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It's something I've toyed around with, an album of sorts with maybe 15-20 songs summing up the first three volumes. The songs wouldn't be intended to play perfectly 1.1 with the scenes, like you're supposed to finish reading a chapter just as the song finishes, no. Everybody reads at their own pace, after all. I mean more atmospheric pieces that would create a mood for a character or a portion of Minnow's life and leave it at that. David Arkenstone made an album with this philosophy inspired by Middle Earth. This was released around the time the Peter Jackson films were, but the feel is completely different than the movies' music, really just what reading the books made him feel and how he imagined places like Moria. Give it a listen if you can, it's a fascinating alternative take on the story. Anyway, this would be that kinda deal, more symbolic than a panel-to-panel play-by-play.

At first I figured I'd compose this music myself. I'd heard of some music editing programs that make it... easy-ish, so I downloaded some of this software and gave it a few tries.

It was hell. Watch from 1:50


Yeah, basically that.

After about... a week, I was able to put together some basic beats, but when I tried to change the pitch or length of the notes, distorting them to sound less stock, more unique, the changes didn't just carry over and I wasn't able to make anything too inspired. I realized the particular programs I was trying out were made specifically for trance music, beats you'd hear in a nightclub. Try to branch into any other genre, and you're just not using these programs correctly.

Anyway, the amount of time and energy it would take to master this stuff would interfere too much with... you know.... actually making the comic? No use making promotional music if I have nothing to promote because I spent too much time on the music itself. So I'm going to need somebody else to do it.

I don't expect them to do it for free, but I am not a wealthy guy, so I can only spare so much. I've seen some peoples' rates, and they tend to average about $500 per minute (yes, that's a MINUTE of a song, not the entire song) or a dollar per note. I can't afford that. But Let's say... $100 per song, and they can be kinda short. That I can afford, to dripfeed those tunes out over the course of a year or so. Also, I would be releasing this music for people to listen to for free, so the composer wouldn't make any royalties and the starting price would have to be enough. I know that's not great, I know that's going to turn some musicians off, but it's all I can afford. Everything else I make has to go into the books themselves or it's just too much trouble to be worth doing.

It's also monumentally important that whoever it ends up being is actually familiar with the comic, so they can really channel their own personal feelings about it into the melodies. Fortunately, the entire first volume is here for free, so I figure that should be enough for them to get a feel and make at least one solid tune. If they whip up a quick demo inspired by the comic just to show me what they're capable of composing and I really like how it sounds, I'll pay them to do other songs, and provided they live in the US, I'll ship them the other two volumes. If they live in another country... I'll find some way to get in front of their eyes, to draw further inspiration from.

As for the actual sound of the music, I think it should be a mixed bag. Halo (specifically the first two entries) are a good example of genres being blended together in simple but memorable ways. You have your more industrial, militaristic sounding tunes, but then you also have calming, new-age pieces like "Under The Cover of Night," and then the iconic chanting that sounds alien yet soothing. That said, I don't have a chance in hell at ever hiring Marty O Donnel, but I hope people see what I'm going for. I'm looking for versatility. I'm not saying I want Halo sound-alikes, just a similar feel of genres being blended together appropriately for a story about cyborg pirates and mermaids.


Does anyone know a good site to try to reach people through? Something like CastingCallClub but for aspiring, talented musicians?

Last but not least..... I'm exhausted, guys. Between Beast Wars Future and catching up on old commissions, I'm completely drained and I really can't take doing any more right now, and like I said, I'm putting as much as I can of what I have left into supporting the books themselves. So anything on top of that would have to be a donation OR a commission people would be willing to wait for... for a while. I figured I'd just be transparent about needing help and... see if people are okay with supporting this endeavor as long as they know what the money would go towards. I feel kinda pathetic bordering on e-begging, but I've done everything else I can already. And if people aren't interested in there being a Planet Ripple-inspired album, if they think that's a goofy idea... well I guess that's that.
Taking people's advise and taking it easy for a couple of days. Will get back to commissions an' other things soon. Thank you for the kind words.
Not gonna say which one. She was a DA member. Her account still exists, here.

She had corrective jaw surgery about a week before it happened, and then one day she died of an embolism. They think an air bubble from the surgery made it into her brain. She cried out in a moment of searing pain as all her nerves fired off one last time, and then....that's it.

