So, I like telling stories.
I guess at the end of the day, that's all there is to it. I know I'm not very good at it, but it's what brings me joy, so I do it anyway.
I suppose we've all had a bit of extra time over the past year, so I used mine to create some additional stories. And now I'm posting them online so if you're bored and looking for something to read I've got some options for you. Bear in mind that all of these stories were written by me, they're amateur stuff and this is all just for fun.
The links to and descriptions of the stories are below. After each description, I'll babble a bit about each project, so if you just want to see a quick couple of lines on what each story is about, just read the first paragraph and skip the rest. (Also, my deepest apologies that I'm not very good at writing a synopsis.)
An army led by mysterious giants is traveling across the land and destroying every city they come in contact with. No one knows where these strange giants have come from nor how to stop them. Darius, an uncertain and unprepared young soldier comes face to face with this terrifying force. Against his wishes he finds himself caught up in the conflict that threatens to engulf the entire world.
You might've seen some images from this one floating around my gallery here, but I never really linked or promoted the comic itself anywhere except in the sidebar on my main website. Honestly, I just kind of liked keeping this project to myself. Not having to worry about keeping the readers immediately invested allowed me to feel a little freer to do things like single panel pages. (Heck, issue 3 is basically just a travel montage. ) And yes, I'm using the word "issue" here deliberately because this was actually designed for print. It's why the chapter length is so much more consistent here than in my previous comics.
You may notice however, that the link at the top is not to my site, but to DrunkDuck (or...just "The Duck" now, I guess? I keep forgetting that. ). This leads me to why I've changed my mind about sharing it. The truth is that I've been having a lot of problems on my site with the pages artifacting pretty horribly. It's left me pretty baffled to be honest, I use .png files specifically because I thought they were lossless. So the decision to move the comic to a larger site was really just so that I could have an online version where the pages look the way they're supposed to. I won't say "good" because it's still me, but if they look bad, it should be my fault, not the website's. And since I was moving it to a bigger site, there just didn't seem to be much point in hiding it anymore.
In reposting, I decided to take the opportunity to fix some of the more egregious errors - addressing incorrectly sized pages, fixing incorrect fonts, adjusting some of the dialogue that I thought didn't work, and in two particular cases completely redoing a panel's art because the original was too bad even for me. So the version of Conscripted that's being posted to the Duck can basically be said to be a special edition and it's the version that I recommend you read. However, the comic is not entirely posted to the Duck yet. As of posting this journal the first chapter is up (so you can get an idea of the story and decide if you're interested) and it's currently posting daily on weekdays (Mon - Fri) so it's going up pretty quickly, but I have enough of this comic done that it will keep that sped up schedule through November before returning to a weekly update. So if you'd rather read all of the story now and can deal with the artifacting and other errors, it's up to current on my website:
A strange substance nicknamed "Devil's Blood" is infecting citizens and turning them into crazed monsters. Nicodemus Blacroft has taken it upon himself to research a way to stop the spread, but despite some success he is untrained and is mostly just pursuing this out of curiosity. When one of his experiments falls into the wrong hands, everything quickly spirals out of control and Nicodemus quickly finds himself to be in over his head.
(I don't have anything really on DA for this project, so here's a WIP page for you.)
This was my quarantine project. And no, despite mentions of "infections" and "stopping the spread" and the timing, it has nothing to do with Covid, it's all metaphor for something else entirely and is a story that's actually been in my head for a long time. Every time I thought about it I'd think to myself "Oh, you don't have the time for another comic, so don't bother." But then I got laid off for about 4 months due to the pandemic and decided it would be best to give myself something to do, so here we are.
While Twisted Mirrors was always meant to be a traditional webcomic, and Conscripted was designed for print, this was actually intended to be a vertically formatted comic. I did draw it on regular 8.5x11 paper because it's what I have on hand and it's easy, but the plan was always to cut the pages apart and reassemble them into long, vertical posts to be read. After completing a few pages and looking at the result, however, I realized it wasn't actually good enough to bother with. So I decided to just post it as-is. I'm explaining this mostly because some of the early pages that were made with this idea in mind, might look a little odd since they were created with the expectation that it was going to be changed quite a bit before posting.
