I finished this page sitting on the show floor at Wizard World New Orleans. That is all.
I think this will probably be the only page for this week; I don’t have any sketches for the next page. I might have a wild fit of productivity tomorrow and take it from “loosely laid out dialogue” to “final art” but I’m not gonna count on it. I did actually spend three solid hours working on this, which is like three times more than I’ve been able to make myself do for most of the past few months, so you never know. I think spring may finally be coming! (Edit: I had a wild fit of productivity tonight while hanging out at SICAGA and got the next page roughed, holy crap. Lots of complex backgrounds in that one though, so who knows how long it’ll take..)
Aaand I also spent some time throwing together a Patreon campaign. I had a few people ask if I had one; now I do. Basically it’s an ongoing Kickstarter that will pay me per-page, for those of you who’d like to support me that way instead of (or in addition to!) buying a copy of the book about once a year. You can find out more here.
(I’m still going back and forth with the printer on contracts, this is just taking crazy long this time. I will be so happy when I get book 2 in print.)
Man I dunno about that page title. I’ve gotta fill it with something and I’m really just out of crypto jokes. So instead you get a Jethro Tull song that came up while I was posting this. I guess I could just do the page number (this is 120) but that’s really, really boring…
The dude having a quiet smoke in the left side of the lower right panel is Badou from Shirow Miwa’s “Dogs”, which I picked up at the library last week and am kinda quietly in love with. There’s some really solid cartooning going on in that book.
Anyway. This is the first page I’ve done since setting up a Patreon campaign, and thanks to the generosity of the folks who’ve pledged, my drink at the cartoonist meetup tonight will be paid for by this page. Huzzah! If you wanna help support this comic, and maybe give me a bit of a carrot to push myself to work more on it, then go check it out. Or you could keep enjoying it and maybe buy books when I print ’em, whatever, I’ll keep drawing it anyway.
Holy cow you do not want to know how long the backgrounds in Fantasy World took. And the worst part of it is that I’m going to be using a completely different camera angle on the conversation for the next few panels – I’ll have to do another complex background to use for that before I can cut and paste stuff.
Or I could have some blank space behind them talking, but honestly I only want to do that if it’s actually appropriate to the setting. Future Rita’s apartment is blank because she has very few physical possessions and relishes empty space, so I’m fine with having that vast expanse of white wall on the top side! (Plus it seems to fit her mood, of wanting to shut down.)
Anyway! The next page is written and has its rough layout, so it’s very likely that you’ll see it next Tuesday.
You might be wondering why there weren’t any pages last week. That would be because I spent a lot of last work doing final approval and tweaks on the files for book 2 – the presses should be starting up soon, then I get to watch the books make their way from China to Seattle!
The quilt covering Ordinary Human Rita was an interesting experiment with a corner of Illustrator I don’t use too much: distortion meshes. Well, okay, I use super-simple d-meshes all the time; pretty much every bit of hovering HUD text in this comic is in a d-mesh that’s had a perspective transformation applied to it. But this was my first time really trying to do complicated freeform distortions.
You can read more about it on my blog if you’re curious.
ALSO is it just me or there a lot of missing images when you look at this whole chapter?
Aaand that’s the end of chapter 12. According to my notes there are eight left in the story, and some of them are pretty short.
So I was idly looking at some of the stuff currently advertising on Rita, and saw a very pink ad for “Mock Girl”. I instantly guessed what genre it was in: the Semi-Autobiographical Trans Narrative. It’s a difficult genre for me to love. Most instances of it tend to be boring in the same way I find any autobio boring, and it tends to be someone’s first effort at a Real Comic to boot – so they’re working uphill at something that’s already kinda difficult to get right in my eyes.
“Mock Girl” is doing it right.
The drawing is pretty much ‘serviceable’ to my jaundiced ex-animator eyes, but it’s enough to serve the writing. And the writing? Anything for a laugh. There’s some moments of seriousness, but mostly it giggles wildly from “vanished sister turns out to be an assassin” to “unexpectedly nice and helpful Creepy Clown” to “spooky magical voice from the darkness turns out to be a cranky turtle” and “while stuck in a coma talking to metaphors for her different drives, the main character’s Lust takes the time to crack wise about the size of her boobs”. The transition is an occasional subject for humor, but it’s completely normalized by the fact that it’s pretty much just one more thing to goof on.
Anyway. Go check it out.