This happened right as I was uploading the final pages of BW Future. I stayed quiet about it at the time, put on a stoic face. It's been pretty rough.

I'm going away overnight. The funeral is tomorrow. When I get back, I have a few things to catch up on.

Now that Beast Wars Future has ended (for now) I'm going to catch up on commissions people have waited for while I finished the comic. Also going to make some videos while I'm at it that people have waited for on that front. By the end of the month, I'll be working on Planet Ripple Volume 4.

I just.... I know it's weird that I don't exactly take breaks from working on this stuff, but this is how I cope sometimes. I keep busy.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this year's summer project. I can't upload regularly all the time like I used to, but I can for at least a chunk of each year. I'm going to release one volume of Planet Ripple every April, and basically whatever time I have left in the year will go towards at least one big project like this. I don't think next year's summer comic will be the BW Future sequel. I'll finish "The Toa," first. Maybe even get to it sooner, if I finish Volume 4 early.

That's it for today.
But in a good way.  A few days ago, I got my Planet Ripple books into a local bookstore, and... that's the first time I've done something like that. Going to ask around and see if others are up to carrying my books too. The next day, I was interviewed and appeared on the local news later in a segment that went on for about two minutes. Here's a supercut.

Yesterday I held a Q n' A session at a library, where I went through the process of self publishing and what I hope to accomplish with this series. I've spoken at a couple of similar events, but those were for private groups. This was the first time it was open to the public. None of these things by themselves were that stressful or anything, it's just kinda funny how those three consecutive days played out. So yeah.... it's a start. Who knows what'll happen next?

Taking a quick break to finish some commissions. I'd be willing to make time if anyone else wants something while I'm at it.

Here are my prices.

Bust- $10
Full body shot- $20
+$15 for each additional character
+$15 for a background
Comic book cover/page- $50

Mark I Megazord for Kaijuduke COMPLETED! by NickOnPlanetRipple Commission for The 1st Shadow by NickOnPlanetRipple Commission- Big Bot is mad by NickOnPlanetRipple Ultraman 50th anniversary commission by NickOnPlanetRipple  Spinosaurus by NickOnPlanetRipple 'Samus Returns' Gravity Suit by NickOnPlanetRipple Toa 'Gally' Commission by NickOnPlanetRipple Ajna and The Wreckers by NickOnPlanetRipple Oldschool Ultra Instinct Omen Goku by NickOnPlanetRipple
Will upload more comics on friday.
Yes, that is his username. Crazy thing I happened upon today. Check this out. 17:07

I've been following this guy's content since his early days and it's been fascinating to see how he's grown and changed. I keep up with his videos when I can, but I missed this episode last year and it popped up in the recommended tab today so I opened it up and listened to him while doing something in another tab. He gets to the unboxing portion later on, and I hear "Planet Ripple" and drop everything. "WHAT?!!"

Small world. Damn. How did I miss this??? Man, now I just wanna see if he's had a chance to read them. Find out who sent him the books and thank them. If they want to remain anonymous, I'll just say it here.

Thank you for supporting my books and helping to get them out there. Every bit helps. I hope you've enjoyed them, and that he does. And if you happen to be one of my watchers here, thank you even more!
I'm taking a break from the comic for a few days to catch up on a couple of commissions and put a video together. In the meantime, what's readers' impression of the story so far, compared to other TF media and stories? As we enter the second half, there's going to be a LOT of big reveals but I hope I've managed to craft an atmosphere of mystery, exploring the bleak future world and seeing its bizarre animals.

If anyone has something to say, they can do it here or on the last page. It'll probably be easier for me to keep track of there, though.
Beast Wars Future- 78- Fossils by NickOnPlanetRipple
Planet Ripple Volume 3 Front Cover by NickOnPlanetRipple      Planet Ripple banner by NickOnPlanetRipple     Planet Ripple Vol. 3 Preview #1 by NickOnPlanetRipple

....Okay, it was actually released a coupla' weeks ago, but I just got caught up in so many other things I didn't make a proper announcement here until today. But here it is! In this one, we get to see Minnow's childhood, what life is like on the pirates' flagship, new types of merfolk, new machines, new ships, new characters, new everything. Needless to say this was the most exhausting book to work on, probably more than the first two combined, but I think it's turned out the best out of the three. I don't want to give much more away lest I spoil some big story details, but if you enjoyed the portion of the story I posted for free last year you're going to enjoy this follow up. Here's links to everything.