This one is also going up on the Duck. I decided not to even bother with my site because I imagined I'd have the same artifacting troubles. (And I imagine TM doesn't really have this problem due to be mostly black and white.) I also attempted to future-proof this a bit, since I didn't think I'd be laid off forever and finding time for a third comic was always going to be tight, so this has a far more simplistic coloring style than Conscripted does...though honestly I don't think it looks that much worse in comparison...
Speaking of Conscripted, you'll probably notice some surface-level similarities between the two comics if you read both. This is because I am a deeply uncreative person, but I can assure you that the themes of these two stories are very different and if this one were further along in its story, that'd probably be a lot more obvious. Until then...uh...sorry about that. Heh.
This did start posting at the same time as Conscripted, but I don't have nearly as much of a backlog, so it's posting at a slower rate. Right now it's M-W-F as we work our way through the prologue, but after that I'm not sure. It'll likely go to the weekly schedule like other comics, but since I'm still not sure I can get a page done a week, I might try to hold on to a bigger buffer. We'll have to see, but it's M-W-F into July at least.
THE MECHINIST'S APPRENTICE
Building and working with Machines has been a part of Jevrem's life for as long as he can remember. his only goal is to learn enough to one day take over from the mechanist who has trained him. But when a magic spell pulls him away from his home he finds himself caught up in a conflict between the technologically advanced country of Goskar and its magically powered neighbor Astansuria. Now forced to deal with the uncertainty of magic and the whims of those in power all Jevrem wants is to return to his normal life.
...but the life he knew may have already been changed forever.
This one's not a comic! It's a prose novel. It's also completely finished! You can read the whole thing right now! If you like stories of magic vs technology (yep, it's one of those...) and if you like stories about people with metal arms (yep! It's one of those!) you might have some fun with it.
Please understand that while I have taken classes for art, I have taken none for writing. So beware that as bad as my art is, my writing is significantly worse. The upside is that since this is prose and not on an update schedule, it's actually been edited. The posted version is about the third draft, and while I'll acknowledge that it could use some more editing (particularly toward the end) it's at least a bit more complete than the stories of the comics usually end up. ...uh...please overlook how loosely I play with "science" here though, it IS still a fantasy story after all. (Example: there is a car run by a compressed air engine in the story. This isn't something that's viable in real life, I just read about them being a thing and thought it was neat and decided to just pretend they totally worked for the sake of the story.)
...there was also an odd thing about posting this to Wattpad where about every 10th word or so, it would just mash two words together and I had to go through the whole thing and fix them manually. So my apologies if I missed some and you come across a typo like that.)
That's all I've got at the moment. If you're interested, take a look! If you're not, that's totally cool, I'm another amateur rando on the internet after all. Thanks for bearing with me!
(And a special shoutout to the DA journal setup which is possibly worse than wattpad's. When I attempted to copy this into the body of the post, it started inserting random emojis and not letting me edit, so I had to retype the whole thing. Thanks, DA...)
DA or Wattpad?
End of an Era
Look who's back...
Jumps all over these links I haven't seen yet!
Devil's Blood already is piquing my interest, I'm adding that to my webcomic reading list! Already it's feeling pretty lively, Nicodemus is really expressive in his face and body language. Really curious to see what's about to happen, and what kinda mysteries will unravel in this story!
You should give yourself way more credit! Your art is great, and so is your creativity! And not only that, but you actually finish the stories you start which is way more than a lot of people who do webcomics can say lol. The most professional, eye-popping art in the world means nothing if your story goes five pages and then "indefinite hiatus" lol
The art you create to tell your stories is its vehicle, and even if it's difficult on your end or you're always thinking you could draw better, for us the audience it's a very smooth ride all the way to the finish line.
I'm really pleased if Devil's Blood has grabbed your attention, especially since it's still in the prologue. I hope it can keep your interest once the story revs up! Though I confess it'll probably fall into my bad habits of having the characters stand around and talk a lot. (I just really like writing Nicodemus and Lesedi (the young woman) bouncing off each other and basically just want to keep doing that, haha!)
I've made peace with the fact that my art isn't very good, (Kinda...I still whine about it a lot ) but I also know that it's not the worst thing out there. It's just technically very middle-of-the-road and for someone who's practiced as much as I have that feels very unacceptable.
Your comment means a lot, though, and I do take a small amount of pride in the fact that my stories at least get told. Nothing more frustrating than having paid for four hard-cover printed editions of a webcomic only for the creator to decide to never finish. Looking at you, Cucumber Quest!