree of spoiler protection is getting perhaps a tad paranoid. It was time for it to go and for this place to cater to ease of access instead.

The encyclopedia has indeed had the major redo I was hoping for, glorious gloriousness. I pulled the cast profiles out and into their own page, as you can see at the top there, and the information in both has been streamlined and simplified, not to mention updated (of course; and it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be once I got to looking through it).

There are various other goodies scattered about as well, such as the ability to like this site via Facebook and Google+, or share it through varying and numerous services,  and a bookmarking system for those of you who are reading from the beginning and don’t want to lose your spot. At least one more major addition is potentially underway that may be of interest to some of you, but I’ll keep that quiet as a protection against the jinx factor.

Now of course, in all of this new system, there’s the chance for bugs. I’m most concerned about the comments systems and how they work for everyone (so feel free to say hello, and you’ll be helping me out). I wasn’t terribly sorry to let go of the old HTML comments system; it was kind of cumbersome and actually led to an attack on my email inbox that made me a rather disgruntled coot for an hour or two. I lament the loss of the old comments, but hopefully the future holds shiny new ones for me.

Good to be back on track, regardless, and back to the regularly scheduled comic. The next page goes live in a couple of hours (and I’d better get on to making sure that goes as planned, as well). Enjoy, guys!