Planet Ripple >> nickonplanetripple.deviantart.…

My Website >> www.planetripple.com/

Planet Ripple Trailer >> youtu.be/VRQJQjej7uA

My graphic novels on amazon,
Vol. 1 >> www.amazon.com/dp/B0725G4BSR/r…
Vol. 2 >> www.amazon.com/Planet-Ripple-M…
Vol. 3 >> www.amazon.com/Planet-Ripple-M…

Feedback is appreciated.
I'm struggling to decide what I should call this. I figured I'd follow the naming convention of the seasons, "Beast Wars Transmetals," "Beast Wars II" Neo, ect. Now I'm wondering if adding future at the back just sounds funny. Should I change it to "Future Beast Wars" to make it stand out more?
I've been working on a documentary-style series on youtube for a while called "Lego Rewind" where I study old themes and talk about the trends they started, the marketing of the time, the influence those older themes had on modern ones, that kind of thing. Since day one, people have been asking for an "Exo-Force" episode and, well, I've been teasing it for a few episodes. So a few minutes after midnight (it says March 31st, but it was April 1st in my time zone, damnit!), I released it. It LOOKED like an Exo-Force video. It had Exo-Force in the title, in the thumbnail (both of which have since been changed), and it even begins as an Exo-Force video... but a couple of minutes in, it stops being an Exo-Force video.

Just watch, and you'll see.

Welcome to the twilight zone, to an alternate world where Galidor was a huge success that aired for several seasons and flew off the shelves, prompting Lego to abandon bricks, minfigures, and even technic in favor of becoming an action figure company. Not even Bionicle was safe, ending in 2005. Hasbro and Mattel merged a decade sooner than they were rumored to in our timeline just to compete with Lego's figures, and Exo-Force, the line I was SUPPOSED to review in this video, wasn't released. Never even made it past its working title "Battle Peak."

Probably the most depressing part? I never made Planet Ripple in that timeline. I just kept making videos like this all the time, feeling rather unfulfilled.

I've been considering making an april fools' vid like this for a while. At first, I was just going to get distracted and talk about Galidor the same way I would about any other theme. The joke would've been me talking about it completely straight instead of tearing it apart. That was the joke... but then I figured the alternate timeline shtick would be funnier. I've never thought of myself as a good actor or a good liar, but.... some people thought I was being serious in the second half. I got comments like "Um, Bionicle didn't end in 2005. Get your facts straight." The joke was STILL too... subtle, I guess? Did no one notice the 3 second glitchfest meant to simulate crossing over? Did they forget what day it was? Anyway, it was GREAT fun taking on the persona of this alternate Nick.

One thing you'll notice is in the first part, I talk a bit about Galidor in a more passive aggressive light, but once we cross over my attitude completely changes and I start propping it up, talking about all its... qualities and acting like it's for the best that lego went in this direction because "They would've gone out of business if they stuck with bricks," or whatever. We like to think that no matter what changes, we'll still be the same "us" but... yeah, I think that's pretty naive. We're a product of the world we're born into, inevitably influenced by the impact of our circumstances and upbringing. And so you have THAT me, the other Nick lying to himself, convincing himself that Galidor's "actually pretty good" to cope with that fact that there's NOTHING ELSE TO PLAY WITH. No wonder I wasn't inspired to pursue my dream in that other world. I never knew better.

Also here's the REAL Exo-Force video, which I released the very next day. This one's a fair bit longer than the other Rewinds since, well, there was a lot more to cover. This was a fun video too because I got to share some of my love for anime... and make fun of it.



Enjoy! Feedback is appreciated.
My physical proof comes tomorrow. If it looks good, I'll release Volume 3 for print and kindle either that night, or on friday. After that I have one more youtube video to edit (should take a coupla' days) and then I'll finish some commissions, and then.... a new fancomic. Planet Ripple has exhausted me, so I'm taking a break for a little bit. And the comic I'm releasing the first two pages of today... yeah, I can already see the reactions. "Oh look, another new comic he's never going to finish."

Yeah, I know. I'll get back to "The Toa." I'll even get back to Nova Orbis if I can. But right now, I need to do something SIMPLE. Something short. Something small. Something cathartic. Something where I can just draw nice scenery and animals for a little bit, because I'm just too drained to work on anything more intensive than that right now. So please... just enjoy this while it's here. The story isn't going to be super long, more like a pilot. I've been mulling over the idea of a "Beast Wars Future" series for years, and it's probably time I made something out of the idea.

So enjoy.
It's been exhausting, especially these last few days, but I've just ordered a physical copy to see how it looks. If it turns out okay when it gets here, I'll release it and start promoting it. I've taken care to do a few things better this time.... brighter colors, cleaner borders, larger text, I've even numbered the pages at the bottom this time. If all goes well, I can relax for a bit and finally start uploading things HERE again, catch up on commissions, take a few months off from Planet Ripple. Wish me luck.
Remember these guys? nickonplanetripple.deviantart.…
Some of their names are stupid. I'm gonna change them when I have free time. Namely these three.
Transformers- Beast Wars Future- Windrunner by NickOnPlanetRipple This is the first one I designed, and if I drew her now she'd probably look quite different. She is named after her beast mode's species, a creature from "The Future is Wild" with guiding feathers on its legs, effectively creating an extra pair of stabilizing wings. Well, something about the name bugs me now. Thinking of changing it to "Slipstream." Yes, I know Slipstream is a Decepticon in other series, but hey Inferno was an Autobot and they named a Predacon after him. Reusing G1ish names for BW characters is nothing new. You know when a car drives by so fast it lifts up leaves and scraps in its wake? That's a slipstream. I can imagine this girl swooping in low and knocking over some oblivious Pred with the gust she creates.

Transformers- Beast Wars Future- Slickback by NickOnPlanetRipple Another one inspired by The Future is Wild, this guy's beast mode is a "Slick Ribbon'" a future aquatic centipede with a protruding jaw. I felt obligated to include "slick" in his name, so I went with Slickback. Of course, people proceeded to make references to A Pimp Named Slickback from The Boondocks. Anyhow I'm changing his name too. How's "Undertow" sound? An undertow is a sudden rip current that yanks you around. Sounds an awful lot like the suction modern sea creatures create when they open their own stretchy mouths to pull prey in. All right, "Undertow" it is. Also probably gonna change his face to be less.... demonic, at least his mouth.

Transformers- Beast Wars Future- Rupture by NickOnPlanetRippleLast but not least, this one is not from TFiW. I just wanted to create a yeti. At the time, I was trying too hard to make the Predacons' names sinister and edgy, "Rupture" conjuring images of what it'd be like to watch her transform, just huge chunks of her mass basically exploding as she changes. Does it say anything about her CHARACTER, though? Not really, not the way ones like "Scamper" or Prism or Blindside do. So I'm changing this one to "Avalanche." How's that sound? It implies she lives in cold environments (probably unstable ones), makes her sound incredibly powerful, and it even sounds slightly more feminine I think.

Might also change Raboon's name, though probably not. I'm more content with that one.

So waddya' BW fans think of these name changes?
I have finished 153 pages. Should be 155 by the end of the day if all goes well. This makes volume 3 longer than volume 1.

...And I still have one more chapter to go. This one's mostly dialog, so it should only be another twenty pages. Hopefully. If it gets much higher than 170, or 180, I'm going to have to raise the price of the books a dollar or so. Wish me luck. Hopefully I can keep it down. I should be finished with the book this month.
I've barely been posting anything lately, between getting sick and other things. I'm going to see the doctor again today. Doesn't mean I haven't been working on some things, though. I've made it 115 pages into volume 3. If I keep at it, I should finish it up in a month or so. After that.... I'm going to take a break. Not a super long break, but at least several months. I'll get started working on volume 4 towards the end of the year, maybe a little earlier, but I'm going to try posting other comics here in the meantime, get back to posting content regularly for a while.

Thanks for being patient with me.
I've come down with a few things lately. Most recently, I've been taking antibiotics for a cellulitis infection that came out of nowhere. Think I might be getting better.

I've finished 100 pages of Planet Ripple Volume 3 in the background. Also checked, and... look at that, 10 years on this site. Wow. I wish I had something... momentus to share today, but I don't. Things have just been weird lately.

I hope to catch up on commissions soon now that I'm getting better. Figure I should be able to finish volume 3 in another month or two at the latest, assuming nothing else comes up. After that, I'll take a break to catch up on other things, make some videos, get back to another comic of sorts before moving on the volume 4... find something else to work on over the summer. More on that later. Still sorting things out in my head.

Thank you all for being patient with me. Some days I find myself just not knowing what to do.

Please consider supporting my graphic novel series if you have a passing interest in it.

Planet Ripple trailer www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRQJQj…

You can find links to my books here. www.planetripple.com/the-book
Aaand some of it here. nickinamerica.deviantart.com/g…
Getting there...

Going to take a quick break to work on commissions an' stuff over the weekend, when my Friday QnA panel is done.
...for two days, maybe three. See you guys when I get back with good news.
Here's my first QnA panel. Filmed it in November at a facility that helps people with conditions like autism, adhd, and other things. I bring up a few of the very things I touch upon in this journal, so I figured they should go together.



There's something that's got me thinking lately... this idea that artists should "keep politics out of their art." The gist of it is if you can refrain from "projecting" your own biases and personal beliefs into your work, if it doesn't have a clear message that's going to be at odds with some people, that's something to be applauded.

I used to think this way myself, back when I was a teen who didn't know as much about trends or culture or subtext, and the media I consumed was just escapist fantasy with no clear slant to it. But eventually, I realized that to keep consuming media that way was to be in denial.

This is a pretty extreme example, but let's take Star Wars. For all the complaints that the latest Star Wars movies are "too liberal" and they should "keep politics out of Star Wars," what many people seem to have forgotten is that Star Wars has ALWAYS been political, going right back to the original film. A New Hope was basically a protest by George Lucas. Following the Vietnam war, he had an idea for a story in which a rag-tag group of freedom fighters took on a vastly more powerful, technologically advanced enemy that seemed unbeatable... and WON! Like it or not, the rebels were essentially the Viet Cong, the Empire was America and the Emperor himself was Nixon. I'm not saying that's how I feel, but that's how Lucas felt.

Kind of a big pill to swallow, isn't it?

Now I'm not telling you whether or not you should agree with Lucas' stance, or whether or not I do. And if the information I've just shared makes it difficult, or even impossible for you to continue to enjoy the original trilogy knowing the original intent behind them, well... sorry, I guess? But to pretend that there isn't anything there, that these movies are just escapist fantasy and should only strive to be that, is just not seeing the forest for the trees. But hey... Americans at that time were okay with it, whether or not they could see the subtext, so why not now?

That is a pretty extreme example to be fair. But what I've come to realize in order to process things, is that to a degree, ALL ART IS POLITICAL because all art is made by humans, and humans are political. Humans have beliefs. Humans have personal stances, lines they won't dare cross. The degree varies. Some works are a teeeeensy bit political. Some are intensely political. But expecting creators to wall themselves off, to not let their own worldview bleed into their creations a liiiiittle bit is almost futile.

I think it's just that before the internet came about where we could more easily share information and ideas and bring light to things through our own analyses, a lot of the subtext in movies, books, music and so on were just easier to ignore. It was easier for us to say "You're reading too deeply into this," and pretend whatever other people were seeing wasn't there. But in this age where people can write articles or upload their own videos picking these things apart, highlighting specific moments or quoting specific sources, it's become a lot harder to ignore the messages embedded in the things we watch... and some of these are messages we don't like, messages in direct conflict with our own world views. And that's difficult for some people to reconcile. It makes it tough for them to enjoy the things they used to because they can't be blissfully unaware of the parts they don't like anymore, they can't even just CHOOSE to ignore it as easily as this information becomes more common and piles up.

Science fiction is ceaselessly relevant to the world we live in. Its fantastical, otherwordly visuals and stories are often used as allegories for things we deal with in our day-to-day real lives. Some scifi is even prophetic, predicting technology to come or directly inspiring its real-world counterparts. A lot of the greatest Sci-Fi poses questions for the future, about where we may be headed as a species. Sometimes that destination is an obstacle to be avoided. Sometimes it's the goal to be reached for. And people seem fine with these questions being asked as long as the creator asking the questions only goes so far and ultimately leaves it up to the viewer to come up with their own answers to those questions, in which case a fair number of people are free to dismiss the question entirely and say "Nah." They don't enjoy it as much when a work ALSO contains clear or at least implied answers to the questions it asked.

I bring all of this up because I've seen this said about my own product, Planet Ripple. While the reception has been generally positive, well... the only complaint I've really seen so far is that it IS political. Not necessarily that the people taking grievance with this staunchly disagree with the politics themselves, moreso that certain things are touched upon at all. That's it just an excuse for me, the creator, to broadcast my own sensibilities, in which case I can only say "What creator doesn't? Especially one trying to deliver a message?"

If a work doesn't have a clear slant to it, if it doesn't have an endgame in mind and that absence of sensibilities makes it easier for some people to consume, fine. But I don't appreciate being expected to make my product just a showcase of various sci-fi concepts with no themes or message binding it together. I'm not saying there isn't a place for more ambiguous, pulpy stuff like that, but surely that isn't ALL people want?

Probably the clearest example of this is early on is when Cristina tells Minnow she's just "A useless bum" looking to get "special treatment" for "doing nothing." (I've since added tails to those speech balloons in the final cut, btw)
Planet Ripple- 30- Trash by NickOnPlanetRipple I see this kind of talk a lot on the internet, and I wanted to show people how stupid this rhetoric would actually sound if you ever said it unironically to someone in person, if you said something this hyperbolic with a straight face in real life. I also wanted to tell people with that scene, "Hey, it's easy to assume things about this person you're picking on, but maybe they're having a hard time like Minnow is and you wouldn't even know it cause you didn't ask? Maybe just go easy on them?"

Most of the "politics" of Planet Ripple aren't even particularly partisan if you think about it. I guess my message could really be boiled down to "Please be nice to autistic people," or "Be nice to people with disabilities in general." WOW, what a radical message. That's sure to provoke people, huh? Funny thing is, it's mostly younger people like us (teens especially) who get all fussy about this kind of thing. I've noticed older people with more life experience I've been able to reach tend to be more accepting. Hmm.

The key is to try to look at things from a broader perspective. Maybe some of you younger people on the internet don't know much about this cause you joined the party a few years too late, but if you were around six or seven years ago... the internet was not a good place for autistic people. We had individuals like CHRIS-CHAN representing us, giving excuses like "I can't help it, I'm autistic!" to justify their creepy behavior, and oh man, the culture at the time gravitated towards people like that, to make it look like ALL AUTISTIC PEOPLE were like that. I've heard so many stories from people who were in school at the time and were put through HELL in real life by other students who'd used to leave them alone until around the time this stuff went down. Trust me, it was NOT OKAY to be autistic the time. Things have simmered down greatly since then, and autistic people are becoming more and more accepted, but I'm sure there were a lot of people growing up at the time who came to feel like freaks and... probably still feel like freaks, so yeah, I wanted to make a character that they could sympathize with.

It's also why I included this scene. I've done what I can to keep Planet Ripple kid friendly. No swearing, no sexual content, very little blood... but at the end of the first chapter, you get this nugget.
Planet Ripple- 21- What did he call her? by NickOnPlanetRipple
Even now, there are a lot of people who think the way Kelsey did at the time, who think that calling someone autistic is just a softer way of admitting that they're retarded. They conflate the two as the same thing.

That said, I have tried to be subtle in some respects. For one, within the story itself nobody ever CALLS it autism. Nobody ever points out her condition by name, because I wanted to keep it just vague enough for people who have other problems to be able to connect with Minnow too, people who have physical disabilities, or people who have been abused, or any number of things.

I do get it if it gets a little grating for some people, but you're going to have to accept sooner or later that many of the things you enjoy have an agenda. You can close yourself off to it, you can shut your eyes, but that doesn't mean it isn't there or that other people are just "Reading into it too much." If you need to pretend that isn't there, to "turn your brain off" in order to continue being able to enjoy something, then that's your hangup. And if just saying "Please be decent to people who've had a rough time" is too radical of a message to include in my own works, well... I don't know what to say. But hey, if my work is political, I may as well own it.

Anyway, happy new year.